Baby Development: First Trimester

Baby grows and changes the most during the first trimester (1st-3rd month) that's why it's important to give yourself proper care so baby grows right. baby is called embryo for the first 8wks and by the end of the first 3mos baby becomes a fully formed fetus. All major organs and systems are formed and baby's about 3-4 inches (I compared it to a size of a mobile phone) long and can weigh to about 1/2 to 1 ounce.

After 4 weeks:
  • Embryo is about 1/4 inch long
  • Tiny heart starts to form and beats (but it beats really fast! 2x our normal heartbeat)
  • Arms and Legs appear as tiny buds
  • Brain and spinal cord start to form
  • Eyes and ears start to develop
After 8 weeks:
  • Heartbeat can now be seen in ultrasound (vaginal ultrasound)
  • Brain, spinal cord and heart continue to form
  • Mouth is now developing tooth buds
  • Jaw, lung, nose and palate start to form
During 9-12 weeks:
  • Arms and legs are fully formed
  • Fingernails and toenails start to appear
  • external genital organs develop
  • Eyelids are formed
This is such an exciting stage for the parents-to-be. I remember seeing the very first ultrasound of our baby and it was a terrific feeling. We couldn't believe how I get to have a little kicker inside me moving a lot. Looking at how my husband was fondly staring at the monitor with very wide pasted smile on his face is something I can't ever forget. I didn't get to capture that moment but it's already etched in my heart and mind. And now we can't wait to see our baby inside me once again. We always wonder how our baby looks now. =)

Post Break: I didn't Know I was Pregnant

One biggest risk in pregnancy is not knowing about it, and how can this be possible? Believe it or not it happened to some ladies out there. We were dumbfounded to see that show on tv "I didn't Know I Was Pregnant" showing reenactment of how those ladies gave birth thinking they were just having a painfully killing stomach ache. Little did they know they were on labor already that time. Some made it through the hospital and some actually gave birth in the bathroom with the thought that they just had to relieve themselves. Some of the reasons why they didn't detect or even suspect such pregnancy: 1) due to their very irregular periods & polycystic ovary issues 2) use of contraceptives and safe sex 3) not so evident weight gain and baby bump

Risks for moms and babies are at high stake due to lack of proper care. Some of them had a very active life working on heavy tasks and even some used to smoke and drink alcohol. So far all reenactments showed positive birth results for the babies but of course most of them are not in better shape. Like all the previous posts I wrote here I mentioned the importance of prenatal visits, vitamins and healthy lifestyle for every expectant mothers or else many complications might happen both to mom and baby.

I realized one big thing after watching this show. It's very important for all of us ladies to be very aware and observant with ourselves. Being conscious not only on the outer appearance but also our whole well-being. May this serve as a lesson to all and also a guide to keep us all on the right track. Too bad I don't remember the channel but you may try to search it over and they might have some clips about the show.

also see:
Direct TV
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Direct TV Satellite

Prenatal Appointments

All prenatal appointments for expectant mothers are important and should never be taken forgranted. This is one of the first steps to having a healthy baby. Make sure to visit your primary care physician regularly, as appointed or as prescribed before baby's born. Beginning the prenatal check-ups during early pregnancy is important for mother and baby's proper care.

My prenatal care has a different story though compared to what I wrote above. By the time I knew I might be pregnant I didn't have my doctor here yet to check me up. Insurance and other things must first be done before I can go to regular check-ups so for me not to miss important things about the pregnancy and early care for my baby I kept in touch with my OB-GYN in the Philippines. I was given the necessary vitamins I needed to take within the time span of not having my primary care physician. That's why I am advising all expectant mothers to do the initial care right on the first month of pregnancy.

Every appointment your physician will:
  • check baby's growth, heart rate and movements
  • get your blood pressure & weight
  • conduct tests to see if there are health problems
  • discuss how you are going through the pregnancy process

Interacting with your physician is very important both for you and baby. This is the time when you can ask questions and relay pregnancy problems. Through this and all other procedures you can then be checked for signs of preterm birth or early birth before 37th wk of pregnancy. The doctor will help you stay healthy along the process so that this can be avoided or at least be treated accordingly.

Post Break: Baby Ornaments

As the due date gets nearer, I get more and more excited to shop for baby stuffs but right now we're still waiting for our baby's gender confirmation. So many cute baby ornaments both online and in retail shops. Of course I enjoy more going through the trouble walking and scouring for the goodies.

