Baby’s Movement As You Near Your Due Date

There are so many things about pregnancy that are truly magical. That moment when you first find out that you are pregnant is hard to describe. Then you go through the variety of symptoms, which though hard to deal with can hold some mystique as you recognize that this tiny little being has taken up residence. Seeing your baby for the first time on an ultrasound is of course a defining moment for most parents.

One of the most memorable moments that a woman experiences during pregnancy is feeling their baby move. This is hard to explain and even harder to describe, and it elicits some rather emotional reactions. You enjoy that movement from early on in your second trimester throughout the remainder of your pregnancy in most cases. It’s something that ties you to your baby and something that you will likely miss once you give birth. It is however important to understand that the baby’s movement patterns will change as you get later into your pregnancy.

Movement Patterns Change

Once you start feeling the baby’s movement in your pregnancy, you will likely be pretty tuned into it. Though it may be a bit sporadic at first, you may find that it starts to even out and maybe even become a bit predictable. Though this may not be the case for everyone, most women can plan on feeling their baby move at a certain time of day or after a certain activity such as eating sugary foods or a larger meal. Though your doctor will tell you not to worry if things aren’t quite so unpredictable, but they may very well ask you to ensure that you check for baby’s movement at least once a day. This is a good habit to get into so that you can ensure baby is doing what she’s supposed to in there.

Keep in mind that as you move throughout your pregnancy, your baby is growing tremendously. Your baby is putting on weight and taking up some major room in your growing uterus. Though the movement patterns may have started out with a flutter, they quickly evolved into kicks, rolls, and even what may have felt like punches in your belly. This is amazing and takes a woman’s breath away, but you do need to remember that just as this evolution took place so too will a new one. Once you enter into the third trimester and especially near your due date, you are going to feel things a bit less. This is nothing to be concerned about, but rather a very normal part of the pregnancy and the preparation for birth.

Less Movement Means Baby is Getting Ready

Though you do want to be careful to ensure that baby is moving here and there, as you near your due date the movement will be very different. While as you used to feel the baby roll over and could maybe even see this, you will likely experience a bit less of that as the baby gets into position for birth. Not only that, but the baby has grown so much that it has taken up a good amount of space leaving it far less room to move about within.

As you near your due date, you do want to ensure that baby is moving and always ask your doctor if you are concerned. However you do want to be aware that baby may very well be moving into position, have far less room to move, and is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do if you experience less movement.

Gestational Diabetes and Your Diet

Around the end of the second trimester, a glucose tolerance test will be performed on most pregnant women to check for signs of gestational diabetes. This form of diabetes affects only pregnant women, and while relatively rare, is serious for both mom and baby. Luckily, it is not difficult to control with the proper diet and monitoring.

The Basics of Gestational Diabetes

Having gestational diabetes does not mean there is any reason to suspect that you had diabetes prior to pregnancy, or that you will continue to have problems afterwards. Although no one is certain what exactly causes it, there is reason to believe that hormones from the placenta may cause insulin resistance. This is a condition where the action of insulin in the blood to work on glucose and turn it into energy is blocked, leaving high levels of glucose in the bloodstream. This results in hyperglycemia.

The extra glucose in your blood will cross the placenta and enter the baby’s blood. This causes the baby’s pancreas to secrete more insulin in response. High insulin levels in newborns have been linked to breathing problems and a higher likelihood of obesity later in life. Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes are often larger than average, as they have received too much energy in the form of glucose.

How to Treat Gestational Diabetes

If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, one of the first things your doctor will recommend is a major overhaul of your diet. You will require a special eating plan, and will probably be told to monitor your blood sugar levels. Although you should discuss your new meal plan with your doctor, there are some general recommendations to follow to eat right and control the symptoms of gestational diabetes.

What to Eat

Glucose levels in your blood are directly related to the foods you eat. The foods that cause the highest levels of glucose are carbohydrates, so any woman diagnosed with gestational diabetes will have to be very careful about eating the right carbs. You shouldn’t give up carbs altogether – this isn’t healthy for you or your baby. But you will need to get your carbs from the right sources.

