Health Condition

Pregnancy and Postpartum Support

About This Condition

Pregnancy, the period during which a woman’s fertilized egg (embryo) gestates and becomes a fetus, lasts an average of 40 weeks from the date of the last menstrual period to delivery of the infant. 

In the first trimester (13 weeks), many pregnant women experience nausea. Usually these women report that they feel best during the second trimester. During the third (final) trimester, the increasing size of the fetus begins to place mechanical strains on the expectant mother, often causing back pain, leg swelling, and other health problems.

Other Therapies

With some health problems that develop during pregnancy (such as preeclampsia and eclampsia), bed rest, restriction of salt intake, and medication to lower blood pressure may be recommended. Women who are pregnant are advised to avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs (including over the counter medicines) that have not been prescribed by their doctor.


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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

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