Pregnancy Week by Week
Health Topics Pregnancy, Newborn & Child

Pregnancy from Conception to Childbirth

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

How conception takes place

Conception happens when the sperm travels through the cervix to the uterus and moves into the fallopian tubes. Here the sperm survives for two to three days, after being ejaculated, to fertilize an egg after ovulation in the mother. The process of ovulation is when the egg is released from the ovary and is transported into the fallopian tubes. The egg remains ripe and ready for fertilization for about 24 hours after its release in the fallopian tube. The egg is fertilized by the sperm in the part of the fallopian tube which is the widest and closest to the uterus. The membrane which surrounds the ovum which is called the zona pellucida exhibits receptors for the sperm which hastens the process of fertilization. This outer membrane protects the ovum and is a shield which prevents any other sperm from penetrating it. Now the fertilized egg is called an embryo. Conception is considered successful only after cell division takes place and the egg is implanted.

Early symptoms of Pregnancy

The first symptom which shows that the woman has conceived is missing a period. However, there may be sensations like low back pain and discomfort which will be very like the ones you had when you are getting your monthly period. There will be heart burn, nausea, a feeling of tiredness, constipation and more frequent urination too. The breasts become tender and sore and you may not have the same feeling of well being which you normally do. There will be aversion to certain foods and cravings for others.

Precautions and care during pregnancy

Initially a pregnancy test should be done to confirm the pregnancy. Once this is found to be positive the mother to be has to take special care of her own health in order to give her baby a healthy start too. The first time that the mother to be should go to and obstetrician is when her first period has been over due for two to four weeks. The doctor will do an internal examination and confirm the pregnancy and the period of pregnancy too. The possible date of delivery will also be determined now.

If the mother was on any medications before she became pregnant she will have to reconfirm with her doctor whether she can continue with them or not. Depending on the state of the mother’s health and in case there are any complications, the doctor will advise her on the kind of activities which she can safely undertake and how much of it too. Moderate exercise is advisable to prevent too much of weight gain and yoga helps in relieving the stress of labor.
The blood pressure, weight and growth of the baby will be monitored regularly. The doctor will listen to the fetal heartbeat and ask the mother to have the regular prenatal tests like urine, blood, cervical examination and finally the ultrasound.

Eating healthy is very important for the baby’s growth and for the mother to have her own strength intact. The mother may require extra calories but this should come from healthy sources and not junk food. A lot of fruits and vegetables, lean meat, low fat milk and milk products and whole grain cereals should be consumed. Some prenatal vitamins and calcium may be provided by your doctor.

Excess gaining of weight should be avoided without cutting down on nutritional foods. A good amount of rest and sleep is required and the mother should not over exert or tire herself out. Alcohol, cigarettes and drugs should be avoided completely during pregnancy.

To avoid constipation a lot of water should be consumed and whole grain products should be eaten. However, avoid flax seed oil as this like soy can affect the hormone levels in the body which are actually required for women going through menopause and not for pregnant women.

The main thing for the mother to be is to avoid stress and to remain happy as this will also help in the unborn child’s welfare and keep the mother healthy too.

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Pregnancy Week by Week

Pregnancy from Conception to Childbirth
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