The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. After six months of age, infants should receive age appropriate foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Consult your doctor before deciding to use infant formula or if you have difficulty breastfeeding.
A typical pregnancy normally lasts from 37 to 42 weeks, counting from the first day of your last period. When you’re pregnant, your body will go through a number of important changes. Here’s an outline of what you can expect during the different stages in a pregnancy calendar.
● Start of first trimester
● For most, this is the month you discover you’re pregnant.
● Your baby is only 0.1 to 0.2 mm.
● You may be prescribed pre-natal vitamins and folic acid.
● Your baby is now a little under an inch long.
● Your baby’s heart is beating, the brain is developing, and has developed all limbs. The eyes have not fully developed.
● You may experience moodiness as hormone levels adjust.
● Nausea, vomiting, food sensitivity and fatigue may develop, or become more severe.
● Start budgeting, and explore your options for birth plans.
● Nausea may decrease as your body adjusts to hormone levels.
● By the end of the first trimester, your baby is fully developed.
● You will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat.
● Your baby is between 2 and 4 inches long.
● You may experience your first food cravings as appetite returns.
● Start of second trimester in the pregnancy calendar.
● Experience first flutters of baby movement, often described as “butterflies” or “bubbles”.
● Nausea usually subsides and energy increases.
● You may develop heartburn as your uterus rises in the abdomen.
● Consider signing up for prenatal classes.
● Appetite often increases.
● Fatigue may return, as you’re carrying extra weight.
● You may experience bloating, and constipation.
● Some will experience forgetfulness, also known as “pregnancy brain”.
● Your baby is now about 6 to 9 inches long, and develop fingerprints.
● Your uterus is the size of a basketball resting above your belly button.
● Skin on the stomach may feel itchy as it stretches around your womb.
● Bleeding gums, constipation, heartburn and leg cramps, may intensify.
● Your baby is about 10 inches long.
● You’ll be aware when your baby stretches and hiccups at this stage of the pregnancy calendar.
● Plan your maternity leave with your employer.
● Your feet or hands may start cramping.
● You may experience more of your baby’s movements.
● Many experience Braxton Hicks contractions (non-productive contractions).
● Your baby is almost 12 inches long.
● Your child can now see, hear, and taste.
● You may experience discomfort as your baby pushes against your rib cage or organs.
● Pelvic pressure may increase as your baby drops into this area.
● Indigestion and heartburn may become more intense.
● Braxton Hicks contractions become more regular.
● Your baby may be a 12 inches or longer.
● By the end of the 8th month in the pregnancy calendar, most babies descend head-down into the pelvic area.
● You breathe a little easier as your baby settles into the pelvis, giving you more room in the abdominal area.
● Sleep will become more difficult due to your belly’s size.
● Your weight gain will be as high as it will go; up to 35 pounds on average.
● Your baby will be about 18 to 21 inches long.
● Your baby’s brain is growing rapidly at the last month of the pregnancy calendar.