Pregnancy - Symptoms

What were the first changes you noticed in your body early in your pregnancy?

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Pregnancy

Optimally, all pregnancies would be planned well before conception. In the United States, it is currently estimated that 40% of all pregnancies are unplanned. This means that many women become pregnant before they have had a chance to prepare for it.

The ideal time to start learning about pregnancy is not when a woman is already pregnant. In order for a future mother to maximize her chances of having a healthy baby, she should to know what she can do before she conceives and then what to do after she learns she is pregnant.

For a woman, pregnancy planning means learning everything she can about how her own health and that of her baby can be optimized. For example:

  • The expectant mother needs to know about those diseases that can complicate a pregnancy by their existence or their treatment, such as depression, epilepsy, thyroid disease, asthma, lupus, or diabetes.
  • If the mother smokes, she must stop, because women who smoke have a higher incidence of miscarriages and stillbirths.
  • She needs to be aware of the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
  • She must also know which drugs and medications she can continue to use safely and which ones she must avoid.
  • There are also a number of prenatal tests that can monitor the health and development of her baby.
  • Finally, she needs to plan ahead for the labor and delivery. Although pregnancy itself lasts only nine months, it is a period of time in which the maintenance of a woman's health is especially critical.
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