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misc.kids.pregnancy General Pregnancy FAQ - Part 1 of 2

( Part1 - Part2 )
[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Forum archive ]
These are mostly things which I saved off the net - if it is mine, it
will say so unless I happened to be one parent answering a question...

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
I will keep pulling what seem to be thorough articles off the net, and I
will also take submissions on any general pregnancy topic if people will
send them!  Send me all that great stuff you saved because you thought
it would make a good FAQ! 

-Sabrina
(ps.  Those who took the time to compile answers to a question or type
in info from a book will get credit unless they ask for their personal
onfo to be deleted;  answers to posted questions will have their personal
info deleted unless they ask for it to be included... This is for brevity!)

--------------------------
Index
--------------------------

Humor:  Are You Ready To Be A Parent?
My Observations as a Childbirth Educator
Early Symptoms of Pregnancy
When Should I Start...
Pre-Conception Planning
Feeling The First Movements
When Is a Blood Test Accurate?
How to Calculate Your Due Date

----------------------------
Are You Ready?
----------------------------

From: "Paul Adams" <paul.adams@3do.com>
Subject: Humor>Parent Test

                          Preparation for Parenthood

Preparation for parenthood is not just a matter of reading books and
decorating the nursery. Here are 12 simple tests for expectant parents
to take to prepare themselves for the real-life experience of being a
mother or father.

1. Women: to prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a
beanbag down the front. Leave it there for 9 months. After 9 months,
take out 10% of the beans.
    Men: to prepare for paternity, go the local drug store, tip the
contents of your wallet on the counter, and tell the pharmacist to
help himself. Then go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary
paid directly to their head office. Go home. Pick up the paper and read
it for the last time.

2. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are
already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack
of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and how they have
allowed their children to run riot. Suggest ways in which they might
improve their child's sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners
and overall behavior. Enjoy it - it'll be the last time in your life
that you will have all of the answers.

3. To discover how the nights feel, walk around, the living room from
5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 lbs. at 10pm
put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. Get up
at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1am.
Put the alarm on for 3am. As you can't get back to sleep, get up a 2am
and make a drink. Go to bed at 2:45 am. Get up again at 3am when the
alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4am. Put the alarm on for
5am. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

4. Can you stand the mess children make? To find out, smear peanut
butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a fish finger
behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stick your fingers in
the flowerbeds then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with
crayons. How does that look?

5. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems: first buy an
octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the string
bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this - all
morning.

6. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a can of paint,
turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet tube. Using only scotch
tape and a piece of foil, turn it into a Christmas tree. Last, take a
milk container, a ping pong ball, and an empty packet of Coco Puffs and
make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations, you have
just qualified for a place on the playgroup committee.

7. Forget the Miata and buy a Mini Van. And don't think you can leave
it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look
like that. Buy a chocolate ice cream bar and put it in the glove
compartment. Leave it there.  Get a quarter. Stick it in the cassette
player. Take a family-size packet of chocolate cookies. Mash them down
the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. -There!,
Perfect!

8. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the toilet for half an hour. Go
out the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again.
Walk down the front path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk
very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every
cigarette butt, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect
along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you've had as much as
you can stand, until the neighbors come out and stare at you. Give up
and go back in the house. You are now just about ready to try taking a
small child for a walk.

9. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.

10. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you
can find to a pre-school child - a fully grown goat is excellent. If
you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy
your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay
for everything the goats eat or destroy. Until you can easily
accomplish this do not even contemplate having children.

11. Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from
the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy
Froot Loops and attempt to spoon it into the swaying melon by
pretending to be an airplane. Continue until half of the Froot Loops
are gone. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it
falls on the floor. You are now ready to feed a 12-month old baby.

12. Learn the names of every character from Barney and Friends, Sesame
Street and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When you find yourself singing
"I love you, you love me" at work, now!, you finally qualify as a
parent.

