You’re Pregnant! Now What?

You’re pregnant! After you calm down a bit, what are the first five things you’ll want to do?

You’ll definitely want to calculate baby’s due date. Perinatology.com has a calculator that lets you figure out the due date based on individual factors that may apply to you, such as:

first day of last period

date and age of embryo transfer

date of insemination

date of ovulation

The calculator not only tells you the due date, it also tells you a lot of other info you didn’t know you wanted, including when you’ll be able to hear baby’s heartbeat, the best timeframe for an ultrasound, or when to get screened for GBS colonization. And that’s the short list.

Take pictures and start documenting your pregnancy as soon as you get the news. Years from now, you’ll get to relive these days, and the memories will be sweet. And what a nice thing to share with “baby” when he or she finds out your grandchild is on the way.

Find a healthcare provider to go through this journey with you. Choose someone you trust and with whom you feel comfortable. You will be sharing your joy and your fears with this person, so interview until you know you’re in the right office.

Your bank account is going to get a dent in it, so start planning on how to pay for the pregnancy. WhatToExpect.com lays it out for you—most of the financial pain will be absorbed by health insurance, but not all of it. Plus, you have a say in what the hospital or healthcare provider wants to do. Ask questions and make decisions based on what’s best for your pregnancy.

Start dreaming and have fun. Choosing and discarding baby names is a fun part of pregnancy. Looking at houses or bigger apartments may be part of the dream—it might not happen right away, but someday, for sure! Imagine what he or she will look like, and all the things you want to do with your child during the different ages of his or her life. Shop for little outfits after work, and in the evenings, find space for a nursery and make it cozy.

Enjoy every moment that comes with being pregnant!

Morning Sickness To The Extreme

Morning sickness can occur at any time of day. Some believe that the motion of getting out of bed in the morning triggers the feeling of nausea, which may indicate where the time-of-day reference  its name

You may or may not vomit when you have regular morning sickness, but you will feel nauseated.

Regular morning sickness usually ends as you get into your second trimester.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is severe morning sickness. It also begins in the first trimester and can end in the second trimester, or it may go on for most of the pregnancy.

The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, suffered from this severe form of morning sickness during both of her pregnancies.

It’s important to know if you’re experiencing regular morning sickness or HG. You’ll want to talk to your healthcare provider about the difference, and take steps to care for yourself if you are suffering from this more serious form of morning sickness.

Signs of HG that you might notice can include:

Severe vomiting, possibly of blood

Difficulty keeping liquids down

Dizziness and possibly fainting

Headache

Body odor

Extreme tiredness

Racing heartbeat

Less urine output, and it may be darker than normal in color

Unusual and rapid weight loss

Constipation

Thirst due to dehydration from vomiting

Your provider will run tests to confirm HG, and there are lots of treatment steps available. The important thing is to talk to your provider about any issue that troubles you during pregnancy.

The earlier this problem is identified, the easier it is to take care of it.

Dad-To-Be

If there’s one person who gets ignored during a pregnancy, it’s the dad-to-be. Grandmas and grandpas get attention from their friends, baby’s siblings get extra attention from everyone, and of course the mom-to-be gets a spotlight.

Dad, it’s up to you to participate in the events and discussions during pregnancy, and to help your pregnant partner with, well, everything.

If you do this, you will become part of the pregnancy and experience the excitement that burbles along under daily life for the 40 weeks of pregnancy.

Your partner will feel tired even when she looks like she’s as healthy as ever. Rewrite the chore chart, either mentally or literally, if you keep such a chart. Move some of her chores to your side of the to-do list.

Finish one-off tasks, such as building a deck or moving to a different home. Take advantage of the free time you have during pregnancy, because there won’t be as much of it after baby comes.

Plan shopping trips for nursery items, and go with your partner to pick out the big and little bits that go into a functional baby space.

Go with her to the prenatal visits. It’s a time to share in the pleasure of seeing baby develop and to support one another when need be.

Research the options for birth, and talk about them with your partner. Once a choice is made, find out all you can and help to choose the place.

Help your partner pack a bag for the hospital, or wherever she’s giving birth, and pack one for yourself. Most dads forget that part. They get pretty ripe after 48 hours of sweating through birth and helping to care for a brand new human.

