For the majority of females, pregnancy is an exciting period in a person’s life. The idea that after the nine months of incubation a living, breathing human will spring forth from your womb and you will be responsible for another life. While this process has been glamorized by many celebrities and reality television shows, it can be a trying period and may bring several unfavorable experiences. This article will act as a guide on how you can discover pregnancy, the symptoms of pregnancy and what birthing options are available once you are ready to give birth.
- The different types of pregnancy tests
The need to discover whether or not you are pregnant is generally initiated by a disruption in your menstrual cycle. As pregnancy sees a fertilized ovum attach itself to the lining of your womb, there will be no need to remove this endometrium (the lining) via menstruation as the embryo will require it to grow; thus we have a disrupted menstrual cycle and lack thereof for the entire incubation period. Once you have noted this change it is necessary to complete a pregnancy test.
The first, and most commonly used, pregnancy test is the urine test. This test is the most convenient option as it is available over-the-counter at the majority of pharmacies. It is normally comprised of a urine stick which the female is required to urinate over and then leave for a specified amount of time. Once the allocated time has passed the results will be indicated on the stick as per the instructions detailed on the box. It is important to follow the instructions carefully to receive accurate results.
Another option is the pregnancy blood test. The blood test is more accurate than the urine test and will be conducted by a medical professional to determine the level of HCG in the blood. The presence of HCG in the blood indicates an embryo has attached itself to the uterine wall; however, if the HCG is not present this disruption may be due to other factors such as stress. Doctors will often conduct further tests if the pregnancy blood test results are positive.
- The symptoms of pregnancy
During pregnancy a female’s body will undergo many changes in addition with some being more noticeable than others. The majority of these changes will occur during the first few months of pregnancy and it is important you are aware of what signs to expect. Of course, the experience of pregnancy differs from woman to woman; but below are some of the most common symptoms:
- swollen and tender breasts
- food cravings and aversions
- menstrual disruption
- nausea and vomiting (‘morning sickness’)
- heightened sense of smell which can result in nausea
- frequent urination
- The methods of giving birth
As a pregnant female you now have various birthing options available to you including natural birth, water birth, and birth via caesarean section. Of course, each presents with its benefits and pitfalls; therefore it is important you are knowledgeable in the different styles and choose a birthing option that suits your preference beforehand.
Birth via natural means can be completed at home or in a private/public hospital. If you chose to have the baby at home you will require the services of a midwife. You will use organic techniques for pain management as midwives avoid the administration of any pharmaceuticals during birth. If you have a high risk pregnancy or prefer a medical professional to deliver you baby it is advised you use a hospital facility. Private/public hospitals will also use epidurals for pain relief.
Water births are often completed at home with the assistance of a midwife, but they can be completed in private hospitals as well. This allows a mother to give birth in warm water and uses traditional techniques for pain management.
A caesarian technique involves the ‘cutting out’ of a baby and is generally completed when a birth presents with high risk. This option is completed by medical professionals in public or private hospitals using epidurals as a means of pain relief.
Pregnancy can be an exciting time for a female, but there are various facts that you must take into account in order to enjoy your pregnancy without any nasty surprises.