• As the embryo grows into a foetus, major organs begin to develop
• Spinal cord and brain formation takes place
• Heartburn, mood swings, nausea and fatigue are common symptoms
• Your breasts may be tender and nipples tend to darken
• You may discover the need to urinate more frequently as your uterus enlarges
• You can have an ultrasound to reveal the baby’s sex
• Your baby will start to develop hair and nails
• You will start feeling your baby move
• Your belly expands as the baby grows
• You may experience swelling and body aches
• You will feel your baby ‘kicking’
• You may start to experience contractions
• At 37 weeks a baby is considered to be ‘full term’
• Your breasts may be tender and produce colostrum
During your pregnancy you are sharing your health with your baby. You will need to adjust your diet and lifestyle to make sure that you avoid anything that can harm your baby. Have a look at some of our health and diet tips.
Yes, you are now eating for two! You can expect to be hungry more often and also to start craving certain food-groups. We have prepared a guideline of what to avoid and what to eat more of:
• Alcohol and cigarettes
• Caffeine (coffee, ceylon tea, cola)
• Acidic and spicy foods (vinegar, chili, citrus fruits, tomatoes, etc.)
• Raw food (fish, eggs, under cooked meat, etc.)
• Protein (proteins, beans, nuts, eggs, meat, dairy, etc.)
• Water and Milk
• Vitamin B / Folic acid (beans, bread, pasta, rice, etc.)
• Fruit and vegetables
Unfortunately you may not be able to avoid getting a flu or cold during your pregnancy. There are certain infections that you will need to be aware of that can affect your baby. Be sure to check with your doctor so that you are tested for any major infections such as chlamydia, sexually transmitted diseases or measles. Remember to practice safe sex throughout your pregnancy to reduce your risk of contracting a STI (sexually transmitted infections). If you do become ill, be sure to consult with your doctor immediately and always check that the medication you take is safe to use during pregnancy.
It is generally recommended to do moderate and safe exercises throughout your pregnancy to benefit both you and your baby. Be sure to ask your doctor about the Do’s and Dont’s when it comes to exercise. As a rule, you should avoid high-energy and high-impact exercise or physical activity where you are at risk of falling or being hurt (cycling, gymnastics, contact sport, etc). If you do not feel well during exercise, stop immediately and consult your doctor. If you exercise regularly you may overcome pregnancy fatigue and also prepare your body to be strong and healthy ahead of giving birth. Going for walks, swimming and gentle toning and stretching exercises are usually recommended and encouraged.
During the first and third trimester of your pregnancy you will be likely to experience fatigue. Although exercise can help with this it is also important that you get enough rest. Try to take a 30-60 minute nap every day and avoid exercising late in the day or evening. Visit your Clinix Mother & Baby Wellness Centre to find out more about relaxation techniques and advice.
In the weeks ahead of your due date you may start to notice certain changes that indicate that your baby’s birth day is near. Typical changes any symptoms leading up to actually going into labour could include:
As the due date nears, your baby may ‘drop’ from a higher to a lower position in your uterus.
Contractions and cramping can occur throughout your pregnancy. In particular, ‘Braxton Hicks’ contractions are uterine contractions that could increase as you near your due date. When you go into labour, your contractions tend to be regular and more painful than the pre-labour contractions.
When the amniotic sac is ruptured, this is known as “breaking the water” and signals the onset of labour. This is likely to coincide with cervical contractions. You should contact your doctor and/or midwife as soon as this occurs and prepare for labour.
Every labour experience is unique and although you may have some anxiety about managing pain, there are several ways that will help you prepare and cope on the day.
Breathing exercises are typically recommended to help you alleviate pain during labour and contractions. Breathing deeply can help calm the nerves and allow you to focus on the breathing rather than the pain. Try to practice deep breathing and relaxation so that you are familiar with this technique during labour.
Some women may find that walking around can help with the pain. Since you may be in labour for some time, you can also try to change positions frequently, e.g. sitting up, lying on your side, lifting your legs, etc.
Some expecting mothers have a birth plan that will inform the hospital of your preferences during labour. If you do not want to receive pain medication then you can include this in your birth plan but in some cases you may change the birth plan due to complications.
In the first few days after the birth you will need some time to rest, heal and regain your strength. If you have had an uncomplicated birth you should be discharged shortly after and will be ready to go home. Here are some tips on what you can expect in the first few weeks with your new born.
Breastfeeding does not always come easily and will take some adjusting to. You may want to purchase a nursing bra that will make it easier to breastfeed. Breastfeeding can be painful initially; buy yourself a moisturising cream to soothe the nipples. You will also need to watch your diet whilst breastfeeding and avoid alcohol and caffeine. Since you are passing on nutrients to your baby, make sure that you drink lots of water and eat regularly.
Babies only need to be bathed every other day and should only be sponge-bathed until the umbilical cord/belly button has healed. For bath time, prepare the bathing area and make sure that the room is warm. You will need a baby bath tub and a small container or a clean facecloth to gently wash your baby. The water should be lukewarm but never too cold. You can add more warm water for extended bath times. Using only a small amount of baby soap, make sure that you hold your baby with one hand and use the cloth to dab the face first and then slowly clean each part of the body. You can also use the container to pour water over the hands and legs. Make sure to clean in-between folds like armpits and joints and clean the genital area last. You will need to carefully dry your baby after each bath. Have some clean, warm clothes and a blanket ready for your baby.
At six weeks old, your baby should be getting the first round of immunisations. These usually
include the following:
• Polio vaccine
• Rotavirus vaccine
• Tetanus, Pertussis and influenza vaccines
• Hepatitis B
• 7-valent Pneumococcal vaccine
Contact your Nearest Clinix hospital to schedule an appointment with your doctor or specialist
Here is a checklist of how you can ‘baby-proof’ your home:
• Install locks and small fences to keep baby out of restricted or dangerous areas, e.g. swimming pool, tool shed, etc.
• Keep any items that could be a choking hazard away from your baby
• Set up your baby’s crib in a safe area, ensuring that there are no heavy items your baby could pull on
• Inform your baby’s siblings and family members to also be aware of hazardous items
• Inform young children to handle the baby gently
• Introduce your pets to your baby and monitor their interactions
Your baby can sleep between 14 and 17 hours per day. Unfortunately this does not mean that your
baby will be sleeping for long periods at a time. As a new mother you will need to prepare for
irregular sleep patterns and feeding schedules. Here are some tips to help you cope:
• Try to establish a routine for feeding, playtime and bath time. You will need to respond to your baby’s needs but by introducing regular schedules you can encourage sleeping patterns.
• Understand your baby. This may sound like a difficult task but by noticing the details of your baby’s behaviour you will soon be able to tell when your baby is tired, hungry or just looking for a cuddle.
• Help your baby identify the difference between night and day. If your baby is awake during the day, try to interact and engage with your baby as much as possible. When you baby is awake at night, minimise light and stimulation.
You will need to decide whether you will be breastfeeding, feeding baby formula or both.
• If you are feeding formula, decide which formula you would like to use and try to stick to one brand/type unless your baby is having adverse reactions or allergies
• If your baby has a special condition you may need a formula that is developed to aid your baby’s condition
• If you are breastfeeding your baby should be gaining weight and wetting their diaper regularly
• New born babies will breastfeed as much as 10-12 times per day. The amount of times you breastfeed per day will reduce over time.