“Is our baby developing normally?”, “Who will our baby look like?”, “How will our older child react?” Here are 25 facts about pregnancy to help guide you through this period.
Here are some simple exercises pregnant women can do any time they think of it! They involve tightening the pelvic floor muscles, which requires an action similar to holding in the need to urinate, and then releasing. You can ask your health-care professional to check if you are doing them correctly. “Doing Kegel exercises will help during delivery, as they help reduce the risk of tearing and prepare the muscles used to push out the baby,” explains Nathalie Bisson, midwife at the CSSS Jeanne-Mance. By strengthening the muscles that support the bladder, you will also help avoid small leaks of urine when coughing, laughing or lifting heavy objects. These exercises also tone the vaginal muscles and make it easier to reinitiate sexual intercourse. “I recommend doing the exercises several times a day, even after pregnancy. The only thing to avoid is doing the exercises while urinating, since this could increase the risk of infection,” adds the midwife.
As their tummies start protruding, moms slowly begin to feel love spring for this tiny being growing in their bodies. “The bond usually becomes more tangible during the second trimester of the pregnancy when moms start to feel their baby move,” says psychologist Karine Lapointe. “Even if dads don’t physically feel their baby’s presence, they connect with them as well, but a little later on,” she explains. “This feeling usually comes towards the end of the second trimester or beginning of the third, around the time they see their baby at the ultrasound.” After the delivery, spending time with and caring for the baby also help to strengthen the parent/child attachment.
Babies start to move from the 8th week of pregnancy on, but women only begin to feel the movement between week 15 and week 23. After week 30, women can expect to feel their babies move at least 10 times a day. “At this stage, moms don’t necessarily always feel their baby move because they’re in action during the day,” specifies midwife Nathalie Bisson. “However, if you’re worried because you think your baby is no longer moving, drink a sweet fruit juice and lie down on your left side for two hours. You should feel your baby move at least six times. If that isn’t the case, call Info-Santé (811), the hospital or your midwife.”
Does pregnancy mean nausea? Not necessarily. “I would say half my patients suffer from nausea,” says Dr. Nathaël Leduc Arbour. And those who do don’t always suffer from it with the same intensity. It also varies from one pregnancy to the next. “I hardly felt sick at all during my first pregnancy,” says Véronique, mother to 20-month-old Éloi, and expecting mom once again. “But at the start of my second pregnancy, I couldn’t open the fridge without feeling nauseous! I didn’t eat a proper meal for weeks. I would munch on salad, bananas, cereal and energy drinks for pregnant women.” Fortunately, the nausea usually becomes less intense around week 14 and generally disappears around week 20.
Source: Naître et grandir magazine, October 2015
Research and copywriting: Kenza Bennis
Scientific review: Marie Fortier, nurse and prenatal class instructor
Photo credit: Maxim Morin (Bonding)