Why You Need a Pregnancy Calendar

Planning your pregnancy? Some of your friends may have mentioned a pregnancy calendar, and you’ve scoffed at them assuming it was just a trend of the week. But we’ll show you why this type of calendar really is a smart idea.

Knowing your cycle
If you’ve decided to dive head first into trying to conceive, but don’t know where you are in your cycle, then it’s time to get out your calendar and mark some dates. The first thing to do in your pregnancy calendar is note the date of your last period. If you’re not sure of the date, you will probably have to wait for your next period to ensure that you are on track. Once you know the start and end dates, you can mark those down on your calendar to get started.

Meeting with your OB-GYN
When you go to meet with your gynecologist, bring your pregnancy calendar. Although plenty of information about ovulation and conception is available on the internet, speaking with your doctor is always a better idea. By bringing your calendar, your doctor can help you to start crafting a plan toward conception, and then, your pregnancy timeline. Your doctor will be able to help you figure out when ovulation happens within your body and when the optimal time for conception might be. Then, you’ll know when to try to conceive.

Knowing your due date
Wouldn’t you like to know your due date as soon as possible? By looking at your calendar, your doctors can give you a due date. Remember, mark down the dates on which you had sex so that you can estimate when the baby was actually conceived.

Tracking the trimesters
Your doctor will tell you when your trimesters are. But there is something special about tracking this information on your own. Once you find out all of the information from your doctor, you can mark down when the second and third trimesters of pregnancy are beginning. By reading up on information and speaking with your doctor, you can also mark down the milestones that your baby is reaching by the weeks. Use your calendar to mark down changes in your body and emotions, and it will become a precious keepsake.

Creating a sense of anticipation
Having a pregnancy calendar allows you to keep track of important information and dates, but it also allows you to build up a sense of excitement. You can mark off the days until your little one arrives. You might even want to note the number of days or weeks that are left till your due date.

Did you have a pregnancy calendar? 
January 17, 2014

How to Pamper Yourself During The 3 Stages Of Pregnancy

Each of the three stages of pregnancy comes with its own set of problems that can stress you out. Stress is the last thing you need when you’re expecting, both for your sake and that of the baby, so this overview of your pregnancy timeline can give you a few hints on what to expect, as well as ways to pamper yourself each step of the way.

First trimester

The first trimester begins with conception and lasts through week 12. The best way to sum up the first trimester is hormones gone wild! From the moment you first get pregnant, those hormones will start raging through your body, causing a myriad of changes.

The ones you’ll notice right way include tender breasts, morning sickness, headaches, constipation and frequent urination. You’re also likely to experience extreme tiredness, mood swings and cravings for certain foods. You’ll begin to put on weight as your uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby.

If some foods aren’t agreeing with you, try to eat lightly but well. Shop farmers’ markets for the freshest and most delicious produce. Treat yourself to a variety of green vegetables like rocket and kale for salads that will tempt your appetite as well as being great for the health of both you and the baby.

Second trimester

The second trimester is the period from week 13 through week 28, and is likely to be easiest of the three stages of pregnancy. The nausea and fatigue of early pregnancy may dissipate, but as your body grows, you’ll experience more, and different, changes.

Your body adapting to the growing baby inside can lead to aches in your back, groin, abdomen and thighs. You may notice stretch marks on your tummy, breasts and buttocks. Your ankles, fingers and face may show swelling. Darker patches of skin called the mask of pregnancy can appear on your face.

One very serious condition to watch for is a problem with the liver. If you have nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue or jaundice combined with itching of the abdomen, palms or soles of the feet, consult your doctor immediately.

If you hate the way your ankles are swelling, remember the bad example set by Kim Kardashian and stash those high heels for the duration. Walk barefoot whenever possible or wear comfortable flats and sandals. Treat yourself to regular mani-pedis and gentle foot massages so your feet look so fabulous that no one will notice they’re a bit swollen!

Third trimester

The third trimester lasts from week 29 until week 40 (or until you give birth). By now, the size of the baby is putting pressure on your organs, leading to frequent trips to the bathroom as well as problems sleeping. You may also be experiencing swollen ankles, shortness of breath and tender breasts.

On the positive side, a look at your due date timeline serves as a reminder that you’ll be giving birth very soon. On the negative side, you may feel huge, heavy and clumsy. To cheer yourself up, indulge in sensual delights.

Splurge on your favourite candles, oils, creams, lotions and potions. Fill your home with deliciously fragrant flowers. Try relaxation methods like yoga or meditation, and treat yourself to a gentle, prenatal massage. If you feel calm and content in your final days of pregnancy, you’re more likely to have a stress-free birth and a healthy baby!

Which stage of pregnancy was your favourite – and least favourite?

August 13, 2013

Three Trimesters of Pregnancy – What To Expect From Each

A full-term pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, and the pregnancy timeline is divided into three trimesters, each of which has its own joys and challenges, from the moment you find out you’re expecting to the moment you give birth. Here’s a look at what you can expect from each part of the three trimesters of pregnancy.

First trimester

The most exciting time in the first trimester is when you find out for sure that you’re pregnant! This period, which lasts through the 13th week of your pregnancy, is the most crucial time for the development of your baby, and also, sadly, the time when things are most likely to go wrong. The baby’s body and organs are growing and developing, and most miscarriages happen during the first trimester.

Your body is telling you that you’re pregnant in many ways, including breast tenderness, nausea, frequent urination and fatigue. Toward the end of the first trimester, you may see the beginnings of a baby bump.

This is the period when you get your first ultrasound and see your baby for the first time. Also, you should be having tests for possible genetic issues.

Second trimester

During the second trimester, you may find some of the maladies of the first three months disappearing, only to be replaced by a new set. Between weeks 14 and 26, you may experience abdominal pain, leg cramps, back pain, heartburn and constipation. The most exciting moment of this period is likely to be when you feel your baby move for the first time.

At this point, you’re definitely going to need maternity clothes!

The third trimester

By now, you’re getting excited about finally giving birth and can’t wait to meet your new baby! The last of the pregnancy stages lasts from 27 weeks to birth, and your uterus has now expanded from 60g before conception to just over 1kg. You have a whole new set of symptoms to deal with, like varicose veins, hemorrhoids, shortness of breath and difficulties sleeping.

Make sure you take the time to plan for your trip to the hospital and have everything ready for the day you bring baby home. By now you should have a due date and may already know your baby’s sex.

Meanwhile, your baby is very busy getting ready to be born. He or she is adding layers of fat to stay warm after birth and is finishing development of the lungs. Preterm labour is still a risk, but the baby’s chances of a healthy birth increase with every week in the womb.

Now is the time to get plenty of relaxation!

August 9, 2013