Worried about the dark spots on your face or the stretch marks on your belly? Learn why these and other changes on your skin are happening and how to deal with them.
Worried about diabetes in pregnancy? How to know if you have diabetes? Learn about the risk factors, the effects it has on you and your unborn baby, the treatment options and ways to prevent it.
Not all food and drinks are safe during pregnancy. There are some stuffs you should avoid. Same goes for medicine as well. Learn about these. Learn about how your doctor prescribes while you are pregnant.
About to become a father for the first time? Confused about what to do and not to while your wife is pregnant? Here’s how you can help your wife go through pregnancy smoothly and cope with your changing life.
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Is my baby at the right age for vaccines? What are the vaccines? What diseases do they prevent? What schedule to follow? Are vaccines safe? All your questions answered here.
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Overview of Aponjon service and its features. What kind of messages are delivered and how they are created
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Featuring ‘Aponjon, a Unique Service in the mHealth sector’, MHSS talks about joining forces with Aponjon….
Featuring ‘Aponjon enriched with 200,000 subscribers, Aponjon messages in local dialects…….
Featuring an Expecting mother, confused by family members about her health, and Aponjon comes to the rescue …
This conference focused on inclusive policies and sustainable solutions to address the Challenges and issues ……………
Aponjon participated at the country’s largest technology fair, “Digital World 2015”…..
The Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research was organized at Cape Town, South Africa from 29 September to 3 October, 2014……
Within 17 months of its National Launch, Aponjon, the favorite mobile phone based service has reached 500,000 subscribers ………
Aponjon, the unique mobile phone health service, completed the registration of 4,00,000th subscriber………
Aponjon, a nationwide maternal and child health mobile messaging service, reached 200,000 subscribers in Bangladesh…
The Aponjon counseling line is now available round the clock…..
The overall aim of the formative research was to better understand the Aponjon ...
“I find all the information of ‘Aponjon’ very useful as they talk about my own good”, says Nasima Khatun…
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শিশুর জন্মের পর মা’র শারীরিক ও মানসিক নানা.....
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – U.S. Government’s principal development agency – has been an important friend and partner ……
“Aponjon” (“the close/dear one” in Bangla) is a brand of mHealth service through mobile phones for expecting and new mothers in Bangladesh …
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It’s been more than a week since you missed your period and by now you probably know that you’re pregnant. It’s very early for you to look pregnant, but there is a tiny baby growing very quickly inside your body. The important organs like the heart, lungs, brain, kidneys and liver are starting to form.
You may be feeling nauseous during this time and in the next few weeks. It may be difficult to eat anything especially in the morning. If that happens, eat some dry food like puffed rice or salted biscuits instead of fatty or spicy food. Also, eating in small portions may help. If you are vomiting too much and cannot keep anything in your stomach, talk to your obstetrician and take the medicine prescribed. You may be feeling a bit tired as well. Try to get as much rest as possible. You may also be feeling some other disturbances like breast tenderness and frequent urge to urinate. Make appointment with your doctor or subscribe to Aponjon mHealth service for more advice.
Although your baby has grown only ½ an inch in length, he already has a large head where his eyes nose and mouth are just in the making. His heart is almost fully formed and is beating twice as fast as yours own. Tiny buds are growing from the side of his body which will become his arms and legs.
During the whole length of pregnancy you should have at least 4 antenatal checkups (ANC checkups). In the first ANC visit the doctor will give you vitamin (folic acid) and iron tablets. You should start taking folic acid as soon as you are pregnant as it protects your baby from serious birth defects like defects of the brain, spinal cord, heart, palate and lip. The doctor may ask you to have an ultrasonography to have a better understanding of the condition your baby as well as uterus. Make an appointment with your obstetrician for ANC checkup, if you have not had one yet. If you live in the rural areas, you can avail ANC services in the Upazilla Health Complex or the Union Health Centers.
Although your baby is still the size of a small grape, his organs are developing rapidly. His heart and brain are the organs that are growing the most. His arms and legs are also growing and the location of elbows and toes are visible. There is also a hint of a face with nostrils and eyelids.
You should drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of pure drinking water daily as the amount of blood in your body is increasing. At the same time eat plenty of citrus fruits like amloki, lemon and orange – this will help to stave off nausea. It is important to ensure adequate nutrition by eating a balanced diet rather than to focus merely on eating more.
