Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

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by Mayo Clinic, Clinic Mayo, Roger W. Harms
     
 

This new Mayo Clinic book on pregnancy provides you with practical information and reassurance on pregnancy and childbirth. Compiled by Mayo Clinic experts in obstetrics, it offers a clear, thorough and reliable reference for this exciting and sometimes unpredictable journey. This comprehensive book includes:

  • A month-by-month look at mom and

…  See more details below

Overview

This new Mayo Clinic book on pregnancy provides you with practical information and reassurance on pregnancy and childbirth. Compiled by Mayo Clinic experts in obstetrics, it offers a clear, thorough and reliable reference for this exciting and sometimes unpredictable journey. This comprehensive book includes:

  • A month-by-month look at mom and baby

  • In-depth "Decision Guides" to help you make informed decisions on topics such as how to select a health care provider, prenatal testing options, pain relief for childbirth, and many others

  • An easy-to-use reference guide that covers topics such as morning sickness, heartburn, back pain, headaches and yeast infections, among others

  • Information on pregnancy health concerns, including preterm labor, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, along with an overview on being pregnant when you have pre-existing health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or hyperthyroidism

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Editorial Reviews

Total Health
...clear and compassionate answers to many of the questions and decisions that parents often encounter.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060746377
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/13/2004
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
624
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.56(d)

Read an Excerpt

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy


By Mayo Clinic

HarperResource

ISBN: 0060746378

Chapter One

Month 1: weeks 1 to 4

My husband and I had been trying to conceive for almost a year. I was delighted when my menstrual cycle was late. My husband, ever cautious, took a wait-and-see attitude.

After a few days had passed without my menstrual cycle starting, I bought a home pregnancy test. My husband waited in the living room while I took the test that would tell us whether we were parents-to-be. Sure enough, a faint blue line appeared on the test. I showed it to my husband, who said excitedly, "It's a maybe?"

No maybe about it. We were expecting our first child.

-- One couple's experience

Your baby's growth during weeks 1 to 4

If you're like most expectant parents, your mind is full of questions. What does my baby look like right now? How big is he or she? How is she or he changing this week? Becoming familiar with how your baby develops, week by week, will help you answer some of those questions. It may also help you understand some of the changes taking place in your body.

Weeks 1 and 2: Preconception and fertilization

Preconception
It may seem a bit strange, but the first week of your pregnancy is actually your last menstrual period before becoming pregnant. Why is that? Doctors and other health care professionals calculate your due date by counting 40 weeks from the start of your last cycle. That means they count your period as part of your pregnancy, even though your baby hasn't been conceived yet.

Conception typically occurs about two weeks after the start of your last menstrual period. When your baby arrives, it will have been about 38 weeks since he or she was conceived, but your pregnancy will have "officially" lasted 40 weeks.

Even while menstruation is happening, your body begins producing a hormone called follicle-stimulating hormone, which fosters development of an egg in your ovary. The egg matures within a small cavity in your ovary called a follicle. A few days later, your body produces a hormone called luteinizing hormone. It causes the follicle to swell and burst through the wall of your ovary, releasing the egg. This is called ovulation. You have two ovaries, but in any given cycle, ovulation occurs from just one of them.

The egg moves slowly into your fallopian tube, which connects your ovary and uterus. There it awaits a fertilizing sperm. Finger-like structures at the junction between your ovary and fallopian tube, called fimbriae, catch the egg when ovulation occurs, keeping it on the right course.

If you have intercourse before or during this time, you can become pregnant. If fertilization doesn't occur, for whatever reason, the egg and the lining of your uterus will be shed through your menstrual period.

Fertilization
This is when it all begins. Your egg and your partner's sperm unite to form a single cell -- the starting point for an extraordinary chain of events. That microscopic cell will divide again and again. In about 38 weeks, it will have grown into a new person made up of more than 2 trillion cells -- your beautiful new baby girl or boy.

The process begins when you and your partner have sexual intercourse. When he ejaculates, your partner releases into your vagina semen containing up to 1 billion sperm cells. Each sperm has a long, whip-like tail that propels it toward your egg.

Hundreds of millions of these sperm swim up through your reproductive system. With the help of your uterus and fallopian tubes, they travel from your vagina, up through the lower opening of your uterus (cervix), through your uterus and into your fallopian tube. Many sperm are lost along the way. Only a fraction of the sperm reach the egg's position in the fallopian tube. Fertilization occurs when a single sperm makes this journey successfully and penetrates the wall of your egg.

