Symptoms of Healthy Baby in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a magical time. It’s the most wonderful gift a woman can give to herself, her partner and her family. You will be able to feel your baby kick, hear their heartbeat, see their movements and notice how they grow inside you. Even though pregnancy is a healthy experience for many women, there may be times when you are worried that your baby isn’t healthy or has stopped moving. Rest assured that as long as your baby appears to have a strong heartbeat and regular breathing, they are likely fine! There are many signs of healthy babies during pregnancy:

A strong and regular heartbeat.

You can ask your doctor to listen to your baby’s heartbeat at every prenatal appointment. You may also be able to hear it with a Doppler stethoscope, which you can get from most large drug stores and maternity stores. Your doctor will check for a regular heartbeat by listening to the sound of blood flow in the umbilical cord or placenta. If there are any concerns about the heart rate, then they will do an ultrasound (ultrasound is another word for using high-frequency sound waves) to check that everything is okay with your baby.

If you have any questions or concerns about whether or not everything is okay with your little one, talk to your healthcare provider right away!

Movement, but only once the placenta is fully developed.

Many women are surprised to learn that their baby does not move as much as others until after the placenta is fully developed. Some babies begin moving before this time, but it’s very unlikely for you to feel these movements.

The movement of your baby may be the first sign that you are pregnant and can help you realize when you will give birth. This can be reassuring if you are unsure whether or not your pregnancy is normal or if a problem might be developing with either you or your baby.

Movement can often be felt by the mother as early as 18 weeks into her pregnancy, although most women do not notice it until later on in their pregnancies when they have gained more weight and are feeling heavier than usual due to their expanding uterus size becoming uncomfortable enough for them notice something different going on inside them affecting how they feel overall physically speaking!

Regular breathing.

It’s important to understand that breathing is a sign of life. When you breathe, the air goes into your lungs and then through tubes in each lung called bronchi, which carry oxygen from the air to red blood cells. The red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of your body so that they can work properly, including the baby’s brain and other organs.

If a baby isn’t getting enough oxygen it will show signs such as:

  • Not moving around as much as usual (also known as lethargy)
  • Not making any sounds or crying while they’re awake
  • Their skin color looks paler than normal or it becomes very pale when they are held upright

No infection.

It’s also important to remember that a healthy baby can be born without any obvious sign of infection. If you are breastfeeding, your health care provider will want to see you at least once a week during the first month and then once or twice a month after that.

It’s also vital to monitor your own temperature if you have a fever or feel ill in any way. If you think something might be wrong, contact your doctor immediately.

If your baby has a strong heartbeat, is moving, breathing regularly and has no signs of infection you can be reassured that they are healthy.

You may have wondered about the health and development of your baby. This is normal, especially if you are a new parent. If you are pregnant and have concerns about the health and development of your baby there are things that you can do to reassure yourself that everything is well with them.

One thing you can do is check their heartbeat on a regular basis by placing your hand on their tummy or back for around five seconds. You should be able to feel a strong, regular heartbeat by doing this. It’s important to remember not to worry too much if it takes some time before they start moving around more after being born as this can take several weeks or months depending on how big they are at birth and how long they were inside their mum (this will depend upon whether she had twins).

Conclusion

Once your baby’s placenta is fully developed, your doctor will be able to tell you the status of their health by looking for these signs. However, if you think that something might be wrong with your child or if you are experiencing any issues during pregnancy, then it is best to consult with a physician immediately before taking any risks. The most important thing is never too afraid to ask questions and get answers as soon as possible!

01/6​Weight gain during pregnancy

Usually expecting mums gain around 12-15 kilos when they are pregnant. You can check your weight regularly and update our doctor about the same if there is a major change. The belly should also grow in size as the months pass by.

02/6Common signs of a healthy pregnancy

It is very important for an expectant mom to be able to differentiate between the signs of a healthy and unhealthy foetus. Some symptoms if left untreated can lead to severe complications and even miscarriage.

Though there are very few pregnancies that end in miscarriage or any other complication but that does not let moms take it easy during the whole nine months of pregnancy. If you are also a mom-to-be, here are the symptoms of a healthy pregnancy that you need to remember:

03/6​Movement

The baby starts moving after five months of conception; the term for the foetal movement is called quickening. A six-month-old foetus responds to sound through movement. After seven months, the foetus responds to stimuli such as sound, pain and light. By the end of eight-month, the baby starts kicking more frequently. But by the end of nine-month, the movement becomes less due to less space.

