Your Prenatal Health

There has been a lot of debate over what a woman should and should not consume during pregnancy. Women who smoke and drink during pregnancy have the legal right to make these decisions for themselves.

But the truth about alcohol, tobacco, drugs and even your everyday diet is that what you take into your system directly affects your developing baby. Drinking and smoking will have effects on your fetus, whether you have the legal right to use these substances or not.

Why You Need Prenatal Care: An Interview with a Doctor

“It’s important to ensure the health of the baby and ensure the health of the mother—that’s the bottom line,” Dr. Mineer says.

Without prenatal care, pregnant women may experience poor nutrition, excessive weight gain and gestational diabetes. Mineer says that women who are unaware of gestational diabetes and keep eating lots of sugar have excessively big babies and a much higher risk of a stillbirth. These are all good reasons to get prenatal care.

Your Baby’s Development Calendar

It is amazing how fast the little cells start to divide when a sperm fertilizes an egg. It is like watching a miracle in progress. Knowing what is going on inside your growing belly is one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy. Below you will learn how your baby develops during its nine months inside you.

As soon as a sperm fertilizes the egg that your body sent down one of your fallopian tubes, cellular development begins. This new cluster of cells, smaller than a grain of salt, is called an embryo and has inherited 46 chromosomes—half from you and half from the birth father.

Your Body Changes Too!

Normal pregnancies last nine months and are divided into three time periods called trimesters. During each trimester your body will go through a set of changes brought on by your pregnancy.

During your first trimester, your breasts will grow and may feel sore. You will urinate often because your uterus is growing and putting pressure on your bladder. You may feel more tired than usual. And some women experience nausea referred to as “morning sickness.”