Pregnancy is a special time for every woman. Learn how to determine your term and calculate your delivery date.
Pregnancy in Nigeria – overview
As a rule Nigerian families have many kids in them. Thus, it is important to learn some key facts on pregnancy and maternity before getting to the heart of this topic and answering the question: how many weeks pregnant am I?
Here are some facts to consider:
- An average number of pregnancies per woman in Nigeria is 6.
- The average age for the first pregnancy in this country is 20.3.
- The medical maternal and birth care in Nigeria is not satisfactory.
- The latest tendency in this area is for women to be taken to old days traditional birth houses, rather than to hospitals.
- Not all the hospitals have gynecologists on staff with them, let alone modern tech devices to monitor pregnancy and childbirth process.
These facts indicate the importance of self-education in this area for all the Nigerian women. Not all of them have the chance to get monitored by a professional doctor, who can properly calculate the pregnancy term. So, learning the DIY methods could be very desirable for these women.
Why it is important to know how many weeks pregnant am I?
There are several reasons to know the pregnancy term. First of all, knowing the term may help a woman and her doctor to understand how the pregnancy is going.
Secondly, a woman should know her term to monitor her weight gain and avoid obesity. The recent researched showed that up to 10 percent of Nigerian pregnant women become obese. Most of them reside in city areas and no wonder. In rural areas women have to work harder and do not put on as much weight as in towns.
Plus, the recent law change has increased the maternity leave for women in Nigeria. It used to be 12 full weeks of paid vocation, but now it has been increased to 16 full weeks. Knowing the pregnancy term may help you protect your rights and get the leave timely.
Pregnancy weeks break down
These reasons are enough to get busy and get more information and calculate how many weeks pregnant you are. However, first you should get detailed information on the pregnancy break down by weeks. It lasts 3 trimesters (3 months each) and 40 weeks. Now, why is it 40 weeks instead of 36?
An average pregnancy duration is 280 days or 10 moon months (they are shorter than regular ones). In reality a pregnancy may last anywhere from 36 to 42 weeks. Less the 36 weeks is considered incomplete pregnancy and anything over 42 weeks is a post-term pregnancy.
The first trimester lasts for 13 weeks. It is the most sensitive time for a woman and the baby. During this period of time a woman needs to take special care of herself:
- Avoid stress;
- Get rid of filthy habits: smoking and drinking;
- Do not use any medications unless they are prescribed by your physician;
- Start taking vitamins;
- Take folic acid (it helps forming healthy nerve system and brain of the baby);
- Do not lift heavy things;
- Do not do x-ray;
- Stay away from the contact with sick people, especially those infected with roseola;
- Avoid contacts with cats (these pets can infect a pregnant woman with toxoplasmosis.
- Eat healthy.
During this period of time many women experience nausea and vomit. But these unpleasant symptoms soon pass. One may also experience sleepiness and little weakness.
It lasts 13 more weeks to the 26th week. Now you see, why it is important to ask a question: how do i know how many weeks pregnant I am? It would help you to get the instructions on how to stay healthy and deliver a healthy baby.
These three months are the most pleasant one in the pregnancy. As a rule women start feeling much better. All the unpleasant things such as nausea are in the past. The belly is not as big yet and the woman does not feel heavy and slow.
The blood circulation in the womb gets increased and she may experience boost in her sexual drive. It is a safe time to have good sex with your husband now. During this time the placenta is formed and the baby becomes more protected from the outward impacts.
It’s a good idea to start wearing a bellyband, when you are on the 20th week of pregnancy. It would reduce the risks of losing your baby and of getting stretch marks on the belly.
This is the time when a mother starts feeling how her baby moves inside the womb. New mothers who have their first baby may start sensing its moves on the 18th week. Those, who already have kids may sense the moves as early as the 15th week. It’s a very special time for a woman indeed.
It stats on the 27th week. By this time baby’s body gets fully shaped; all it does it keep on gaining weight and growing. So does the mother. Baby may get pretty active by this time. It may start responding to your touches to the belly. Its movements may produce a certain discomfort for the mother.
What are some of the things you should know about this time:
- Get ready to sense much pressure on the lower belly part and on the bladder;
- You may experience acing in the lower part of the back;
- A mother may experience swelling in her legs and hands;
- Heartburn is another thing related to this trimester;
- Maintain proper diet to avoid mother and baby obesity;
- Control the amount of water you consume;
- Drink up to 3 glassfuls of milk;
- Eat much red meat;
- Watch out for gestational toxicosis (nausea or vomit are dangerous signs on the 3rd trimester).
How many weeks pregnant am I:
There two basic methods used for calculating the term. It can be calculated either by using the period date or the ovulation date. Since ovulation date cannot be defined with due accuracy, using period dates is a more reliable way to do it.
Here is a simple formula you can use to find out the probable date of your delivery: write down the first day of your period date, deduct 3 months and add 7 days. Here is an example to make it easier – a formula on how to calculate how many weeks pregnant I am:
July 1 (The first day of period) - 3 months (April 1) + 7 days = March 8 (an expected birth date)
It is a pretty simple and reliable formula. Of course, the calculations are approximate, but there is a high proximity you would deliver the baby during this period of time. In fact, many doctors are using this formula to set the birth date.
Medical methods used to determine how many weeks pregnant am I
Now, what can doctors do to calculate the term? First of all, a doctor can do an examination. They would palpate the belly and measure it. The size of the uterus indicates the pregnancy term. Medical data shows that uterus length matches the number of pregnancy weeks – 15 cm equals 15 weeks.
Another method is ultrasonic examination. Not all the hospitals have the equipment to do it. WHO considers the best practice to have 2-3 ultrasounds during the pregnancy.
Best practices during the pregnancy
Staying healthy and happy is two of the main tasks of a woman during these special 40 weeks. It is also a great time to get prepared for the delivery. Here are some of the things you could do to enjoy your pregnancy and make the most out of this time:
- Avoid overeating (no need to double the amount of food you consume);
- Remain active: walk or do mild exercises to stay fit and healthy;
- Take strolls;
- Take vitamins;
- Get a hobby (start crafting, drawing, singing, anything you like);
- Learn breathing practices for the delivery time;
- Learn relaxation;
- Learn some new baby songs;
- Control the amount of water you consume to avoid swelling or dehydration;
- Increase the amount of dairies you get.
- Find a good doctor, hospital or birth assistant.
- Regularly visit a doctor.
- Sing to your baby in the belly and read out loud.
- Talk to your baby and enjoy yourself.
As you may see, it’s a good question to ask: how many months pregnant am I? The more you know about your body and the pregnancy, the better. Such knowledge may help you to stay healthy and improve your experience carrying children.