Archive for April, 2011
Pregnancy test calculators, or home pregnancy tests as they are often called are a relatively cheap over the counter item which can be used to test if a woman is pregnant. Most of these tests involve measuring the levels of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) which is present in a women’s blood and urine. Testing the blood or urine for the presence of hCG and determining if a woman is in fact pregnant can be done from conception as the body starts to produce hCG at an early stage of pregnancy, just a few days after conception and even before the egg has implanted in the uterus. Testing of hCG levels is also very accurate as the level in a normal pregnancy will double approximately every 3 days.
Using a home pregnancy test usually involves testing the levels of hormone in a woman’s urine. This is much easier to do than drawing blood and testing it and the urine tests are generally very reliable if the directions on the box are followed. To increase the reliability of a pregnancy test it is advised that you do the test first thing in the morning as the amount of hormone is slightly higher in your urine than at any other part of the day.
As with many tests conducted at home it is essential that the instructions are followed precisely to avoid recording an incorrect result. Many manufacturers advise that the test should be done more than once to be sure that the result is correct. Waiting a day or two before retesting can give you a much better idea of whether or not you are pregnant as the hormone will gradually increase each day if you are in fact pregnant. Different brands of pregnancy tests can also yield different results, as with most things that are mass produced and marketed, some pregnancy calculators are more accurate than others.
Once you have tested your urine for hCG using a pregnancy test calculator, if you get a positive result it is advised that you see your doctor who will conduct a more sensitive test to determine if the positive result is correct. Taking a blood sample and testing for the hormone is generally the way a doctor will determine if you are pregnant. This is test is extremely accurate and the doctor may also conduct a pelvic exam as well. A visit to the doctor is also a good idea for both your health and also the health of the baby.
Many mums, especially those who are pregnant for the first time choose to use a pregnancy planner to record information before and during their pregnancy. Pregnancy planners are great for tracking different stages of a pregnancy and also determining what changes are happening to the baby at any given time during the pregnancy. Using a pregnancy planner can also help prepare a mum to be for the changes that her body will go through as she moves through the stages of the pregnancy.
Many women use a pregnancy planner for anticipating different stages of the pregnancy, tracking the baby’s growth and also as a way of checking that everything is going all right through the different stages of the pregnancy. Online pregnancy planner software has also become very popular as mums can send and receive information regarding their pregnancy and any questions they may have.
Most pregnancy planners consist of several common features. The most important feature is the actual calendar months set out in such a way that there is room to add information. Many planners are set out with a week to a page as this allows room for information as well as comments to be added. The next important feature of a pregnancy planner is the due date. It is important to work out and mark in the due date that the doctor gives you as this gives the planner a focus point at which to aim. Pregnancy planners also feature daily tips and suggestions in relation to the pregnancy. These tips may include things to motivate you, exercise tips, healthy eating suggestions and even ways to relax. The tips and suggestions may also correspond to different stages of the pregnancy for example as your belly gets larger towards the end of the pregnancy exercise suggestions would change to accommodate your larger size.
There are many great benefits to using a pregnancy planner regardless of whether this your first child or your tenth child. One important benefit is that mums to be will have knowledge about what is happening to their bodies and also the child’s throughout the pregnancy. This is great knowledge to have as you can better manage the changes when they happen. Another benefit of a good pregnancy planner is that recorded information can be given to a doctor if any abnormalities occur during the pregnancy. Accurate records on a planner can be an invaluable tool for your GP.
Doctors have long been steady advocates of exercise during pregnancy, following years of research that have proven its benefits on heart development. New studies show that staying active ensures more than that: it also lowers a baby’s heart rate in the final weeks of pregnancy and the first few weeks after childbirth, a sign of good cardiac health.
In a study conducted by Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB), exercise physiologist Linda May and her team found that the fetuses of pregnant women who did at least 30 minutes of exercise three times a week had better heart rates than those who exercised less. The improvements lasted from the last stages of pregnancy throughout the child’s first month of life.
The study tracked 61 pregnant women, whose infant and maternal-fetal heart functions were taken four times at regular intervals. The women were engaged in different fitness activities, including running, power walking, yoga, and weight lifting.
Regular aerobic exercise has long been shown to improve bodily systems that control heart function in babies, according to May. Better heart control function points not just to a healthy cardiovascular system, but to good health overall, she added.
May, who has spent the last four years conducting studies on fetal heart development, says she hopes the findings will encourage women to take steps early in the pregnancy to ensure a healthy child. She says that a most studies and awareness programs focus on the health of school-age children today, although data shows that this can be influenced long before the kids are born.
The study was funded jointly by KCUMB and the University of Kansas Medical Center’s Hoglund Brain Imaging Center. The results appeared in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) journal this month.
Even obese women, who are normally advised to delay any weight-loss attempts to avoid hurting the baby, can safely remain active during the pregnancy. This was shown in a separate study at Saint Louis University, led by Department of Obstetrics chair Dr. Raul Artal. Dr. Artal’s findings show that weight loss during pregnancy isn’t necessarily harmful, and can in fact improve both the mother’s and baby’s health.
Here’s another incentive for women who aren’t inclined to get up and go: a more hassle-free pregnancy and easier labor. Both studies (and several others) show that expectant moms who exercise regularly experience less discomfort throughout the pregnancy and tend to have easier childbirth, with a lower risk of requiring a Caesarian section.