07 Jun A Mindful Guide To Pregnancy
This is a brief 9-month guide that can help you develop prenatal mindfulness. It’s an overlook of all the changes that will happen with both you and your baby, so it’s a great way for you to become mindful of the basics, and then you may process to advance (to the details of each month)
Just two cells and a miracle make a human being. In nine months, the pair of cells divides into millions of cells. These masses of cells blossom into a tiny human being and are well protected in the mother’s womb. Mother and child together share life energy, nurture, and strong bonding with the outside world.
The greatest adventure called Pregnancy:
The pregnancy period is divided into three trimesters. First trimester (0-13 weeks), Second trimester (14- 26 weeks), and Third trimester (27-40 weeks).
Pregnancy begins when 200- 400 million sperm cells reaches your uterus. The sperm cells are programmed to seek out the egg and fertilize it. The strongest sperm cells will participate in the nine-mile marathon to reach the Fallopian tube to fuse with the egg. It is a risky process. Most sperm cells fail because of a lack of vital force or reach the wrong Fallopian tube. Even though many sperm cells reach the egg, only one cell can enter the egg. Once the sperm cell enters the egg, the egg shuts down, so that no other cell can enter. The egg is one of the biggest cells in the human body. The nucleus of egg and sperm join a day later and form an embryo. They contain all the genetic information needed to grow as a complete human being.
By the end of the fourth week, you might experience the symptoms of pregnancy. Even though there are no noticeable changes from outside, a lot of changes are happening within your body. The embryo does not resemble a human, but the connection between you and the child has already happened. The embryo sends a signal to your body to provide nourishment. Your body recognizes the signal and starts providing nutrients for your baby. This tiny embryo is pushed from the Fallopian tube to the uterus and then divides rapidly to 32 cells. Now your baby is a tiny ball called as a blastocyst, made up of several hundred cells and is rapidly multiplying. One type of cell will develop as your baby, the other type of cells will develop into the supporting organ called the “placenta.” The placenta will act as a bridge between you and your baby to nourish and protect them from harm. A tiny embryonic tail is formed. Your embryo which was fragile a few weeks back is now secure in your womb.
Now your embryo grows exceptionally faster and receives a glorious life force, which makes it create beating cells. These beating cells turn out to be your baby’s life organ, the HEART. Its pace is quick and unstoppable. Day to day these amazing beating cells are unmistakable. Soon after the heart starts developing, the liver begins to form. From the brain to the spinal cord, face to the hands, arms to the legs, they start growing rapidly. The organs are signaled strictly by the genes to take the necessary shapes and functions. Each system develops at the right time as per nature’s order. The end of eight weeks might be very special to you because now your baby’s eyes are visible. Since your body is going through major changes, you will experience a variety of symptoms including nausea, vomiting, fatigue, breast tenderness, and frequent urination. These are common pregnancy symptoms every woman will go through during pregnancy. An increase in progesterone and estrogen hormones causes morning sickness. In fact, it is a good sign during pregnancy, because it indicates that the hormones are increasing for the nourishment and the protection of the baby. These symptoms will fade away at the end of the first trimester. Eating nutritious food and taking prescribed Vitamin supplements will help to cope with the morning sickness.
From each passing day, your baby is taking a small step towards becoming a human. Now your tiny baby, called an embryo is taking a monumental transition into a fetus. Cells gradually transformed from the developing phase (embryo) to the growing and maturing phase (fetus). Many changes take place at this time. The embryonic tail formed at the beginning of the first month will disappear. 100,000 new brain cells are created every minute to form the complex organ, the BRAIN and it grows enormously. Your baby’s arms grow, neck, bones and toes begin to develop and your baby’s eyelids begin to close to protect his or her developing eyes. The eyelids are fused and won’t open until week 27. The inner working of the ear begins to develop. By this time the placenta is completely developed and start playing a more critical role in the development of your baby. The vital organs such as liver, kidney, intestine and lungs are completely developed and functional. Fingers and toes are fully separated. Your baby might be about 2 ½ inches (60 mm) long and weigh about ½ ounces (14 gm.). Now your baby’s face will look more human.
You have reached the second trimester. It is often considered as a “Golden Period” of pregnancy because many of the unpleasant feelings of early pregnancy disappear. Your baby is now about the size of a pear. Every day there will be a noticeable change to your baby. Now your baby’s face will be completely developed. Your baby might frown, squint or even suck its thumb. The hair on top of the head is sprouting, but this hair may change in both texture and color after birth. By this time the umbilical cord completely develops and your baby might be playing with it. You can also feel the movement of your baby because his/her arms and legs are grown enough. Slowly your baby will also develop taste buds, but your baby cannot experience taste.