Avoid outside food to stay away from disease. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with safe pure water before eating. If you like to drink fruit juice, make them yourself rather than buying commercially packed juices or juices made by street-side vendors. Consult with your doctor or subscribe to Aponjon mHealth service to know more about safe water and hygienic practices.
Your baby is growing very fast. The arms and legs are growing even longer and the fingers and toes are forming. At this stage the head is about half the length of his entire body. The eyelids are already developed and the upper lip and the nose tip is forming.
You may be having some new problems other than nausea and appetite loss during this time. Symptoms like back and abdominal pain, headache and frequent urge to pee are all very common because of change in hormone levels in your body during pregnancy. But if you have burning sensation when you pee, or your urine turns dark and smelly, it is a sign of urinary tract infection (UTI). Consult your doctor immediately for medication.The back pain you feel is caused as the ligaments in the back and pelvis are loosened by a hormone called relaxin. For this, you can easily strain your back when lifting heavy weight or even leak a little urine on sneezing. There are some exercises to help strengthen your pelvis. Talk to your doctor or subscribe to Aponjon mHealth service to know more about this.
Your baby now has all the essential body parts including arms, legs. The majority of her vital organs – like the kidneys, liver, brain, and lungs are functioning but will continue to mature throughout the remainder of your pregnancy. The muscles are also developing – preparing her arms and legs for movement.
If you still have not had your ANC checkup, you must go for it now without delaying any more. The doctor may offer you an ultrasonography which will help determine the age of your pregnancy. Take care that you travel safely when you go for checkup. Eating a balanced diet is important during this time. For this try to include different type of food items in your meals. Fish, meat and egg are good source of protein. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals. Pain in the lower abdomen is normal during pregnancy as your growing uterus is stretching the muscles and ligaments. But if the pain is intense or you have seizures and chills or vaginal bleeding – these are danger signs of pregnancy. Seek immediate help from your doctor if you have these symptoms.
The fingers and toes of your baby have separated. The hair on his head and the nails on his fingers and toes are starting to appear. The skin of your baby is still transparent but his bones are beginning to harden. Although you cannot feel his movement, he is already kicking in your womb.
Your uterus is now big enough to make your belly bulge. You may thinking about breaking the news to the friends, relatives and co-workers. Your growing uterus may be pressing against your digestive tract and cause delay in evacuation of bowel. This along with pregnancy hormones can make you constipated. Hopefully constipation can be relieved by changing your dietary habit. Eating lots of vegetables and drinking plenty of water everyday will help relieve constipation. Prioritize your rest – try to get 2 hours of rest in the middle of the day.
Your baby is now almost fully developed and looks like a tiny human being. The body is starting to straighten out. The arms and legs are able to bend and move. He/she can grasp, suck his thumb and get hiccups. The sex organs continue to develop but it is not yet possible to determine by ultrasonography whether it’s a boy or a girl.
As you reach the end of your third month of pregnancy, you may notice that you are getting your appetite back. Try to eat a variety of food to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients that you need. As your baby is growing rapidly, you need to have adequate iron in your diet. Dark green leafy vegetables like kochushak, spinach, cauliflowers are rich in iron. Iron is also available in meat, egg, liver and fish. You may have already noticed that sometimes you are feeling more emotional than usual. This sort of mood swings are quite common in pregnancy as the pregnancy hormones are playing mess on both your body and mind. Talk to your loved ones about it and try to think positive thoughts.
The face of your baby is starting to take shape with the eyes and ears moving to their final position in front of the head. She is opening and closing her fists and curling her toes. The hiccups she’s having are preparing her respiratory muscles. Her brain is developing fast. Her sense of taste and smell are further refined. Your baby’s unique fingerprints are perfectly formed now.
From this week hopefully your nausea is starting to disappear and very soon you’ll get your appetite back. Hormone changes tend to darken your skin around your nipples. Stretch marks can also appear on your belly, breast and buttocks. There’s usually not much you can do about it. However, you may apply lotion to relieve the itchiness. Find out your blood group on your next ANC visit. Also consult with the doctor whether it is safe for you to travel long distances in the coming months. Try not to worry too much if you’re still having mood swings. This is quite normal in pregnancy. Get at least 8 hours of rest every day and avoid lifting heavy weights.
This week, the bones of your baby is starting to develop with his collarbones and thigh bonesdeveloping first. Along with the bones his other organs like the stomach and bowel are also taking shape. His nose is more pronounced now and the roof of his tiny mouth is also fully formed. His kidneys are functioning and making urine already. His first hair is also starting to grow.
