FAQ

FAQ

Knowing your gestational age: how many weeks is your pregnancy?

The gestational age refers to how far pregnant you are. Therefore, if you are 32 weeks pregnant, your baby’s gestational age is 32 weeks too. Here are several ways to calculate your gestational age:

1.  Fundal height measurement

Measuring the fundal height is one simple way to determine how far along you are in pregnancy by measuring the distance from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus or fundal by using measuring tape, usually in centimeters (cm). For example, if the distance from pubic bone to the top of the uterus is 18 cm, it means your gestational age is 18 weeks.

2. Menstrual period method
Your gestational age can be calculated from the first day of you last menstrual period (LMP) by using Naegele’s formula, which can also be used to determine the estimated date of delivery (EDD). To the date of your first day of the LMP, add seven days, then subtract the months with 3, and finally add 1 to the year.

3. Pregnancy journal
it is not hard to track your pregnancy by having pregnancy journal. If your last period started on 6 May 2012, add 7 to the date (7+6) which results in 13. Then subtract the month (5) by 3 (5-3) which results in 2. Finally, add 1 the year (1+2012=2013). Here you are, your estimated delivery date (EDD) will be on 13 February 2013.

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Ovulation calculator: how to calculate your fertile window?

There are two ways to calculate your fertile window:

1. For regular menstrual cycle

To calculate your fertile window, you need to know the length of your menstrual cycle, e.g. 28 days (which usually vary from 23 to 35 days). In 28 days of menstrual cycle, the first day of your period counts as the 1st day, while your fertile window spans from the 12th day until the 16th day of your menstrual cycle.

As illustration, if your period begins on 2 February, the same day counts as the 1st day. Therefore, the 12th day of your menstrual cycle occurs on 13 February and the 16th day of your menstrual cycle occurs on 17 February. That being said, your fertile window spans drom 13 until 17 February.

2. For irregular menstrual cycle

This method can be used if you have irregular menstrual cycles or your cycle length varies in 28 days from month to month.

Calculate the amount of the days within your menstrual cycle in 6 months or 6 cycles. One menstrual cycle is calculated from the first day of the current period of any given month until the first day of the next period. First, subtract the shortest total of the days in 6 cycles by 18. This calculation determines the very first day of your fertile window. Then, subtract the longest total of the days in 6 cycles by 11. This calculation determines the last day of your fertile window.

For example:

First day of your fertile window = subtract the shortest total of the days in 6 cycles by 18

Last day of your fertile window = subtract the longest total of the days in 6 cycles by 11

Here is the illustration if your shortest total of the days in 6 cycles are 26 days and your longest total of the days in 6 cycles are 32 days (both are calculated from the first day of your current period until the next one).

Subtract 26 by 18 = 8

Subtract 32 by 11 = 21

In conclusion, your fertile window begins in the 8th day until the 21st day of the first day of your period.

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How to detect baby movement during pregnancy?

Baby movement can be detected differently according your pregnancy age:

1. You will start to feel your baby movement between the 16th to 20th week of your pregnancy. This very first sensation of your baby moving, such as kicking and jabbing, is also called “quickening”.

2. During the 21st to 24th week of your pregnancy, you may notice your baby moves more often, swishing, rolling, or tumbling in your womb.

3. Your baby may starts hiccupping during the 25 to 28 weeks of your pregnancy.

4. In the third trimester of your pregnancy during the 29th to 31st week, you will feel your baby movement as more controlled and more regularly. The movement can also be accompanied with some small contractions every now and then.

5. The 32nd to 35th weeks of your pregnancy is the peak period when you can feel your baby movement the most.

6. Your baby has grown very big during the 36th to 40th week of your pregnancy, so your baby may hardly move in your stretched out womb. The suckling activity of your unborn child can usually stop by itself too.

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How can you boost the chance of getting pregnant?

Here are some ways to increase your odds of getting pregnant:

1. Get to know your ovulation period and have sex at the right time in your fertile window.

2. Sex position may also increase the chance of getting pregnant. Missionary or man on top is the most recommended position as it brings the sperm in closer proximity to the cervix.

3. Watch your daily intake when you are trying to conceive.

In order to get pregnant faster, you should choose organic foods. You also have to avoid junk food and fast food altogether, as they may reduce fertility in both men and women. Eat more fiber such as fruits and vegetables to boost your metabolism process and help remove toxin from your body.

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What are the early signs of pregnancy?

Here are some early signs of pregnancy from the first to the tenth week:

The first week

On your first week, you may not feel the common pregnancy signs such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headache, even sleepiness.

