July 5, 2022

Health Hyme

A Blog dedicated to Health and Fitness

0 – 41 Weeks Pregnancy – A Detailed Guide

7 min read
0 - 41 Weeks Pregnancy Healthhyme

Having a baby is one of the most exciting things that can happen to you. But you might be feeling nervous as well. If it’s your first baby, it’s hard to know what to expect. Your mum, colleagues, friends and relations might all be giving you advice. And then there is all the information on the internet as well as in magazines and books.

Also Read: [Pregnancy] Baby’s 9 Month Development

At times it can feel overwhelming and it’s hard to know who is right when people say different things. This book brings together everything you need to know to have a healthy and happy pregnancy, and to make sure you get the care that is right for you. The guidance about pregnancy and babies does change. So it’s important to get up-to-date, trusted advice so that you can make the right decisions and choices.

If you have any questions or concerns – no matter how trivial they may seem – talk to your midwife or doctor. They are there to support you.

Before You Get Pregnant –

  • Think about the lifestyle factors that might affect your ability to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy. This applies to men too. You are more likely to get pregnant if you are both in good health.
    • If you smoke, get advice about stopping.
    • Eat a balanced diet.
    • Maintain a healthy weight.
    • You should avoid drinking alcohol if you are pregnant or trying to conceive. If you do choose to drink, then protect your baby by drinking no more than one to two units of alcohol
      once or twice a week and don’t get drunk.
    • Take exercise.
  • If you or your partner take any medication, talk to your doctor about whether it will affect your pregnancy.
  • Take 400 micrograms of folic acid a day. You should continue to take this until you are 12 weeks pregnant.
  • If you have a health condition, for example mental health problems, diabetes or a family history of any inherited diseases, talk to your family doctor or a specialist before you try to get pregnant.
  • Talk to your family doctor or a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or need support.

0 – 8 WEEKS

You can take a pregnancy test from the first day that you miss your period. As soon as you know you are pregnant, get in touch with a midwife or your family doctor to organise your antenatal care. Begin to think about where you want your baby to be born.

Some pregnant women start to feel sick or tired or have other minor physical problems for a few weeks. Take 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day, which is in Healthy Start vitamin supplements or other supplements recommended by your midwife.

You should continue to take vitamin D throughout your pregnancy and while you are breastfeeding.

Suggested Read: Problems Associated With Pregnancy and Its Influencing Factors

8 – 12 WEEKS

You will usually attend your first appointment by 10 weeks and your booking appointment by 12 weeks. At the booking appointment, your weight, height and body mass index will be measured. You will be asked about your health and family history as well as about your baby’s father’s family history.

This is to find out if you are at risk of certain inherited conditions. Your hand-held notes and plan of care will be completed. Your midwife will discuss various tests you will be offered during your pregnancy, one of which is an ultrasound scan to check for abnormalities in your baby.

You will be offered information about what to expect during pregnancy and how to have a healthy pregnancy.

Ask if you are unsure about anything. You can ask your midwife about your rights at work and the benefits available. You will usually be offered an ultrasound scan between eight and 14 weeks. This
will check the baby’s measurements and give an accurate due date.

You may read: [Pregnancy] Important Factors You Need To Remember Before Expecting Mother

The scan can also detect abnormalities and check if you are carrying more than one baby. Your partner can come along to the scan. Just 12 weeks after conception, your baby is fully formed. It has all its organs, muscles, limbs and bones, and its sex organs are well developed. Your baby is already moving about but you cannot feel the movements yet.

12 – 16 WEEKS

Find out about antenatal education. Start to think about how you want to feed your baby. Make sure you are wearing a supportive bra. Your breasts will probably increase in size during pregnancy so you need to make sure you are wearing the right sized bra.

If you have been feeling sick and tired, you will probably start to feel better around this time. At 14 weeks, your baby’s heartbeat is strong and can be heard using an ultrasound detector. Your pregnancy may just be beginning to show. This varies a lot from woman to woman.

