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Pregnancy - A Journey of Becoming A Mother

image What is pregnancy?
What is pregnancy?

Pregnancy - A Journey of Becoming A Mother

Pregnancy is a condition used to describe the period when a fetus develops in the womb. Usually, the pregnancy process lasts 40 weeks or more than nine months. This time is calculated from the last menstrual period.

Usually, doctors will divide gestational age into three different phases, such as:

First Trimester (1 to 12 weeks)

Even though the physical changes in the mother are not yet clearly visible, there are significant changes in the mother's body, such as hormone levels changing significantly. 

The uterus will begin to support the growth of the placenta and fetus. The body will also increase its blood supply to carry oxygen and nutrients to the developing fetus.

In the first Trimester, the fetus will develop all its organs by the end of the third month. Therefore, these moments are critical for pregnant women to maintain a healthy diet, including adding sufficient amounts of folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects in the fetus.

During the first Trimester, the risk of miscarriage is usually relatively high. Therefore, mothers must maintain the condition and vitality of the body. 

Ask the doctor about the health condition of the pregnant woman for proper pregnancy management.

Second Trimester (13 to 28 weeks)

The second Trimester is the most comfortable period for most pregnant women. Most early pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness, will disappear. 

The stomach will also look more prominent because the uterus will proliferate during this period.

Even though the symptoms of nausea slowly disappear, there are several common complaints that mothers will experience, including leg cramps, pain in the pit of the stomach, high appetite, varicose veins, back pain, and sometimes a blocked nose.

The second Trimester is when pregnant women can feel the fetus moving for the first time. Usually, this movement occurs in the 20th week of pregnancy. At this moment, the fetus can even hear and recognize the mother's voice.

Several screening tests are usually performed in the second Trimester. Be sure to discuss your personal and family medical history with your doctor to find out about genetic problems that could pose a risk to the fetus.

The second Trimester is also when the fetus's body parts, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain, form. 

Mothers can also find out the baby's gender in the second Trimester. Usually, during the second Trimester, doctors test for gestational diabetes, which is generally detected between the 26th and 28th week of pregnancy.

Third Trimester (29 to 40 weeks)

The third Trimester lasts from the 28th week of pregnancy until the baby is born. In the third Trimester, the fetus can open, close its eyes and suck its thumb. The fetus can kick, stretch, and respond to light.

Entering the eighth month, brain growth will continue and be rapid. Mothers may get an elbow or heel shape in the stomach. In the 9th month or 34-36 weeks of gestation, the lungs are mature and ready to work independently.

For the mother herself, there will be regular examinations such as urine tests to determine protein levels in the body, checking blood pressure, monitoring the fetal heart rate, and other preparations for the birth process.

Process of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is when a sperm fertilizes an egg after it is released from the ovary during ovulation. The successfully fertilized egg will then move to the uterus, where implantation occurs. When the implantation process goes well, pregnancy can occur.

Signs of Pregnancy

When pregnant, you will experience several signs of pregnancy, such as:

  • No Menstruation. 

If you have late or no menstruation, this could be a significant sign of pregnancy. However, there are several other symptoms to pay attention to.

  • Headache. 

This condition is another sign of early pregnancy. This occurs due to increased hormones and increased blood volume.

  • Blood Spots.

Some women will notice blood spots early in pregnancy, which is part of the implantation process.

  • Weight Gain. 

Entering the first Trimester, weight gain will not increase significantly. Weight gain will occur quite significantly when entering the second Trimester.

  • Heartburn. 

Hormonal changes during pregnancy trigger pregnant women to experience heartburn.

  • Constipation. 

Hormonal changes also make your digestive metabolism slower. This makes pregnant women susceptible to constipation.

  • Breast Changes. 

Breast changes are a sign of pregnancy. Breasts will feel softer and denser.

  • Nauseous. 

This condition is also known as morning sickness. This occurs due to an increase in hormones in the body of pregnant women.

Pregnancy test

Pregnancy checks are carried out when you are pregnant. Examinations are carried out to ensure that the mother and fetus are in a healthy condition.

Apart from ensuring the health condition of the mother and fetus, this examination is also carried out to determine the lifestyle and diet the mother needs to follow to maintain health during pregnancy.

Also, you will be advised to have blood tests and an ultrasound during pregnancy. An ultrasound examination is also conducted to ensure the baby's health is good.

The mother can determine the baby's weight and height during the examination by doing an ultrasound. Mothers can also find out the gender of the baby through ultrasound when the pregnancy enters the second Trimester.

Pregnancy Complications

Mothers need to have regular health checks from an obstetrician to avoid various pregnancy complications that may occur during pregnancy. There are several complications to watch out for, such as:
  • High blood pressure.
  • Gestational diabetes.
  • Preeclampsia.
  • Anxiety disorders and depression.
  • Miscarriage.
  • Anemia.
  • Fetal death in the womb.

Pregnancy Care

So that the pregnancy can run smoothly until delivery, you should carry out various treatments, such as:
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods.
  • Taking pregnancy vitamin supplements to meet nutritional needs for the growth and development of the fetus in the womb.
  • Fulfills body fluid needs.
  • Carry out regular checks.
  • Avoid consuming raw or undercooked foods.
  • Don't smoke and consume alcohol.
  • Actively moving or exercising.
  • Fulfill your need for rest.
  • Manage stress well.

When Should You See a Doctor?

Apart from carrying out routine checks, pregnant women should immediately visit the nearest hospital when they experience several symptoms that need to be watched out for when pregnant, such as bleeding, pain in the lower abdomen, back pain, headaches accompanied by visual disturbances, and contractions when the gestational age has not yet entered Week 37.

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