All posts tagged: Pregnancy Essentials

Food In Pregnancy

Food in pregnancy may vary because your appetite may change a lot. You can go from feeling sick and not really fancying anything to feeling starving and never full. Pregnancy can be a time when you feel like you can eat for two, when diets and healthy eating can go out the window especially when you feel tired. While pregnancy is not a time for a calorie controlled diet, it is a time to eat healthily. Cutting down on processed foods, ready meals and sugary snacks can help you feel better and will help to keep your weight gain at a normal level. Food in pregnancy can become something you obsess over and it can also be the cause of confusion. The British Nutrition Foundation is all about keeping it simple – a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veg; carbohydrates; some fish, lean meat, eggs and dairy – going with alternatives if you are vegetarian or vegan. Here’s a quick guide to making healthy choices with food… Fresh fruit & veg for meals …

Antenatal Checks & Scans

Antenatal checks will take place throughout your pregnancy, as your baby grows and your body changes. If it is your first baby, you may want to know that what you are experiencing is normal. Your community midwife is your first contact as you begin your pregnancy journey. Your booking-in appointment during your first trimester will probably be the longest one, where you will be given the information about your antenatal checks. ScansAbout 12-13 weeks: Dating Scan To work out when your baby is due, to check the development of your baby and it can be used to screen for Down’s Syndrome About 18-20 weeks: Anomaly ScanTo check the development of your baby and to look for any physical problems Blood TestsScreening for HIV, Hepatitis B and Syphilis, as well as sickle cell – you will most probably be offered this blood test during your booking appointment at about 10 weeks. Screening for Down’s, Edward’s and Pataus’ Syndrome is offered with a combined test: blood test and ultrasound scan with your dating scan or a blood …

Pregnancy – babyproofing your relationship

Having a baby and going from a couple to a family has a huge impact on your relationship so it can be worth thinking about babyproofing your relationship. The balance can shift, there are more demands on your time and you may have different ideas on parenting.  And on top of this you can be shattered and lacking in confidence as you adjust to life with your new responsibilities – more bickering and competitive tiredness can become the norm. It can be worth thinking about how you may need to adapt to being parents and where and why any new pressures on your relationship can come from so I have asked Newcastle relationship counsellor Armele Philpotts to provide some ideas…   Babyproofing your relationship…before birth By Armele Philpotts, Relationship Counsellor and Coach, with thanks to Elizabeth Martyn ‘The greatest thing you can do for your children, is love your partner’ . Steven Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families Imagine someone moved in with you, and your partner fell deeply in love …

Pregnancy – midwife appointments

Questions to ask your midwife When you are pregnant, you may need support and reassurance as your baby grows and your body changes. If it is your first baby, you may want to know that what you are experiencing is normal. Your community midwife is your first contact as you begin your pregnancy journey.  Your booking-in appointment will probably be the longest one, where you will be given the information about your antenatal checks. Your midwife will offer antenatal checks, which will include: Checking your blood pressure Checking your weight Checking your urine for protein, which can be an indicator of pre-eclampsia in later pregnancy Blood tests for your blood group and rhesus status as well as checking for anaemia, rubella, syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV Listening to your baby’s heartbeat – from about 16 weeks Measuring your bump – from about 24 weeks Arranging your scans and screening tests   During your antenatal checks your midwife can also provide you with information about: How often you will see her, what are the routine tests, when will …

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Your Pregnant Body

Here’s what happens to your body during pregnancy and birth… Your body during pregnancy – hormones As soon as the placenta starts to form and the cells which are fast becoming your baby have implanted into the side of the uterus, your body will produce human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) – these levels will double every couple of days, reaching its peak by about 10 weeks, when the levels start to level out as the placenta starts to function.   Oestrogen  This hormone is needed to: stimulate the placenta – to ensure that it grows and works develop your baby’s lungs, liver and kidneys work with progesterone to grow your breast tissue for milk production The rapidly growing levels of oestrogen in early pregnancy may cause sickness and nausea. Oestrogen and relaxin creates the loosening of the ligaments and joints throughout the body, which is needed to enable your body to expand for your growing baby and to provide the space for your baby to be born.   Progesterone This is a very powerful hormone – its levels are very high during pregnancy. In early pregnant it is needed: to stimulate blood vessels to increase the blood flow to your womb for the glands in the lining of the womb to produce the nutrients that are needed for your embryo baby to enable the lining of your womb to thicken and to aid the attachment of the placenta and the implantation of your embryo baby to form the placenta Throughout pregnancy, progesterone is needed: for the development of your baby to prevent your womb contracting before labour needs to start to prevent lactation until after your baby is born to help strengthen the muscles of your pelvic wall for labour   Oxytocin The posterior pituitary gland releases oxytocin during pregnancy, this will increase at the end of pregnancy to stimulate the contractions needed for labour. Human placental lactogen (hPL) This hormone, also known as human chorionic somatomammotropin, is made by the placenta. It provides nutrition for your baby and it stimulates the milk glands in your breasts in preparation for breastfeeding. Your body during pregnancy Your heart during the second trimester your heart is working 40% harder than normal – your heart is working efficiently to pump more blood with each beat your heart rate may increase by about 15 beats per minute blood volume increases throughout pregnancy Plasma can increase by 40-50% and red blood cell mass increases by 20-30%, which can mean you need more iron and folic acid   Your lungs throughout pregnancy, the air going in and out of your lungs increases by about 50%, with higher blood oxygen levels – you  could consume 10-20% more oxygen the shape of your chest changes in pregnancy as your diaphragm can rise by 4cm, which reduces lung capacity by 5%   Your cervix & uterus The cervix acts as a barrier against infection during pregnancy and it protects your baby by staying firmly closed until labour starts. The hormone progesterone causes the cells of the cervix to create mucus, which forms the mucous plug. Your uterus will contract throughout pregnancy – these Braxton Hicks contractions will help to aid the blood circulation to the placenta.   Nausea and vomiting  This affects about 70% pregnant women – it is usually caused by relaxed stomach muscles and increased oestrogen About 20% of women will experience it throughout pregnancy   Appetite About 50% of all pregnant women experience an increased appetite   Heartburn  This affects between 30-70% of women at some point in pregnancy – it is caused by progesterone which relaxes the oesophageal sphincter.   Weight Gain in Pregnancy The expected weight gain in pregnancy is: 4kg (9lb) in first 20 weeks and 8.5kg (1stone 5lb) in last 20 weeks …