Pregnancy and Maternity are an amazing and complex time. Over this period, the body undergoes several changes to prepare for delivery and care for the newborn. At the same time, lifestyle, diet, and healthcare must also adapt to these changes. This process does not end at the hospital immediately after the birth of the child. Maternity is a long period and involves special attention and care for both the mother and the baby. In this article, we will be looking at what to prepare for prior to and during pregnancy, as well as, postpartum and early infant care.
Pregnancy occurs after the successful fertilization of an egg cell. This may have already occurred prior to any onset of immediate symptoms. This is why, for those trying to conceive, doctors prescribe prenatal vitamins to prepare the body of the mother for a possible pregnancy. Some signs that may indicate pregnancy include breast tenderness, nausea or headaches, vaginal bleeding or spotting, and fatigue. A more obvious sign would be missed menses. Pregnancy tests would be a convenient and readily available way to assess if you are pregnant. The pregnancy is then confirmed after undergoing the first ultrasound. After conception, the body undergoes both rapid and gradual changes. A pregnancy approaches term at 37 weeks, full-term at 39 weeks, and may extend around 40 weeks. Growth and changes are documented in 3 trimesters (3 months each).
During the first trimester, fetal growth is rapid. The baby’s heartbeat can be detected by ultrasound as early as 6 weeks. Unfortunately, the first trimester is also the period where morning sickness is usually felt. This comes as a heightened sense of smell and taste which can lead to nausea and vomiting. That is why it is important to maintain a good and healthy diet, as well as, keeping hydrated. Prenatal vitamins are usually still taken in this period. Folic Acid is an important component and helps ensure the healthy development of the spine and nervous system. Milk and calcium supplements are also recommended to help nurture the infant’s bone growth. Milk is also a good source of Vitamin D, Protein, and Amino Acids which are all beneficial to the baby.
During the second trimester, physical changes for the mother become more apparent. You may notice a darkening of the areolas, as well as, a dark line from your belly button down your stomach. The baby also starts to become more active and you’ll feel movement such as kicking and pushing. The sex of the baby can also be determined by ultrasound at around 14 weeks and a congenital anomaly scan can be done to rule out any possible birth defects.
During the third trimester, weight gain has accelerated and you will be reaching your heaviest point. Late into the second trimester and into the third, the fundal height is measured to determine the location of the baby. This is taken using a tape measure across the top and bottom part of the abdomen. Some may have difficulty with the added weight and the size of the belly. The use of support belts can help relieve some of the weight. They conveniently and comfortably support the stomach to take some pressure off your back. As you near your due date, you may start to feel some contractions. False contractions occur if they happen irregularly and stop all of a sudden. True contractions are usually regularly spaced and become more and more regular. Your healthcare provider will increase your check-ups the closer you get to your due date to ensure a healthy delivery.
Maternity: Post Partum
The post-partum period occurs right after the delivery of the baby until about 6-8 weeks after. Your body does not immediately go back to normal after the delivery. It is a gradual process of change that may still bring about some discomfort physically and emotionally. Proper rest and nutrition are important at this stage. One of the main concerns, especially of new mothers, is breastfeeding. Though some may encounter difficulty, early and frequent breastfeeding helps promote milk letdown. The amount of milk produced will increase over the coming weeks. Breast pumping can help ease this process. It gives you a steady supply of natural breast milk for feeding sessions. Breast pumping is also beneficial to help nurture premature infants. Some mothers may also encounter hygiene concerns. As milk production increases, it may cause milk stains on clothing. The easy and comfortable solution to this is to use gentle absorbent nursing pads. There are also specially designed maternity pads made for other body secretions that occur during the early post-partum period.
Maternity is a long journey. Luckily, BuyMedical.com is here and ready to provide you with the best and most effective maternity products. BuyMedical.com gives you the convenience to browse, compare, and shop for all the essential tools and equipment you need. Are you expecting? Why not prepare by going through our wide selection of products that are specially designed for both you and your infant.