Getting to your ideal body weight

The last thing most women need is another reason to be concerned about weight control. But this point is important Pregnancy goes most smoothly for women who aren't too heavy or too thin. Overweight women stand a higher-than-normal risk of developing diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy, and they're more likely to end up delivering their babies via cesarean section. Underweight women risk having too-small (low birth-weight) babies. Try to reach a healthy, normal weight before you...

Evaluating your current health

Most women contemplating pregnancy are perfectly healthy and don't have problems that can have an impact on pregnancy. Still, a preconceptional visit is very useful because it allows you to make a game plan and find out more about how to optimize your chances of having a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy. You can discover how to reach your ideal body weight and how to start on a good exercise program, and you can begin to take prenatal vitamins with folic acid. Some women, however, do have...

Considering occupational hazards

Maybe your job requires minimal standing or walking, allows you to work regular hours, and never stresses you out. If that's the case, and if you have no previous medical problems, you may just as well skip this section (and let us know what your job is ). But if you're like the rest of us, read on. Occupations that are physically demanding can be problematic. Most jobs fall somewhere in between sedentary and demanding, but even then the amount of stress varies according to the individual. If...

Chronic hypertension

Chronic hypertension refers to high blood pressure that occurs independently of pregnancy. Although many women who have this condition are aware that they have it before they conceive, doctors occasionally diagnose it during pregnancy. If you have mild or moderate chronic hypertension, chances are good that you'll have an uneventful pregnancy. However, your doctor will be on the lookout for certain conditions that can affect you or the baby. Women with chronic hypertension stand an increased...

Chorionic villus sampling

Chorionic villi are tiny, bud-like pieces of tissue that make up the placenta. Because they develop from cells arising out of the fertilized egg, they have the same chromosomes and genetic makeup as the developing fetus. By checking a sample of chorionic villi, your doctor can see whether the chromosomes are normal in number and structure, determine the fetal sex, and test for some specific diseases (if the fetus is at risk for these diseases). Your doctor performs a chorionic villus sampling...

Using the USDA Food Guide Pyramid

No single food can satisfy all your nutritional needs. The USDA Food Guide Pyramid, shown in Figure 4-2, is a general guideline that illustrates the relative proportions of servings you should eat in each group. To get some specific recommendations tailored for your pre-pregnancy weight and activity level, go to www.mypyramid.gov and click on the Pregnancy and Breastfeeding link. Use the USDA Food Guide Pyramid to help you eat healthily during pregnancy. Use the USDA Food Guide Pyramid to help...

Miscarriage

The great majority of pregnancies proceed normally. But about one in five end in early miscarriage, often before a woman even knows she's pregnant. If a miscarriage occurs early in a pregnancy, you may mistake it for a regular menstrual period. About half the time, chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo cause the miscarriage. In another 20 percent of cases, the embryo may have structural defects that are too small to be detectable by ultrasound or pathological examination. Note Having one...

Understanding your babys Weight gain

Although your weight gain may follow a path all its own, your baby's own bulking-up pattern is likely to progress slowly at first, and then pick up at about 32 weeks, only to slow again in the last weeks before birth. At 14 to 15 weeks, for example, the baby puts on weight at about 0.18 ounce 5 grams per day, and at 32 to 34 weeks, 1.06 to 1.23 ounces 30 to 35 grams per day that's about half a pound or 0.23 kilograms each week . After 36 weeks, the fetal growth rate slows to about a quarter of...

Anytimeofday sickness

For some women, the nausea that can strike during the first trimester is worse in the mornings, maybe because the stomach is empty at that time of day. But ask anyone who's had morning sickness, and she'll tell you It can hit any time it wants. It often starts during the fifth or sixth week that is, three to four weeks after you miss your period we describe how doctors calculate the timing of pregnancy in Chapter 2 and goes away, or at least becomes much less severe, by the end of the 11th or...

Quitting birth control

How soon can you get pregnant after you stop using birth control It depends on what kind of birth control you use. The barrier methods such as condoms, diaphragms, and spermicides work only as long as you use them as soon as you stop, you're fertile. Hormone-based medicines including the Pill, Depo-Provera, NuvaRing, and the birth control patch for example, Ortho-Evra take longer to get out of your system. You may ovulate very shortly after stopping the Pill weeks or days, even . Usually,...