If you are a pregnant girl and wondering what the next nine months have in store for you, this article will hopefully answer a few questions and calm a few fears. So let's begin with a few basics.
Gestation is the time that your baby will spend in your uterus developing; this time period is 280 days. The term pregnancy, which is often used interchangeably with gestation, means the condition of having a developing child in your uterus. Your pregnancy will be referred to as the number of weeks of gestation, 40 weeks, or your doctor may divide it into 3 trimesters.
The due date or estimated date of confinement is calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period. Quickening is the first movement of the fetus felt in the uterus. This usually occurs during the 16-20th weeks of pregnancy. The fetus is viable when it is capable of living outside the mother. Viability depends on the developmental age, birth weight of the fetus, and developmental stage of the lungs.
Parturition, also known as labor and childbirth, means to give birth to an offspring. The term antepartum means before the onset of labor with reference to the mother. Labor and delivery will occur in three stages. The first stage begins with contractions of the uterus and gradual dilation or when your cervix gets bigger. During this stage effacement or when your cervix starts to thin during labor.
The second stage is the delivery of your baby. The amniotic sac, also known as the bag of waters, breaks. Then the uterine contractions become stronger and more frequent until your baby is born. Presentation is the term used to describe the portion of the fetus that can be touched by the examining finger during labor.
Normally the baby's head comes first, and the stage at which the head can be seen at the vaginal orifice is called crowning. The third stage is the expulsion of the placenta as the afterbirth. The term delivery means the expulsion of the infant and afterbirth. Your newborn baby will be referred to as a neonate for the first month after you give birth.