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BECOMING PREGNANT

IF YOU ARE THINKING of becoming pregnant, check that your lifestyle involves nothing that might harm the baby. All the major organs of his body are formed during the first three months, and it is now that his health can be harmed most easily. Once you have conceived, you will probably know or suspect that you are pregnant because of a number of different signs, such as heavy breasts, or feeling sick. Most of these changes are set off by the increase in hormone levels during the early weeks, as your body prepares to nurture the baby. The discomforts often lessen or even disappear completely around week 12.

EARLY SIGNS OF PREGNANCY

One or more of these changes can signify that you are pregnant. You may not notice any of them at first, but still instinctively know you are pregnant because vou 'feel' different.
  • A missed period but if your periods are normally irregular, or you are anxious, busy or ill, this may not be a reliable guide. It is also possible to have slight bleeding around the time you would normally expect your period, alter you have become pregnant.
  • Enlarged, tender breasts, which perhaps tingle a little.
  • A strange metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Tiredness, not just in the evening, but during the day.
  • Feeling faint, and perhaps dizzy.
  • An increase in normal vaginal discharge.
  • Nausea and perhaps Vomiting; thiS may happen at any time of the day
  • A strong dislike of some things, such as alcohol, coffee and cigarette smoke, and a craving for others
  • Feeling unusually emotional, because of hormone changes
  • A frequent need to pass water.

    CONFIRMING THE PREGNANCY

    Have the pregnancy confirmed as soon as possible. Your doctor or family-planning clinic can test a urine sample; about two weeks after your first missed period a hormone will appear in your urine, and this confirms the pregnancy. Alternatively, buy a home pregnancy testing kit from a chemist and do the test yourself. When you have missed two periods, your doctor may give you a vaginal examination to confirm whether you are pregnant.

    HOME PREGNANCY TESTING KITS

    All kits contain a chemical solution, which you mix with a few drops of urine. Test the first urine you have passed in the morning. Various indicators, such as a colour change, will suggest whether or not you are pregnant. These tests are fairly accurate if you follow the instructions carefully, but they can give a false result either way, so always ask your doctor to confirm whether or not you are pregnant.
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