By NUH Women's Centre
The ideal situation is to be in the very best of health before attempting to conceive so that you can maximise your chances of a safe and successful delivery of a healthy baby.
Find out your family history. Both your medical history and individual medical history and that of your partner are significant in pre-pregnancy planning. In your case, existing health problems (for example epilepsy, hypertension, diabetes) will need to be taken into account by you and your doctor as part of your care.
If you or any of your family have any condition, for example cystic fibrosis, that may be a risk factor for pregnancy, you should see a genetic counselor (through your obstetrician) to discuss and assess the level of risk for you and how to manage it.
Adjusting psychologically. Having your first baby involves an enormous life change. It is perfectly normal to experience a range of emotions, some of which may be conflicting. Do approach our Women's Emotional Health consultant for counseling (through your obstetricians) to discuss your emotions.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms
Early pregnancy symptoms help you detect pregnancy a few days after conception. Many of these symptoms are subtle and can be confused for other problems. However, if you have more than one of the early pregnancy symptoms, then most probably you have conceived.
These signs help you understand your changing body and the growth of the baby inside you. Here are some early pregnancy symptoms.
- Missed Period. Though a very prominent early pregnancy symptom, a missed period can have many causes. By the time you have confirmed the period was delayed by pregnancy, you are already a few weeks into it.
- Nausea. Morning sickness can take you by surprise any time of the day. You feel queasy all of a sudden. Many women are unable to eat spicy or greasy food because of this symptom. One of the ways to deal with this is to eat light, eat smaller meals and keep your surroundings cool.
- Sensitive breasts. Tender breasts are another problem for pregnant women. Apart from tenderness, you may also notice swelling of the breasts. Veins along the sides of the chest become more prominent. The color of the areola darkens.
- Spotting is known as "implantation bleeding" in medical terms. Implantation bleeding happens a few days after conception, when the embryo implants itself on the uterus wall. This is where it will stay and develop in the next nine months.
- Cramps. Along with implantation bleeding, you might also experience cramps. Cramping is another early pregnancy symptom that alerts you to conception. It is like the cramps you feel during your period. If the cramps are severe, consult your doctor immediately.
- Tiredness. You may feel tired all the time. Fatigue is one of the more subtle early pregnancy symptoms. Be careful of ignoring the signals your body is sending you to take it easy. Cut down on your workload and take plenty of rest.
If you have one or more of the early pregnancy symptoms, you should consult an obstetrician.
This featured article is contributed by the NUH Women’s Centre, National University Hospital. Please visit www.nuhgynae.com.sg to read more.