------------------------------------------------------------------
My Observations As a Childbirth Educator/Long-Time Reader of M.K.P
------------------------------------------------------------------

(from Sabrina Cuddy <swnymph@remarque.berkeley.edu>)

Things that seem to be very common in pregnancy, many postings
ask about these, and many women respond that it happened to them:

Craving Red Meat - even vegetarian moms occasionally will want
red meat, particularly beef.  This may be due to the iron in
it, the extra calories, the protein...  Who knows?  I sure know that
I craved beef in both of my pregnancies - I didn't even know I
was pregnant the second time, and I couldn't believe how badly I
wanted to eat hamburgers, steak, etc!  

Spotting early in pregnancy - it seems that some women will continue
to have what looks like light periods through the whole pregnancy.
This makes dating the pregnancy harder!  Many women have spotting
either around the time of implantation, or when their first period
after conception would have come.  These women go on to have normal
babies!  For others, spotting could be a sign of impending miscarriage,
and unfortunately you can't tell which it is.  In early pregnancy, 
if you are going to miscarry there really isn't anything that can
be done, although many practitioners make women feel better by
putting them on bed rest so they feel they have tried something.
If you are worried about spot bleeding, call your doctor or midwife!
[Note:  I am not talking about large amounts of bright red blood!
If you see that, please call your practitioner immediately!]

Along with morning (read: all-day) sickness, most pregnant women
experience fatigue in early pregnancy which may be extreme.  This
is normal as your body adjusts to being pregnant!  If you can barely
get up in the morning, and never get any housework done during your
first trimester, fret not!  This should lessen in the second trimester
as your body adjusts - just in time for...

Dizzyness in the Second Trimester!  This is normal too!  Many women
experience a drop in blood pressure as the body tries to adjust to an
increase in blood volume.  The typical pattern is lower than normal
blood pressure in the second trimester followed by a slow rise in the
third trimester which we hope doesn't go up much above your
non-pregnant blood pressure!  If you are feeling dizzy from low blood
pressure, try to stay cool (I always got dizzy in the shower!), lie
down, and drink some water.  You may also be dizzy from low blood sugar
because the baby goes through several growth spurts in the second
trimester which can really make mom hungry!  If you think this is why
you are dizzy, drink juice or something which will give you quick
sugar, then eat some protein to keep your blood sugar level up
long-term.  If you are dizzy a lot, have other symptoms (such as
blurry vision or headache), or faint, please call your practitioner!

Many women leak colostrum (the first milk) at some time during
pregnancy.  It can be just a drop, or enough that you need breast pads
to keep from soaking your clothes.  For some women, this starts quite
early, and for others it doesn't start until just before labor...  Some
women never experience leaking breasts, and this has absolutely no
effect on later ability to nurse.  If one breast leaks more than the
other, that breast may produce a bit more milk, but generally both
breasts will produce enough.  (assuming you haven't had surgery and the
breasts are not radically different sizes...)

----------------------------
Early Symptoms of Pregnancy
----------------------------

:   Are there any noticeable symptoms during the first couple of weeks
: of pregnancy?  Thanks in advance!

 I had two: pee in the middle of the night (I never do that otherwise) and
	    my left breast was a bit sore (of course it got much worse later)

------------------
>I am wondering if any of you have experienced any noticeable symptoms
>during the first two weeks of your pregancy?  I could always insist that
>my doc perform a blood test, but he doesn't want to talk about an appointment
>until I've missed my period, which is understandable. 

This question comes up alot, and the answers I've seen posted here
definitely indicate that it is a YMMV situation -- some people have
symptoms, some don't.  I'm in the same boat as you at this point, and
after just 2 months of driving myself crazy at every cramp, twinge,
etc. prior to my period, I've resolved not to even think it might be a
possibility until after I've missed my period.  (Note, that's what I've
resolved to do -- whether or not I'll be successful next month is still
TBD : ))) >From what I can tell, most of the early pregnancy symptoms
can also be pre-period symptoms:  cramping, light spotting, sore
breasts, etc..   That makes it doubly hard to tell what's going on....

