Labor – Labor is typically broken down into three stages, and begins when you start to have regular contractions, and ends when you pass the placenta.
The Baby Blues – This is the happiest time of your life, right? This is what you've been waiting for...so why do you feel so sad? You may have heard people mention The Baby Blues, which refers to a state of heightened emotion after you give birth, in which you may cry more easily than is usual for you, or you may have trouble sleeping, or you may feel irritable, sad, or on edge. More than 80 percent of women report feeling blue immediately after birth; so if you feel this way, you aren't alone and you're not a bad person, a weak person, a bad mother, or any other negative thing you could possibly tell yourself.
Even though this may be the first week a home pregnancy test confirms your pregnancy, it is incredible how many changes your little one has already gone through. By week five, the embryo, now securely nestled in your uterine wall, will begin the neural tube, which will eventually form the spinal cord and the brain, will begin to develop this week.
Chances are that by week four, you may already feel pregnant! Some women experience more fatigue than usual, tender or swollen breasts, and nausea or mood swings.
This week, you are able to find out if you are pregnant by using a home pregnancy test! The most accurate results will be from pregnancy tests taken at the end of this week. If your home pregnancy test is negative, you may want to take another test during week five, because sometimes they just aren't sensitive enough to detect your pregnancy hormones by week four.
What is Group B Strep? Practitioners often screen for Group B Strep because it is the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborns. It can cause pneumonia and meningitis. Group B Strep is a bacterial infection that may be found in a pregnant women's vagina or rectum. 15 to 40 percent of all healthy, adult women carry these bacteria in their vagina or lower intestines.
Is there any leakage from your breasts? This is called colostrum, or premilk. You can place nursing pads in your bra to absorb this fluid. Even if you don't see anything, your breasts are making colostrum, and you also may find that your bra is fitting a little more snugly than usual. You might want to get a nursing bra, but be sure to get one a size larger than you need now. Trust me; you'll be thankful for the room later.
Is your vaginal discharge heavier now? This is normal, as your body has more cervical mucus and is preparing for labor.
Do you have leg cramps keeping you awake at night? This is common, and there are a few things you can do to prevent them. Take breaks throughout your day to rest, and get off of your feet. Continue to drink lots of water (in case your muscles are just dehydrated), and eat a banana – your calcium and potassium levels might be low.
The bones in his or her skull are formed, but aren't fused. They actually don't fuse entirely until early adulthood, allowing room for his or her brain to grow throughout childhood. Because they aren't fused, the bones in his or her skull will be able to overlap, helping him or her to fit through the birth canal during delivery.
By 30 weeks, his or her eyelids open and close. He or she will keep his or her eyes closed for most of the day though. When his or her eyes are open, he or she will be able to track light inside of your womb, though his or her vision isn't perfect or 20/20. Lanugo, or fine hair that once covered his or her body, will start falling off this week.
How to do Kegel exercises...
Keep your abdomen and leg muscles relaxed
Try not to hold your breath
Tighten your vaginal muscles like you are trying to interrupt the flow of urine
Think about squeezing and lifting your pelvic floor
Hold for about 8-10 seconds, release.
Repeat 10 times for one set. Work up to three or four sets, three times per day.
Below you will find some questions that your birth plan may address:
Do you want a routine IV, a heparin/saline lock, or nothing at all?
Do you want to listen to music?
Did you bring any music?
Do you want access to a tub or shower?
Do you want pain medications?
Do you have a preference for which pain medications you want?
Do you want an episiotomy?
Is there a position in which you would prefer to give birth?
As you approach your third trimester, you may want to consider registering for childbirth classes. These are generally offered by your hospital, although if you have a specific interest, such as the Bradley Method or Hypnobirthing, you may want to ask your obstetrician, or experienced friends, for recommendations.
It's possible that your back might be feeling a little achy. Again, you can attribute this partially to your hormones. By 26 weeks, your pregnancy hormones are loosening up your joints and ligaments. Your changing center of gravity is also to blame.
Here are some tips to help your aching back...Try taking a warm bathApply a cool compressSchedule a massage with a therapist trained in prenatal techniquesSleep with a pregnancy pillow to support your back and abdomenPay attention to your posture – this will help reduce any strain on your back.
Are you aware of the signs of preterm labor? They are:
DiarrheaLow, dull backache
Increase, or change in mucous vaginal discharge
Uterine contractions, five contractions per a one-hour period
By week 24, you may begin to feel brief contractions in your uterus. You may have heard your healthcare provider mention that you might experience these Braxton Hicks contractions. Usually, these contractions are nothing to worry about. They are commonly felt in the third trimester as they help your uterine muscles prepare for childbirth.
Have you started a baby registry? A fun distraction from all of this is to start your baby registry. Most online shopping sites allow you to create a wish list. Not only is it a fun way to browse all the cute baby products out there, it's a great way to let your friends and family know exactly what you need for the baby. Though you may want to select mostly toys or clothing for your wish list, you may want to include supplies like diapers or baby wipes. You'll be amazed at the amount of diapers your little one goes through!
Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you. She is now about the size of a large banana, measuring roughly 7 1/2 inches long, and can weigh up to 15 ounces. In the coming weeks, your baby will continue to grow and mature at a fast rate. By week 22, her pancreas, a key player in hormone production, is developing steadily. Her skin may appear wrinkled at this point, but in the coming weeks, she will be gaining enough weight to fill it out.