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Every woman is different and so are her experiences of pregnancy and childbirth. This section aims to give you general guidelines of what to expect throughout this exciting and often nerve-wracking experience. Whether you want more information on the signs and symptoms of pregnancy, or would like an overview of what's happening with you and your baby during each trimester of pregnancy – you can read about it here. There are also further details for those who’d like to learn more about the process of labour and delivery, and the contraceptive options available to women post- delivery. Finally, our Self Help Resources section can point you to further sources of information to help you on your journey. Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms Every woman is different and so are her experiences of pregnancy. While the only way to know for sure is by taking a pregnancy test, there are early symptoms of pregnancy that may point to the possibility. What follows is a description of some of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy. A missed period: A missed period is usually the earliest sign of pregnancy for women who have regular menstrual cycles. However, those who have irregular periods might notice other symptoms of pregnancy first. Tender, swollen breasts: Tender, swollen breasts are one of the early signs of pregnancy caused by increasing levels of hormones. The soreness and swelling of your breasts may feel like an exaggerated version of how they feel before your period. Your discomfort should ease up after the first few months of pregnancy, when your body has adjusted to the hormonal changes. Spotting and cramping: Some women experience cramping or have a small amount of vaginal bleeding around 11 or 12 days after conception (close to the time you might notice a missed period). This is called implantation bleeding. The cramps resemble menstrual cramps, so they are sometimes mistaken as signs of the start of a period. The bleeding and cramps, however, are slight. Nausea or vomiting: In the first trimester hormone changes can cause nausea and vomiting. This is called morning sickness, although it can occur at any time of day. If you're like most women, morning sickness won't hit until about a month after conception. However, morning sickness usually tapers off by the second trimester. Fatigue: Many women find they're exhausted in the first trimester. This is completely normal. No one knows for sure what causes early pregnancy fatigue, but it's possible that rapidly increasing levels of the hormone progesterone are contributing to your sleepiness. Increased sensitivity to odours: If you're newly pregnant, it's not uncommon to feel repelled by specific aromas. You may also find that certain foods you used to enjoy are suddenly completely repulsive to you. Constipation: Higher levels of hormones due to pregnancy slow down digestion and relax muscles in the bowels leaving many women constipated. Urinary frequency and leaking: Temporary bladder control problems may occur in pregnancy. Your unborn baby pushes down on the bladder, urethra, and pelvic floor muscles. This pressure can lead to more frequent need to urinate, as well as leaking of urine when sneezing, coughing, or laughing. Quick LInks: IVF in Dubai, IVF Dubai

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First trimester (week 1 – week 12) At 4 weeks: The baby is going through lots of basic growth at this time, with the beginning development of the brain, spinal cord, heart, and gastrointestinal tract Arm and leg buds are visible The baby is an embryo and is about one-twenty-fifth inch long. At 8 weeks All major organs and external body struc

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Pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, counting from the first day of your last normal period. The weeks are grouped into three trimesters. See below for an overview of what's happening with you and your baby in these three stages. First trimester (week 1 – week 12) According to the Office on Women’s Health , the first trimester is marked by hormonal changes that affect almos

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Giving birth to a baby can be exciting, frightening, and unpredictable. The process that leads to the birth of your baby is called labour and delivery. Every woman's experience of labour and delivery is unique. Below are general guidelines that will help you understand what to expect. The stages of labour The process of labour and birth is divided into three stages:

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After having a baby, a woman’s fertility can return fairly quickly. This means that planning your next pregnancy if you want more children — or preventing a pregnancy if you don't — is important. There are many contraceptive choices available for women. The choices you have depend on your needs and whether or not you're breastfeeding. If you're not breastfeeding, you can

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If you want to find out more, feel free to check out the following self-help resources: American Pregnancy Association American Society of Reproductive Medicine Baby Center Baby Center, ‘Inside pregnancy: Labor and birth’ (video) Caring for Kids – Canadian Paediatric Society Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Topic: ‘Pregna

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