Your partner will notice all of the ways you help, and will hold a deep and abiding appreciation for everything you’re doing.

When it comes time to deliver, be in the room and help her to get through it. Be an equal caretaker of the baby from the moment of birth, and your family will be a tight and loving unit.

Best of all, instead of being in your own orbit for 40 weeks, you’ll be right there in the middle of the pregnancy. You’ll be the go-to guy, and no one will forget that.

Pregnancy FAQ

You know those questions that pop into your mind when you find out you’re pregnant? They’re usually random, and of varying importance, but they wake you up in the early hours, demanding answers.

We chose five out of the hundreds of questions, and set out to find the answers you seek. After an exhaustive search, we’re prepared to share what we’ve learned.

(Note: We bring you the wisdom of others. Check with your physician before making any decisions based on this or any other information you find on the Web. Always a smart precaution!)

Q: Can I stay a redhead during pregnancy?

A: Yes, you can. Color your hair, or even get a permanent if you like.

Q: Can I eat my mother-in-law’s swordfish at our weekly dinner?

A: Sorry, but that’s a no-go. Certain fish have a lot of mercury, and that’s not good for the development of the fetus. A weekly serving of shrimp or snapper should be fine.

Q: I love my coffee. I can’t give up the caffeine.

A: That’s not in the form of a question, but we feel your pain. Many studies point to the possibility of a miscarriage if too much caffeine is consumed, particularly early in the pregnancy. Best not to guzzle the caffeine if you’re trying to get pregnant or find out you are pregnant. Check with your healthcare provider to determine if you can have caffeine, and if so, how much each day.

Q: How can I avoid stretch marks?

A: Wait, we’re wiping tears of laughter from our eyes. OK, sorry, but the bad news is none of us can avoid stretch marks. Good news is, they generally fade after a few months. Keep hydrated, exercise, rub the tummy with the right concoctions to keep the skin supple, and eat foods that are good for the skin—that’s about all we can do to battle the stretch marks of pregnancy.

 

Q: Monday margaritas with the peeps?

A: No. Just no.

What Is Morning Sickness?

You’re pregnant (yay!) and preparing for the next 40 weeks—what’s first?

Maybe call the family, let them know the good news. Walk around each day on a little cloud thinking about names, and about the future astronaut or singer or writer growing inside you.

After a week or so, the cloud and happiness are still there, but reality gets added to the mix, so you start to plan. You walk around the house, mentally rearranging furniture and people. Clothing is inspected and rated on stretchiness. A healthier diet is a must, but a compromise is reached—you’re keeping the double cheeseburgers and ditching the pepperoni.

Now comes the part that no one plans for but almost everyone experiences: morning sickness.

Morning sickness is the phrase used to describe the nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, or the NVP. It’s also called nausea gravidarum. If it’s really bad, it’s called hyperemesis gravidarum. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, suffered from this severe form of morning sickness during both of her pregnancies.

Scientists aren’t certain why women have morning sickness when pregnant, but they think it has to do with the hormone levels changing during pregnancy.

The mechanics of the nausea and vomiting have to do with the vagus nerve, also called the wandering nerve. It’s a long nerve that’s actually two stems dangling from the cerebellum and the brainstem and running all the way to the abdomen. It has offshoots and tendrils that wander around our organs and end up in the oddest places.

The vagus nerve is always talking to the brain, telling it what’s going on with the body. When you get into the NVP loop (nausea and vomiting during pregnancy) it’s the vagus nerve sending signals to the vomiting center of the brain. The brain says OK, and before you know it, you’re vomiting.

There are lots of things to try when dealing with morning sickness. For instance, avoid foods that trigger the NVP response and gets lots of fresh air. Certain smells may make you turn green, so try to avoid those. Some say ginger, as in ginger tea or cookies or biscuits may help.

As your partner in the fight against morning sickness, we’ve developed ReliefBand™, which is worn on the wrist, and through regulated stimulation of certain nerves, blocks those signals from the vagus nerve to the vomiting center of the brain.

The ReliefBand™ is cleared by the FDA as an over-the-counter product to be used for the relief of mild to moderate nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy.