-THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NORMAL CHANGES IN PREGNANCY
Pregnancy is both a journey for the mother and the baby, the burden of which rests solely on the mother’s shoulder to cater for the entire baby’s need right from conception until and after delivery. For this journey to be successful, the mother’s body undergoes some essential changes necessary to accommodate the baby during this journey and beyond. Such changes which are important for the normal outcome of all pregnancies are essential in all pregnant women. Yet many of these changes resemble some common medical disorders and some others may resemble some serious medical conditions, any of which may be a source of anxiety in the novice especially among many of the first time pregnant women. Therefore, all women should be aware of the normal changes in pregnancy, anticipate and embrace them and in turn avoid unnecessary anxiety when noticed. Similarly, because many of these changes when sub-optimal or abnormal may result in dire consequences to both or either the mother and the baby, it is also important that all women should be able to recognize and decipher abnormal changes in pregnancy and present immediately for a proper evaluation and management to the Obstetrician once noticed.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NORMAL CHANGES IN PREGNANCY
These changes in pregnancy are important for the following reasons:
1. They are essential to provide adequate nutrients and substrates for the fetus to live and grow on.
2. They are essential to improve the transportation of nutrients from the mother to the fetus.
3. They are essential to facilitate the exchange of nutrients and waste products between the mother and the baby across the placenta
4. They are necessary to facilitate the removal of excess waste products produced by the baby and the mother from the body
5. They are important to provide adequate nutrition and adequate protection from infection for the baby after delivery.
Although almost all organs in the body undergo some sort of changes in pregnancy, such changes usually peak at different times in pregnancy, yet most would have become fully established by the end of the first trimester and most women would have started feeling pregnancy symptoms by the end of the 6th week of pregnancy. These changes which`are directly or indirectly caused by the various hormones produced in pregnancy will be described critically in subsequent articles.
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