Before you even know you are pregnant, your baby's heart, central nervous system, and lungs begin to develop. By the end of the 4th week the baby is about 3/16 of an inch long.
By 28 days the heart begins beating at a regular beat. During the second month, the baby's eyes and ears begin to develop. The larynx begins to develop. The brain and the spinal cord are well formed. The head is large in proportion to the rest of the baby's body at this stage. The liver begins to produce blood cells. The arms and legs are beginning to develop. Tiny buds that will develop into the fingers already have fingerprints. By 7 weeks all the essential internal and external structures are present. By the end of the 8th week the baby is about an inch long and weighs about 1/30 of an ounce.
The arms, hands and fingers, feet and toes are fully formed. Fingernails and toenails are beginning to develop. The external ears are formed. The teeth are beginning to form in the jawbones. The external sex organs are apparent. In boys, the testicles already contain sperm. In girls, the eggs already contain ova. By the end of the 3rd month, the baby is about 3 inches long and weighs about one ounce.
The baby's heartbeat can be heard with a doppler. The baby has eyebrows and lashes. It can suck his or her thumb. The baby can stretch and move it's limbs. By the end of the 4th month your baby is about 7 inches long and weighs about 4 ounces.
The baby is developing muscles. It is during this month that most mothers will feel their baby move. This is called quickening. The baby is about 10-12 inches long and weighs from 1/2 pound to 1 pound.
The skin is reddish in color, wrinkled and covered with a heavy creamy coating called vernix. It has a reflex hand grip and a startle reflex. The baby is 11-14 inches long and weighs between 1 1/2 to 2 pounds.
Your baby is continuing to grow and exercise. It weighs about 4 1/2 pounds and is 15 to 17 inches long. Your baby will usually turn head down this month.
The lungs are mature by 36 weeks. The baby is beginning to get plump. Your baby is now about 18 inches long and weighs about 5 1/2 pounds.
The skin is still coated with vernix. The average full term baby weighs about 8 pounds and is between 19 and 21 inches long.
There are many common complaints during pregnancy. Complaints are things that are uncomfortable, but are normal. They are not dangerous to you or your baby. There are suggestions we can make to help minimize the discomforts of pregnancy, but we cannot eliminate them.
Complications of pregnancy are problems that may arise that may need some kind of medical intervention. They are not normal complaints.
Emergencies during pregnancy are problems that arise that need to be addressed immediately. They may be life threatening to you or your baby.
Common Complaints, Reason & Suggestions
Backache: Change in weight & shape, pressure from the growing baby.
Try: Good posture, good body mechanics, massage, good shoes, exercise, pelvic tilts,
Bladder problems: Pressure from the uterus, hormone and circulation changes, increased urine output.
Try: Kegels, drink 8-10 glasses of water per day, plan to be able to use restroom frequently, take cranberry tablets, avoid sugar.
Breast Leakage: Breasts are producing colostrum
Try: Put cotton nursing pads in your bra
Constipation: Hormones slow peristalsis, pressure from the growing uterus.
Try: Don't ignore the urge to go to the bathroom, exercise, drink lots of fluids, increase fiber and fruits, go to the bathroom same time each day after a meal (preferably breakfast), drink a hot drink such as herbal tea am & pm
Gums Bleeding: Pregnancy hormones
Try: Brush and floss teeth regularly, Vitamin C
Heartburn: Slowing of digestive system.
Try: Eat 5 small meals instead of 3 large ones, avoid spicy or acidic food and caffeine,
good posture, comfortable clothes that don't put pressure on stomach, avoid antacids, papaya tablets.
Hemorrhoids: Increased blood volume causes dilation of the veins, pressure from the uterus. Try: Avoid constipation, Kegels, cold witch hazel or white vinegar compresses, Preparation H,
small slice of raw potato in the rectum decreases swelling.
Leg Cramps: Changes in calcium absorption
Try: Eat more calcium, dorsiflex foot (pull toes toward you) to pull cramp out, massage.
Nausea and vomiting: Hormones of pregnancy
Try: Eat small frequent meals, toast or crackers, peppermint tea or candy, accupressure wrist
bands, eat protein with every meal, take vitamins only with meals, if severe take children's chewable vitamins and sublingual folate until nausea improves.
Pelvic discomfort: Pelvic joints relax
Try: Warm bath, massage, change of position, pelvic tilts
Shortness of breath: Increased need for oxygen, growing uterus.
Try: Stretch, good posture, slow down, listen to your body.
Skin blotches: Pregnancy hormones
Try: Avoid sun
Stretch marks: Growing abdomen
Try: Good Nutrition, massage Cocoa Butter & Vitamin E oil.
Swelling: Fluid retention, increased blood volume
Try: Don't cross legs, don't stand for prolonged time, loose clothing, adequate fluid intake, salt
food to taste, avoid processed foods, avoid sugar, eat garlic, parsley, onions, melons, and cucumbers.
Tiredness: Hormones of pregnancy
Try: Rest! Early to bed, nap, exercise, vitamins, avoid junk food, eat protein, make sure you're
Vaginal discharge: The body's natural cleansing, increases in pregnancy
Try: Do not douche, wear cotton underwear, minipad if necessary
Varicose veins: Increased and slowed circulation
Try: Avoid prolonged standing, don't cross legs, rest with feet up above heart, support hose,
good support shoes.
Call your health care provider if you have any of the following symptoms:
• Vaginal bleeding
• A gush or flow of watery fluid from your vagina
• Regular contractions, cramping, pelvic heaviness
• Severe headache
• Blurred vision or spots in front of your eyes
• Marked swelling of your hands and face
• Severe abdominal pain or cramps
• Severe or persistent vomiting
• Severe unexplained pain in your shoulder
• High fever (over 101)
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