Pregnancy usually lasts about 40 weeks from the first day of the last normal period. The pregnancy period is classified into three trimesters.
Each trimester has its own characteristics. It's a thrill to follow along as your baby grows and see what's new every week.
A pregnancy calendar is a great perpetual tool that is vital in trimester and pregnancy schedule reminders.
The pregnancy calendar is made to be user friendly and easily updatable. The calendar is designed in such a way that keeping track of and maintaining a schedule or list of important events and things is easily accessible.
These items of the pregnancy plan include doctor appointment dates, ultrasound dates, pregnancy exercises, shopping for the baby, and medicine.
The pregnancy calendar template is professionally designed to be customized to a mother's pregnancy routine.
Stopping of the period is the major sign of pregnancy but other signs may also occur.
The downside to all this rapid growth is that you may be feeling tired and emotional, but try not to worry; it's just your body adjusting to the demands of pregnancy and it usually settles down by the end of this trimester.
The signs may range from extreme tiredness, upset stomach with or without throwing up (morning sickness), tender, swollen breasts, headache, mood swings, cravings or distaste for certain foods, heartburn, need to pass urine more often and weight gain or loss.
As your body changes, it might be necessary to make changes to your daily routine such as eating, small frequent meals or even going to bed.
The discomforts will disappear as the pregnancy progresses. However, it is important to note that some women may not experience discomforts at this stage.
Furthermore, the symptoms are likely to change with every pregnancy.
Tiny indentations in the head will develop into your baby's facial features - the eyes, ears, mouth and nostrils. The heart is also already starting to form.
However, if you notice any bleeding, at any stage in your pregnancy, it's important to get it checked out by your doctor or midwife.
Your breasts may feel tender, or even painful, rather like the breast tenderness you might get just before your period.
This is due to the pregnancy hormones getting your breasts ready to produce milk for your baby. It usually eases off by the end of the first trimester.
The neural tube that connects the spine and brain closes.
Hormonal changes may make you feel or be sick - at any time of day. You may notice that you need to wee more often; this often starts early in pregnancy and continues as the baby presses down on your bladder.
You might feel a bit dizzy or light-headed. Your blood vessels have widened to boost the blood flow to your baby, this may cause your blood pressure to drop a little and make you feel faint.
Thirst is simply nature's way of getting you to replace the extra fluids lost to sweating and weeing more frequently.
Headaches are probably one of the most common complaints in the first trimester. This is most likely due to the increase in blood being pumped around your body, along with your hormones playing havoc with your blood sugar levels.
During this stage, some symptoms such as nausea and fatigue may start to disappear but other more noticeable changes will start to happen.
The abdomen will enlarge and by the end of the trimester, you will notice some baby movements.
Some of the symptoms that you experience include body aches such as groin, abdomen, back and thigh pain.
You may also notice stretch marks on your breasts, abdomen, thighs and buttocks.
Other noticeable symptoms include darkening of the skin around your nipples, patches of darker skin mostly on the forehead, upper lip and cheeks and a line on the skin running from belly button to pubic hairline.
You may also experience numb or tingling hands, swelling of the ankles, face and fingers and itching on the abdomen, palms and soles of the feet.
The second trimester of pregnancy covers weeks 13-28 (months 4-7). If you've had morning sickness it is likely to pass, and you should feel less tired and have a little more energy.
She'll do this with a sonic aid, a small device that is placed on your tummy. Hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time is often quite a special moment in a pregnancy.
Your baby's ears are beginning to develop. Your baby is covered in fine hair called 'lanugo'. This will help to keep her warm and it will usually disappear sometime before she is born.
Your baby will have doubled its weight since the start of this trimester and will weigh about 5 ounces now.
The placenta continues to grow to keep up with your baby's needs. By the time you give birth it will weigh just over a pound!
This is a busy time for your baby's growth. Your baby's body has grown bigger and is more in proportion with her head. She is beginning to grow hair, as well as eyelashes and eyebrows.
She may now start to hear sounds, so she will soon be able to hear you if you start talking or singing to your bump.
Over the next few weeks your baby's taste buds will continue to develop and she will be busy practising swallowing in readiness for life outside your womb.
Your baby now has fingernails and eyelashes. From week 24, your baby is 'viable'.
This means that if your baby is born prematurely at this stage there is a chance of survival, although babies born around this time have an increased risk of long-term complications.
Eyelids open around 26 weeks; some weeks after the birth, the eyes become the colour they will stay. Your baby can hiccup and is responding to sound.
If your baby was able to stretch out fully, she could be 37cm (14in) long. Your baby has periods of sleep and periods of activity, which you probably already know by the movements you feel.
