The journey of pregnancy is an exciting chapter in every mum’s life. Especially if this is your first pregnancy ever. While it is an exciting time filled with anticipation, it can be a little scary. Most mums feel like they do not know what to do or what to expect. How can a healthy pregnancy be? What to expect during your trimesters? When to plan a baby shower? And how to prepare for your baby delivery? All the answers are here so keep on reading!
Getting pregnant and conception
For some new mums, the idea of menstruation, ovulation, and conception sounds very complicated. But in truth, all you need is a little math and you are good to go. First of all, you need to know when you are ovulating. Knowing this will help you increase your chances at getting pregnant. Ovulation happens around two weeks before your period. What happens during it is that the eggs are formed. After which, one will erupt from the sac and descend into the fallopian tubes to await fertilization. The time span of which is about 24 hours. All the while the lining of your uterus thickens in preparation for fertilization.
But the main question here is: how to calculate ovulation?
According to Dr. Elias Abi Khalil, the best way to calculate your ovulating period is by taking an average from the last 3 months and checking how long your periods were. When you do so, the result may be that your cycle is between 28-32 days, this means that you have 14-18 days of ovulation and a fertility window that is about 12-18 days. Don’t forget that these numbers can be different from one cycle to another.
There are also plenty of mobile apps to help you calculate your ovulation window. One of those apps is Fertility Friend – which offers an advanced ovulation calendar and a fertility tracker. It collects your data to track, analyze your ovulation to help you understand it better.
There are plenty of other things you can do besides counting the days when you are ovulating. This includes seeing your gynecologist to make sure everything is okay and you’re in the best shape possible to have a baby. Also, avoiding stress and anxiety is mandatory when you are trying to get pregnant.
It’s official – you are pregnant!
Finding out you are pregnant is truly one of the joyest moments in your life. You have a little angel growing inside of you. And now, everyone will get to see how this good and healthy pregnancy glow looks on you. You can tell for sure you are pregnant through home pregnancy tests. But it is always best to give your gynecologist a visit to run some tests and be 100% sure.
Once your doctor confirms your pregnancy, you should start planning for the next nine months. Every healthy pregnancy will have three main stages: first, second, and third trimester. During every trimester you will experience different things. Here is everything you should expect about your pregnancy:
What to expect during your first trimester?
There are many things to expect during your first trimester. While you might not like the sound of it, expecting it makes it less stressful. During your first trimester, your body will start undergoing several changes – hormonal and physical. You will experience breast swelling, vaginal discharges, acidity, and many mood swings. Most mums agreed that the least favorite things during their first trimester were morning sickness – which happens in the morning and every other time along with mood swings.
First trimester nausea and morning sickness is one of the most common things amongst mums to be. But do not worry, there are many things to do in order to deal with this nausea. First off, this nauseating feeling is actually a good sign. It shows that this is a healthy pregnancy and the baby is well and healthy. What causes it is an increase of pregnancy hormones inside your body. But how to deal with it? Simple, do one of the following and you will feel better:
1| Always have a snack at hand.
Whether it is the middle of the day or you just woke up. Salty snacks work best to relieve you from nausea and morning sickness. A good and healthy snack ensures a healthy pregnancy.
2| Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
BUT – do not chug water. Drink water in regular small sips throughout the day. Also, avoid drinking water on an empty stomach as this will increase that irritating nauseating feeling.
3| Eat healthy at all times.
A healthy pregnancy needs healthy nourishment. Many mums fear gaining weight during their pregnancy, so they starve themselves. That is not good for either your or your baby. Weight gain is normal, and keep in mind it is easily lost after giving birth. Include carbs in your diet like whole wheat bread and oats. Frozen foods really help reduce nausea. Also, include fruits and vegetables in your diet such as bananas, yellow squash, and spinach. Nuts are also a great snack to keep you full throughout the day. Keep in mind that there are some foods that you should avoid to have a healthy pregnancy such as undercooked meat, caffeine, and junk food.
Read more on Pregnancy Vitamins that Every Mum Needs
What about the second trimester?
After your first trimester, you will experience less morning sickness and nausea during the day. Also, you will feel less exhausted and even more energetic just like before your pregnancy. Many mums agree that their second trimester is the easiest part of this journey. So, we recommend you use this time to prepare for your baby, nursery and everything else you might need.