I'm enjoying partial shopping not only for baby but for mommy too =) I need some maternity clothes most especially jeans and thighs and I got few pairs already. On the side I also do shop for Christmas presents looking for some personalized Christmas ornaments. Call it retail therapy! I get to relax when I shop around whether it's just grocery or mall. That's one thing me and baby need anyway, some nice time alone seeing good things. =)

5th Doctor Visit & Bump Update

Last Thursday (nov 12) was a busy day for me. Another meeting with my doctor and thorough checking. I was kind of worried for my results because for the past week my sugar tests were higher than normal and I honestly don't know why since I've been following the recommended diet. Even if I'm trying my best to keep up with the strict diet the results won't justify my efforts. My numbers can't tell the doctor I was just this and that. Good thing those results were only during particular lunch meals and the rest are just fine. I'm trying to avoid having high results because I really don't want to take any medications to control blood sugar. No, no! I want to minimize medicine intake thinking it might harm baby in the long run.

After all the procedures like blood pressure, urinalysis and weight measurement, me and my doctor discussed things and assessed my food log and data sheet. I"m just thankful that she still said so far I'm doing good with the diet and maintaining my blood sugar. I just need to be more watchful and try to alter my meals during lunch time and probably more exercise (walk) to maintain healthy sugar level. I'll be seeing her again in 2wks time, a day before thanksgiving. I have to maintain a good record for my sake and baby.

Unfortunately I can't confirm yet this November 20 our baby's gender. The ultrasound schedule's moved to December 10. Doc said I'll just be on my 26th week and it's better to see baby on the 30th week. Me and hubs were greatly disappointed since we're very much expecting it and very eager to see baby once again. Well there's nothing more we can do but wait. So here are my baby bump photos to keep you all updated.

After my check-up I went to do some shopping. I considered the day as my day-off =) I told baby I will take him/her out for a nice shopping walk just to relax since I have been working so much lately. At this stage I read that baby can hear me everything and it's good to really talk to baby now.

GDM Prevention and Treatment

As food is digested it turns into sugar (glucose) and goes into the bloodstream. Then insulin is being released to help the body use blood sugar. So technically speaking the culprit in diabetis isn't just sugar alone but the food that we take. Therefore controlling blood sugar can help prevent problems.

Blood sugar can be lowered by eating right, exercising and worse case taking insulin. If the blood sugar is kept in control, this lessens the pregnancy risks. It is very important to follow a strict nutritional diet for expectant mothers with Gestational Diabetis to ensure both mother and baby's safety. Doctors and dietitians or nutritionists will work hand in hand to give the utmost care needed by the expectant mom with GDM.

How can you check your blood sugar regularly? Just like what I've been doing for the past month doing my own glucose monitoring. I was given a small device to check and record my blood sugar an hour after my meals. This should be done everyday or as instructed. If in any case the diet just won't work for you and blood sugar really shoots up, you might have to take insulin or some medications to lower it.

It is very important to choose the right foods, the healthier the better and cut off oily and fatty foods. Include whole grains for health and energy, protein rich foods, fruits, veggies, milk and vitamins in your diet. These are all essential for baby's growth and to sustain and nourish the body during pregnancy. No no with alcohols! This won't do any good to you and baby! Make sure you gain just the right amount of weight during pregnancy. For most women this will be around 25-35 pounds. Drastic weight gain isn't really advisable and must be checked accordingly. Exercising safely and regularly is very recommendable, nothing strenuous even just a brief 10mins walk will be good enough. Also feel baby's movement everyday. Try to be observant enough because later on baby's kicks and movements will have to be recorded. This also ensures that baby's actively moving inside.

GDM Risks to Baby and Mommy

To continue my Gestational Diabetis post here are important things we all need to know about GDM risks both to baby and mommy.

  • Your baby may grow too big. Like what i said having uncontrolled high blood sugar results to baby's rapid body growth. If blood sugar stays too high then the baby might be too big for a normal vaginal delivery without injuring baby's arms and shoulders. Of course not only baby suffers injury but mommy also during delivery. The best way is to do C-section in which mommy will be incised or cut in your abdomen and uterus.
  • Baby's organs may not be fully developed before birth. Some cases of having too high blood sugar, baby might have to be born earlier or too soon (Preterm Birth). Then baby's lungs may not work well (Respiratory Distress Syndrome - RDS) so as the liver causing baby to ba yellow (jaundiced) after birth.
  • Baby's blood sugar may be low after birth. If blood sugar tays too high, baby makes extra insulin and even after birth. This can result to baby's low blood sugar and must be treated accordingly.
  • Baby could be stillborn. This is very rare but baby could die before birth if blood sugar stays too high for too long. (please don't ask me why, I honestly don't know)
  • Mommy might have high blood pressure. High blood sugar makes it more likely to have high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia) and this is a serious danger to mommy's health. This could also cause baby to be delivered early.
  • Mommy may have more infections. High blood sugar makes it more likely to have bladder, kidney and vaginal infections.
  • Mommy may be uncomfortable or short of breath. High blood sugar can cause too much fluid around the baby (polyhydramnios) and tummy gets big and pushes on lungs. Early labor might take effect.

Everything I wrote here came from all the reading materials I've been checking from time to time. May this serve as a simple guide for everybody to be more aware of this matter. You may click on the highlighted links if you want to further read about it.
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