Thursday, December 29, 2011

The First Few Months of Your Pregnancy-Handling Changes in Your Emotions

There are a lot of changes happening within your body during the first few months of your pregnancy. You may feel as if your emotions are on a roller coaster ride! This is perfectly normal. Some of your feelings may include:
  • Joy and happiness
  • Unstable, PMS – like symptoms
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Irrationality
  • Weeping
  • You may feel scared, alone or angry.
During these first few months of your pregnancy, it is important to be gentle with yourself. If you need to talk to someone, Pregnancy Help Online is just a phone call away at 1-800-923-6784.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Am I Pregnant? Early Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

"Am I pregnant?" This is one of the most common questions asked by women. Of course, some ask it with expectant hope while some with fearful anxiety. But it is a question asked by many women, those who are trying to get pregnant and those trying to avoid it.

There are many common signs of pregnancy. The most obvious sign is a missed or delayed menstrual period. This is a general symptom in the first trimester and is usually the first indication to a woman that something different is happening within her body. However, there are instances where pregnant women experience some bleeding and spotting around the time of expected period, which is usually 6 to 12 days after conception takes place. But this bleeding is not as heavy as a regular menstrual period. A woman may experience "implantation bleeding", which happens when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall.

It is recommended to take a home pregnancy test if you have missed your period. These tests are very reliable and usually will accurately indicate if you are pregnant or not.

Other common symptoms of pregnancy include:
  • Swollen or tender breasts are an early symptom that can be seen after one or two weeks of conception. Many women may notice that their breasts have become tender to the touch or experience a tingling sensation in their breasts. 
  • Unusual fatigue or tiredness may begin within the first week of conception 
  • You may be surprised to know that nausea or morning sickness may show up as early as about 2 to 8 weeks after conception 
  • Lower backaches are another early symptom of pregnancy 
  • Frequent urination occurs after 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy and is a very common symptom of pregnancy
  • Darkening of the skin around the nipples is a common pregnancy sign 
  • Food cravings for certain kinds of food indicate a presence of pregnancy and can last throughout the pregnancy 
Many women want to know when they can hear the baby's heart beat. The baby's heart can begin to pump blood different from that of the mother as early as 21 days after conception, which could be just a few days after the woman's missed period!

Of course, all these pregnancy symptoms cannot confirm a pregnancy. There is no online pregnancy test, nor is there any way to accurately diagnose a pregnancy from symptoms alone. Many women experience all these symptoms and end up not being pregnant while many others have no symptoms at all, only to find out that they are indeed expecting a baby!

19-year-old Jackie had been having sex with her boyfriend and they had been using a condom. One day, she realized her period was late and, upon checking a calendar, realized it was about two weeks overdue. “Surely it will come,” she thought, and continued about her day. But thoughts of a possible pregnancy kept creeping in. “Is my stomach a little bigger? Did I feel nauseous last week because of morning sickness or a little bug? If I’m hungry for a hamburger is that a craving?”

By the end of the day, her mind was spinning out of control with panicked thoughts about pregnancy. How would she tell her parents? Her boyfriend? What would she do with a baby? Would she have to quit college? What about adoption? What was she going to do?

She scoured the internet for a way to find out for sure if she was pregnant. She had considered buying a test but was too embarrassed. And besides, she was a little nervous to find out for sure. She’d have to make a lot of decisions. Wait, was that the baby moving?

After reading all the signs and symptoms, she was convinced that she must be pregnant. She was overwhelmed with all the things she would have to do, the decisions she would have to make, and the conversations she would have to have. She felt like her life was over, like she was too young to have to make these decisions.

She stopped by a pregnancy center offering free pregnancy testing the next day, wanting to see what help was available to her. The first thing they did was to offer a pregnancy test. Imagine her surprise when she learned it was negative, that she wasn’t pregnant!

Our bodies and minds can play tricks on us when we are worried about a life-changing event like pregnancy. And we shouldn’t make choices, like emergency contraception that can eliminate a pregnancy before we know if we are even pregnant, that can have lifelong ramifications. Ultimately, the only way to confirm a pregnancy is to take a test.

