Read these 19 Pregnancy Planning Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Pregnancy tips and hundreds of other topics.
In order to get the most accurate reading when taking a basil body temperature as an ovulation predictor, most women prefer using a basil thermometer instead of a regular digital or mercury filled thermometer. Basil thermometers typically can measure to the 1/100th of a degree. Many of these thermometers also have memory storage, making it easier for you to compare other temperatures. Other features include beeping at peak temperatures and an ovulation chart for you to monitor your temperatures on a daily basis. Once you've established a pattern in your morning basil temperature, you'll need to look for the slightest elevation as an indication of ovulation.
Some women experience morning sickness as a sign or symptom of pregnancy, while others don't. Morning sickness, however, doesn't just typically occur in the morning. In fact, when you are in the early months of your pregnancy, you may experience nausea throughout the day. Elevated hormone levels are most likely the cause of this nausea, and while you can't completely rid yourself of the sick feeling, there are some steps you can take to relieve it somewhat.
* Eat small, frequent meals instead of larger ones.
* Steer of spicy foods for a few days to see if that might help.
* Try to keep something in your stomach at all times, even if it is only a piece of toast.
* Keep some crackers by your bedside, and eat these before you get up in the morning.
* Try to rest when you feel especially queasy.
Can you believe that one of the common complaints among pregnant women is clumsiness? Why is this considered a pregnancy symptom, and what is its solution? Obviously, one of the main reasons for your clumsiness is your body's unbalanced state. As your belly grows, your body is thrown even more off-balance. Other reasons for your clumsiness include the loosening of your joints, retention of water, and a change in your center of gravity. What is the solution to this problem?
* Use extra caution as you move about, and rely on handholds, etc. in precarious places, such as the tub or shower.
* Avoid slippery area rugs, and use caution going up and down stairways.
* Wear good shoes and socks that are non-slip.
* Let others lift heavy objects.
Many women use their basil body temperature as an ovulation predictor. A basil body temperature is the lowest, normal body temperature that is taken as soon as a woman awakens in the morning. It is necessary to keep a chart beside your bed, and monitor your temperatures on a daily basis.
* You'll need to take your temperature before you get out of bed for the most accurate results.
* Avoid eating, drinking, smoking, and even talking for the best reading.
* Take your temperature at the same time every day.
When your temperature raises slightly, ovulation is probably indicated.
As you begin to plan for your pregnancy, you'll want to do everything you can to create a healthy environment for your baby and a healthy pregnancy for you. There are, however, several pregnancy planning precautions that you should keep in mind. Since you may not know that you have actually conceived for several weeks, you'll need to begin practicing these precautions as soon as you begin planning your pregnancy.
* Avoid alcohol.
* Avoid smoking, even second-hand smoke.
* Don't use drugs. If you are on any prescribed medication, consult your doctor.
* Don't eat uncooked or undercooked meats.
* Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating.
* Do not handle cat litter, which can carry toxoplasmosis, an infection that can cause birth defects.
* Do not handle toxic chemicals, including those often found in paint thinners, cleaners, and other household products.
* Do not refinish old furniture or remove old paint that could contain high levels of lead.
* Stay away from saunas and hot tubs.
* Let medical providers know that you might be pregnant before any x-rays are performed.
Braxton-Hicks contractions are just one of the many symptoms of pregnancy that you'll probably experience. Most of these contractions don't begin until sometime after week 20 of a pregnancy, and some women don't even notice them until they are much closer to their delivery date. What are they? Braxton-Hicks are practice contractions that are simply readying your body for the real thing in the future. Your hormones are actually signaling your body to begin the slow process of childbirth. What differentiates Braxton-Hicks contractions from the real thing involves several factors.
* They are usually painless.
* They only last for about 15 to 30 seconds long.
* They are in the front of your belly, causing the top of your uterus to get very hard.
Often, you can simply change positions to stop them, or you can practice breathing techniques while they are occurring.
If you suspect that you are pregnant, you probably want to know the answer as soon as possible. There are several symptoms that are associated with pregnancy, and some women experience almost all of these, while others may only have one or two. These symptoms include the following:
* Nausea-Hormonal changes can cause morning sickness.
* Frequent Urination-This is typically caused by hormonal changes and pressure of the bladder on the uterus.
* Missed Period-Once you've missed your period, you may be able to take a pregnancy test.
* Tender Breasts-Your body is preparing itself for your baby.
* Fatigue-You may need to take a nap every afternoon.
* Sensitivity to odors
Pregnancy planning and conception can be tricky at best. Some women become pregnant the first month of trying, while others may try for several months or even years. Is there a secret to planning conception? No, there isn't a secret, but there are some steps you can take to aid the conception of your baby along.
* You are the most fertile just before and just after ovulation, and these will be the times you need to focus upon when trying to concieve. An unfertilized egg can only live for 12 to 24 hours, thus making the window of conception very small.
* To figure out when you are going to ovulate, you can buy an ovulation predictor kit.
* You can also determine when you will ovulate by monitoring your basil body temperature.
As you begin planning for pregnancy, there are several lifestyle changes that you may need to consider before you begin trying to conceive. It is important for both you and your baby that you are as healthy as possible. For general good health, keep the following points in mind.
* Eat healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products.
* Avoid alcohol, medications (consult your doctor about prescribed meds), and smoking, including second-hand smoke.
* Exercise routinely, but talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen.
* Limit your caffeine intake, or eliminate it altogether if possible.
Pregnant women experience a variety of symptoms as their bodies change throughout their pregnancy. Some of these pregnancy symptoms and solutions are as follows:
* Itchy Abs-Your tummy is growing by leaps and bounds, and your skin will be stretched to its limit by the end of your pregnancy. Relieve the itchiness by using lots of moisturizing lotion throughout the day.
* Backache-As your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you, your body's equilibrium is thrown off balance, wreaking havoc on your back muscles. Try to maintain good posture, and rest frequently throughout your pregnancy. You may want to buy a pregnancy belt that helps support your large belly and provides a little relief to your back.
* Breast tenderness-While you can't lessen the soreness of your breasts, you can make them more comfortable by investing in a good, supportive bra. You might want to wear a soft, sports bra to bed at night for additional support.
* Varicose veins-You are pumping lots of extra blood now to support both your body and your baby's. The extra pressure of this blood can be the cause of varicose veins. Try to get off of your feet as much as possible. Don't sit with your legs crossed. Wear clothes that fit well, and use pregnancy support hose.
Determining the due date of your baby isn't an exact process. In fact, there are actually a small precentage of babies who are actually born on their due dates. Most obstetrician's offices have due date predictor charts and calculators to help you figure out the approximate date that you can expect your baby. The normal range of birth can fall anywhere from 38 to 42 weeks, however, making the calculation of a due date difficult to hit exactly. Most due date calculators take the first day of a woman's last period and add nine months and one week to determine the due date.
There are several issues that surround the problems of conception and infertility. Many of these are gender based. For the man, issues include the following:
* Environmental hazards-exposure to chemicals, metals, etc.
* Illicit drug use
* High or low hormone levels
* Extreme physical activity
* Physical problems
Feritility and conception issues for females include the following:
* Pelvic inflammatory disease
* Exposure to diethyslstibestrol (DES)
* Irregular shaped womb
* Uterine polyps and fibroids
* Alcohol use
* Illicit drug use
* Physical problems
* Hormone abnormalities
Hemorrhoids are an uncomfortable symptom of pregnancy that up to 50 percent of all pregnant women experience. They are veins in the rectum that have become enlarged because of increased blood flow. Because constipation is another common symptom of pregnancy, it can aggravate those veins, causing them to swell and bulge. Hemorrhoids can bleed during difficult bowel movements, and they can also become itchy at times. The best solution is to first, try to prevent them by drinking lots of water and eating a high fiber diet. You should also avoid standing for long periods of time. Try not to strain during bowel movements, either. Once you have hemorrhoids, the best solution is to use ice packs and warm baths to soothe your discomfort. You can also ask your doctor for medication recommendations.
Edema is a common symptom of pregnancy. It is essentially the swelling of hands, feet, and ankles. It is typically caused by excess fluid in the body during pregnancy and of course the force of gravity. Most cases of edema are perfectly normal and harmless.
* The best solution for this pregnancy symptom is to avoid being on your feet for long periods of time, and keep your feet elevated when you are sitting down.
* You should also wear comfortable, low heel or no heel shoes or cozy slippers.
* Don't wear elastic top or tight socks or stockings.
* Do try pregnancy support hose.
* Drink lots of water, also.
If your face becomes puffy or you notice excessive swelling, contact your doctor.
Pregnancy does involve some guesswork, especially when it comes to conception and due dates. Here are some common myths about pregnancy and conception that you can stear away from:
* A full moon can induce labor-This is just coincidence on occasion and not fact based.
* Eating spicy foods, having sex, and riding over railroad tracks can induce labor.
* Stretch marks are inevitable.
* Carrying a baby high means she is a girl; and low means he is a boy-The size, stature, and physique determine how a woman carries a child, not the gender.
There are over 2.1 million married couples in the U.S. who deal with infertility issues. Other women have sought fertility treatments, even though they might not have been labeled infertile. With so many women waiting until their 30's and 40's to begin their families, infertility is becoming a more prevalent issue. In about one third of infertile cases, the cause is unknown. The other two-thirds are typically split between male and female problems. If you are having problems with conception, contact your ob-gyn. He or she may want to refer you to a fertility specialist for further testing.
If you suspect that you might be pregnant, there are several pregnancy signs to look for. Keep in mind, however, that you may not experience all or even any of these signs. Common signs of pregnancy include the following:
* Nausea-Morning sickness often doesn't appear until you've already confirmed that you are pregnant, but it can appear earlier.
* Frequent Urination-Hormonal changes and pressure from your expanding uterus can cause you to urinate more frequently.
* Tender Breasts-As your body changes, your breasts will become swollen and tender in the preparation for one day producing milk.
* Tiredness-You may discover you are overly tired. Your body is working overtime to help your baby grow. No wonder you are so tired!
* Spotting-Sometimes as the egg implants itself into the uterus, spotting can occur.
When it comes to predicting ovulation, women use several methods. Some of the most common methods include the following:
* Cycle days-For women who have a regular menstrual cycle of 28 to 30 days, begin counting on the first day of your period. You should ovulate sometime between day 11 and day 14.
* Ovulation cramps-Some women can actual feel ovulation. Mild cramping is a symptom that can last for a few minutes to a few hours.
* Cervical mucus-If you monitor the discharge of mucus, you can often get an idea of ovulation. Your mucus will become stretchy and clear, much like a raw egg white.
Considering the fact that an unfertilized egg will only live for 12 to 24 hours in a woman' body, the actual act of conception can be viewed as a miracle! Just how does conception occur? Fertilization usually happens in the widest area of the fallopian tube. Once the egg has been penetrated by the sperm, it becomes an ovum. After this, cell division and implantation of the ovum must take place for true conception to occur. Implantation typically occurs a few days after fertiliztion. It is now time for the ovum to develop into an embryo.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|