Your egg has a covering of nutrient cells called the corona radiata and a gelatinous shell called the zona pellucida. To fertilize your egg, your partner's sperm must penetrate this covering. At this point, your egg is about 1/200 of an inch in diameter, too small to be seen.

Up to 100 sperm may try to penetrate the wall of your egg, and several may begin to enter the outer egg capsule. But in the end, only one succeeds and enters the egg itself. After that, the membrane of the egg changes and all other sperm are locked out.

Occasionally, more than one follicle matures and more than one egg is released. This can result in multiple births if each of the eggs is fertilized by a sperm.

As the sperm penetrates to the center of your egg, the two cells merge to become a one-celled entity called a zygote. The zygote has 46 chromosomes -- 23 from you and 23 from your partner. These chromosomes contain thousands and thousands of genes. This genetic material will determine your baby's sex, eye color, hair color, body size, facial features and -- at least to some extent -- intelligence and personality. Fertilization is now complete.

Continues...

Excerpted from Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy by Mayo Clinic Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author


Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy that the needs of the patient come first. Over 3,600 physicians and scientists and 50,000 allied staff work at Mayo, which has sites in Rochester, Minn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. Collectively, Mayo Clinic treats more than 500,000 patients a year. For more than 100 years, millions of people from all walks of life have found answers at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic works with many insurance companies, does not require a physician referral in most cases and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

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Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
HealthyE More than 1 year ago
I am a first-time expectant mommy. I borrowed a few other pregnancy books from some girlfriends when I found out I was pregnant and they all scared the *bleep* out of me - provoking more anxiety than helping with curiosity and questions (What to Expect When Expecting was one of the most anxiety producing for me). The Mayo book, however, was exactly what I needed and the only one I bought for myself. It gives you a good preview of what to expect in each week/group of weeks/trimester, and is a comprehensive reference for questions, concerns or curiosities you may have. One of my favorite things about it is that I can read about the development of the baby and an explanation of what's going on with my body at each stage of my pregnancy. It also has info for labor, birthing, breast feeding, post-partum etc. Every time I have had a question about anything having to do with my pregnancy, whether it be about what is going on with my body to what I shouldn't eat, to what the fetus looks like at my stage, this book had it. I love the pics it shows of what the fetus/baby looks like at each stage. Further and most importantly, the information is straight up and factual and doesn't scare me - even actually provided comfort in many situations when something was worrying me (light cramping in first trimester, slight discharge, moodiness, fatigue, dizziness, etc. all normal (phew)). A great reference - I would definitely recommend it to my fellow preggies - especially first timers like me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a Physician Assistant going through my first pregnancy. I bought this book as a good resource off the suggestion of reviews I had read. This is a great book with easy to read information and I would definitely recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Of all the books I've referenced during pregnancy, this is my favorite-informative, thorough, clear. Excellent!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Actually I was looking for a book which should not be discussing the risks of pregnancy and other risks in the first hand,like how a doctor will be discussing.When you go to a doctor he is not going to tell you some abdomen pain you will have in your 6th month things or some bloody show in your 8th month and so on right away!I want some things to be explained from medical point of view and I bought this book.First it explains how pregnancy happens,then the stages and what happens weekly,then childbirth,new baby and only then it discusses some emergency situations,etc.This book was written in a positive way and will not panic first-time moms.This is was I wanted a book to me.I browsed thru like 6-7 pregnancy books and this one impressed me and was just like I wished to be!I will keep this with me and will recommend for first-time moms.Pregnancy is a happy journey and not a scary one,so reading this book explaing what really happens inside your body.Another thing is it does not advice u to do some stupid things when u are in an emergency and moreover it had some useful section after each chapter which tells u to go the doctor imm. or the next time and does not tell u to try some suggestions like in some other books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a first time mom, I found this book to be very helpful, though a little more 'sterile' than I would have hoped. It did include a lot of helpful information, including an index near the end of the book listing potential symptoms, aches/pains, etc. and what trimester one would expect them to happen. I enjoyed this book WAY more than 'What To Expect...' - which was, in my opinion, a little scary.
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slang76 More than 1 year ago
So, admittedly, I haven't read the whole thing, but so far it has been very informative and simple without making me feel stupid. I like the beginning basic information, which then leads into week by week details. It also has a great section on common concerns and questions which I flip to as needed. I was impressed that it wasn't just about pregnancy, but also about the newborn stage. So far it is great. It is the only book I bought (because I heard some horror stories about What to Expect...)
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