Skip simple carbs, especially anything high in sugar. Instead, choose the complex carbs found in whole grain foods. These will break down more slowly in your body and prevent spikes in blood glucose that can be caused from fast-acting sugars and refined carbs. Be sure to balance your intake of carbs throughout the day. Avoid having a large amount at one meal; instead, spread your intake out over several meals.

Another thing to remember is that you should eat throughout the day. Don’t skip meals or snacks. Eating regularly keeps a steady level of energy and prevents urges to overeat or eat the wrong things due to hunger.

Although it may be tempting to switch to artificial sweeteners to fill the gap left by the sugar in your diet, try not to give in. Not all artificial sweeteners are safe during pregnancy, and even those generally thought to be ok simply don’t have enough research behind them to be absolutely certain of their safety.

The restrictions of a gestational diabetes diet are not always easy to follow, but remember that you are doing it for your baby’s health. Also bear in mind that it will not be forever; you only have to continue with the diet until the end of your pregnancy, at which point the gestational diabetes will be at an end.

Second Trimester of Pregnancy

Is it really possible? Are you feeling a bit better? Many women are cautious to express that they actually feel better as they enter that magical second trimester of pregnancy, but there is some merit to it.

Some women are lucky enough to feel great throughout their entire pregnancy. Others have a really rough first trimester and anxiously await that light at the end of the tunnel. Though the second trimester can bring about changes of its own, the reality is that can bring about some relief as well. If you have been suffering from common symptoms such as nausea for example, you may start to see that taper off.

Though every woman and every pregnancy is different, the second trimester is typically the most enjoyed time period for most. This is a welcome change and allows many women to enjoy their pregnancy! It is important to know what’s going on in your pregnancy, with your baby, and be aware of what is most common to expect during this precious time period.

Out With the Old and In With the New

So you can finally bid adieu to many of your first trimester symptoms. The reason that they came about was due in large part to the hormones that your body was inundated with. These hormones are all essential to a pregnancy and to your unborn child, so you should be happy for them. They are however nasty in the sense that they can create some unwanted and often awful symptoms. The most common first trimester symptoms often include nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, breast tenderness, and headaches. Most women can say goodbye to these symptoms as they enter the all important second trimester-and that’s welcome news!

What many people don’t tell you however is that you may accumulate some new symptoms. Though these all hit women differently and aren’t often that big of an issue, it is important to be prepared for them. Many women will have an increase in vaginal discharge, and they will also deal with a great deal of additional mucous as the membranes go into overdrive.

As you can see from a symptoms chart such as this http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy/pr00018 there can be new and interesting indications that the baby is coming in the not so distant future. You are likely at the point where you simply don’t fit into your old clothes anymore as your waistline is growing and changing. Your breasts are bigger and you may very well experience Braxton Hicks contractions which are a preview of what’s to come.

You will likely experience movement as the trimester progresses-this is an exciting step and a welcome “symptom” of the second trimester for many women. So though the first trimester symptoms are gone and you may feel more energized and less exhausted, you may have them replaced with newer ones that take some getting used to.

Your Baby’s Progress

Your baby is really starting to make some major progress in terms of their development, and this is exciting! They have reflexes now and they can even smile, frown, suck in amniotic fluid, and excrete it as urine. If you have an ultrasound during this time, you may even find baby sucking their thumb which is simply amazing! The baby has developed a great deal and they are starting to look like an actual baby at this point. Baby has his own fingerprints and has very distinct features, including genitalia which will tell you what the gender is if you wish to know. The baby will really start to bulk up and gain some weight as this trimester continues on, and you will feel this through your own weight gain and of course movement. It’s an exciting time and likely the best trimester, so enjoy every second of it!

Additional Reference:
http://www.childbirthsolutions.com/articles/pregnancy/weeklypregcalendar/index2.php

Understanding Gestational Diabetes In Your Pregnancy

Many women think of pregnancy as a time to eat whatever they want. Though you are sure to indulge in some foods or treats that you never did before you were pregnant, it should be done within reason.