16 – 20 WEEKS

You may start to feel your baby move. Your tummy will begin to get bigger and you will need looser clothes. You may feel a surge of energy.

Try to do your pregnancy exercises regularly. Your midwife or doctor should:

  • review, discuss and record the results of any screening tests
  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
  • consider an iron supplement if you are anaemic.

Your midwife or doctor should give you information about the anomaly scan you will be offered at 18–20 weeks and answer any questions you have. Your baby is now growing quickly. Their face becomes much more defined and their hair, eyebrows and eyelashes are beginning to grow.

Ask your doctor or midwife to let you hear your baby’s heartbeat.

20 – 25 WEEKS

Your uterus will begin to get bigger more quickly and you will really begin to look pregnant. You may feel hungrier than before. Stick to a sensible balanced diet. Ask your midwife about antenatal education. You will begin to feel your baby move.

25 WEEKS (if this is your first baby)

Your baby is now moving around vigorously and responds to touch and sound. If this is your first baby, your midwife or doctor should:

  • check the size of your uterus
  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein.

If you are taking maternity leave, inform your employer in writing 15 weeks before the week your baby is due. If your partner plans to take paternity leave, they will need to inform their employer.

28 WEEKS

Your baby will be perfectly formed by now, but still quite small. You may find that you are getting more tired. Your midwife or doctor should:

  • use a tape to measure the size of your uterus
  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
  • offer more blood screening tests
  • offer your first anti-D treatment if your blood type is rhesus negative.

Think about what you need for the baby. If you have young children, it’s good to talk to them about the new baby. Make sure your shoes are comfortable. If you get tired, try to rest with your feet up.

31 WEEKS (if this is your first baby)

If this is your first baby, your midwife or doctor should:

  • review, discuss and record the results of any screening tests from the last appointment
  • measure the size of your uterus and check which way up the baby is
  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein.

34 WEEKS

Your midwife or doctor will give you information about preparing for labour and birth, including how to recognise active labour, ways of coping with pain in labour and developing your birth plan.

They should also:

  • review, discuss and record the results of any screening tests from the last appointment
  • measure the size of your uterus
  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
  • offer your second anti-D treatment if your blood type is rhesus negative.

Make arrangements for the birth. You can give birth at home, in a midwifery unit or in hospital. If you have children already, you may want to make childcare arrangements for when you go into labour. You may want to ask about whether tours of maternity facilities for birth are available.

Think about who you would like to have with you during labour.

Get your bag ready if you are planning to give birth in hospital or in a midwifery unit. You will probably be attending antenatal classes now. You may be more aware of your uterus tightening from time to time. You may feel quite tired. Make sure you get plenty of rest.

36 WEEKS

Make sure you have all your important telephone numbers handy in case labour starts. Your midwife or doctor should give you information about:

  • feeding your baby
  • caring for your newborn baby
  • vitamin K and screening tests for your newborn baby
  • the ‘baby blues’ and postnatal depression.

Your midwife or doctor should:

  • measure the size of your uterus
  • check the position of your baby
  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein.

Sleeping may be increasingly difficult.

38 WEEKS

Most women will go into labour spontaneously between 38 and 42 weeks. Your midwife or doctor should give you information about your options if your pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks. Your midwife or doctor should:

  • measure the size of your uterus
  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein.

Call your hospital or midwife at any time if you have any worries about your baby or about labour and birth.

40 WEEKS (if this is your first baby)

Your midwife or doctor should give you more information about what happens if your pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks. Your midwife or doctor should:

  • measure the size of your uterus
  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein.

41 WEEKS

If your pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks, you may be induced. Your midwife or doctor will explain what this means and what the risks are. Your midwife or doctor should:

  • measure the size of your uterus
  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
  • offer a membrane sweep.

Discuss options and choices for induction of labour. Call your hospital or midwife if you have any worries about your baby or about labour and birth.


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