This is the last week of your 1st trimester. You are probably feeling a lot more confident and secure as you have completed 13 weeks of pregnancy. The good news is that the chances of miscarriage is now greatly reduced. You should be feeling a lot better generally with the departure of nausea and return of your appetite. Enjoy the taste and smell of food again and make use of this opportunity to eat healthy & nutritious meals. However, for some women, the possible side effect of the rapid uterine growth may be what your obstetrician calls the ‘round ligament pain’. This feels like sharp, achy pains on one or both sides of your abdomen. As the uterus grows, it stretches the ligaments supporting your uterus and causes the pain. The best way to relieve is to go slowly when rising from lying or sitting. Putting your feet up and resting in a comfortable position should also relieve the strain and pain.
Your baby is now about 4 inches in length – that’s about the size of an orange. Lanugo, the ultrafine hair now covers his back, shoulders and forehead. It helps him retain body heat until he gains enough body fat. It will fall off before birth. He can now make facial expressions – all those weird expressions you make as an adult.
You are now in the second trimester. Hopefully, you should be feeling livelier and more energetic than in the last three months. Your appetite is back and many of the early symptoms are now mostly gone. However, there may be some new symptoms that can still bother you like having red, swollen gums which may even be sore, sensitive or prone to bleeding when you brush or floss. You may also have nose-bleeding or even find yourself with stuffy nose. The pregnancy hormones are changing the way blood flows into your nose and gums. These are usually nothing to worry about. But keeping a good oral hygiene is important. So brushing at least twice a day and gentle flossing once a day can be helpful. Rinse with lukewarm water mixed with a pinch of salt after brushing.
Your baby's delicate skeleton continues to harden from rubbery cartilage to bone. Even so, his bones will remain somewhat flexible for an easier trip through the birth canal. The umbilical cord has fully matured with one vein and two arteries. The chest expands and contracts, drawing amniotic fluid into the lungs to prepare the lungs for breathing. The baby can grasp with his hands, kick, or even flip over.
You might be noticing some more changes in your body around this stage of your pregnancy – one of them might be the appearance of a dark line running down your bump. Its medical term is 'lineanigra' and it is something some women develop during pregnancy. It's absolutely nothing to worry about and will fade after your baby is born. Eating a balanced meal and adequate rest is very important for proper growth of your baby. Take help from other members of the family for managing the daily chores, so that you can ensure enough rest for yourself.
The baby can hear sounds, like the sound of your heartbeat and the sound of your voice. Fat stores begin to develop under your baby's skin this week. He is gulping down a liter of amniotic fluid every day and the digestive tract is getting ready to function. The first stools (meconium) are now beginning to accumulate in his bowels. The placenta is now as big as your baby.
Your belly is growing larger. You can feel your uterus just below your bellybutton. Wear loose-fitting clothes. Wear sandals or shoes that are flat. Avoid tying the laces of petti-coat Avoid lifting heavy weight. Divide the heavy weight in parts. Take help from others whenever available. Stay active. Light exercise daily will keep you healthy. Try sleeping on your side. This helps in circulation and digestion.
The bones and nerves in your baby’s ears are now developed enough to function. She can hear all sorts of sounds – like the sound of your heartbeat and the sound of your voice. When you speak, the baby can hear you. So, why not sing or tell stories to her or play some music for her? Vernix (a white cheese like protective material) forms on baby's skin with the lanugo, a soft lightly pigmented hair covering the body and limbs, both help to protect your baby's skin during the months in water. She now hiccups, yawns and moves around inside the womb.
You are probably feeling a bit more energetic and less tired at this point, and keeping healthy and active are as important as ever. One exercise may be very much useful for the time to come, the pelvic floor exercise. Strengthening these muscles (which hold your bladder, womb and lower bowel in place) now will help to keep them working efficiently after birth and hopefully avoid the embarrassment of stress incontinence (leaking urine) on sneezing or laughing hard. Try to get some sleep in the middle of the day. If you are working, try to squeeze in a few minutes for a short nap.
Unique fingerprints have now formed on the tips of your baby’s fingers. He is now able to make intricate facial expressions such as frowning and smiling. The waxy coat of vernix on his skin will stay there until he is born. Your baby’s genitals are now recognizable with ultrasound– so, it is possible to say if it’s a boy or a girl. The hair on his scalp is growing and becoming thicker. The arms and legs have now reached the length of final proportion.