04/6​Normal growth

Your doctor will perform an ultrasound to track the growth of your baby’s health and development. Generally, a foetus grows by two inches every month. So, by the seventh month, your baby should be 14 inches long. By the end of nine-month, a foetus weighs around 3 kilos and 18-20 inches long.

05/6Heartbeat

The heart of the baby starts to beat around the fifth week of pregnancy. To confirm the heartbeat of your baby, the doctor may conduct a non-stress test. The test monitors the heart rate of the baby and provides information about the potential threat, if any. A healthy heartbeat is between 110 to 160 per minute.

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06/6​Position of the baby at the time of pre-labour

During the nine-month, the movement becomes minimal due to less space. A healthy baby takes a head-first position and starts moving towards the birth canal.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for physician’s advice. Please consult your treating physician for more details.

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How soon after giving birth can you get pregnant again?

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How soon after giving birth can you get pregnant again?

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01/9​How soon after giving birth can you get pregnant again?

​How soon after giving birth can you get pregnant again?

We all have wondered about it that how soon can we get pregnant again after giving birth. And if you will get your periods while breastfeeding or can breastfeeding stop you from conceiving? If you are planning your second baby, here is all that you need to know to ensure that your next pregnancy arrives safely.READMORE

02/9​How soon can you conceive after delivering?

​How soon can you conceive after delivering?

You will be shocked to know that it’s possible to get pregnant even before you have postpartum period over. Postpartum can appear four weeks after delivery or as late as 24 weeks after the delivery.READMORE

03/9​Pregnancy before the first period after delivery

​Pregnancy before the first period after delivery

You will be surprised to know that you can get pregnant even before you get your first-period post-pregnancy. Some ladies, have a sterile period, which means they do not ovulate during the initial cycle. Some ovulate even before their periods. This means these women can pregnant even before they start getting their periods after the delivery.

If you are not prepared for your second pregnancy and as you don’t know if the period or the egg, which will come first, it’s best to use contraception.READMORE

04/9​Chances of getting pregnant right after giving birth

​Chances of getting pregnant right after giving birth

Normally doctors give you green light to have sex, six weeks after you have delivered the baby. Women who do not breastfeed, periods kick in six to 12 weeks after the baby arrives.

Many women even get their periods after nine months or more after the baby’s birth. Some women conceive sooner, while others don’t as they begin ovulating later.READMORE

05/9​Getting periods while breastfeeding

​Getting periods while breastfeeding

The hormones that prompt your body to make breast milk also stop your body from producing the hormones that cause your body to ovulate. Nursing mothers can mostly get their periods as early as six months to as late as 18 months after giving birth. Women who breastfeed get periods later than those who do not.READMORE

06/9​Pregnancy while breastfeeding

​Pregnancy while breastfeeding

Yes, it’s absolutely possible to get pregnant while breastfeeding, despite the fact that breastfeeding does suppress ovulation. And as mentioned above, it’s actually possible to get pregnant even before you get your first periods after the delivery.READMORE

07/9​How long should you wait to get pregnant after giving birth?

​How long should you wait to get pregnant after giving birth?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), couples should wait at least for a year and ideally 18 months after having a baby and before getting pregnant again.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, couples should wait for at least six months or more after the delivery before getting pregnant again.

This is because conceiving before 18 months of giving birth can increase the odds of pregnancy complications including premature birth and low-birth-weight.

This can increase the child’s risk of having asthma, vision issues and hearing problems later in life.

The residual inflammation from the past pregnancy in the uterus and your body not having enough vitamins and minerals can be the reason that the gap is advised.READMORE

08/9​​Waiting for too long

​​Waiting for too long

Research says waiting for more than five years between two kids can also increase same complications that waiting for less than 18 months can.READMORE

09/9​Verdict

​Verdict

It’s best to talk to your doctor about and find out the best time to have another baby. Till then, play safe and use birth control. That ways you will avoid unwanted pregnancies and will be able to plan better for the next baby.

Signs of Unhealthy Baby in Womb

What is in this session?

It is important to share information with women and their families about the early detection and recognition of danger signs and complications as part of birth and emergency planning. You need to discuss with them what the danger signs are and help them to think about and decide where they will go if they experience one or any of these.

