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What Medicine Can I Take While Pregnant?

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what-medicine-can-i-take-while-pregnantWhat medicine can I take while pregnant? This is an important question because there are times when medications are necessary, but you have to ensure that you are putting your baby first. A number of medications can cause birth defects and other problems with the fetus. Because of this, you want to have a safe list of medications that you know you can take without issue. If you take any medications regularly, talk to your doctor as soon as you get pregnant to see if any of them need to be switched during your pregnancy.

Pain Medications

Acetaminophen is generally the only pain medication recommended during pregnancy. It is critical that you follow the dosage instructions exactly and only take them when you have no other option. Things like muscle aches and headaches are common during pregnancy, but instead of reaching for pain medication first, try something like a hot or cold compress, or massage. These can often alleviate the pain enough to where you will not need to take any pain medication.

It is important that you avoid all aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications during pregnancy. While there is no significant risk, according to studies, some research shows that these medicines might increase the risk of birth defects and miscarriage, especially if you take them during your first trimester.

Allergy and Cold Medications

If you get a cold or have allergies, you need to do something to find relief. Things like nasal spray, rest and fluids are the best methods during pregnancy, but there are times when a medication is necessary to alleviate your symptoms. Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine that doctors say is generally safe during pregnancy when used exactly as directed. As for a decongestant, stick to nasal sprays that have oxymetazoline in them to be as safe as possible.

If you have a cough that will not allow you to sleep, dextromethorphan is generally considered to be a safe choice. However, make sure that you never take medicines that have iodine in them because this can cause fetal thyroid issues that can be life-threatening. It is also important to make sure to avoid all cough medicines that have alcohol in them.

Digestive Medications

Things like nausea and heartburn are very common during pregnancy, and in some cases, medicine is necessary to calm your discomfort. You might also sometimes need medicines for things like hemorrhoids and constipation. When it comes to heartburn, calcium carbonate is generally considered to be safe during pregnancy. If this is not working, sucralfate might be recommended.

When it comes to hemorrhoids and constipation, a high-fiber diet is the most important thing that you can do. There are fiber supplements your doctor can recommend that you can get at any drug store. Make sure that you never use castor oil or laxatives, as these might trigger labor. In terms of hemorrhoids, never use hydrocortisone. Witch hazel and glycerin, however, are generally considered to be safe.

Prescription Medications

There are a number of prescription medications available today that are generally safe during pregnancy. If you have an infection or something like high blood pressure, taking the medications to treat these is critical since issues like this can cause adverse effects to your fetus.

If you take prescription drugs, immediately tell your doctor what they are, how you take them and the dosage you take. Your doctor might need to switch you to a different medication or adjust your dosage to ensure safety during pregnancy. Remember that leaving a condition untreated can be far more dangerous than taking a medication to treat it. Just make sure that you are taking the medications exactly as your doctor prescribes to ensure optimal safety. You should also alert your doctor of any difficult side effects.

What medicines can I take while pregnant? You now know the answer to this and have some general information about what it is that you can take. Now, this list is just basic and before taking anything, including the medications listed here, talk to your doctor first. Your doctor should be aware of anything that you are taking since you have to be extra careful about medication interactions during pregnancy.

Can You Still Have Your Period and Be Pregnant?

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can-you-still-have-your-period-and-be-pregnantMany people think that no pregnant woman has a menstrual period, but can you still have your period and be pregnant? If you think you might be pregnant, but are menstruating, this is a question you want the answer to. Bleeding is often alarming when you know you are pregnant and there are times when bleeding does signal something serious happening. Knowing when you need to worry is important. You also want to understand general menstruation and what happens to your cycle when you are pregnant.

Menstruation and How Pregnancy Affects It

When you are not pregnant and menstruating, your uterus develops a lining that is rich in blood. It is preparing for an egg to imbed itself in the tissue. When an egg does not implant, this tissue gets shed and this is what results in your menstrual period.

Now, once an egg does implant in this tissue, your hormones will tell this lining to stay where it is and because of this, you do not have a menstrual period. This lining will not shed again until your pregnancy ends and the lining starts to shed on a monthly basis.

Due to how your menstrual period works, you can see that you cannot have an actual menstrual period during your pregnancy. This is not possible due to your uterine lining needing to be in place for the egg that becomes the fetus to have a place to implant and grow.

Bleeding During Pregnancy

Some women spot during their pregnancy and this is not necessarily dangerous. It is also important to note that this is not your menstrual period. However, if you notice bleeding during pregnancy, no matter how light, you want to contact your doctor to be evaluated. This is because certain causes of bleeding are very serious and it might indicate issues like miscarriage, infection, a problem with your placenta or an ectopic pregnancy. Only a doctor can determine the cause and provide the necessary treatment if needed.

Can you still have your period and be pregnant? You now have the answer to this question and know that if you experience bleeding, it is a good idea to give your doctor a call or go to the emergency room. It is not possible to determine if the bleeding is serious or not until you are evaluated by a doctor.

Missed Period But Not Pregnant: Exploring the Causes

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missed-period-but-not-pregnantHave you experienced a missed period, but are not pregnant? If so, you surely want to know the other causes to know if you need to see your doctor? Many women have the occasional missed period, but if this is something you experience frequently, you want to narrow down the cause. There are many reasons you might not get your period and knowing about the most common reasons gives you a place to start. If you miss your period, especially if it happens often, make an appointment with your doctor to narrow down the cause.

Excessive Exercise or Weight Loss

It is common knowledge that competitive female athletes, such as Olympic gymnasts, often do not experience a menstrual period. Then, if you lose weight rapidly or get below a BMI of 18 to 19, your periods can cease. This is actually your body protecting you. When these are occurring, your body is actively working to not get pregnant since none of these scenarios are healthy for a developing baby. Ovulation is prevented by the body as is the accumulation of uterine lining, causing missed period.

Thyroid Troubles

The thyroid gland is responsible for many things, including your metabolism. When this gland is over or underactive, it can cause problems with your menstrual cycle. If you are experiencing problems like weight loss or gain, fatigue or difficulty sleeping, significant appetite changes or hair loss along with a lost menstrual cycle, talk to your doctor about having your thyroid evaluated.

Stress

Stress can affect all areas of your health, including your body’s ability to shed the uterine lining. When stress is causing problems with the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that produces a number of menstrual-regulating hormones, this can cause you to not have a period or have one sporadically. This is most common with an acute and significantly stressful event, such as a death in the family, a major move or career change, sudden job loss and a big breakup.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

This condition is based on a hormonal imbalance that results when you are not ovulating. This causes abnormal levels of testosterone, progesterone and estrogen. Women with this condition often do not have regular periods and miss their cycle frequently. In addition to menstrual issues, this can also cause abnormal body and facial hair, fertility issues and a hard time losing weight.

Chronic Disease

Any type of chronic disease can cause problems with your reproductive health. This is especially true if your chronic disease is not being treated or you are not receiving the proper treatment. If you start experiencing missed periods along with other unexplained symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor. After getting a diagnosis and the condition under control, this can restore your menstrual periods.

Premature Menopause

Some women start menopause before their 40th birthday and this can cause your periods to be very irregular and then they cease completely. If your lack of menstrual periods come along with symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes and vaginal dryness, talk to your doctor. There are treatments that can restore your hormone levels to reduce your symptoms.

Birth Control

Certain types of birth control can actually make you not have a period at all. Some of these options are actually designed to stop your period and this is a harmless side effect. If this is the case, stopping that birth control method will usually restore your period in a few months. If you are starting a new birth control talk to your doctor so you know if this is a possible side effect.

If you experience a missed period, but are not pregnant, you now have an idea as to why it might be happening. All of these reasons for a missed period are things that you can control, so make sure that you talk to your doctor and get the proper treatment started once you know the exact reason behind your missed period. Once you get your periods back on a normal cycle, if you are trying to get pregnant, this will increase your chances of conception. This is because period problems can lead to issues with fertility.

Why am I Not Getting Pregnant?