Although the common misconception is that you are eating for two, this can often lead to complications down the road for both you and the baby. Many women tend to overeat, and at that they tend to eat a lot of the wrong foods. Though eating far too many sweets alone can’t put your baby in an instantly dangerous situation, it can present some difficulties. Just as diabetes can occur in the body at any point in time, you are more likely to develop it in pregnancy. Though most pregnant women are safe from this risk, there is a very real possibility and therefore you want to be very in tune to what this means.

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

Just about every pregnant woman takes a blood glucose test in her second trimester of pregnancy. This is a simple test whereby a woman drinks a sugary glucose drink to see how her body processes. If all goes well, then the woman is fine and should go on with her pregnancy without the risk of gestational diabetes. Sometimes however there is a very real risk and it shows up through this risk. What happens is that the body can’t properly create and utilize insulin and this puts a risk to the pregnancy and most especially to the baby.

As you can easily see through diabetes advice, the inability to produce sufficient amounts of insulin means that the glucose that you have in your system isn’t able to be digested properly and ultimately has nowhere to go. This glucose in your body can come to you via sweets or even some less likely sources such as white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as fruit. Therefore it’s important for a woman to get a proper diagnosis and then to know how to contend with it if it is found that she has gestational diabetes.

Handling This Pregnancy Complication

So here’s how it works-there is hope and help if you find that you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy. In a simple or lesser case, you may just be put on a special diet whereby you are eating foods that can be digested and passed along to baby properly. This is easy to manage, but may also result in additional monitoring for the baby. If the case is full fledged or a bit more extreme, then you may need to take insulin shots on a daily basis as a regular diabetic does. If this is the case, then it may mean a great deal of monitoring of the baby, particularly as you move closer to your due date.

The biggest possible risk to your baby is that they will be rather large, and that this may mean not only a “fat” baby but also one that has health problems upon delivery. These aren’t the usual birth defects that you hear about, but certainly something that doctors don’t like to see. It is manageable for you as a mother and for your baby, but something that is important to keep up with. So keep tuned into this condition and be sure that you handle the management appropriately if it should be necessary.

Baby’s Preparation for Delivery

You know that the moment is nearing because your due date is just around the corner. You are now at the stage where you go in for weekly appointments, and therefore the time is coming closer and closer. You feel as though you are ready though you have anxiety about the big arrival. It’s an exciting time and you give much thought to what you are ready for and how you will fully prepare.

You’ve probably not given that much thought to what your baby goes through in anticipation for the big arrival. As your body gets ready, you know that things are happening as you can just feel it. There are many stages and things happening that get you ready for the big delivery. Just as you prepare both physically and mentally for the baby’s arrival, the same things are happening with the baby. Though they can’t really prepare emotionally, they are going through some changes at the last minute to ensure that they are ready for the big arrival as well.

Is Baby Really Getting Ready Too?

There are certain things you can feel and certain things that you can’t. You will be made aware of some of the changes that are occurring as you go through the weekly doctor appointments. Your doctor is checking to see if you are dilated at all or if your cervix is thinning in preparation for the big arrival. While all of these things are going on with you and your progress, baby is going through some important stages as well. You may be feeling a bit less movement than you have throughout the second and third trimesters. Not only has baby run out of room to romp about, but she has also begun her descent downwards towards the birth canal.

Your baby has developed all of their organs and body parts by the third trimester. However what they are doing up until the moment that they are born is bulking up, that is adding a whole lot of weight onto their tiny little frame. By week 38, they have fully developed lungs that they are working at until that very week. These are all important sings that they are getting ready for their big debut, though there’s a good chance that you’re not feeling a thing at all. The baby will do everything on their own time schedule and will get themselves ready for the arrival all on their own, often without you knowing a thing.

Getting Into Position

The most important thing that baby does to get ready for the big arrival is to get into position. This is something that you may or may not feel, and the way it works out will determine the type of delivery that you can have. If all goes as it should, then baby will move into the “heads down” position as she prepares for her entry into the big world through the birth canal. This may be felt by mom as a flip or some major movement as they move lower in the uterus and work towards the necessary “heads down” position.