Go to:

What skills will I develop?

  • To provide information about danger signs and complications during pregnancy and childbirth
  • To support women in planning where to go and how to get there quickly if an emergency arises.
Image session8fu2

Go to:

What am I going to learn?

By the end of this session you should be able to:

  1. Know the danger signs and complications.
  2. Be able to effectively communicate danger signs to women and their families.
  3. Be able to effectively communicate how to access emergency care when a danger sign is recognized.

Go to:

Danger signs and complications

All pregnant women, their partners and families should be aware of the signs of complications and emergencies and know when to seek care from the skilled attendant.

DANGER SIGNS DURING PREGNANCY

If any of the following signs occur, the woman should be taken immediately to the hospital or health centre.

  • vaginal bleeding
  • convulsions/fits
  • severe headaches with blurred vision
  • fever and too weak to get out of bed
  • severe abdominal pain
  • fast or difficult breathing.

If she has any of these signs she should go to the health centre as soon as possible:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Feels ill
  • Swelling of fingers, face and legs

Communicating danger signs

Most women have uneventful pregnancies and childbirth but sudden and unpredictable complications may happen at any time to any woman. Where problems do occur it is important to ensure that they are acted upon without delay. You need to find a way to explain in familiar terms (using local words) the danger signs, so that the woman, her family and others in the community can recognize them if they should occur, and to ensure they know where to go in case of an emergency. It would also be helpful here to refer to Session 7 on birth and emergency plans as many elements, including transport, where the nearest health facility is located, and logistical details regarding persons to support the family, should already have been discussed and planned in advance.

Activity 1

Image session8fu3.jpg2 hours 55 minutes

Image session8fu4.jpgTo begin reflecting on how to inform pregnant women and their families on the danger signs during pregnancy and build on women’s past experience where possible.

  1. Review the list of danger signs above.
    • What problems do women and families have in identifying each of these? Are there local terms that are used for any of them? Are there any local beliefs, explanations, or ways of handling danger signs that stop people from seeking care in a timely manner?
    • How do women prioritize the main danger signs? Are there certain signs that they feel need more urgent attention than others?
    • Are all women told about danger signs or just those women who are thought to be at high risk?
  2. Organize a discussion with a group of women. Ask the group for their past experience with danger signs and complications.
    • Have any of the women experienced danger signs before? If so, how did they recognize them?
    • What did they do? Who did they see?
    • Did they find transport urgently? If not, what could be done next time?
    • What information did they have or were there any gaps?
    • How could health workers have better prepared them?
  3. Review the list of danger signs once again.
    • Is the community aware and able to recognize danger signs in pregnancy?
    • Think of ways to help the broader community in identifying danger signs and supporting women to reach appropriate care in a timely fashion.
    • Do you or other health agencies currently discuss danger signs in pregnancy with the broader community? What are the advantages of doing so?
  4. What kind of support materials might improve the communication of danger signs?
    • Take into account the educational and cultural background of your audience (e.g. the counselling context) and the resources you have to develop, or to obtain materials.
  5. Finally, think about whether there are any other groups or providers in the community that you could work with to help alert the whole community to the danger signs in pregnancy and labour.

Write down some ideas in your notebook that could help you discuss danger signs with women and their families, both on a one-to-one basis and in a group setting.

Image session8fu5.jpgOur View

WHO recommends that health services work with women, their families and the broader community so that they have appropriate and comprehensible information on the danger signs during pregnancy, as any woman can develop complications, and to ensure that all are aware of where to seek care in the case of an emergency.

Explore with women what they know about danger signs and make sure they know them all. Some danger signs are more difficult than others to recognize such as oedema. When counselling women about danger signs you need to explore with them what is normal, what is unusual and what is a danger sign.

The next important step is to help the woman and her family plan where they will go and how they will reach the skilled attendant if they have any of these signs. Refer to Session 7 as much of this information should already have been discussed and drafted into a birth and emergency plan.

HOW CAN YOU HELP WOMEN AND FAMILIES BETTER UNDERSTAND THE DANGER SIGNS?

Women and their families need to be able to recognize danger signs accurately and act appropriately. For example, bleeding requires immediate transport to a health facility because a woman, particularly with anaemia, can die in a matter of hours.