Take some time and take a test. If you are pregnant, your baby is counting on you to make the best decisions.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

How Soon Does a Baby Start to Develop?

The development of a baby in a woman's womb is a fascinating process! While most women don't feel the presence of 'life' inside their womb until a couple of months after conception, the baby is already growing by leaps and bounds even in the first few weeks of pregnancy! Here are some interesting facts about a baby’s development inside a woman's body:

Heartbeat: The baby’s heart begins to pump blood as early as 21 days after conception. You can hear the baby's heartbeat at the seventh or eighth week using an ultrasonic stethoscope.

Brain: The baby's brain begins to function as early as eight weeks into gestation or six weeks after conception. Brain waves have been recorded at 40 days through an EEG (Electroencephalogram)

Other organs: Did you know that the fetus's eyes, ears, and respiratory system begin to form just four weeks after fertilization? In fact, by eight weeks (or two months), all of the baby's body systems are present. At eight weeks the baby's stomach begins to produce gastric juice necessary for digestion.

Teeth: The baby's milk-teeth buds (all 20 of them!) are present at six and a half weeks

Fingernails: You will be surprised to know that the baby's fingerprints are fully formed by the fourth month of gestation and fingernails are present by 11 to 12 weeks. Even eyelashes are formed by 16 weeks!

Movement: The baby can make some movement as early as the ninth or 10th week. The baby can squint, swallow, move the tongue, and even make a tight fist at this stage!

Breath: At 3 months, the baby can breathe fluid and will continue to do so until birth. Since the baby obtains oxygen through the mother's umbilical cord, he or she will not drown by breathing the fluid inside the womb. It is this breathing that helps to develop the respiratory systems.

In short, the baby is very much a life even a few days after conception and is not something with gills and a tail or just a random group of cells! In fact, it makes more sense to see the baby as the second patient, the first one being the mother. In other words, the unborn baby must be given the same amount of care and preference that is given to the pregnant mother.

Unfortunately, many women are considering abortion as a solution to unplanned pregnancy not knowing all of these facts. If you are considering this, I want you to know that there are better alternatives to abortion. Your baby is alive.

Tara had gone in to a clinic hoping to terminate her pregnancy through a surgical abortion.  She was only a teenager and was terrified to tell her mom and dad that she was pregnant, especially because her dad was the pastor of the local church.  She thought abortion would be easier than enduring the guilt and shame that would come with being a pregnant teen.

Once she saw her baby on the ultrasound, she realized it wasn’t just a mass of cells.  It was formed and organized. And while it didn’t look like a fully-formed baby just yet, it was clear to see that it was on its way to becoming something.  It was at that moment that Tara realized that ending her baby’s life simply to avoid telling her folks was not the answer. 

After a tearful conversation, they began looking into adoption as an option.  Tara chose a couple in California to adopt her baby boy.  She liked the fact that they were open to letting her come visit once a year and be part of her son’s life.  Christopher is now 5 years old and knows Tara is his “tummy mommy”. 

Parenting or adoption can both be ways to give your baby the live he or she is already living.  With open adoption, you can even remain a part of your child’s life, watching them grow with parents that you chose for them.  There is so much help available if you can just reach out and take it.  Your baby is counting on you to make the best decision. To learn more about your pregnancy choices, including adoption, please call Pregnancy Help Online at 1-800-923-6784.

Friday, December 02, 2011

When Can You Make an Adoption Plan?

Are you considering adoption for your baby or child, but not quite ready to place yet? Remember, you can always make an adoption plan. Even if you have already delivered, or you have older children, there are always families who are available and would like nothing more than to provide a wonderful home for your child.

Even if you are at the hospital and you haven’t decided on adoption, we can send the paperwork to the hospital along with family profiles. We can have a caring family available immediately for you and the baby! Please give Lifetime Adoption a call toll-free at 1-800-923-6784 or Instant Message “ltabirthmother” on Yahoo Messenger.