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why-am-i-not-getting-pregnantWhy am I not getting pregnant? If you are trying to conceive, this is definitely a question you have asked yourself. Fertility issues are not uncommon, but in many cases, things can be done to help you to get pregnant. Knowing the most common reasons why you might be finding it hard to conceive can help you to finally have the baby you have been wanting. You also want some information about things you can start doing to help increase your chances of conceiving a child.

Common Reasons You Are Not Getting Pregnant

If you are not getting pregnant, you are not alone since approximately seven million US women battle with infertility. There are several reasons conception might be difficult, with some of the most common including:

  • Endometriosis: This is a condition where the uterine lining grows in abnormal places. This can stop a fertilized eggs from getting where it needs to go for conception.
  • Ovulation disorders: Irregular ovulation is responsible for up to 40 percent of infertility cases. It can occur due to things like excessive weight changes or exercise and hormonal imbalances.
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome: This is characterized by cysts growing on the ovaries. As many as 75 percent of sufferers are not even diagnosed. This can affect fertility due to causing hormonal imbalances.
  • Weight problems: Whether someone is too heavy or underweight, it can affect fertility. This is generally due to causes problems with your hormones.
  • Stress: Stress affects all parts of your health, including your ability to conceive. This is because stress can alter your hormone levels and negatively affect the organs that are responsible for producing hormones.
  • Fallopian tube problems: Issues like infection and blockages affect the ability for the sperm and eggs to meet and result in conception.
  • Age: As women get older, they have fewer and fewer eggs for the sperm to fertilize.
  • Smoking: Research shows that women who smoke are less likely to conceive and this is true for women who have smoked for any period of time.
  • Low progesterone: This is a hormone that plays a role in uterine lining development and when this is abnormal, conception might be more difficult.

Tips for Increasing Your Chances of Getting Pregnant

Of course, you need to have sexual intercourse in order to conceive and you need to have it frequently. The general recommendation is three to four times a week to help you get pregnant. When you have sex this often, it improves your chances of pregnancy due to:

  • Helping you to hit your most fertile days without needing to excessively plan for it
  • Improved sperm health

You want to make sure that you are using the right lubricants and avoiding those that can actually cause harm to sperm. Avoid lubricants that contain any type of spermicide and those like KY Jelly and Astroglide, since these are the two primary brands that inhibit sperm health.

Having intercourse when you are ovulating is important for getting pregnant. There are ovulation tests that you can purchase over-the-counter than help you to determine when you are ovulating.

There are other ways to increase your chances of pregnancy and these include:

  • Make sure that you are getting enough rest and sleep
  • Keep your stress to a minimum since some research shows that stress might inhibit fertility
  • Stay healthy by limiting your time around sick people and washing your hands frequently
  • Make sure that you are well-hydrated by drinking enough water
  • Reduce your caffeine intake since some research suggests that excessive consumption might affect your fertility
  • Keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum
  • Make sure that you quit smoking since smoking can affect your fertility

Why am I not getting pregnant? Now, you know the most common reasons why this occurs and you have some information about what you can do to change your fate. Of course, you also want to make sure that you are following a healthy lifestyle in general and see your doctor. A general rule of thumb is that if you are actively trying to conceive for 12 months without any luck, you should make an appointment with your doctor. He or she can then run tests to determine your overall health and to try and pinpoint the reason you cannot get pregnant.

Pregnant with No Insurance: Getting Help with Your Pregnancy

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If you are pregnant with no insurance, you want to know about the help programs available to ensure that you and your baby get the proper care during your pregnancy. There are a number of assistance options that are available to you as long as you know where to look. These are often not common knowledge, but with a little research, you will find that you can get some help with everything from your medical care to the other things you need during pregnancy, such as proper nutrition and any necessary medications.

Medical Care

You need to see your doctor on a regular basis as you progress through your pregnancy to make sure that you and your baby are as healthy as possible. Medicaid is the most common program that is available to women and it is typically based on your income. You can call your local health department to learn more about the state Medicaid program and what you need to do to apply. If you are not eligible for Medicaid, you can also look into the Children’s Health Insurance program, a ways to get the prenatal care you need.

