Family Fun For Parents Pregnant

Pregnancy Week 1-5: Preparing to Conceive

Are you and your partner planning for a baby?

If so, it is vital that ladies start on folic acid supplement ideally two months before conceiving to reduce baby’s risk of neural tube defects, congenital heart defects, cleft palate and cleft lip. The recommended dosage is 400mcg daily.

Prior to conceiving, here are some of the things which you can do to increase your rate of conception:

  • Schedule a visit to the gynaecologist
    A gynaecologist will review your medical history as well as any medications that may affect fertility.
  • Avoid smoking, drinking and excessive amounts of caffeine
    Cigarettes and alcohol have been shown to reduce fertility rates and it is wise to cut down on those as well as cut down on caffeine. Limit your daily intake of coffee to not more than two cups.
  • Aim for a healthy weight
    If you are overweight or underweight, it makes conception a little bit harder and could cause complications. Try to aim for a healthy weight range to increase your chances.

Folic acid can be found in green leafy vegetables and is an essential nutrient which supports a healthy pregnancy.

WEEKS 1 & 2:

At weeks 1 and 2, you’re not actually pregnant yet! That’s because the estimated due date (EDD) is calculated from the beginning of your last menstrual period. This means that the period before conception is also taken into consideration.

In order to get pregnant, you need to understand when you are ovulating. If your period generally lasts about 28 days, ovulation is about 14 days from the first day of your period. This is thus the best time to try conceiving, as an egg only lives about 12 to 24 hours after leaving the ovary. Each cycle sees about 20 eggs being released from the ovary.

If fertilisation is successful, the egg will move from the ovary into the uterus, where it will attach to the uterine lining. At this stage, it doesn’t resemble anything like a baby as it is a group of 100 rapidly multiplying cells and is about the size of a strawberry seed.

You won’t even notice that you’re pregnant at this stage as there are no noticeable signs and you wouldn’t have missed your period yet. This is because most early pregnancy symptoms are caused by pregnancy hormones and the level in your body is not high enough to cause a reaction yet.

Smoking greatly reduces the chances of conception – women who smoke are 30% less likely to conceive than non-smokers

The outer layer of the ball of cells is now splitting into the placenta and the inner layer, into the embryo. Your baby’s neural tube which is the building block of the brain and spine, is already formed. This is when you will start to notice that you have missed your period and suspect that you might be pregnant. Over the counter pregnancy test kits should be able to detect pregnancy, though sometimes the pregnancy hormone (hCG) levels are not high enough to be detected. If so, try again after a few days.

Congratulations! You’re pregnant! Your baby is now the size of an apple seed, or about 3.3mm. You should have noticed some visible early pregnancy symptoms by now, such as nausea, vomiting, sore breasts and fatigue. This is termed as morning sickness, except that the symptoms last throughout the day for weeks.

Continue taking folic acid supplements and be aware of the foods to avoid during pregnancyand the necessary nutrients required for pregnant mumsto help your foetus develop healthily.

How did you discover your pregnancy? Let us know in the comments!

Babies Family Fun Toddlers

6 Fun Ways to Prepare Your Elder Child for a New Sibling

Are you expecting a new bundle of joy, yet worried about how your elder one will react to his or her new sibling? Fret not as we have some fun ways to prepare your elder child for his or her new role!

1. Bring him or her with you to gynaecologist checkups
Bring your child along to visits to the gynaecologist where he or she can see the new sibling move during ultrasound scans. Use this time to explain to your child that the baby is still growing in your tummy. This way, your child can see how his or her sibling develops from a small foetus into a baby with each scan.

If you’re feeling artsy, create a scrapbook, let your child decorate it and add in new scan photos along the way!

2. Read books on new siblings
Take your child on a trip to the nearest library and borrow some books focused on introducing new siblings to the family. There are some websites which sell personalised sibling books that you can customise with your elder child’s name. Having themselves as the main character of the book helps them to relate better to the story.

Read up on how to cope with the new baby.

3. Sibling bonding
Encourage your child to talk, kiss or hug the new sibling through your tummy. Foetuses can hear sounds from inside the womb and this will build familiarity between the siblings even before birth. Try singing together with your toddler to your belly.

4. Involve your child in baby preparation
It is natural for elder children to feel mixed emotions about the impending arrival and change in status and not want to help. Gauge their interest level and ask casually if they would like to help you pick a colour for the nursery or choose clothes for the new sibling.

Your elder child can be given the honour of choosing colours for the nursery.

If you have yet to decide on a name for the new baby, you can even let your child have the honour of choosing his or her new sibling’s name from a shortlist?

5. Reminisce about your elder child’s baby moments
Perhaps it is time to cuddle with your child and tell him or her all about how you discovered you were pregnant and show how he or she grew from an embryo into a foetus and then a baby. What did you first notice about your baby? Was it his cute button nose, or her deep dimple? How did you feel when you first carried him or her? Was it on a rainy night or hot afternoon?

Birth stories help your elder child understand that they are just as important as the new addition.

In your third trimester, your elder child will be able to feel distinct movements from your belly!

6. Let your child be the first visitor
It can be confusing for younger children when they see their new sibling who used to be in Mom’s big, round belly. Allowing your elder child to be the very first visitor makes them feel important and there will not be external disruptions by other visitors who will crowd around the infant.

Try the above tips out and let us know if they worked for you! Do you know of other ways to help your elder child prepare for a new sibling? Leave us a comment!