Archive for March, 2011

Using a Pregnancy Calendar

Pregnancy calendars are a great way for mums to follow the development of their baby from conception to birth.  Pregnancy calendars are also a good reference for information that can help guide mums, especially first time mums through their pregnancy.  Many calendars include information on what to expect at different stages of the pregnancy, information on diet, exercise suggestions and also tips on dealing with symptoms that arise during pregnancy.  There is a huge range of pregnancy calendars available and the following is some details on how to use one.

The first step is to choose what type of pregnancy calendar you are going to use.  There are many different types available such as desk calendars, wall calendars and online calendars which display important information and details about a women’s pregnancy as it progresses.  All of these calendar types include space to record notes and important information which you can keep and share with the child when they are older.  Many mums to be choose to use online pregnancy calendars as they are interactive and can be updated and shared with friends via email.

A pregnancy calendar is a good place to record your due date.  After a visit to the doctor you will usually have a good idea of when your due is.  Determining your due date can be quite accurate especially when an ultrasound is used to determine how far along your pregnancy is.

After an ultrasound has determined a due date and it is possible to then work out what stage your pregnancy is and record this on the pregnancy calendar.  Information such as the development rate of the foetus, an approximate size and what parts of the baby are developing at each stage of the pregnancy are also recorded on the pregnancy calendar for easy reference.

Using a pregnancy calendar is also a good reference for mums to determine if there are any problems or abnormalities during the pregnancy.  No two pregnancies are the same however there are many symptoms and experiences that are felt by almost all pregnant women.  Information marked on a calendar can provide valuable details to your doctor in the event that something is not quite right during a pregnancy.  Information recorded on an online pregnancy calendar can easily be emailed to your doctor for easy reference and the more detail recorded on a calendar can assist with determining what if anything is not right.

Pregnancy Cramps – When Should You Worry

Pain or cramps in the abdominal area during pregnancy are very common with many women experiencing cramps at some stage during their pregnancy.  Generally cramps that occur with no other symptoms are not serious and maybe eased by moving to another position.  When a women is pregnant especially in the last couple of months of the pregnancy the baby puts a fair amount of pressure on muscles, ligaments, tendons and internal organs so it is no surprise that pain around the abdominal area is a common thing.

Intense pregnancy cramps that occur with other symptoms such as spotting, bleeding, tenderness, a lot of pain or vaginal discharge can be caused by more serious problems and if you suffer any of these it is advised that you see your doctor.  It is also recommended that you see your doctor if the cramps are frequent or they don’t subside after a few minutes.

Some of the more serious problems that cause pregnancy cramps include things such as an ectopic pregnancy, signs of an early miscarriage, signs of a late miscarriage and also premature labour.  An ectopic pregnancy is quite serious and occurs when a fertilized egg has been implanted outside the uterus usually in the fallopian tubes.  Tenderness and cramping that starts on one side of the abdomen and then spreads across the whole abdomen can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy which can be life threatening if left untreated.  Early and late miscarriage can also cause cramps associated with bleeding and also lower abdomen pain.  In the event of a miscarriage it is advised that you call your doctor and head to the nearest emergency hospital.  Pregnancy cramps when experienced with an increase in vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pressure, backache and regular contractions may indicate premature labour.  This can occur anytime between 20 and 36 weeks and can be brought on by things such as illness or stress.

If your pregnancy cramps are not caused by a serious underlying problem then there are a few things that you can do to alleviate the problem at home.  Throughout the pregnancy you may experience cramps from stretched ligaments which can be treated by lying down with your feet up, cramps from being in the one position for too long and pre-labour cramps in the last few weeks of pregnancy.  These cramps are all part of the pregnancy and if they occur without other symptoms then it is best to relax and manage the discomfort in a way that works for you.

How to calculate Ovulation

Understanding your menstrual cycle and being able to calculate ovulation is key for women who are trying to conceive.  Ovulation is the time that a mature egg is released from the follicle of an ovary and is the most fertile time during a women’s menstrual cycle.  Once the egg has been released from the follicle it has an approximate life span of about 24 hours.  This part of women’s menstrual cycle is the time when conception is most likely to occur.  For couples who are trying for a baby, calculating when ovulation will occur gives the female a better chance at conception.

Generally, ovulation takes place around the 14 day mark after the beginning of a women’s menstrual cycle.  Mostly women do not feel or notice this part of the menstrual cycle but it can cause some pain in the abdominal area which can last for a few seconds to an hour.  There are several different methods for predicting and calculating ovulation which include Basal Body Temperature, the Cervical Mucus Method, keeping an Ovulation Calender and also using an Ovulation Predictor Kit.

The Basal Body Temperature method is quite easy and requires an accurate measurement of body temperature each day at the same time.  An increase of progesterone in the system causes a small thermal change in the body.  The raise in temperature will occur at the start of ovulation as the body creates a warm and fertile environment for the fertilised egg.

Another common method used to calculate ovulation is the Cervical Mucus Method.  This looks in detail at the changes in consistency and the amount of cervical mucus that is present.  Increases and decreases of mucus mirror the fertility patterns.  Cervical mucus will increase and become clear just prior to ovulation and this is an indication of fertility.

Calculating Ovulation can also be done using a calendar.  This method works by charting your fertility and being able to recognise the various cycles and menstrual periods.  If you are going to use this method it is important to have an understanding of menstrual cycles and that you don’t forget to mark things down on the calendar.

It is also possible to buy ovulation tests or predictor kits which can accurately predict when a women is at her most fertile.  These kits can be very accurate and generally work by detecting the amount of LH (Luteinizing Hormone) in the system.  There is a surge in LH during ovulation.