Out of the total weight gain during 40 weeks of pregnancy as 10-12 kg, there is little gain in weight (between 0.7 to 1.25 kg in first 20 weeks). By the end of 20 weeks of pregnancy, there would be a total weight gain of 4kg. Be careful to watch your weight each time you visit your doctor for monthly check up. If the weight is more than normal gain coupled with normal blood pressure, it indicates that you are taking excess or wrong kind of food. Consult your doctor if you have raised blood pressure, you may be suffering from Pre-Eclamptic Toxaemia (PET), in which the urine is checked for proteins. In case of a weight loss during this time of pregnancy, consult your doctor, this may effect the growth of your baby in womb.
Do’s and Dont’s:
Get checked your blood pressure. Normally during pregnancy the blood pressure is slightly lower than pre-pregnancy. In case, it starts rising consult your doctor, this is hazardous for both mother and baby.
Ask your doctor to assess the development of pregnancy. At twelve weeks, the womb lying deep in the pelvis starts rising out of bony pelvis and can be felt by placing hand on lower abdomen. Your doctor may easily be able to find size of the womb and assess the growth of baby.
Around 7th week, your doctor may be able to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. An ultrasound can pick up the heartbeat. You can hear it around 14th week, when the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat can be observed.
Go for urine test to find out traces of sugar indicating diabetes and assess functioning of the kidneys.
Haemoglobin in the blood can be estimated once a month to find if there are signs of anaemia; it should be treated immediately.
- If there is swelling on hands, ankles and legs; get yourself examined by your doctor.
In case of a normal pregnancy, usually between 16th to 20th weeks, a routine ultrasound scan is advised to find out the proper growth of child and position of placenta. If the position of the placenta is near or on the cervical opening, there are chances of severe bleeding. Seek suggestions of your doctor.
An Alpha Feto Protein (AFP) should be carried out during 15th to 18th week. AFP is a substance produced by the baby, which passes on into the mother’s blood stream. In case of abnormally high level, there are chances of a twin delivery or the baby may have congenital defect. Take the matter seriously with your doctor.
An amniocentesis is carried during 14th to 18th week or later to detect the abnormality in the baby. If the expecting mother is above 40 and previously she delivered a malformed baby, this test is a must.
- Drink plenty of fluid and water, minimum 8 to 10 glasses of water in a day.
- Avoid excessive intake of sugar, salt and spices.
Eat well balanced diet to avoid excessive weight gain. Include foods providing fiber in the diet to avoid constipation.
- If you are overweight, there are chances of rise in blood pressure and blood sugar; discomfort on mild exertion, post-operative complications, delayed wound healing, difficult vaginal deliveries, difficulty in shedding extra weight during pregnancy and after the delivery. The average weight gain during pregnancy is 1-12kg.; of this 80% are the womb and its contents.
- Avoid sexual intercourse in cases of previous miscarriages or in case of vaginal bleeding or spotting. In case your husband understands and respects these restrictions, you can satisfy each other’s needs with love and tenderness, omitting sexual intercourse from love-making.
- Do not undertake tiring exercises. To start with exercise for few minutes, gradually increase the duration to 15 minutes everyday.
- Do not exercise if the doctor has suggested bed rest or you are suffering from high blood pressure, heart problem and bleeding or spotting during pregnancy. Do not exert to the point where you can get tired. A walk in open in the early morning is the best exercise.
- Stand correctly. Do not exaggerate the hollow of your back. Always stand with your feet apart, distributing the weight of your body evenly on the heels and the back of your feet. Wear low heel shoes.
- Sit in such a posture that the whole length and breadth of your thigh is supported by the seat and the whole of your back is in contact with the back of the chair.
PHYSICAL CHANGES EXPERIENCED DURING THIS TRIMESTER:
- Nausea and vomiting disappears.
- Desire to urinate frequently subsides.
- Gradual increasing bulge in abdomen.
- Enlargement of breasts and its veins become prominent.
- The skin surrounding the breast nipples start darkening.
- Clear water secreting from nipples, which becomes thick and yellowish.
- Feeling of movements of the growing baby in the abdomen at 18 weeks in case of first delivery and 16 weeks in case of subsequent deliveries.
- Small, pink and white streaks become visible on lower abdomen and upper thighs due to the stretching of the skin.
- During this trimester, the appetite returns and mother as well as the baby need nourishing diet.