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Gen. information on pregnancy

General Information on Pregnancy
Note: This information is intended for educational purposes only. You should seek further advice and instruction from your chosen healthcare professional.
FIRST TRIMESTER
SECOND TRIMESTER
THIRD TRIMESTER
Conception to 4
28-36 cm long (approx) 40-46 cm long (approx) 36 - 38 weeks

Hormonal fluctuations
It is during what is commonly referred to as ‘childbearing’ years that a woman’s body prepares for a pregnancy each month. Hormones (also referred to as ‘messengers’) are sent from the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These glands are situated at the base of your brain. These ‘messengers’ will let your brain know if a sperm has connected with an egg. If this egg is fertilised then oestrogen and progesterone levels increase until the placenta is developed to the point where it can take over for the duration of the pregnancy. The levels of progesterone and oestrogen increase during the first 12-14 weeks of the pregnancy and it is during this time that women can experience changes to their moods, nausea and be far more sensitive (from an emotional point of view). Your emotions can inhibit the production of these hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) so it is a good idea to look after your mind and body right from the beginning so that you will feel confident leading up to and during the birth. A great way to help manage your pregnancy and prepare for birth is a combination of gentle exercise, meditation, massage and attending educational classes to learn about your pregnancy and the birthing process. Meditation
Meditation is a calming, mental exercise. It is undertaken by people of all ages and circumstances to
reduce stress, tension, anxiety and pain. Try finding a local meditation class or practise at home for 15 -
20 minutes a day using the following technique:
Find a quiet space and time and wear loose, comfortable clothing. Focus on your breath; find a word (mantra) that you like (i.e. thank you or ‘OM’). If it’s easier, focus on an image (i.e. candle or photo). Allow thoughts to float on by. Do a Body Scan (example only)
Two to three weeks before labour, do a ‘body scan’. Close your eyes and starting at the toes, feel where
you are holding tension - then release the area of tension by a ‘relax’ command. From the toes go to the
feet, then leg and back and then all the way to the top of your head.
Further reading:
Creating Health - How to wake up the body’s intelligence. Deepak Chopra. Houghton Miffin Co, 1995.
Breath Sweeps Mind: A first guide to meditation practice. Jean Smith (ed) Riverhead Bood, 1998
Exercise
Yoga is great because it includes breathing exercises; addresses your body posture and meditation. In Yoga, Prana (life force) breathing technique is used. This allows your body to open up and receive universal energies; body postures will stretch and strengthen muscles that improve posture, relax organs and nerves. When it comes to meditation it will allow the mind to become focused yet ‘quiet’ and will relax the body. There are specific yoga classes for pregnancy and childbirth preparation.
Alternatives to Yoga
Other forms of exercise most beneficial to pregnant women include swimming and walking. Avoid heavy
exercise during the first 15 weeks after conception. This is when the placenta attaches itself to the wall of
the uterus.
Childbirth Education classes
Childbirth education classes can offer help for both you and your partner by providing an informative, positive and supportive environment. Attending these classes is important as they:Give you the opportunity to meet other people who are also in the same situation. Build the confidence you have in your body as you understand that your body was designed to give birth. Help you develop skills to meet labour with excitement and trust. Kinesiology
Kinesiology is a unique healing modality in that it relies upon an individual’s own innate healing power and allows one to get below the surface of symptoms. It identifies stressors using simple muscle testing and uses feedback to facilitate changes. Some of the healing tools that Holistic Kinesiology uses are: Acupressure, Chakra balancing, Lymphatic, Neurovascular and Meridian stimulation, Flower essences, Crystals and Aurasoma.
Kinesiology is particularly useful for trauma and emotionally challenging events in life that have manifested as Physical symptoms.

Source: http://essenture.com.au/pdf/GenInfoOnPregnancy.pdf

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