The second week
Your early signs of pregnancy is not usually visible during this second week, just like the first week. 

The third week

You may notice that you just miss your expected period once conception and implantation of your fetus have occurred. Some women may not feel any early sign of pregnancy during this third week.

The fourth week

The hormonal changes during your fourth week of pregnancy may cause some discomforts like fatigue, headache, nausea, or tiresome.

The fifth week

During this phase, you will feel some other early signs of pregnancy more often, such as swollen and sore breasts, headache, fatigue, and vomiting.

The sixth week

On your sixth week, you will usually begin to have frequent urination. The fetal heart development with two upper chambers and two lower chambers begin during this period, too. If you have an ultrasound check, you may see that your baby has shown several dots where their eyes and nostril will develop later.

The seventh week

On your seventh week, you may sometimes feel nausea, morning sickness, fatigue, tiresome, and headache. Inside your tummy, your baby begins developing a much stronger heart and four identical buds that will grow into a pair of arms and legs.

The eighth week

Your baby bump is still not visible during this period. Your uterus has enlarged and is now twice the normal size and put pressure on the your bladder, therefore you may start to have frequent urination.

The ninth week

Waist pain is a common symptom during the ninth week. You may also begin to hear the baby heartbeat when you have an early prenatal ultrasound examination.

The tenth week

During this period, your nausea and tiresome sensation will begin to reduce. You should maintain your health by doing low-impact exercise or joining prenatal class.

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What are the early signs and symptoms of labor?

Look for some signs below to tell that your baby delivery is on the way:

Frequent urination

You may get an increased urge to urinate as your baby’s head starts to drop into pelvis. Frequent urination is a common symptoms for some time prior to labor.

Braxton Hicks contraction

Braxton Hicks refers to irregular contraction or false labor which happens occasionally toward the end of your pregnancy during the third trimester. You may feel milder contractions that can be described as muscles tightening across your belly every 20-120 seconds. Unlike the real contraction, Braxton Hicks contraction may stop if you change position. False labor may also occur before the real ones happen, usually with less frequency.

You can feel the sensation of Braxton Hicks contraction around belly and waist area. However, pregnant women tend to feel the real contraction throughout the lower back, then moves to the front of your abdomen.

The passage of mucus plug

Another sign that your labor is near is the passage of the mucus plug. Thick mucus normally keeps your cervical opening closed during pregnancy. Your cervix usually gets bigger before delivery, around the same time the mucus plug will be expressed from your vagina. The mucus plug will be expelled as blood-tinged vaginal discharge or also known as the bloody show. Your mucus discharge may look bloody red, pink, or even crystal clear.

The cervix dilation

Dilation of the cervix that has become more elastic is also a sign that your baby delivery is approaching. If you have been pregnant before, your cervix may dilate more easily around 1 or 2 centimeters just before labor. If this is your first pregnancy, cervix dilation to a width of 1 centimeter only does not guarantee that you will give birth right away.

Water breaking

Some pregnant women may feel contractions prior to water breaking. The rupture of amniotic membrane is usually a sign that your labor has begun. If your water breaks before labor starts while you feel no contraction afterwards, the greater the risk of your baby developing an infection.

You need to get physical examination in order to determine if you are leaking amniotic fluid. Once you arrive at a medical facility, your doctor may begin labor induction to keep both you and your baby safe. Labor will usually occur within 24 hours after water breaking.

The changing levels of hormones during labor may cause you to feel mood swing or easily irritated similar to your usual pre-menstrual syndromes.

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How do you keep track of prenatal development?

As your body changes over the next 9 months, you may want to keep track of your baby’s growth and development. Your pregnancy period consists of three 12-week trimesters.

1. The first trimester

The first three-months is a vulnerable period since most women are not aware that they are pregnant. Most pregnancy will only be noticeable after the first month, therefore you need to learn the early signs of pregnancy to prevent the risks of miscarriage.

During this embryonic stage, your baby is only as big as a respectably sized shrimp and will grow much bigger during the second month. On the third month of gestation, your baby begins to develop into a perfect human-like form.

2. The second trimester
Your second trimester begins at week 12, around the time when your baby begins to move and react with the situation inside your uterus. The development of your baby’s arms and legs will be followed by the forming of nails. Your baby now begins developing soft, tiny hairs called vernix which functions to protect the baby skin from amniotic fluid. This vernix hair will grow thicker when you reach the fourth month of gestation.