This week may be a big week for you. You may start feeling the baby’s movement for the first time. Some women feel this a couple of weeks earlier or later. But you should see your doctor if you haven’t felt your baby move by the end of the 24th week. By this time you may be having another new symptom – leg cramps. Leg cramps are common during second and third trimesters. However, there is a quick fix to this problem. Whenever you feel pain in the leg, straighten your leg and gently flex your ankle and toes back toward your shins. Keeping your legs raised may help prevent the cramps.
Your baby now weighs about 300 grams – that is more than that of your placenta. Her skin is now losing its translucent look and beginning to develop pigment which will determine their skin color. The toenails and fingernails are also growing. Fine hair is starting to grow on the rest of the body. Her heartbeat can now be heard with a stethoscope.
Your baby's movements may start feeling more like proper kicks now, and might occasionally take you by surprise. Your increased bump size could be causing you heartburn or indigestion during this time and the following months. Some mums experience blurry vision at this stage, too – this usually corrects itself after birth, but again, it is best to consult your doctor or an eye specialist if you are worried. Remember that it is vitally important to make sure that you get enough nutrients in your diet, especially iron.An increase in iron is necessary as it helps in the production of hemoglobin in your baby and prevents anemia, low birth weight, and premature delivery.
Your baby's bone marrow has started making blood cells, a job done by the liver and spleen until this point. His stomach is now equipped to start absorbing energy-boosting nutrients (sugars) from the amniotic fluid he's swallowing in there. Based on the size of baby's head, which is about 2 inches (5cm), the date of birth can be determined to within one week. Your baby’s eyelids have finished forming this week.
At 21 weeks pregnant, your skin may be developing stretch marks over your belly, hips, thighs, and breasts. These pink, red or purple streaks appear as your body expands. Unfortunately, there's no proven way to prevent stretch marks but there's no harm in applying moisturizers, such as cocoa butter, to your skin; if nothing else, it will prevent the dryness and itching associated with pregnancy-stretched skin. Fortunately, they will not remain so vividly visible forever. They usually fade to a less noticeable silvery-gray color gradually once your baby is born.
Underneath the newly formed eyebrows and eyelids, your baby’s eyes are developing the sense of vision. Chances are your baby is even turning her head away from bright lights. Her skin will now become opaque gradually. However, it will remain wrinkly, red, and covered in vernix until more fat helps to fill it out. Also this week, she is fine-tuning her sense of touch as her brain cells and nerve endings mature. She may be experimenting this newfound skill by feeling her face or anything else she can get her hands on.
Now you can feel the top of your uterus above your belly button. Your enlarging abdomen is not too large and doesn't get in your way much. You're still able to bend over and to sit comfortably. Walking shouldn't be an effort. Your friends and relatives can tell you are pregnant. Many women begin to develop lower abdominal pain, dull backaches, pressure in the pelvic area, cramping, and a change in vaginal discharge. These symptoms can either be normal or indicate preterm labor. If you are too worried, you can talk to your obstetrician about this.
Your baby weighs just about 500 grams. Billions of brain cells will develop in your baby's brain over the next couple of weeks. These will control all of your baby's movements and senses, and basic life functions like breathing. Also around this time, some major changes are happening with your baby's lungs. Surfactant is being produced, a substance that enables the air sacs to inflate and the lungs to fully expand.
Your uterus now extends about 1 ½ inches above your belly button, and you should have gained 5.4 to 6.8 kg of weight. Your relatives and friends may comment on your size, telling you that you are too big or too small for your gestational age. Talk with your obstetrician before making any changes to your diet. Your uterus is constantly pressing on your bladder, which can cause you to leak urine.Sometimes it can be quite difficult to distinguish urine from amniotic fluid. If your membranes have ruptured and you are leaking amniotic fluid, it will be an odorless fluid. This can occur with a sudden gush or a constant trickle. If you notice fluid leaking, you need to try to determine if it smells like urine or if it is odorless. If it does not seem to be urine, you would want to call your doctor immediately.
Your baby’s brain is growing rapidly at this time. Taste buds are also developing. Little creases have appeared on his palms. The muscular coordination of the hands continues to improve as she sucks her thumb.Right now she's small enough to have plenty of room to move in your belly. She may even respond to your soothing voice or the rubbing of your belly by calming down, while loud sounds or a tap on your belly could cause her to become alert.
