Signs and Stages of Labor

Conception

Before pregnancy comes a process called “conception”. It is a process which starts with the fertilization of an egg and ends with its implantation in the uterus of a woman. The process of conception occurs during ovulation i.e. the release of eggs from ovaries. Fertilization occurs when sperm from male joins with an egg from female. After one week of fertilization, the egg becomes an embryo and it moves down to the fallopian tube and then uterus where it finally gets attached and implanted.

Hormonal Changes

When a woman gets pregnant after the process of conception, major hormonal changes take place in her body. Hormones are chemicals that circulate in the blood stream and carry messages and hence results in changes. Changes in hormones like estrogen and progesterone occur during pregnancy. During hormonal changes, there is an increased blood supply to the uterus and to the muscles of uterus making room for the growing baby.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time of a major change but its symptoms differ from woman to woman. Most common symptom of pregnancy is delayed menstrual cycle. So for women having a regular monthly cycle, the earliest sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Some women develop symptoms right after time of conception while some women develop symptoms after a few weeks of getting pregnant.

Signs and Symptoms

Following are some of the common signs and symptoms of pregnancy:

Signs and Symptoms

When a woman gets pregnant, she feels sick especially in the morning time right after waking up. This is also called as “Morning Sickness”. Morning Sickness can be defined as nausea early when one wakes up. This is not necessary that a pregnant woman feels such sickness only in morning. She can have such feelings of being tired at other times of the day as well.

More Urination

One of the early pregnancy signs is frequent urination. This can also happen in later months of pregnancy as the uterus and baby both grow and puts a pressure on the bladder. So a pregnant woman may get worried due to frequent urination but it’s not something to be worried about rather it’s just a common sign after getting pregnant.

Being Constipated

Due to hormonal changes, pregnant women suffer from the problem of constipation. This is because the changes in hormones lead towards a slower digestion process.

Changes in Taste

Pregnancy affects almost each part of the body of pregnant woman. Changes in taste and feeling a sour taste even after finishing the meal is another sign and symptom of pregnancy. This change in sense of taste is because of hormonal changes like that of estrogen.

Going Off Certain Things

During pregnancy, many women start to dislike certain things e.g. going off certain foods like tea, coffee and fatty foods etc. Food aversions occur during pregnancy and it’s the opposite of food craving. It’s difficult for pregnant women to even think about certain foods and sometimes they may put off their favorite snack.

Mood Changes

Mood changes also occur during pregnancy and a woman’s mood becomes unpredictable. Due to increase in levels of estrogen and progesterone, mood is highly affected and a pregnant woman may feel happy at one moment and may get easily irritated the next moment. It’s all because of the hormonal changes in the body.

Changes during Pregnancy

Some of the following changes are common during pregnancy.



Swelling/ Edema

Edema or swelling in hands, face, legs, ankles and legs is a common change during pregnancy. Edema is caused by accumulation of watery fluid in cells, tissues and serious cavities. Swelling can be reduced by not standing for a prolonged time and by keeping oneself physically active as it can improve circulation. Other things can be done to reduce edema e.g. avoid wearing socks and stockings that tighten legs.

Mouth and Tooth Changes

Pregnant women are more vulnerable to cavities and gum problems. Gum swelling and bleeding can occur during pregnancy. Dental check up is very much important to avoid any kind of mouth problems and to keep mouth healthy.

Heartburn and Indigestion

Heartburn and Indigestion can occur during pregnancy. Heartburn and indigestion are used interchangeably but these two are actually two different terms. Heartburn is a feeling of burning in throat and chest. When baby grows, it presses up against the stomach that leaks the stomach acid in esophagus causing this feeling of burning. Indigestion means stomach taking more time to empty and feeling full, bloated and gases. Heartburn and Indigestion can be avoided by eating and chewing the food slowly and by avoiding food before bed time etc.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting can occur but it can also be avoided by taking fresh air, eating less and not at once rather eating from time to time, getting up from bed slowly right after waking up in the morning etc.

Constipation and Gas

Constipation and gas can occur due to several reasons. Increased level of progesterone slows down the digestive process. More water gets absorbed which results in constipation and hard stools.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels and this can be caused by constipation and uterus putting pressure. This problem can be reduced by applying ice pack to the problematic area and by drinking plenty of liquids etc.

Finding Out That You Are Pregnant

A pregnant woman feels mixed emotions. She may feel shocked, confused, upset or May not feels as much happy as expected. Hormonal changes make a woman more emotional. In such condition, both partners should talk to each other and encourage sharing any worries and concerns that they have at this stage.