If you live in or near a large city, you can also look into the free clinic options that are available. All of these clinics do provide prenatal care. It might be free or you might have to pay a small fee, depending on the clinic. The fees are generally based on a sliding scale, so they will be dependent on your income. You can call the clinics that are close to you and ask about starting your prenatal care through them. They will help you to learn more about the fees that might be involved so that you can prepare in advance.

If you need to take medications during your pregnancy, all of these options also have programs that might be able to help you. You can also talk to your local pharmacies to see if there is prescription assistance available. For example, Walgreens is a pharmacy and drug store that offers a low-cost prescription assistance program for a minor annual fee. Under this program, and others like it, you get a discount on a number of prescriptions so that they are more affordable. Many pharmacies also have a low flat-rate program for common medications.

Nutritional Assistance

You have certain nutritional needs during pregnancy that must be met to ensure that you and your baby are healthy throughout your pregnancy. Since healthy foods tend to be more expensive, you might need help obtaining this type of food. The first thing you want to look at is the WIC program, which you can get started with during pregnancy and then use for healthy staple foods until your child turns five years old.

You also want to look at things like local churches and recreation centers. These places often offer food pantry services on a set schedule where you can get free food.

If you are pregnant with no insurance, you now know of some options to help you to get the medical and nutritional assistance that you need all throughout your pregnancy. Make sure that you start looking into these programs and options as soon as you find out that you are pregnant. Sometimes it can take a while to apply and get accepted into these programs and you want to get your acceptance as soon as possible to ensure that you have everything that you need. This ensures that you have the healthiest pregnancy possible for you and your baby.

How Many Weeks Are You Pregnant For?

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how-many-weeks-are-you-pregnant-forHow many weeks are you pregnant for? You often hear about nine months, but knowing the weeks allows you to better track your progress. Since your baby is developing more every week, knowing how many weeks also gives you the chance to track your baby’s development and make sure that he or she is growing at the natural rate. In general, women are pregnant for 36 to 38 weeks, but some women give birth earlier and some later. Seeing how your baby develops throughout this time will help you to grow with your soon to be child.

The Trimesters by Weeks

Your first trimester starts at conception and goes through week 13 of your pregnancy. Your second trimester starts at week 14 and then it goes through week 26 of your pregnancy. Your third trimester begins at week 27 and goes until you give birth.

Fetal Development by the Weeks

Each week, your baby develops more and more and becomes a person before your eyes. The following information shoes how your baby is growing and developing over the weeks of your pregnancy:

  • Weeks four though seven: At this point in your pregnancy, your baby is an embryo consisting of two layers of cells. This is the very beginning of your baby growing and developing.
  • Weeks eight through twelve: During this time, your baby has grown to approximately the size of a kidney. He or she is moving around and you can see slightly webbed fingers.
  • Weeks thirteen through sixteen: Your baby is about an ounce in weight and about three inches long. He or she now has unique fingerprints on those tiny fingers.
  • Weeks seventeen through twenty: At this point, your baby weighs about five ounces and he or she is about five inches in length. The skeleton is starting to take shape and the rubbery cartilage is starting to turn into bone.
  • Weeks twenty one through twenty four: Your baby is about 10 inches long during this period. He or she now has fully formed eyelids and eyelashes.
  • Weeks twenty five through twenty nine: During this five week stretch, your baby’s skin is start to smooth out and he or she is starting to gain baby fat. Your baby is about one and a half pounds in weight at this stage.
  • Weeks thirty through thirty three: Your baby can now follow a light, close his or her eyes and open them and is 15 inches long. At this stage, the baby weighs about three pounds.
  • Weeks thirty four through thirty seven: Your baby is filling out from baby fat and the lungs are developed.
  • Weeks thirty eight through forty one: If you have yet to five birth, your baby is about seven pounds and 19 inches in length.

Now you know the answer to “how many weeks are you pregnant for?” Use this information to properly schedule your prenatal care and to follow your baby’s growth. You can do a countdown and use this information to ensure that you are preparing for your new baby in a timely manner.

Can Pregnant Women Dye Their Hair?

