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Pregnancy and Newborns

Your Changing Body

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Your Changing Body

Healthy Pregnancy Quiz
What Do You Know About Having a Healthy Pregnancy? Pregnancy is an exciting and busy time for couples. You spend time wondering about your baby-to-be and making plenty of preparations to welcome the newest member of your family. By taking this quiz, you can learn which lifestyle behaviors are most helpful and which may be harmful to your developing child. 1. Healthy habits during which trimester are most crucial for the well-being of the developing fetus? You didn't answer this question. You answered Th...
Fast Facts
In your last trimester, you may feel short of breath or the need to use the bathroom more often. This is normal. Your growing baby is putting pressure on your organs.
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Pregnancy and Heartburn
Pregnancy and Heartburn Chances are good that you’re one of more than three-fourths of pregnant women who experience the churning and burning of heartburn or acid indigestion. It typically hits somewhere in the second or third trimester, and it can be miserable. Heartburn doesn’t really mean your heart is burning, but it’s a good description of the discomfort that begins behind the breastbone and moves upward to the neck and throat. It can last as long as two hours, and it’s often worse after eating. Of...
Managing Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins in Pregnancy
Managing Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins in Pregnancy Hemorrhoids and varicose veins might seem to be two different, unrelated problems, but they are actually quite similar. And, they are a discomfort experienced by many women, especially in the third trimester of pregnancy. What are hemorrhoids and varicose veins? Both hemorrhoids and varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins. These veins are often in the legs, but they also can form in other parts of your body, including the rectum, where they are call...
Pregnancy and Posture
Pregnancy and Posture Why is good posture important in pregnancy? Much back pain in pregnancy is related to the strain on your back from the weight of your growing baby. Using proper posture can help prevent and even relieve some of the pain. Here are some tips to help you maintain good posture in various positions. What is proper posture during pregnancy? When your body is in alignment—when you use proper posture—you can imagine a straight line running from your ears to your shoulders, and to your hips...
Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Weight Gain During Pregnancy Weight gain during pregnancy varies from woman to woman and depends on body type. Each woman should talk with her care provider about the appropriate amount of weight gain, as well as diet and exercise. 2009 Recommendations for Pregnancy Weight Gain by BMI (Body Mass Index) from the Institute of Medicine Prepregnancy BMI BMI Total Gain Range Rate of Gain in 2nd and 3rd Trimester Underweight less than 18.5 28-40 lbs 1 (1-1.3) lbs/week Normal Weight 18.5-24.9 25-35 lbs 1 (0.8-...
Anatomy: Fetus in Utero
Anatomy: Fetus in Utero Click Image to Enlarge Amniotic sac - a thin-walled sac that surrounds the fetus during pregnancy. The sac is filled with amniotic fluid (liquid made by the fetus) and the amnion (the membrane that covers the fetal side of the placenta), which protects the fetus from injury and helps to regulate the temperature of the fetus. Anus - the opening at the end of the anal canal. Cervix - the lower part of the uterus that projects into the vagina. Made up of mostly fibrous tissue and mu...
Hormones During Pregnancy
Hormones During Pregnancy What is the role of hormones during pregnancy? Many hormone levels are affected in the body during pregnancy, with several hormones playing major roles during pregnancy. These include: Human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG) This hormone is only produced during pregnancy--first by the ovaries and later by the placenta. HCG hormone levels found in maternal plasma and urine increase dramatically during the first trimester and may contribute to causing nausea and vomiting often...
Common Discomforts During Pregnancy
Common Discomforts During Pregnancy Symptoms of discomfort due to pregnancy vary from woman-to-woman. The following are some common discomforts. However, each mother-to-be may experience symptoms differently or not at all: Nausea and vomiting About half of all pregnant women experience nausea and sometimes vomiting in the first trimester--also called morning sickness because symptoms are most severe in the morning. Some women may have nausea and vomiting throughout the pregnancy. Morning sickness may be...