This week you are due for another ANC checkup. During this checkup, the doctor will want to see your blood glucose level to find out whether you have developed gestational diabetes. Approximately 5% of expecting mothers develop gestational diabetes. Some mums-to-be experience some of the more annoying pregnancy symptoms as they head towards the third trimester. Puffy ankles and swollen feet can be a problem for some, so be sure to put your feet up whenever you can and to wear supportive and comfortable shoes if this affects you. If you wear contact lenses, you might find they are becoming uncomfortable now, as well – speak to your eye doctor for advice if you are experiencing this.
Baby is now pretty well built portion wise even though it still has little body fat and its skin is thin. The structures of the spine begin to form -- All 33 rings, 150 joints and 1000 ligaments. Later this week, blood vessels will also develop in your baby's lungs, bringing them one step closer to full maturity.Though the lungs are already starting to make surfactant, the substance that helps the air-cells to expand, the lungs are still too undeveloped to sufficiently send oxygen to the bloodstream. However, your baby's nostrils are beginning to open up.
Pregnancy can cause some unpleasant side effects when it comes to digestion. Not only does the hormone progesterone slow the emptying of the stomach, but it also relaxes the valve at the entrance to the stomach so that it doesn’t close properly. This allows acidic stomach contents to move upward into the esophagus. The result is reflux (also known as heartburn). The expanding uterus puts additional pressure on the stomach in the last few months of pregnancy.Try eating smaller, more frequent meals, and avoid spicy and fatty foods. Pregnancy can also make you susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTI). If you have symptoms like burning sensation when peeing, cloudy, foul-smelling or dark-colored urine, pain in the lower abdomen or fever, you may have UTI. Seek advice from your doctor if you have these symptoms.
The hands of your baby are active and muscle coordination is developed enough to put a thumb into the mouth. Thumb sucking strengthens the cheek and jaw muscles which will be useful for breastfeeding. Your baby has settled into a distinct sleep-wake pattern. You may notice that sometimes she's very active and kicking or punching, and other times she sleeps. If you're lucky, these patterns will be the same as yours.
From now on, you may begin to feel your belly tighten and relax at odd moments at irregular intervals. These are the Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions are painless and help the uterus prepare for the contractions when you will finally be in labor.Braxton Hicks contractions aren't dangerous or harmful. If, however, the contractions become more intense, painful, or frequent, contact your doctor immediately because painful, regular contractions may be a sign of preterm labor. You may be experiencing shortness of breath as the uterus is very close to the rib cage. Practicing breathing exercise can help relieve this condition. Your growing bump can it challenging to find a comfortable sleeping position. According to experts, sleeping on your side is the healthiest position for you and your baby. Having an extra pillow or two under your legs and hands can give you extra comfort. If you experience your dreams to be more vivid at this stage is quite normal. Some theories suggest that the pregnancy hormone may play a part in this.
With a weight of about 900 grams your baby is now almost the size a cauliflower. As his eyelashes are forming he may be blinking his eyes from time to time. The retina at the back of his eyes is beginning to develop too. At this point, he may be able to distinguish between your voice and the voice of his father. Your baby has been hiccupping every once in a while for several weeks, and now you might actually feel these baby hiccups, which will make your belly jump, which is fun to see and feel!
By this point in your pregnancy you are feeling your baby move quite a lot. How often you should feel the movement. If you feel 10 movements in a period of two hours, you have nothing to worry about. Any less than that, you should immediately call your doctor. By this stage of pregnancy, nearly three out of four women experience mild swelling of feet, ankles and hands. This is called edema. Mild swellings are usually nothing to worry about. However, you find the swelling to be excessive and you have hypertension, blurred vision and severe headache at the same time, these may be the signs of pre-eclampsia. Again you should be watchful of the symptoms of pre-eclampsia for the rest of pregnancy for if that happens, a call to the doctor is due without delay.
Your baby is also starting to look a little rounder as the fat storage under the skin continues to develop. Her eyelids are opening and closing regularly. Remember to talk to your baby often; reading stories, singing songs has been seen to slow the baby's heart rate. He or she can recognize your voice now and will often calm to it later after birth. Branches of lungs are quite developed now, so there is a good chance that baby would survive if born prematurely now. However, some complications are still possible.
This is the last week of your second trimester. The top of your uterus is almost 3 inches above your belly button and will continue to grow about half an inch each week. Your weight gain should be between 7.7 and 10.8 kg. Your appetite will probably increase quite a bit in these last few months, as your body uses up more energy. Eat healthy, and try and keep as active as possible. By the end of this week, you may find the pregnancy symptoms to change once again. You may experience leg cramps, constipation, insomnia and hemorrhoids (also known as piles). If possible you should have another antenatal checkup this week.
