new life starts!
You’ve just found out you’re pregnant and
are probably overwhelmed by all the new ideas and concepts
whizzing around in your head! Also, you may already be experiencing
quite profound changes in your body – ranging from small
irritations like needing to go to the toilet
more frequently, to aspects like morning
sickness and exhaustion which really influence your daily life. The changes you are
feeling are symptoms of the incredible events which are already
occurring to enable this miracle to occur – there is
a baby growing inside you and nothing will ever be the same
So many changes…
Pregnancy is a phase in your life of huge change and upheaval
not unlike adolescence. The obvious physical changes will
be accompanied by emotional changes – you will be
constantly reassessing your attitude to your body, your
relationships will change and you may even experience an
identity crisis as you try to come to terms with the idea
of becoming someone’s mother! Remember that there
is a whole range of emotions from joy to fear and they
are all normal.
You and your doctor
A vital step at this point is to choose a doctor and go
for your first visit. While you may have gone to your GP
for the initial blood test to confirm your pregnancy, you
need to decide now whether or not your GP is the right person
to see you through this period. At this point it is important
to work out the date that your last period started, as this
is the date that the 40 weeks of pregnancy will be counted
from. The time between conception and birth is approximately
266 days, to which the 14 days since your last period will
be added to give the 40 week gestation
period. The Doctor will then take an extremely detailed
history, which will include the medical history of both
you and your partner and your families. If you confirmed
your pregnancy with a home pregnancy
test then the Doctor may want to confirm it with
a blood test. He/she may also want to carry out a whole
range of blood tests and do a full physical examination
which might include an internal examination. These tests
are all vital to establish the baseline for the pregnancy
and to eliminate any problems early on. Your doctor should
be willing to spend the time to discuss all your questions
and to allay any fears you have about your medical condition.
Step back and relax...
During the first month do take time to step back and relax.
Your body is working extremely hard to create the placenta,
which will support the growing foetus. Although the embryo
is only the size of a grain of rice, the physical changes
in your body, both hormonal and structural, mean that this
is probably the hardest physical work you have ever done.
Your metabolic rate is 10 – 25% greater than normal
and your heartbeat and breathing rate have increased. So
if you are feeling exhausted,
you need to listen to the message your body is sending you
and rest whenever you have the opportunity. Accept help
from others, get extra sleep and make sure that your diet is sufficiently nutritious.
to call the doctor?