Sometimes baby doesn’t really want to cooperate and may be “bottom down” which presents some problems for a vaginal delivery. If this happens, then the baby is considered to be breech and a C-section may very well be necessary. Remember that baby will do everything that she can to get herself ready for the big arrival, and they will do son their own timeframe.

Managing Your Exhaustion During Pregnancy

There are many aspects of pregnancy that you can’t even explain to others. The way that you feel, that first kick from the baby, so many things are just miraculous and difficult to put into words. One such aspect of pregnancy that is rather difficult to put into words is the absolute exhaustion that you feel.

For many women, exhaustion during pregnancy is a tired feeling that you’ve never quite felt before and it just beats you down. You can barely keep your eyes open during normal and rather routine activities, leaving you feeling drained so very easily. This is very common at the very beginning of a pregnancy and in the first trimester. Usually you feel much better by second trimester, though you’re certainly not up as late as you used to be. Then by the time that third trimester comes around, you feel that exhaustion again. There are many factors that contribute to it, and learning how to properly manage it is always a good idea.

It Seems to Come Out of Nowhere

One of the first indicators to many women that they are pregnant is that absolute exhaustion that you feel. It’s hard to describe, but as you have difficulty getting up in the morning or keeping your eyes open through dinner; you somehow know what’s going on. Though it is a very common symptom of pregnancy, it can be very frustrating for many women. If you have other children to care for, have a full time job, or simply have responsibilities that you must maintain then it can be very trying.

It may seem that the exhaustion comes out of nowhere, but it does make sense if you think about it. In the first trimester, the exhaustion is often attributed to the major change in hormones. As it often is, progesterone is usually the culprit and contributes to everything slowing down and you feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck. You are likely experiencing other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, and these can take a lot out of you as well. You are also building another person and as you work through the process of building another human being and the placenta, it’s only natural that you feel tired. You will feel this again towards the end of your pregnancy as you are carrying around a lot of extra weight and your body gets ready for delivery.

So How Do You Manage Pregnancy Exhaustion?

Since the exhaustion can be so debilitating and frustrating, many women want to know how to properly manage it. As you can see from these ideas, there are some rather simple but effective measures one can take which will help the exhaustion to subside a bit. Though it may sound counterintuitive, getting in a bit of exercise can be a real lifesaver when it comes to restoring some of that lost energy.

Along the same lines, eating the right foods that are loaded with nutrients and natural energy boosters can help you to feel more like yourself again. You can also rely on short little naps to help you get back to a normal state. Shutting your eyes for just twenty minutes when you feel tired can be a real energy booster. Getting more sleep at night and taking it easy throughout the day will always help you to feel more energized and ready to take on the world.

Traveling Late In Your Pregnancy

It may seem like the furthest thing from your mind depending on where you are at in your pregnancy, but travel is something that most pregnant women wonder about. The problem is that the first trimester can be full of undesirable symptoms that leave you feeling like all you want to do is lie in bed. Then the third trimester comes along and you realize just how close you are to your due date, which can make a lot of women feel like they just want to stick close to home.

The ideal time to travel in any capacity is the second trimester. Not only are you bound to be free of most symptoms, but you are also far enough away from your due date to really have to worry. There does come the occasion however when there may be a desire or a need to travel late in pregnancy. Is this safe? Is it even allowed?

Look At the Guidelines

First and foremost you should always use common sense when it comes to traveling throughout your pregnancy. If you have any sort of health condition or limitations that would prohibit you from traveling, then use that as your guideline. If you are in a situation where you are either feeling sick or just don’t feel comfortable in travelling to far from home, then let that instinct guide you. If it comes down to a work trip, see if you can get a note from your doctor that would indicate to your boss that they prefer you not travel so late in your pregnancy.

The bottom line is that many airlines won’t even allow a woman to travel past a certain point in their pregnancy. As you can see from these guidelines, to be able to travel via air in your ninth month of pregnancy requires special clearance and medical documentation. So use the guidelines to help you decide what is best for you and your baby.