Your baby is rapidly growing at this point. His head is growing bigger to accommodate the developing brain. As more fat is deposited under the skin surface, her wrinkled skin is smoothing out. The eyes can move in their sockets. The baby is also moving from side to side, but probably still is head up. In the next few weeks, he will move to the head down birthing position. One more exciting news this week – the milk teeth have developed under your baby’s gums.
You are now in your third and final trimester and you must be really excited! Because there is so much development and maturing going on, it is incredibly important to ensure that you are getting plenty of nutrients and rest. Make sure that you are getting adequate amounts of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, iron, and calcium.Some of the more embarrassing pregnancy side effects could be affecting you now, too - piles, wind and even leaky breasts! None will cause you any long term problems and are just all part of the fun of motherhood!
Your baby now weighs about 3 pounds (1.4 kg). He will be gaining about half a pound each week as his tissue grows. A layer of is developing to protect his organs. It will also provide him the energy he needs after birth. Your baby’s eyes are becoming more mature, and now he can tell the difference between light and dark. Babies at 30 weeks can even follow a light source with his eyes. Once your baby is born, he will have the ability to focus on objects only a few inches from his faces.
You are approximately 10 weeks away from giving birth to your baby. You should be thinking about the options of delivery now. If all goes well, your doctor will probably offer the option of normal vaginal delivery. The doctor might offer you for cesarean section if there is any complication. So discuss about this with your doctor well ahead of your due date. From now on you should watch out for the danger signs. If you have high fever, severe headache, blurring of vision, seizures, vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal pain, or you can’t feel the baby’s movement, rush to your doctor or the nearest hospital immediately.
From this week forward, your baby will gain more weight than height. She is starting to move around more and can even flip upside down. The hearing and speech centers in her brain is developing. She may move to the rhythm of music or jump at a loud bang near you. The lanugo hair will start to disappear.
You may notice a yellowish, creamy substance leaking from your nipples. This substance is called colostrum or pre-milk. Colostrum is the first stage of breast milk. It is crucial that your baby receives frequent feeding of colostrum as it contains all the ingredients needed to protect your baby from disease. It works as a natural vaccine as the immune agents of it protects your baby from several viral and bacterial infections before she starts producing her own antibodies. It is also rich in protein, carbohydrates, zinc, calcium and vitamins that are important for your baby.
This week your baby has reached an important milestone. Almost all babies born at this stage or later survive and can have healthy, normal lives. By this time all of his major organs are fully functioning except the lungs, which need just a bit more time to mature completely. During this time the baby sleeps most of the day. As space in your uterus becomes more cramped, your baby's kicks and other movements may seem less forceful.
Your uterus has already grown to a height of more than 5 inches above your belly button. Your growing uterus is pressing up against the diaphragm, the main breathing muscle. For this, you could be feeling out of breath most of the time. This week it’s time for another ANC checkup even if you do not have any problems. You may have been doing some exercises to stay fit. But there are certain types of exercises that you should abstain from if you have a condition called placenta previa, or have asthma, diabetes or heart disease. Ask your doctor what types of exercise is safe for you before doing any exercise.
Your baby’s skin is beginning to look less transparentand less wrinkled. Fat stores are continuing to be deposited under her skin. Lanugo, the fine hair on her body is disappearing and is being replaced by actual hair. In addition to nutrients, your baby is receiving antibodies through the placenta which will help her fight infections after birth. This is why babies born prematurely are at greater risk of infection as they have not had the transfer of antibodies. Your baby is now going through periods of sleep and wakefulness – with his eyes closing during sleep and opening while awake. While he is asleep, believe it or not, he will be having dreams. When awake, he will be practicing all the skills necessary for the world outside the womb including swallowing, breathing, kicking and sucking.
By the end of this week you should have gained between 10 and 12.5 kilograms. You are likely to gain weight even faster from this week on as your baby also grows rapidly during this time. It is important to keep eating well. You will probably need to eat smaller meals more frequently due to lack of space in your abdomen. Try not to skip meals even if you have heartburns. If you are an Aponjon subscriber, call the Aponjon Doctor’s line for ways to cope with heartburn. You may find your vaginal discharge have increased. You may also leak small amount of urine due to increased pressure on your bladder. But if you are concerned that you are leaking more fluid than you should be or if you had a sudden gush of water, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible to make sure that your membranes haven’t ruptured.