----------------
The first symptoms that I had were breast tenderness, fatigue, and
light nausea. I found out I was pregnant before I had missed my period
and I remember having these symptoms at that time. Each person is
different though, so don't worry if you do not feel these symptoms
right away, or even at all.

-----------------
Both times I've been pregnant I had absolutely no idea until after I'd
missed my period.  My morning sickness, etc. didn't kick in until
another week or so after my missed period.  As a matter of fact, this
time, I was wearing a pad waiting to start because I had such
cramping.  Turned out to be gas :).

-----------------
My first physical sign, in what I believe was my third week of
pregnancy, was spotting.  This began about two weeks before my period
was to come (I had irregular cycles), so I was a little suspicious to
begin with.  The spotting also began as bright red, which my periods
never do.  I was still spotting a week later, but a lighter shade of
brown.  I had some dizziness early one morning and it didn't go away
for and hour or so.  I also remember that my appetite had increased
similar to PMS.  So, I took the test and it was positive!  I called the
doctor's office the next day and they made my appointment for when I
would be 7 weeks pregnant.  Waiting to see the doctor was hard; I was
anxious for them to confirm my pregnancy!

---------------------
>I'm just curious, what's the soonest (is that a word?) anyone had
>their nipples get sore (and end up being pregnant)? Like the day
>after ovulation? Week? Not till period due?

I had sore nipples about 2 days before my period was due.  my breasts
were sore off and on since a couple of days after conception.  my
breast felt fuller exactly one week after conception.  at 6week LMP, my
breasts are still the only indication i am pregnant, other than being
slightly more tired than usual.

i have had the "sore" breast symptom since i have been trying to get
pregnant.  the sore nipples was new to the one that actually implanted
and took!

---------------------
:   Are there any noticeable symptoms during the first couple of weeks
: of pregnancy?  Thanks in advance!

Yes, you feel like you're going to get your period, but then you never
do. I had cramps, diahrea, sore breasts, everything. But that was all.
A month and a half later, I learned I was 10 weeks pregnant.

----------------------
Hi!   I am 3 wks into my 2nd pregnancy.  A couple of things I have
noticed.  I'm more tired t the end of a full day.  I have a trigger
temper.  MY BOOBS ARE BIGGER!!!!!!!!!!!! 

----------------------
> i had sore nipples about 2 days before my period was due.  my
> breasts were sore off and on since a couple of days after conception.

For me, the clincher that I might be pregnant was about a few days
before my period was due and my nipples were tingling a lot, and they
were hard as a rock, even though I wasn't cold. It was definitely my
first symptom.

----------------------
>>Did anyone feel any VERY early symptoms?  My period is not due until
>>Tuesday (if it comes :-)), but I have been feeling "sensations" in my
>>uterus.  I don't know quite how to describe them.  It doesn't exactly
>>hurt, but it kind of "twinges".  Not like menstrual cramps, though.

I felt exactly what you are describing, i.e., wierd twinges in my
uterus that do not feel like menstrual cramps (which also led me to
suspect I was pregnant b/c I never get cramps before my period, just on
the first day). The twinges started one day before my period was due,
and I still feel them today. Yesterday, I had morning sickness in the
morning, but drank ginger tea (homemade) and they went away within
minutes. Today, I'm feeling fine.  Also, my breasts have been sore and
were sore a few days before my period was due. Although this is
slightly unusual for me, I do sometimes get that soreness before my
period so this wasn't as bid a tipoff as the uterus twinges.

-------------------------------------
When Should I Start...
-------------------------------------

From ejcollins@mmm.com Wed Dec  7 12:12:47 PST 1994

WHEN TO DO WHAT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING - SUMMARY

I had a list of things that need to be done when you're having a baby, 
but I couldn't find a source that told WHEN to do WHAT, so I asked the 
net for help.  I got some emails and some postings.

I removed all names from email replies, in case people didn't want their
names posted.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
ORIGINAL QUESTION:

Of all the pregnancy books I have, I can't find anything that gives you a 
list of things to do and WHEN to do them.

