The Pregnant Mother

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Congratulations! You are entering into one of the most exciting times of your life. Pregnancy is filled with physical and emotional ups and downs, and each trimester brings its own share of issues and concerns. Knowing what is happening to you and your developing baby will help you to enjoy and appreciate the changes that occur during this special time.

It is important that you take a pregnancy test to confirm your pregnancy as soon as possible after you have missed one period. Your baby’s most important organs and structures develop in the first few weeks of pregnancy. The earlier you confirm the pregnancy, the sooner you can take the steps to properly care for yourself, to ensure your baby’s health. If you are taking any medications or working with chemicals, some of them may be hazardous to your baby. The sooner you know that you are pregnant, the earlier you can avoid using these substances.

The nine months of pregnancy are divided into three trimesters of three months each. Each trimester brings its own distinct set of changes, both physically and emotionally. If you do not experience all of the symptoms of pregnancy in each trimester, don’t worry! Each pregnancy is different, and each woman’s body responds in a unique way. The Pregnancy & Babies Resource Centre counts the weeks of pregnancy starting with the date of the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period, which is estimated to be about two weeks before the date of conception. When counted this way, pregnancy will last a total of 40 weeks.

Pregnancy Timeline
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In this section, you will learn about the changes you will go through, both physically and emotionally, during pregnancy. Information about what to expect at medical visits, and what concerns to look out for, is also provided.

Nicolette Caccia, MEd, MD, FRCSC

Rory Windrim, MB, MSc, FRCSC