Your baby is likely to have moved into head down position by now. Her bones are continuing to harden but the bones in the skull will not fuse together. This allows the skull bones slide over each other while travelling through the birth canal.The level of amniotic fluid is decreasing from this week as your baby grows and continues to take up space. With less fluid it’s likely that kicks could feel a bit sharp! Her immune system will now also be fully developed with the antibodies she needs for the outside world being passed from you to your little one in preparation for the birth.
You might be feeling pretty exhausted quite a lot of the time. You might be having real problems sleeping now, not only because of your large bump, but also because of the weird dreams which can occur in late pregnancy! Sleep deprivation can leave you very irritated. Instead of trying to worry too much about the lack of sleep, try to make up when you can. Try to get a couple of hours of rest in the afternoon. Ask other family members to give you a hand to handle daily chores so that you can have some time for rest. You may notice a bit of swelling on your feet, ankles, hands and face. But if the swelling is severe and you have headache or blurred vision, you should see the doctor without delay, as these are the symptoms of pre-eclampsia. You should also watch out for the other danger signs of pregnancy such as high fever, seizures, severe abdominal pain, bleeding or you cannot feel your baby move.
Your baby’s weight should now be about 2.25 kilograms. The skin is gradually becoming smoother and more rounded as it continues to fill out with fat. Your little one should continue to move normally throughout pregnancy. As they get bigger the movements feel different but they should still follow their usual pattern right up to the end. Her lungs are almost fully developed and they will be ready to breathe after birth. If your baby were born at this stage she will probably be doing well without any additional support.
Although your pregnancy will not be considered “full term” until you have completed 39 weeks, your baby is ready to be born any day now. Unfortunately, the heartburns may be coming back. The breathlessness and the frequent visits to the toilet may be keeping you away from a good night’s sleep. You may be experiencing the Braxton Hicks contractions getting more frequent now. Some women describe Braxton Hicks contractions as tightening in the abdomen that comes and goes. Many say these “false” contractions feel like mild menstrual cramps. These are only practice contractions making your uterus ready for the big day.
Your baby looks much the same as a newborn now, although he will get a little bit heavier before he is born. Currently he has 15% body fat, which will increase to 30% in few weeks by the time he’s born. Along with lanugo, vernix is also disappearing. Vernix is the thick waxy layer that has protecting your baby’s skin for the last few months. The muscles in his mouth that are needed for sucking are quite developed now and are ready for the first feeding. Since there is very little room in your womb, your baby’s kicks may feel more like sliding motions.
This week your baby may drop into the birth canal. This is called ‘lightening’. If your baby is in a head down position, the head may be engaged in the birth canal – hence your baby is said to be in the ‘engaged’ position. As your baby drops into your pelvic cavity, the upward pressure on the diaphragm is relieved. This will help you breathe easily again. This will also relieve pressure on your stomach, allowing you to enjoy a full meal again. While lightening makes breathing easier, it makes walking equally difficult. Moreover, this can cause to press on your bladder, making you go to the bathroom much more often. You may notice the Braxton Hicks contractions become more frequent. It’s a good idea to practice your breathing exercise when you have these contractions. This week you are due for another ANC checkup. The doctor will see if your baby is in the head-down position. If not, she will do a maneuver called external cephalic version (ECV) in about a week’s time.
Your baby now measures about 50 cm from head to heel and weighs about 3 kilograms. Your baby is growing rapidly building up her fat stores. In preparation of life outside the womb, your baby continues to practice breathing, moving around, sucking his thumb and blinking. The lanugo (fine hair) and the vernix continue to shed. His blood circulation and immune system is ready for the world outside. You’ll still be feeling the baby’s movement but probably much lower down the tummy. If you don’t feel his movements for a prolonged period, contact your doctor immediately.
Even though you are three weeks away from your due date, you are now considered ‘at term’. You may be feeling the false labor pains more often now. But you should remember to be able to differentiate them from true labor. Because once you are in labor, you should go to the hospital without delay for delivery. So what are the signs that your labor may be starting?
If your baby is born this week, he will be considered ‘early term’. Although your baby continues to grow, most of his organs have now reached maturity to support life outside the womb. Your baby may have a full head of hair now. Speaking of hair, most of his fine lanugo hair have almost disappeared and so has the vernix. The shedded vernix and lanugo goes into his digestive tract as he swallows amniotic fluid and form a dark brownish stool in his bowels called meconium.This meconium will be the first stool he passes after birth.