Knowing about the danger signs in advance will help communities and families implement their birth and emergency plans.

If you have a highly literate population you might consider communicating all the danger signs in a leaflet or fact sheet or some other method that can be given out at routine antenatal care. If your population is less literate, you will have to rely on verbal or pictorial methods. It is difficult to remember all the danger signs, particularly if a person has little formal education. You need to work with the community and with other health providers to increase awareness of women and other community members of the danger signs, and of the importance of reaching an appropriate care provider urgently if any should appear. Once again it is important to ensure emergency transport schemes are in place (Session 7).

All women and their families need to be given information on danger signs.

All women and their families need to be given information on danger signs

Communicating danger signs without fear

Research has shown that using fear-based messages about danger signs is not effective unless used correctly.

It will be hard to communicate danger signs without creating fear. When discussing danger signs with women and their families, provide a realistic description that would help them to identify the signs in an emergency. Avoid frightening the woman with the worst-case scenario of what might happen. While complications such as bleeding, obstructed labour or infection are relatively rare, the focus should be on recognition of the signs and awareness of what to do if they occur. While as a health worker you are used to seeing complications, remember for the woman it can be very frightening. Reassure her that you will do everything you can to help her, try to alleviate her fears, and support her, but remember to answer her questions and concerns truthfully. It will not be helpful to make false promises or reassurances about pregnancy outcomes.

REMINDER

Pregnancy is a normal and natural process. Most women do not experience emergencies during pregnancies, but any woman could. Women need to know when to seek care from an appropriate provider. A good counsellor will get the balance right between informing women and their families of the possible danger signs and what to do, and supporting women and their families to enjoy their pregnancy as a happy experience.

What did I learn?

Image session8fu7.jpg

You have considered how to communicate danger signs to a woman and her family, as well as the larger community. This has helped you to decide what format can be used to convey issues relating to danger signs. Furthermore, it is important to link discussions of danger signs with a concrete plan (such as the birth and emergency plan in Session 7) in order to ensure that women and their families know where to go during an obstetric emergency, and how to get there urgently.

Do you feel confident about communicating danger signs to women and their families? What else could you do to improve the way you communicate danger signs? What kinds of support materials can you develop? Who else can you work with in the community to raise awareness of emergency signs and the importance of seeking appropriate care when they occur?

The next time you counsel a woman about danger signs, write up what happened and what you did in your notebook. You could then share this with a colleague and ask for feedback on what could have been improved or done differently, as well as what you did well.

How To Know Baby Is Healthy in Womb Without Ultrasound

Read about how your baby grows in the various stages of first, second and third trimester

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A​​fter conception and throughout the course of your pregnancy, your baby goes through various phases of growth and development as it implants into the womb and matures into a full term foetus. 

Your pregnancy can be generally divided into three main phases: 

These periods are important as varying stages of fetal development are present in each of the trimesters. The symptoms that you may experience are different. However, this is just a guide and each pregnancy could be different. 

​​First Trim​e​ster​: Week 1 – 6

Baby development ​

This is still considered the embryonic stage. It arises just after fertilisation of the egg and subsequent implantation of the embryo into the womb lining. The various structures of your baby are not yet fully developed. 

As the weeks pass: 

  • ​The outer layers of the fertilised egg (known as the outer cell mass) will form the eventual placenta
  • The inner layers of the fertilised egg (known as the inner cell mass) will give rise to the brain, lungs, central nervous and intestinal systems​ ​

​​​​This is a period whereby the developing organs are highly sensitive to teratogens (drugs affecting the development of baby). Major defects may be produced during this period should there be an exposure to these teratogens. By the end of week 6, the embryo measures about 4 – 5 mm and the heart starts to beat and can be detected on a scan at the end of this stage. 

Your symptoms

You may feel absolutely fine and the first clue to your pregnancy could be the fact that you just missed your period​. It is crucial that you consult your doctor if you are taking any long-term medications. 

​First Trimester: Week 6 – 12

Baby development 

The baby can now be considered a foetus and this stage is a time of rapid growth. The various vital organs are formed as the body straightens. 

By week 12, most of the major organ systems would have been developed and the baby, known as a foetus, takes on a more recognisable form. It measures about 6 cm from head to buttocks. 

