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Congratulations! You have just found out you are pregnant! Whether you are having your first child or expanding your family, there are always many questions. As a follow up to The Baby Guide reource magazine, we will be adding great monthly information on our website. We want to keep the "in-the know" mom and dads up to date with the best maternity fashions, products and any news we feel that savvy parents -to -be want know.

found out you are pregnant... here is a look at what's happening each trimester:

Prenatal Calendar

preconception: Maintain a healthy diet and increase water intake. Exercise regularly to maintain a normal BMI. Take a multivitamin with folic acid or some prenatal vitamins. Visit your healthcare provider for a physical exam. Change lifestyle habits: quit smoking, and limit your intake of alcoholic beverages to promote overall good health.

first trimester: weeks 1-12 Around 8 weeks an initial prenatal/obstetrical visit is done. This appointment includes a complete medical history, physical exam, teaching about health promotion, laboratory tests, practical information and what to expect during the pregnancy. This visit may also include an ultrasound and any additional testing based on risk factors. This is a good time to ask about mood changes, nausea, constipation, crampiness, breast tenderness and appetite changes that can occur in the first trimester. Monthly appointments continue from this initial visit.

second trimester: weeks 13-26 You may start to feel and look pregnant now. Nausea subsides and the "glow of pregnancy" begins. At around 20 weeks, mom can often start to feel some fetal movement. At each monthly visit, urine, blood pressure and weight are checked, as well as your belly for positioning. You may experience some ligament discomfort and lower back pain. Additional testing includes the glucose challenge test, AFP testing and a full fetal anatomy ultrasound may be done. Three week to monthly visits occur during this time.

third trimester: weeks 27-40 This In this final trimester, labor and birth plans begin as well as childbirth classes. Discuss with your care provider: labor pain relief, breastfeeding vs bottle-feeding and, with your pediatrician, circumcision for a baby boy. Rh and amniotic fluid level tests may be performed based on your perceived risk status. A Group B strep culture test is routinely performed at 36 weeks. Preterm labor warning signs are discussed as well as when to call your doctor or midwife. Appointments every week to every two weeks are typical until labor starts.

day/night labor begins: Contractions usually start slow, and are short and irregular. Your water may or may not break. Early labor symptoms include bloody show, loose stools, lower back pain or “just not feeling well”. Labor may take anywhere from 2-18 hours. Call your obstetrical healthcare provider to determine your labor status and when to go to the hospital. Colleen N. Ryfa Certified Nurse Midwife, Metro West Medical Center

A question to ask your heatlthcare provider:

Just in the news: Ask your healthcare provider about eating fish while pregnant.....PLEASE follow his/her recommendations before making any changes!!

Eating Right: Now is the most important time to treat your body with care...start looking at all the foods you eat now so that you can share your good eating habits with your kids.

Take time now to read food labels...BANISH THE TRANS FAT!! Go to Whole Foods, Trader Joes or our local market and look for great organic foods...fruits and veggies are a must so look for new recipes that increase your fruit and veggie intake... look for meats and poultry that are antibiotic free and have no preservatives added.

Also look for milk produced by cows that HAVE NOTt been given artificial growth hormones...check out your local dairy delivery service....great to have when baby starts drinking milk!!

Another great place to shop is at the local farmers market or farm stand will be amazed at how much better fresh tastes!! Start learning all this now so you can pass along your healthy lifestyle to your babies.