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Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the process of growth and development in the uterus from the time of fertilization of an egg by a sperm until delivery. Pregnancy lasts an average of nine (9) months and is divided into three 3-month periods. These periods are called:

  • First Trimester: weeks 1 through 12
  • Second Trimester: weeks 13 through 24
  • Third Trimester: weeks 25 through delivery

Ideally, a woman should see a doctor before becoming pregnant for a complete health assessment. This procedure should include screening for various possible diseases including HIV and AIDS. The doctor should also discuss with her the serious dangers to the fetus of using tobacco, alcohol, and other addicting substances during pregnancy. The fetus is the developing child in the mother’s uterus. During pregnancy, the mother to be can expect discomforts such as the following:

  • nausea and vomiting (morning sickness)
  • abdominal cramps
  • fatigue (excess tiredness)
  • constipation (especially in the third trimester)
  • heartburn
  • frequent urination
  • backache
  • swelling of feet or ankles
  • breathing difficulties (in third trimester)
  • stretch marks on the abdomen or breasts
  • varicose veins in the legs
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