During your second trimester, we recommend you start preparing for your baby: what you need, what you should buy, baby shower and gift registry. Grab a planner and write down everything that needs to be done before your final trimester. Another good thing to get over with during your second trimester is your hospital bag.
Having said that, make sure not to over exhaust yourself. Always ask for help when you need and get plenty of rest and sleep. At this time, you might experience more back pain than usual along with headaches, and acidity. But the good news is: during your second trimester, your skin goes through some changes that make it healthier and shinier. In other words, you will get that amazing and healthy pregnancy glow.
How to prepare for the third trimester?
The final trimester is the last stop on the way to having a baby. During your third trimester, your belly will start to change and your body will begin preparing for delivering your baby. Make sure you visit your doctor regularly at this time to make sure that all is well. As you get closer to your due date, you might experience false labour also known as Braxton Hicks.
What about baby movements and kicks?
Most mums look forward to their babies kicking. It is another way to feel you are pregnant aside from the nausea and morning sickness. Those baby movements begin as small fluttering and they get more clear and strong as your baby grows inside your belly.
You will start to feel baby movements and kicks by the end of your second trimester. Almost around the 8th week of your pregnancy. In addition, you can feel them the most when you are relaxed and laying down.
There are many ways to record your baby’s movements such as Babymoov – Babydoppler Connect Cocoon Life. This great device can help you record your baby’s movements and heartbeats and share them with friends and family through Facebook or Whatsapp.
Plan your baby shower
As we mentioned earlier, it is best to start planning your baby’s shower during your second trimester, and have it when you are at your last trimester. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Set a date. This depends on when you start your last trimester.
- Make a guest list, and send out the invitations. Electronic invitations are the easiest.
- Pick a venue. Do you want to have it at home, or somewhere else?
- Set a budget. This will help you make other decisions later on.
- What do you want to serve? A fancy lunch, or simple snacks?
- Plan activities for the baby shower. Those activities can be fun baby shower games, opening presents, or anything the mum-to-be wants!
- Do you want a guest book or “thank you for coming” giveaways?
- Hire a photographer. This way you will have every moment photographed without worrying.
- Finally, have a baby registry to help the guests know what you need.
And do not forget to decorate!
A baby shower needs a baby registry
This is where we, Mumzworld, come in. Here is what you need to do to set you up your baby registry on Mumzworld.com:
1| Log into your account, and go to Account, then click on My registry.
2| Fill in all the necessary information including your name, location, and delivery address. Once you do, you will be redirected to the following page with this green box on your screen.
3| Click on “START ADDING ITEMS”, this will take you to all the products Mumzworld has to offer. Choose the products you want, and click on “Add to gift registry”.
What is so great about our online registry is that you can see who viewed it, along with the registry orders. You can also share with your guest list via Facebook, email, or by sharing your gift registry ID. a great plus side to this all, you can do it while resting on your bed! Check out New Mumz Essentials to make adding items easier and faster.
Here are some of our favorite items to include in your gift registry:
Childbirth and delivery
This is the end of this nine month journey. You are now about to deliver a beautiful baby into the world. But before you do, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, being a little stressed or scared is absolutely normal. Every mum about to deliver her baby feels this way. There are so many fears that mums face when they get closer to their due date such as labour pains, arriving at the hospital late, or unexpected medical interventions.
When it comes to labour pains, there are a couple of things you can do. You can take up birthing classes and learn breathing exercises to help you through. And you can take an epidural to reduce labour pains.
Click here to know everything about epidurals.
But in truth, and as much as we know it might be easier said than done, there is no reason to have any fears. The best thing to do is to surround yourself with positive thoughts and keep in mind that in just a bit you will see your beautiful baby between your arms!
You will find a list of all the questions most mums ask before childbirth here.
What comes after childbirth?
The first week is usually the hardest after going back home with a newborn baby. The important thing to do is to ask when help is needed, get plenty of rest whenever you can, and do NOT overthink or over exhaust yourself. Remember, your baby needs you happy, rested, and energetic in order to care for him or her.
As for feeding your baby, you can either breastfeed or bottle feed your newborn. Breastfeeding is so beneficial for both you and your baby. The mother’s milk is the number one source of nutrients and supplements newborns need to grow and be healthy. There are many essentials to help you with breastfeeding like pillows, breast pads, and covers.