You may have a stuffy nose or suffer from nosebleeds. Hormonal changes and increased blood supply in your body can put more pressure on the blood vessels in your nose, causing them to break.
It is pretty common. If you have more than one though, then tell your GP or midwife. Your gums may bleed a little too. This is due to those hormones again.
Your waist will start to thicken as your uterus moves up out of your pelvis and a visible 'bump' appears. If this is your second pregnancy, this may happen rather sooner.
You might feel the odd movement as your baby practises flexing his tiny limbs. It can be wonderfully reassuring to feel your baby wriggle about inside you, but don't expect to feel it much at this stage.
Many women don't feel their baby move until weeks 20-23, especially in their first pregnancy. You may feel the baby elbow or kick you.
You may notice dark spots on pale skin and white patches on dark skin. This is called 'pigmentation'. The marks usually disappear a few months after birth.
Stretch marks are common in pregnancy, and there's little you can do to avoid them. Creams that claim to work on stretch marks are applied to the external layer of skin, but it is the layer underneath this which stretches.
You can, however, take care not to put on too much weight by eating a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
You may notice a small amount of thick, creamy or yellow substance leaking from your nipples.
Don't worry, this is colostrum, your baby's first milk, and it's perfectly normal to leak during pregnancy. Breast pads might come in handy.
Because of the increased blood flow to your skin you might notice that you sweat more than usual. Keep your clothing light and cool, and drink plenty of water.
You might notice an increase in vaginal discharge. This is normal in pregnancy. If it is smelly, itchy, or a yellowy greenish colour, contact your doctor or midwife.
You may have an infection that needs to be treated. Use a pad if the discharge is heavy. Don't use a tampon. You may crave certain foods.
No one knows why pregnant women get cravings but there is no harm in eating a little bit of the food you crave.
You may have backache. Your bump is growing and your muscles are relaxing - not a great combination for your back. Your legs may cramp, particularly at night.
No one knows for certain why this happens during pregnancy. Regular gentle ankle and calf exercises may help prevent it occurring. You may feel that you're moving differently due to your changing shape.
You may find that supporting your bump with pillows can help you feel more comfortable. Try to keep your bedroom cool - about 18ºC is perfect.
It also helps to have a relaxing bedtime routine such as having a warm bath or reading a book. You should avoid lying on your back, as the weight of your uterus can restrict the blood circulation.
You may feel constipated. Progesterone, a key pregnancy hormone, slows down the bowels. A hormone called 'relaxin' softens your ligaments and muscles.
With this extra 'flexibility' it is also easy to pull a muscle, so if you are exercising don't over-do it.
Some of the new changes that may occur include heartburn, shortness of breath, haemorrhoids, swelling of the fingers, face and ankles, tender breasts, trouble sleeping, baby moving in the abdomen and contractions, which are a sign of false or real labour.
Furthermore, as you near delivery, the cervix will become thinner and softer.
The third trimester covers weeks 29 to 40 (months 7 to 9). These are the last few weeks of your pregnancy. It is an exciting time, and many women really enjoy getting their home ready for a new arrival.
Women's feelings about this stage of pregnancy can vary enormously. You may feel that time is dragging on slowly, and long for a time when you don't feel so tired.
Or you may find that these last few weeks give you time to get ready for the baby and to enjoy some time for yourself, especially after you start maternity leave.
During this trimester the baby continues to grow, and from now on has a better chance of survival if born early.
The baby begins to have many functions on its own such as, breathing, sucking, moving. Even its bones are fully developed baby bones, and eyelids are able to be opened.
As the third trimester progresses the baby will position itself to be ready for birth, this involves moving its head down towards the vagina.
During the thirty-eighth week of the third trimester the pregnancy is considered full term and the baby is fully developed and in position to be ready to be birthed.
It is hard to predict the exact date when you will go into birth, but by following the pregnancy calendar and its calculations you should be able to have a general idea of how long you have before birth.
Your doctor will also be able to monitor how far along the pregnancy is and when a due date can be expected, but this information is contingent upon when an appointment occurs.
These later doctor visits will also have vaginal examinations involved to make sure no complications arise. Regular uterine contractions are a clear sign that labour has begun and the birthing process will begin.
A pregnancy calendar is a great tool that can be used in conjunction with regular doctor visits and advice. The calendar is designed to put knowledge and autonomy in the hands of a pregnant woman.
A pregnancy calendar should be used with the consultation of your doctor, to make sure that you are on track with them and that your information syncs up with their information, creating a healthy pregnancy experience.
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