At this time the size of your uterus increases. Your breasts may already start making colostrum, a fluid that will feed your baby for the first few days before milk comes in. Your heart will function extra hard to pump more blood to keep the fetus healthy. Moderate exercise like walking in the morning will help the heart function well.
Congratulations! You’ve made it half-way. This might be the right time to determine the sex of your baby. The male and female sexual organs start identically as a small nub between the fetus legs. Two small bumps one on either side of the nub. If your baby is a boy, these two small nubs fuse together and becomes a penis. If your baby is a girl, then the nub becomes a clitoris. Inside her tiny ovaries, all the eggs in her entire life are already forming.
Your baby is now covered with a downy layer of lanugo (the first hair formed on the body of the fetus), which swirls in fingerprint-like formation over your baby’s whole body. In the skin, there is a waxy coating called “vernix caseosa,” it protects your baby skin from the amniotic fluid and infection. This coat also protects your baby during dramatic squeeze during the delivery. Brown fat, a special type of fat that plays a role in the body heat generation, is being deposited. Your baby’s retina is light-sensitive, so if you expose yourself to direct sunlight, your baby might detect the light glowing.
At the end of six months, your baby looks like a miniature of a newborn. Now your baby might weigh three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 ½ inches long. The top half of your uterus expands, and it pushes all the organs to the upper abdomen to make a room for your baby to grow comfortably. The eyelids separate, and the eyes are starting to open. Ears are completely developed, so your baby will be sensitive to sound. It is advisable to avoid loud music or experiencing louder noise. Further development of hearing system takes place when your baby hears a sound. Soothing music will not only help to grow but also relaxes your baby. Your baby’s fingernails will be completely grown. All the organs are functionally active and works systematically. Blood is travelling through the umbilical cord at four miles an hour, fueling the baby’s growth with oxygen and nutrients. Testicles, groin/ovaries, uterus, are completely developed. Your baby develops waking/sleeping pattern. Real hair begins to grow. A unique fingerprint and footprints start to develop. As your tummy grows, sleeping will be uncomfortable. Avoid sleeping on your back, as your baby has to struggle with your backbone and it also slows down the blood supply to your baby.
Congratulations! You have successfully reached your third trimester. You will feel your baby is continuously moving because he/she started floating in the amniotic fluid. Now your baby can open and close the eyes. Moreover, the eyes can shed tears. Your baby can also smell and taste food. So, always to remember to eat healthy and tasty food to develop the taste buds of your little one. Now your little one will learn sucking and swallowing skills. Now mainly your baby is focusing on completing the development of all the organs. The adrenal gland of your little one makes a chemical similar to estrogen called estriol by the placenta. This estriol will stimulate the production of prolactin that makes you produce milk. Even if you deliver early, you will still be able to produce milk. Your baby becomes very independent, he/she does not require your assistance in breathing and in controlling body temperature. So, if you deliver early, it is less likely that your baby needs breathing assistance.
Now your baby continues to gain weight and length. The weight and the length depends on individual fetus’s ability to grow. So, it widely varies. Since your baby is getting bigger, he/she might lack room to move, so your little one might kick quite often. Some women experience ten kicks/hour. By this time, all senses are completely developed. Your baby practices breathing motions in preparation for birth. Your baby will start moving to make it to head-down position. This position will allow more blood to flow into her/his brain for further development. The brain is forming trillions of connections, making it possible for your baby to learn in your womb. If your baby is born at this time, her/his immune system will be low, so extra care need to keep him/her from infection.
During this month, you are more likely to experience tiredness and discomfort due to rapidly expanding and sudden changes in the physiology of your body. Varicose veins may become more prominent at this time. Stretch marks may become visible on the tummy.
Your baby is completely developed. You are almost there, to deliver your baby. Ninth month is the final stage of your pregnancy. You can expect your little one to arrive at any time in the coming weeks. Now your baby might will weigh more than six pounds. Nervous system and the immune system are maturing, but still adding the body fat that he/she’ll need to regulate the body temperature. The brain is still making new neurons to make more connections. Your baby’s nails are fully grown and now reach the end of the finger and toes. His/her movements are restricted due to lack of space. Your baby starts to signal to produce more estrogen to induce labor pain. You might experience severe neck and back pain. Keep eating your food in small portions. This will make you feel better. If you experience pain or severe discomfort, visit the doctor to check the dilation to predict when labor will begin. If you are reaching forty-one or forty-two weeks, your doctor may use ultrasound to see if your baby has enough amniotic fluid. If your baby is fine, the doctor will schedule an induction of labor.