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Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy:

You should contact the care giver you have chosen as soon

as you know that you are pregnant. I encourage my clients

to contact me as soon as they believe they might be pregnant.

Early care is essential to good health of the baby.

Missed Period

This is one of the first signs that most people experience. Unless you have irregular periods, this is usually the ‘tale-tell’ sign that everyone first notices. Sometimes you might experience bleeding when implantation occurs, this may cause some spotting, or light bleeding. I have known of some women who have had their period for a number of months after they become pregnant. If you suspect that you are pregnant, and are still having periods, you should contact your care giver so she can determine if this is normal for you or not.

Preg tests

Urine tests are the most popular. They measure the levels of HCG , this is a hormone that is secreted during your pregnancy, and excreted in your urine. If you get a negative test result, but still feel you are pregnant, wait a week and test again. Usually if you get a negative that is false, either it is due to not doing the test correctly, or that you did the test too soon. You should always assume that you are pregnant until you find out different. This is so you take better care of yourself. Use first morning urine as the concentration of hCG is at its highest. HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) is produced by the cytotrophoblastic layer of the chorionic villi. Its function is to stimulate the growth and activity of the corpus luteum. It is usually present in very large amounts at first, peaking at week 7 to 10, and then gradually reducing until the end of pregnancy. (you can also have a blood test to tell if you are pregnant or not)

 

Morning Sickness  

Occurs from 4 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. They say that this is influenced by hormones. Don’t hormones influence just everything?! “Human chorionic gonadotrophin is found in large amounts until the placenta takes over from the corpus luteum at around 12 weeks. Estrogen and progesterone are also contributors.” 1.  ‘Heartburn is a cause of progesterone relaxing the cardiac sphincter of the stomach and allowing reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus.’

2.  You need to avoid caffeine also as this increases the chance of heartburn. You can be sick any time of the day, it is not just ‘morning’ sickness. You need to contact your care provider if you are unable to keep any food or liquids down, you don’t want to become dehydrated or malnourished.

Breast Soreness

Occurs between weeks 4-8.  Your breasts may feel very tender,

and you will not want them to be touched. This will usually go    

Bladder Irritability

Normally occurs about 6-12 weeks along in your pregnancy.  This occurs due to the growing uterus competing for space with the bladder. It will not be as bad after 12 weeks of pregnancy, but will re-occur in the later part of pregnancy due to the baby moving down into the pelvis and applying pressure on the bladder with its head. This is normal, and you should NOT decrease your fluid intake to avoid going to the bathroom so much. You need your fluids. You should empty your bladder often as this decreases your chance for a urinary tract infection.

Quickening

Occurs 16-20 weeks.  This is when you first feel the baby move! If you have never been pregnant before, you will feel the baby move around the 20th week, before that, you will feel it move, but may not recognize the feeling as movement of the baby. It feels like someone put their finger under your skin, and just run from one side of your tummy to the other. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that is your little baby moving! Some moms have reported feeling movement as early as about 13 weeks,

Uterine Growth

You will begin to notice at about 8 weeks. You will start feeling ‘big’ at about 16 weeks. You care giver will be able to feel your growing uterus before that. We measure the height of the uterus, just above the pubic bone by one centimeter each week of pregnancy.

Braxton Hicks contractions

Occurs @ 16 weeks. These are what I call practice contractions. If you were going to run a 10 mile marathon race, you would practice for a few months (training) ahead of time, well you body is practicing now for the labor and delivery. these last about 3 to 15 seconds on average.

Fetal Heart sounds

  • By Fetal Stethoscope Occurs 20-24 weeks                     

  • By Doppler 2 Mhz Occurs 12-14 weeks

  • By Doppler 3 Mhz occurs about 9 weeks

Vaginal Discharge

If you have any itching or burning then you need to contact your care giver, but if your discharge is just a little, and no other signs of infection, then this is normal