Congratulations! Pregnancy is a wonderful time for women and their partners. Preparing for the birth of a child – whether it is your 1st or your 4th – is a special time in your life, filled with anticipation, excitement and, naturally, a little anxiety. Thankfully, most pregnancies are entirely uncomplicated, ending with the birth of a healthy, full-term baby. Don’t worry – we are here to help.
Seeing that little blue line on the pregnancy test is a momentous occasion. Almost immediately, certain questions and concerns about your pregnancy arise. How many weeks am I? Will this pregnancy be as easy as my last? My sister had a miscarriage – am I at extra risk?
The best way to allay any concerns is to speak with an experienced obstetrician. Traditionally, once women discover they are pregnant, they visit with their GP who sends them for an early pregnancy (dating) ultrasound scan and after that, to an obstetrician.
At SHORE FOR WOMEN we offer comprehensive antenatal care for our patients, including all ultrasound scans performed by Dr. Colin Walsh, a Fetal Medicine specialist. We would welcome seeing you for a Dating ultrasound scan at 7-8 weeks, followed by an antenatal consultation with Dr. Walsh at the same visit. You can contact us by telephone or email to arrange this.
In simple terms, for women with a regular 28-day cycle who were not using hormonal contraception, your due date is the 1st day of your last menstrual period PLUS 7 days PLUS 9 months. For example, if the 1st day of your period was the 20th March, your estimated due date = 20+7 (27th) of March+9 (December) = 27th December.
These days, gestational ages are usually described in weeks (more accurate than months) – a full-term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks.
A dating ultrasound scan measures the size of your baby and helps confirm the accuracy of your due date. This is especially useful for women with irregular cycles or who cannot recall their last period date.
Morning sickness is a normal part of pregnancy and will pass. Women are advised to take small meals, which are not too harsh on their stomach, and stay well hydrated. Occasionally, women can have severe morning sickness (hyperemesis) which may require anti-nausea medication or admission to hospital.
Abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding are common in early pregnancy, but they should never be considered normal symptoms. If you have not yet had an ultrasound scan, it is important that a scan is performed to exclude an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus). If you have severe pain or bleeding, you should contact your obstetrician or the Emergency Department in your local hospital.