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can-pregnant-women-dye-their-hairCan pregnant women dye their hair? This is probably a question you have since you still want to look and feel your best during pregnancy. Hair dye contains chemicals, so you surely want to make sure that your various beauty habits will not cause any harm to your baby.

Hair Dye Safety During Pregnancy

The research on this topic is quite limited, but as of today, no research indicates that dying your hair is harmful during pregnancy. The same is true when you are breastfeeding. While hair dye does contain chemicals, they are in such a small amount that what the skin absorbs has not been shown to cause any problems for a developing fetus. You can dye your hair on your usual schedule. Now, if you want to try a new type of hair dye treatment, it is best to consult your doctor to ensure the alternative product is safe.

Being Safe When Chemically Treating Your Hair

When you are chemically treating your hair, there are some safety precautions that you can take to ensure that you are being as safe as possible for yourself and your baby. Again, dying your hair traditionally has not been proven to be harmful, but most moms want to take as many precautions as possible. The following are things you can do to ensure that you can dye your hair as safely as possible when you are pregnant:

  • Wait until you enter your second trimester to dye your hair, avoiding this process during your first trimester
  • Follow the directions exactly and never leave the hair dye in place for longer than the directions state
  • Always wear gloves and wipe away excess dye during the process
  • Always use hair dye in an area that is well-ventilated since the chemicals put off fumes
  • After you dye your hair, make sure that you rinse thoroughly until the water runs completely clear
  • Before you go and apply the dye to your whole head, make sure that you follow the directions to do a proper allergy patch test 24 hours in advance

You now know the answer to “can pregnant women dye their hair?” This gives you further insight on the beauty rituals that you can continue to observe safely while you are carrying for your child. No matter what, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before using any chemicals during pregnancy.

Good Options for Help for Pregnant Women

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19-Weeks-Pregnant-with-TwinsHelp for pregnant women is available, but unfortunately, it is not often advertised. It is something you often have to be on the lookout for and do some research to find. Make sure that you know what you need by evaluating what is already available to you. When it comes to this help, you can find everything from medical care to food, depending on what you need to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy.

Doctor Appointment Help

The first thing you want to do if you need help with your medical care is contact your local Medicaid office. If you are unsure about how to find this information, talk to your local health department or free clinic. You will need to fill out an application to determine your eligibility for this program. If Medicaid is not something you can get, you can look into the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This might help you to get prenatal care and cover the costs associated with the birth of your baby.

Most metropolitan areas have a number of free clinic options that you can see for your prenatal care. These will usually not cover the costs of birth, but they will help you and your baby stay healthy throughout your pregnancy. Many of these clinics work on a sliding scale so that you pay fees based on your income, making it more affordable than going to a major hospital network.

Food Help

You have a number of nutritional needs when you are pregnant and you need to be able to eat a variety of healthy foods. The first place to seek help is from the WIC program. You can start taking advantage of this program when you are pregnant and it will help you until your child reaches his or her fifth birthday. For this program, you fill out an application to determine if you qualify.

You can also call the USDA National Hunger Clearinghouse to get information about food providers that are local to you. If you attend a church, talk to your priest or pastor since they usually have information about local food pantries and meal programs for low-income people, especially the disabled and women who are pregnant.

Other Help Options

There are two more places you can contact to get some help with the costs of pregnancy. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau can provide you with information about paying for and obtaining the medical care that you need. Text4Baby is a program that allows you to get information about health during pregnancy.

Now you know about the help for pregnant women that is available to you. You can reach out and learn about what you need to do to get this help. Talk to your doctor to learn more about the local programs in your area. Doctors often know about things like how to get free medications, or those at a discount, if you require this when you are pregnant.

Can You Take Tums While Pregnant?

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can-you-take-tums-while-pregnantCan you take Tums while pregnant? This is a common question because many women experience heartburn during pregnancy. Being able to take an antacid will make you more comfortable, but you want to make sure that it is safe. Learning more about Tums, whether you can safely take them and other ways to reduce heartburn will make your pregnancy more comfortable.

