Pregnancy Calendar Guideline

Knowing about the changes that happen during pregnancy helps you to become more aware of your body and your needs. It also helps you to remain calm if you understand that these changes, which aren't inevitable in all women, are perfectly normal.

Bear in mind, every pregnancy is different; no two pregnancies develop at the same rate or feel the same, so don't be alarmed if you haven't experienced or noticed certain changes by the date given below (as a guideline).

Week 6-10

You may feel nauseous, your breasts may tingle and feel heavy. At this stage, you need to empty your bladder frequently. Visit your doctor to confirm the pregnancy and have a prliminary discussion about the type of birth you wish to have. You can also find out and arrange what sort of antenatal care you will receive, where and how to book (booking can be done between 10-12 weeks).

Week 12

Your fluctuating hormones begins to settle down and you may be able to feel the top of the uterus just above your pubic bone. Morning sickness and frequency of urination should have eased. You may notice a gain in your weight. The amount of blood in your body increases steadily from now, so your heart and lungs have to work harder. Kidneys increase their work too. Some may experience constipation as the bowel slows down. Check with your doctor on your normal fitness routine and book a dental appointment.

Week 16

Your hair becomes thicker, the nipples an areola become darker and your waistline has dissappeared and there is a visible bump! You start to feel better and more energetic. Choose your food carefully as your appetite will increase, and weight gain can be rapid. Start wearing unrestricting clothes and buy a good bra with adequate support.
Week 20
Stretchmarks may appear at your abdomen, breast have increased in size and skin may darken in patches. For early prevention of stretchmarks, start to apply strechmark cream on your breast, arm, abdomen and your hip!! You start to notice your baby's movements, which are felt as light flutters. You'll probably have an ultrasound scan at week 20 - 22, to check your baby's growth. Your breasts may produce colostrum, the first milk and your gums may bleed. Some women have heavy vaginal discharge; if so, use a sanitary pad (no tampon please!!).

Week 24
Your face may look puffy because of water retention and the bump is enlarging rapidly as the baby increases in size. Rapid weight gain takes place usually between week 24 and 32. If you already feel heavy, this is not the time to try to diet. Eat a balance variety of nutritious and fresh foods instead. Your feet will start to feel the strain and you should be conscious of your posture. Wear comfortable shoes and rest with your feet up whenever possible. Increased blood circulation and fluid levels may cause you to feel hot and sweat more.
Week 28
The veins on your breasts become noticeable. The womb has risen halfway between your navel and breastbone. Your antenatal checks may increase to every 2 to 3 weeks. You tend to have some minor discomforts like indigestion or cramps. If indigestion trobles you, eat little but often and avoid problem foods. If you have cramps, keep up your calcium intake with dairy products.
Week 32
Your navel is inverted and your uterus starts to contract in practice for labour. Stresses and strains are put on all your joints and ligaments during pregnancy. The change in your centre of gravity can cause unnecessary back pain if you don't watch your posture. I you exert yourself too much, you will feel exhausted and breathless. Try to rest during the day if possible, especially if you aren't sleeping well. Prepare yourself by gathering all the necessary items for the birth and go shopping for the baby too.
Week 36
You may experience backache and stiff joints. Pelvic pain may increase with the pressure of the baby's head. Your baby is steadily putting on weight and may have lots of hair and his fingernails have grown to reach the end of his fingers. Plan your life carefully; don't organize too much activity. Get others to do the running around. Avoid standing as your ankles might swell. Practise your breathing techniques with Braxton Hicks. Antenatal clinics will be at least fortnightly until delivery.
Week 40
Your skin feels tight and itchy, don't forget to use your strecth mark cream.Your cervix is softening in preparation for labour.. You may become anxious when the expected date of delivery is near. Feeling heavy and tired; all your movements will be an effort!! You may have pain in the groins and pins/needles down your legs. The baby's movements decrease in force because there is less space for her in the uterus. Most babies lie head down ready for birth.

The sign of labour starts with a leakage of amniotic fluid (may be a gush or just a tricke) and contractions occuring at regular intervals.