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Are you pregnant

 

You think you're Pregnant!
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Usually, the first sign that you are pregnant will be a missed period, although some women will say that they knew they were pregnant before.

Other early signs of pregnancy include passing urine more often, tiredness and sickness. In early pregnancy, you might also feel that your breasts change, they might become sore and lumpier than usual. You might also experience odd tastes and cravings and have heightened sense of smell.

If you think you are pregnant the quickest way to confirm the pregnancy is to buy a home pregnancy testing kit from your pharmacy. There are several on the market, and all function in a similar way by measuring the level of pregnancy hormone in your urine, a hormone produced by the placenta in early pregnancy. The best time to carry out a home test is first thing in the morning when hormone levels are at their highest.

Always read the instructions of the pregnancy test carefully, but most tests instruct you to hold the testing strip in the urine stream for a few seconds. You should then have a result in a couple of minutes. Each test varies, but they usually have two windows, one that shows a line to confirm that the test is working properly and the other window will show the result of your test - a line if you are pregnant, a blank if you are not.
Your pregnancy
The first thing you should do when you find out you are pregnant is to go and see your GP. You discuss what kind of antenatal care is available in your area, and whether you would prefer to be cared for by your GP, your midwife or team of midwives, or both. Some women prefer to have all their antenatal care at the hospital where they will be giving birth, others prefer to visit their local GP practice or health centre. Your first antenatal appointment will usually be the longest because you will be asked many questions about your family background and medical history. Antenatal check-ups usually include a urine test, a measurement of blood pressure and you might have your weight measured. You will also have blood tests at various stages during your pregnancy, to check your blood group and to test for various infections that might be hazardous to the pregnancy.
Useful Tips: Monitoring
At various intervals through- out your pregnancy, a midwife or doctor will check the well being of you and your baby. This is called 'antenatal care.' Exactly how often you will have an antenatal check-up will vary between health authorities. You can receive your antenatal care from your GP or midwife or at the hospital antenatal department, or shared between the two.

The baby's heartbeat will be monitored and as the baby grows, the baby's position in the womb will be noted. All this information will be held in your antenatal notes. Most women keep their notes with them. It is important to take them with you if you travel away from home.


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