The following changes are observed: 

  • ​​The head is also growing to accommodate the enlarging brain.
  • The eyelids are present in the shape of folds and by the end of week 12, they will meet and fuse, remaining closed until the end of month 6.
  • The external genitalia are also well differentiated at the end of this stage.
  • The limbs continue to develop, and nails appear on the digits. The moving limbs can be visualised but the movements cannot be felt until a few weeks later. 

After week 16, the baby is less likely to be sensitive to the detrimental effects of teratogens as most of the organs would have developed. 

Your symptoms

Your pregnancy hormones will begin to rise by now. You may start to experience the unmistakable early symptoms of pregnancy such as morning sickness​, breast tenderness and fatigue. Your urine pregnancy test will definitely be positive by now.​

Second Trime​s​​ter​: Week 13 – 16

Baby development 

The baby continues to grow in size. The proportion of growth is such that the head is still considerably larger than the body. 

With the continued development of the genitalia, the gender may be discernable by the end of this stage. 

The limbs are now fully developed and can move vigorously at times. 

Your symptoms 

By now, the early symptoms would have lessened and your appetite starts to return. Your weight would also begin to increase gradually​. Your breasts will continue to enlarge and your nipples will darken. 

Your womb would have risen out of your pelvis by now and can be felt on palpation of your abdomen. The baby’s heart beat can also be obtained through a doptone machine placed on the womb.​ 

Second Trimester: Week 17 – 24

Baby development 

The baby continues to grow and mature. Hair on the head develops while fine hairs on the body (lanugo) appear. 

Your symptoms 

Your physical discomforts​ of the pregnancy will start to show. They may include the appearance of stretch marks, backaches and a sensation of shortness of breath and palpitations, owing to the enlarging womb. 

A screening scan should be performed at around 20–22 weeks to exclude any structural abnormalities. You may even begin to feel the baby’s movements —​ known as “quickening”.

Second Trimester: Week 25 – 28

Baby development 

The eyelids open and the eye lens can be seen. After 24 weeks, the baby is considered by many to be potentially viable. With modern advanced neonatal care, the baby delivered prematurely between 24–28 weeks of pregnancy has a fairly good chance of survival. By the end of 28 weeks, the baby should weigh about 1 kg. 

Your symptoms 

Your physical discomforts, as described above, will continue to worsen and varicose veins​ may also begin to appear on your legs. Sleeping at night may start to trouble you. It is important to find your own sleeping position​ to make yourself comfortable. Having a support for your tummy as you lie on your side to prevent any compression on your major blood vessels may be a good idea.

Third Trimester​: Week 29 – 34

Baby development 

The lanugo hairs on the body start to disappear and the skin becomes more pinkish. Fat beneath the skin accumulates and the fetus appears rounder. The fetal movements are more varied now and may alternate between a state of rest and active moving. Babies born after 34 weeks have a very good prognosis.

​Your symptoms 

Your tummy feels taut and you may begin to feel irregular painless tightenings over your womb. These are also known as “Braxton-Hicks” contractions and are usually insignificant if there is no associated show or leaking liquor. Your baby becomes considerably heavier and your backache and fatigue may increase. 

You may also be experiencing shortness of breath as the enlarging womb presses against your rib cage. At times, the sudden movements of the baby may be painful and the moving limbs may be felt from the surface of your tummy. Contrary to what most mothers think, your baby is actually still very comfortable in the womb despite the increase in size. 

Heartburn may increase due to the enlarging womb and reduction in gastric movements. The milk glands in your breasts have started to produce colostrum. This provides nutrition to the baby in the breast milk​. At this stage, your breasts may even leak colostrum.

​Third Trimester: Week 35 – 40 

Baby development 

By now, the baby has fully formed and the head is more proportionate when compared to the size of his body. The lanugo hairs would have completely disappeared and the skin smoothened out. As the expected due date approaches, the head will begin to descend into the pelvis — a phenomenon known as “engagement”. The baby’s weight continues to increase such that it usually weighs more than 2.5 kg at the time of delivery. 

Your symptoms 

With the increasing weight of your baby, the aches and pains from the ligament stretch in your pelvis will increase. The lower abdominal aches and urination from the pressure on the bladder can be troubling. From 37 weeks onwards, your baby is considered fully matured (full term) and labour contractions​ can begin at any time. However, in 10% of women, preterm labour may happen before 37 weeks. 

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