Keep In Mind How it May Affect You

Though there are certain types of travel such as car and sea that won’t have as pressing of guidelines as the airlines do, it’s important that you think about the potential side effects. The reason that most airlines don’t wish to have women travel so far along in their pregnancy is that they become a liability, that is they could give birth at anytime. There is also the potential risk for a woman to develop blood clots if they sit in an airplane at different altitudes for too long.

Along with blood clots, there is also the issue of exhaustion. When you think of travel, you must recognize that it can really take a lot out of you. If you travel too far along in your pregnancy, you are already running that risk as a potential and very real side effect of the pregnancy anyhow. Beyond that, you also have to contend with the onset of uterine contractions and stomach upset that often returns later on in the third trimester. Even if the guidelines don’t prohibit you from traveling, you may want to think through what it could mean for you and your baby. You always want to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a happy baby, so be sure that traveling later on in your pregnancy is really what is best for you.

Finding the Maternity Clothes That Are Right for YouFinding the Maternity Clothes That Are Right for You

If you’re like most women, you have likely seen a pregnant woman on the streets and smiled. That baby bump just seems to bring a smile to everybody’s face. You can tell when a woman is pregnant because there is the undeniable shape and the bump that is so notably carrying a baby inside. You can also tell by the clothes that she wears because as you go throughout your pregnancy, it’s virtually impossible to hide that growing bump.

The good news is that maternity clothes today are so much more plentiful and fashionable than they used to be. There are so many options and they ensure that a pregnant woman can feel fashionable and cute, even as her waistline expands exponentially. It is, however, important to consider what the right maternity clothes may be for you. This is not a “one size fits all” type of situation, so take the time to research and find the maternity clothes that are bound to work best for you.

Use Your Size and Body Type as a Guide

Though you can’t necessarily predict what you will look like later on in your pregnancy, you can use a few things as a guideline. Start by going with your size-if you were a large before pregnancy then chances are that may be the size that you can go with throughout your pregnancy as well. Maternity clothes generally go by the small, medium, large, extra large, and plus size variety, but they all tend to fit a bit differently. Use your size before pregnancy as a guideline, but also be sure to consider your body type as you choose your maternity clothes too. If, for example, you are larger chested or even have wider hips, expect these things to stay current throughout your pregnancy. Make these important considerations in the maternity clothes that you select and choose carefully for the right wardrobe that fits well and makes you feel good.

Shop Around and Try Them On

Consider these guidelines as you make your selections. One of the most important things to consider besides your body type and size is the season that you will wear them in. Consider that you will likely not need maternity clothes until you are well into your second trimester. Though this can vary from woman to woman, the reality is that the second trimester is often when a woman tends to “pop”. When the regular clothes start to feel a little snug and even squeeze you a bit, then it’s time to move up to maternity clothes. You will likely go between a couple of different seasons in your pregnancy, so be sure that you get clothes to go along with both of them. Go for outfits that you can layer so that you have the flexibility to dress warmer or cooler. You will likely have different body temperatures as you go throughout your pregnancy and therefore you want to plan for that.

Get a few simple basics and classic pieces. A pair of slacks that you can use for work and for home always works. A sweater that you can use for layering, as well as some t-shirts that you can use to wear on their own or layer under something else are always a good idea. Shop around and compare prices as they will all be different. Take the time to do your research and look for the best prices and the clothes that tend to fit your growing body the very best.

Feeling Out of Breath During Pregnancy

There are many things that we anticipate in pregnancy and many things that we can’t possibly predict. We certainly expect that we are going to gain weight and gain that all important and all adored baby bump. We may very well expect that we are going to suffer through certain symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or even backaches. Many of us know that pregnancy isn’t always going to be a pleasant experience, but that with the bad comes the good and that means that we will end up with a baby at the end of the process. This is well worth it, we tell ourselves, and we deal with the circumstances we are dealt.

There are, however, certain aspects of pregnancy that we may not be ready for. When women feel shortness of breath, they tend to worry. They can’t understand why they feel breathless, and therefore it’s important to explain why a woman may feel this unanticipated symptom of pregnancy.

Where Are You At in Your Pregnancy?