Taking Tums During Pregnancy

Tums are one of the most popular antacids on the market and being able to take them during pregnancy will help to keep you more comfortable. However, are Tums safe during pregnancy? Tums are a safe way to alleviate heartburn when you are pregnant. This medicine is actually good for pregnant women because it contains calcium. When you are pregnant, you need to aim for 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams of this mineral each day.

Many pregnant women do not get enough calcium and this can result in bone and teeth problems. Taking Tums can solve your heartburn and give you some much needed calcium. Just make sure to put several hours in between taking a Tums and taking any iron supplements so that you are able to get the full benefits of both. When you are pregnant, just make sure that if you choose an antacid that contains sodium bicarbonate, you talk to your doctor first.

Other Remedies to Reduce Heartburn During Pregnancy

There are several ways to help reduce your heartburn that do not include medications if this is what you prefer. The following are common heartburn remedies:

  • Chewing gum: After you eat, chewing gum can help to reduce gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms. You should chew this for about 30 minutes to reap the benefits.
  • Licorice: Licorice is a great sweet treat and it can also help to reduce your heartburn. Eat a little after eating to feel better.
  • Aloe: Aloe is naturally healing and you can use fresh aloe juice to soothe heartburn. It helps to reduce inflammation and the heartburn that can occur as a result.
  • Milk: Drinking some cold milk is a quick and common way to reduce heartburn.

Can you take Tums while pregnant? Now, you know the answer to this question. You also know more about this antacid and you have other remedies that you can use to alleviate your heartburn if you prefer alternative methods.

What to Do When You Find Out You Are Pregnant

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what-to-do-when-you-find-out-you-are-pregnantKnowing what to do when you find out you are pregnant will save you time and hassle when the time finally comes. There are many things happening and you are certainly experiencing a range of emotions. Having a list of what to do when you find out will help you to relax a bit since you have the information right in front of you.

Make a Doctor’s Appointment

The first thing you want to do is make sure that you are really pregnant and this requires seeing your doctor. Your doctor will do a blood test, and if you are far enough long, an ultrasound. Once you know that you are pregnant, you can start preparing for what to expect for the duration of your pregnancy.

Your doctor will assess your overall health and learn more about any medications you take, if you take any. You should also let your doctor know about your diet so that any necessary changes can be made. Discuss a prenatal vitamin with your doctor so that you can be sure that both you and your baby are getting the right nutrition.

Start Moisturizing Your Skin

Moisturizing helps to prevent stretch marks and some women also experience dry skin during pregnancy. Using a cocoa butter-based moisturizer is often recommended, but you can also use vitamin E oil to protect your skin.

Start a Gentle Exercise Program

Exercising during pregnancy is important, but you want to make sure that your exercise is not overly exerting. You want to use gentle exercise, especially if you do not already exercise regularly. Water aerobics, swimming, brisk walking and yoga are all good examples. You should exercise most days of the week and you can break up your sessions if fatigue is a problem for you.

Balance Your Diet

You have to get a diverse array of nutrients when you are pregnant and it is important that you get most of the nutrients from your diet. A prenatal vitamin is simply to supplement and not provide your total nutrition. A nutrition shake is appropriate if you are having trouble eating due to morning sickness. Remember that gaining weight during pregnancy is normal and healthy, but you do not want to gain much more than the recommended amount. When mom has extensive weight gain during pregnancy, this can impact your baby’s health.

You also want to be mindful of how much you are drinking. Getting plenty of water and staying hydrated is important when you are carrying a baby.

Make Time for Rest

Pregnancy takes a lot out of you, so you want to make sure that you are getting plenty of rest. Sleep on a regular schedule each day and aim for nine hours per night when you are pregnant. Throughout the day, you want to take time for short rest periods, especially if you are exerting yourself. Taking short naps and relaxing to do something like read a book are things that you want to make sure that you are making the time for.

Now you have a better idea about what to do when you find out you are pregnant. This gives you a chance to start preparing for your baby and enjoying the fun parts of your pregnancy. Use this list as a guide to get you started on the things that need to be done. Of course, you also want to take some time to relax and simply reflect on the new life that you will be bringing into the world shortly.