You’re probably feeling quite anxious to meet your baby now and might be feeling a bit exhausted of carrying your baby bump around. Just try to relax and enjoy this time before your baby arrives. You should watch out for the early signs of labor. This could be your waters breaking, contraction starting or seeing a ‘show’, as the blood stained mucus plug that was covering your cervix comes away ready for your baby to be born. You may begin to experience swelling in your feet. While this can be a normal symptom towards to the end of pregnancy, it should be considered as a danger sign if the swelling is excessive and associated with other symptoms including severe headache, blurred vision, severe abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding. Rush to the hospital immediately if you experience these symptoms.
By now, your baby has likely reached his birth weight and length. He has accumulated enough body fat for energy and warmth. Your placenta continues to supply him with nutrients and antibodies that will help him fight off illness. He is probably in the head down position already which is the position for birth. His head is probably dropped in your pelvic cavity as well. You will continue to feel his kicks and punches but lower in the abdomen. The fine coat of lanugo has mostly disappeared by now, but the hair on his head continues to grow thicker.
Are you impatiently counting every day now and wondering every morning if today will be the day? That’s OK. It’s quite normal to be excited and eager to meet your baby.Try and make the most of your last few days before baby arrives by getting as much rest as you can as getting a good night’s sleep may be difficult at this stage. It’s important that you conserve your energy for the big day when your baby comes. You may experience pain and cramps every now and then. Labor pain is different from normal pain. As for last-minute preparations, collect adequate amount of money for any emergencies and make sure that your phones are fully charged. If you have other children, ask someone you can rely on to take care of them when labor begins.
Congratulations! Your baby is now ‘full term’. All systems of your baby are developed and ready for the world outside the mother’s womb. Now it’s just a matter of time that your labor starts and she sees meets the world outside. Once your baby arrives, she’ll be evaluated and graded (0 - 2 points each) on the following points: activity, pulse (heart rate), grimace (reflex response), appearance (color), and respiration (breathing rate and effort). A score of 7 or more usually means that your baby is doing fine and does not need any immediate medical attention.
Although you are probably exhausted with carrying your little one in the womb for the last nine months, you will technically not be considered ‘overdue’ until you have passed 42 weeks. Do not be discouraged, 95% of deliveries occur in the two weeks prior or two weeks following the due date. Only 5% give birth on the due date.In the meantime, try to find some tasks that are not too laborious but will help you pass time. You can sort your baby’s clothes, make a shortlist of baby names, read your favorite novels or even listen to your favorite songs. For the last couple of weeks you may have been leaking a thick yellowish fluid from your breasts, this is called ‘colostrum’. This will be your baby’s first feed after birth. Try to make sure that your baby gets her first feed within one hour of birth. For the next six weeks breastmilk will be her only diet – which will provide all the food she needs.
Your due date is probably over and you may be getting nervous about how well your baby is doing. If you’ve had a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy, and can feel the baby move regularly, your baby probably is doing just fine. Overdue babies who are still in a healthy environment, usually weigh more than term babies. The may appear more alert and even have more hair on their head. Also, their skin may feel a bit dryer and flaky.
Although you’re past your due date, you will not be considered overdue until the end of 42 weeks. Remember, only about 5% of babies are born on their actual due date and about 50% decide to overstay in the warmth and comfort of their mother’s womb.
In the meantime keep a count of the baby’s movements. Go to the doctor immediately if see a sudden change in the baby’s movement. If you still show no signs of labor by the end of this week, you should see your doctor. The doctor will decide on how to induce labor to let you finally hold your little one in your arms. In the meantime, continue doing all that you need to stay comfortable.
If you are still pregnant, the doctor will induce labor medically. This may include a number of techniques such as giving an intravenous drip of oxytocin or a procedure known as ARM (artificial rupture of membrane). If these fail, then the doctor will go for cesarean section. As amazing as it is to meet your baby for the first time, don't be alarmed if she's not as cute-looking as you imagined she would be. Those delivered vaginally tend to have temporarily cone-shaped heads and puffy eyes as the skull bones slide over each other as their head passes through the narrow birth canal. It takes most newborns a few weeks to get that adorable, chubby-cheeked baby look.
Once the baby arrives, a new mom can expect to be quite exhausted. To top that up, having so many visitors when you are getting to know your newborn can be overwhelming. Remember, your first priority is yourself and your baby. You’ll need time to rest and recover and time to nurse, care and bond with your newborn.