There is a multitude of reasons as to why you may get out of breath during your pregnancy. It is usually due in large part to exactly where you are at in your pregnancy as that can make a big difference. What you feel in your first trimester is very different than your second trimester. What you feel and experience in your third trimester doesn’t even compare to anything else as your body is working hard to prepare for baby’s arrival and doing everything it can to pull from the resources. Therefore if you feel short of breath, it’s important to consider what stage of your pregnancy you are at so that you can get the necessary explanation.

In the first trimester, the blood flow multiplies exponentially. This is to get ready for everything that baby will need, it is to build the placenta, and it is to prepare for the pregnancy overall. You will have a great deal of additional blood flow and hormones in your pregnancy, and as this is all happening it can result in you feeling a bit short of breath. Though this is short-lived, it can help to know what exactly is going on.

As you can see, feeling shortness of breath later on is due to other circumstances. It is often due to the extra weight that you are carrying around, and it is also due to your growing uterus pressing up on the diaphragm. As the baby gets into the position for birth, the pressure on the lungs and the diaphragm continues and grows exponentially. This is however a great indication that the baby’s arrival is getting near.

Consider This in Your Daily Activities

Many women are taken off guard by this shortness of breath and don’t really know how to account for it in their everyday life. It can become a very frustrating issue for women when they go to their regular workouts, but it is something that can be worked around. Taking a yoga class that focuses on breathing and taking it a bit slowly with your workout regimen can help you to get used to this. It won’t necessarily last the entire pregnancy, but it is something that you should plan for. Though walking up a flight of stairs may leave you out of breath now, it will get better later on. It’s a symptom of pregnancy like anything else, and therefore it will subside and you will get back to your normal self in no time.

Detecting the Early Signs of Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be such a wonderful and miraculous time. For some it comes rather unexpectedly and therefore can catch you off guard. For others, it can come after years of trying and a great deal of stress along the way. No matter how prepared you truly are, the early signs of pregnancy can be something that you want to focus on. Though they say that every pregnancy is different, there are certain signs that act as a good indicator if a woman is pregnant or not; and although these can be symptoms of other health conditions, their presence means it is often well worth taking a pregnancy test to see if that’s what is going on. It is also worth noting that many times, the earliest signs of pregnancy can tend to come in pairs, leaving less room for doubt and necessitating confirmation.

Food Plays a Big Role

Some women may float through their pregnancies without one single food aversion. Others feel sick at the very look of chicken or other common culprits. As you will see on any early signs of pregnancy list, food aversions are often a big indicator. Food cravings often come later on, but the aversion to coffee, meat, or other commonly enjoyed foods can usually tell you that something is different. Some of the very things that you’ve always enjoyed or consumed on a daily basis may all of a sudden make you want to vomit. Just the smell of something like bacon cooking in a pan may make you physically ill. Food often plays a big role and shows up in the aversion form early on in a pregnancy, so keep an eye out for this.

Subtle Yet Obvious Body Changes

One of the biggest things to look for is the way in which your body changes. Have you noticed that all of a sudden your breasts feel very tender for no apparent reason? Do you feel as if you are getting headaches every day and can’t really explain why? Though you aren’t going to necessarily put on the pregnancy weight until later on, the reality is that your body is going to change and it will likely happen early on. Some of the most obvious early signs of pregnancy include headaches, vomiting, and extreme nausea. These are often due to the changing hormones and the way that your body responds to them. The good news is that these symptoms usually go away into the second trimester, but they can make for a bumpy ride along the way. Keep tuned into this and if you feel nausea well beyond a day or two or feel as if you are constantly battling a headache, it may be time to take a pregnancy test.

Use Your Cycle to Guide You

Some women don’t necessarily keep track of their monthly menstrual cycle. However one of the first signs of pregnancy early on is a missed period. You may not even miss a period, but you may notice that you have a very light one a little earlier or right around the time that you would have had your period. This could be implantation whereby the embryo is implanting itself into the uterus. So look out for either a missed period or a slightly different period because those are usually good indicators. And of course if you have any lingering question, a positive pregnancy test is of course your best indicator that you are pregnant.

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