During the second trimester, your baby starts to develop their major organs such as eyes, nose, moth, and ears. Around the fourth month of your pregnancy, your baby now weighs about 45 grams which will increase up to 160 grams afterwards. The umbilical cord that attaches your baby to your abdomen forms on your fifth month of your pregnancy, when the fetus starts to develop intestines and digestive system.

2. The third trimester
All of your baby’s organs have developed on this period, such as the brain and the nervous system that has been fully functioning. Your baby’s eyes will be able to open up and close on the third trimester. You may feel that your baby is getting more active during this period, especially at night. As your baby reaches the peak of their weight at 2,3 kilograms or more, your baby’s organs such as the lungs and body functions like immunity system have perfectly developed.

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What are highly nutritious food to consume for pregnant women?

In order to optimize the daily nutrition intake for pregnant women and the baby, you must consume the adequate amounts of the following nutrients:

Calories

Calories are one of the most important nutrition for pregnant women because they will be converted into energy for fetal growth. You may get your source of calories from rice, bread, potatoes, or roots and tubers.

Folic acid

Folic acid is required for the development of the fetal nervous system and body cells. Some foods that contain folic acid include brown rice, green vegetables, and fruits.

Protein

Protein is synthetized from amino acids that are important for the fetal development and is useful for cells development, including the brain. You can get your daily protein intake from milk, meat, fish, egg white, beans, tofu, and tempeh.

Calcium

Calcium is known as a substance that must be consumed by pregnant women for the development of fetal bones and teeth, which can also help to develop muscles, liver, the nervous system and to stabilize fetal heartbeat. You can get your daily calcium intake from milk.

Omega-6 (Linoleic Acid) and Omega-3 (Linolenic Acid)

Omega-6 and Omega-3 are both useful to increase the development of brain cells and optic nerve. In addition, Omega-3 can make blood vessels become more flexible and can prevent blockages in the blood vessels. Meanwhile, Omega-6 can reduce the risk of autism as well as maintain postnatal development. While they are important for fetal growth, Omega-6 and Omega-3 are types of fat that your body cannot produce on its own. Therefore, they can only be obtained from certain foods or DHA-fortified pregnancy formula.

Iron

Iron is useful for the development of hemoglobin in the red blood cells that function to carry oxygen throughout the body. Iron also functions to deliver the oxygen to the muscles and can increase your resistance to stress and depression, especially during pregnancy. Some foods that contain iron are beef, poultry, broccoli, spinach, and beans.

Choline

Choline can help your baby to avoid neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. In addition, choline is believed to be able to strengthen the memory of the fetus and toddler. The adequate consumption of choline to meet the nutrition need of pregnant women is 400 milligrams per day, which can also be fulfilled by drinking 2 glasses of pregnancy formula per day.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D that can be obtained from the morning sun has an important role in the development of the baby inside the womb, such as for the development of bones, healthy skin, and sharper eyesight. During your pregnancy, you must consume around 600 IU of vitamin D per day, which will later help optimizing the absorption of Calcium.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is useful for the development of your baby body tissues, healthy skin, and also good for the development of fetal gums, teeth, and bones. The absorption of iron will be optimized with an adequate intake of vitamin C. In addition, you must consume around 85 milligrams of vitamin C every day that can be obtained from orange, kiwi, strawberry, and broccoli.

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Is frequent spotting during pregnancy dangerous?

Spotting, which is nearly similar to menstruation, usually occur during pregnancy because of the embryo implantation process or the attachment of the egg into the uterine wall. This attachment causes the uterine wall to release blood. Spotting also occur due to cervical softening, which contains many amounts of blood vessels. Hormonal influence can also result in spotting and often occur in the third month of pregnancy for about two days. Contact your doctor once the spotting includes thick and yellowish mucus. During spotting, you will usually feel hot and itchy in your vagina.

You need to do the following tips if you experience spotting:

1. Use menstrual pads that are safe and comfortable.

2. Clean the vagina regularly by using warm water. Use special soaps if needed and avoid soaps that contains perfume.

3. Use cotton underwear, since this material is very soft and comfortable to wear.

4. Avoid stress or excessive thoughts.

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What is a false labor?

Braxton Hicks contraction or false labor occurs when you feel the irregular tightening sensation of abdomen which may come and go every now and then. The tightening during Braxton Hicks contraction is not as strong as the real ones and only occur between 30-120 seconds.

Unlike the real contraction, Braxton Hicks contraction may stop if you change position. False labor may also occur before the real ones happen, usually with less frequency.

You can feel the sensation of Braxton Hicks contraction around belly and waist area. However, pregnant women tend to feel the real contraction throughout the lower back, then moves to the front of your abdomen.

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