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Week #3 of Pregnancy

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Your Pregnancy: Week 3

By Erin Horner, edHelperBaby

Your Baby
           This early week in your pregnancy, your sweet one is a tiny ball made up of thousands of cells.  This blastocyst is quickly multiplying and beginning the miraculous transformation of becoming your baby!  The part of the blastocyst that will become the placenta will begin making the pregnancy hormone HCG.  This hormone has four important roles.
  1. It will send a message to your ovaries that will cause them to stop releasing eggs.
  2. It will cause your body to create more estrogen and progesterone.
  3. It will help your little one's placenta to develop.
  4. It will make that second line on your pregnancy test turn blue!

       Your little one is currently receiving his oxygen and nutrients from a basic, albeit fascinating, microscopic system of tunnels that connect to your uterine wall.  By the end of next week, the placenta will be ready to take over this important job for the rest of your pregnancy.


Your Body
           Approximately seven days after fertilization, your little one completes his journey down your fallopian tubes and implants himself into the lining of your uterus.  Known as implantation, this monumental moment means that you are officially pregnant!  Even though you are still unaware of the growing little one inside of you, once implantation has occurred several changes begin taking place in your body.  Your progesterone levels will begin increasing.  This will cause the lining of your uterus to build up a strong supply of amino acids.  It will also help to calm your uterus which will keep it from contracting so that you do not experience your monthly menstrual cycle and can sustain your new pregnancy.


  You're Wondering. . .
           Some of my pregnant friends see a midwife while others go to an obstetrician for their pre-natal care.  What is the difference?

       As you begin your pregnancy journey it is important that you find a medical professional that you can feel comfortable entrusting the health and well-being of both you and your baby to.  More than 80% of pregnant women chose to see a medical doctor who specializes in pregnancy, known as an obstetrician, for all of their pre-natal care.  Should a problem arise over the course of your pregnancy, an obstetrician should have the training, technology and experience to address and resolve the issue.  Some obstetricians practice as a part of a medical group, which can have its advantages and draw backs.  When there is more than one doctor involved in a medical practice, there is a good chance that you will see a different physician at each of your prenatal appointments.  As each doctor may have their own area of expertise, being seen by several different physicians within a group can be a real blessing as they may be able to specifically address different pregnancy issues that you are dealing with.  Seeing several partners within a practice may also mean, however, that you do not necessarily know which physician will help you welcome your little one into this world.  Large obstetric practices usually share the "on-call" schedule and can therefore leave you with the luck of the draw for your baby's big day.  If it is really important to you that your baby be delivered by the same doctor that has cared for you throughout your pregnancy, you may want to choose an obstetrician that practices alone.

       Nurse midwives, on the other hand, are well qualified medical practitioners specially trained to handle low-risk, uncomplicated pregnancies.  They are typically known for focusing more on you as a person, rather than you as a patient.  Midwives may also be more inclined to encourage natural pregnancy treatments and natural childbirth.  If you think that you would prefer to entrust your prenatal care to a midwife, be sure that you choose one who is certified.  A lay midwife may not have the training necessary to insure that you and your little one receive the best possible medical care.


  Your "To-Do" List
           While it may still be too early for your pregnancy to be verified by an at-home pregnancy test, this is a great week to head to the drugstore and purchase one.  Because you might be a bit anxious and too impatient to not go home and take the test right away, why not pick-up a package that contains two tests in one box?  Because these tests read the amount of HCG in your urine, if your little one has only recently implanted there may not be enough HCG in your system to trigger a positive test result.   If your initial test is negative, wait a week (or wait until the first day after your missed period) and then use the second kit to test again.


Your Homework: Preparing For Parenthood
           As you begin to prepare yourself for parenthood, even this early on in your pregnancy, it is a good idea to look at the different responsibilities that you currently have.  Your homework assignment this week is to check your commitments.  In addition to your daily 9-to-5, what else are you in charge of or a part of?  Do you serve on a community board?  Volunteer for an organization?  Have you volunteered to take on extra responsibilities for your employer?    Over the next nine months your body will undergo several changes that may leave you unable to complete some of the many tasks that you currently attempt on a day-to-day basis.  While being pregnant and especially experiencing a healthy pregnancy should not be equated with a nine month disability, the truth of the matter is that over the next 40 weeks your body will require more rest, more relaxation, better nutrition, and other accommodations so that you are able to provide the best growing environment possible for your bundle of joy.

       Once your baby arrives, you will also find that much of your "free" time will be filled with activities that are very different from those you regularly engaged in before your sweet one was born.  All of these changes are to be expected and anticipated, but they are changes none-the-less and the more you prepare for them now, the easier the inevitable transition will be.

       Over the next few days, take a moment and write down all that you normally do over the course of the week.  Be sure to list work, recreation, and volunteer time commitments.  Then, peek at your weekly list and evaluate each item one at a time.  Decide which items are "mandatory" and which items are "maybes."  While it is unlikely that you can dismiss the 40 mandatory hours that you spend at  your job at this time (unless of course you work in an environment that could be hazardous to your baby's health), would it be possible to beg off of some of the additional responsibilities that you have taken on with your favorite charity?  Rather than volunteer once a week, could you volunteer twice a month?  How about your weekly girls-night-out?  Could you convince your favorite gal pals to make your girl time on the first Monday of each month rather than every Monday of the month?  While it is still vitally important that you take some much needed time for yourself and participate in a variety of activities that bring you joy, remember, you are a wonderful woman... not Wonder Woman.  It might just be impossible to do all that you are currently doing and become a mother at the same time.  You might still be able to do it all, but not all at the same time.   By taking the time to check your current commitments now, you will have nine months to adjust your lifestyle in anticipation of the arrival of the greatest of all commitments: your baby!


  My Experience
           I have a very hard time saying "no" and I am, therefore, notorious for being perpetually over-committed.  It is not uncommon for me to be running from one location to another because one of my responsibilities overlapped with another forcing me to leave one task early while still arriving late to the next.  What I have learned, and unfortunately not very gracefully, is that every time I say "yes" to another commitment, I am at the same time saying "no" to something else.  By saying "yes" to another task, I inadvertently say "no" to my family or myself because I am taking time that would have been available for them (or me!) and spent it somewhere else.

       After looking at and analyzing all of my current commitments,  I  found that I can still be involved with most, if not all of the things that I want to, I just can't do them all to the same level that I once could.  If I give 95% of my time and energy to commitments outside of my family, all that my kiddos get are my left-overs.  And trust me; if you had ever eaten my cooking, you would come to the same quick conclusion that I did, nothing "left-over" in my home is good enough for my family!


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