Pregnancy is the time (usually nine months) during which a woman carries one or more offspring until delivery. Childbirth usually occurs after 37 complied weeks after the conception, or about 40 weeks after the last menstrual period. The World Health Organization(WHO) defines the normal term to be 37 to 42 weeks. During your first OB/GYN doctor visit, the doctor will normally tell you the estimated childbirth date, or the “due date”, mainly interpreted by a sonograph(USG) measurement. The actual length of pregnancy depends on various factors. For example, the first pregnancy tends to last longer than subsequent pregnancies. Fewer than 10% of births occur on the due date; 50% of births occur within a week of the due date, and almost 90% occur within two weeks of the due date. If you do not know your due date, you can use our Due Date Calculator to obtain an estimate. The 40 weeks of pregnancy is typically broken down into three periods, or trimesters, each consisting of about three months.
Pregnancy can be detected via pregnancy tests, which detect your hormone level. Clinical blood and urine tests can detect pregnancy from six to eight days after fertilization. Blood tests are more accurate. Home pregnancy tests are urine tests, which normally can detect pregnancy from 12 to 15 days after fertilization.
A balanced and nutritious diet is very important for both the mother and baby. Adequate periconceptional folic acid intake has been proven to limit fetal neural tube defects(NTD), which prevent spina bifida. DHA omega-3 is a major structural fatty acid essential for the brain and retina. It is important for the mother to take adequate amounts of DHA during pregnancy and while nursing.
Pregnancy is normally accompanied by weight gain, which is necessary in most situations. The amount of weight gain recommended during a single pregnancy varies among women. The WHO recommends an overall pregnancy weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds for women with normal weight. Underweight women are recommended to gain 28 to 40 pounds. Overweight women should gain from 15 to 25 pounds, and obese women should gain 11 to 20 pounds. Use thePregnancy Weight Gain Calculator to evaluate your specific situation.