You know how they have those for weddings - 
6-12 months ahead - rent the hall
1 month ahead - send out invitations
the day of - leave yourself 2 hours to get dressed
etc etc

Maybe you folks on the net can help me out.  Currently I'm 14 wks along.

Things I have done already include:
- selected and began seeing an OB
- told people
- read up on pregnancy
- decided if we wanted to know the sex ahead of time
- found out company maternity leave and health benefits policies
- began taking folic acid (did this when we started trying) & other vitamins

I figured out that the next things I need to do are:
- buy maternity clothes
- begin looking at daycare centers
- decide whether to have the AFP test

After that, WHEN (or at least in what order) do I do the following:
- move furniture to create a nursery
- buy major baby items (crib, carseat, stroller, etc.)
- buy baby clothes and minor items
- take birthing class
- develop a birth plan
- select a hospital
- see financial planner about investments and insurance
- rewrite will and designate guardian
- look at home care and nannies
- make final decision on daycare
- choose names
- read up on baby care
- pack hospital bag
- select pediatrician
- ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN ADD THAT I LEFT OUT

I don't want to leave anything till the last second.  But some things
shouldn't be done too early, either.  Please help me find the optimal time.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EMAIL REPLIES:

Well, one thing you should do is research childbirth methods so that
you know what you are looking for in a class...

Do this early, because many classes fill up way in advance, and Bradley
classes last 8-12 weeks depending on the instructor!  Typical Lamaze
classes are 6 weeks.

Some other classes you may want to take are: First Aid/CPR for infants,
Breastfeeding, parenting.

I guess one of my pet peeves is that the typical american (most of the
net doesn't fit this category!) spends less time comparing childbirth
classes than they do buying a car!  Which means you have an experience
and child to last a lifetime that you perhaps devoted less research to
than a piece of metal you probably won't have more than 10 years...
Not a personal comment, just rambling! :-)

-------------
I'd add a category for pre-baby and would include:
 
o Get your immunities to common child-hood diseases (mumps and measles)
  tested.  If you received the shots during certain years and lot #s they
  might not have worked.  This is to avoid birth defects.  Wait a while
  (at least 3 months) after getting the shot, before you get pregnant.
 
o Take that great romantic vacation with hubby.:)
 
o Take a multi-vitamin with folic acid (cuts down the chance of neural
  tube defects).
 
o Research and decide on what, if any, prenatal testing you want.  Its
  a fairly complex topic and for those of us over 35, or even over 30,
  its a big consideration.  By the time you find out you're pregnant,
  you might not have enough time to decide what to do.
 
o I would select the ob ahead of time too.  I mean, you have to see
  one anyway for the annual pap-test.  Really press for stats on their
  c-section rate and episiotomy rate, and be aware that many bullshit
  or fluff off these questions.  Not fun switching at 25 weeks because
  you finally find out the truth, and meet the doctor's partner.  If 
  your doctor practices with others, what are your chances of getting one
  of them?  And what are their stats?
 
o  Investigate health insurance options.  Many plans have enrollment
   periods only at certain times of the year.  Find the plan that gives
   you the best coverage and choice of doctors, at the best price.  Pay
   attention to pediatric care too.
 
>- buy major baby items (crib, carseat, stroller, etc.)
>- buy baby clothes and minor items
 
If you see good stuff on sale, sure, pick it up.  But keep it unopened
in the box and tape the receipt onto it.  You might get the same thing
at a shower, or someone might give it to you as a gift.  You might find
things via the newspaper or used babythings store.
 
Don't buy a lot of baby clothes.  You'll receive a lot as gifts.  Also,
you just don't know what size the baby will be and might end up with 
things you can't use. Get a few things, and wash them ahead of time.
But keep in mind that hubby can run down to kmart and pick up some
onesies and nighties, and one-piece sleep/playsuits once you know the 
size of the baby.  Also, they grow so fast there is no point in buying
a lot (unless your baby spits up all the time).
 
You definitely want one of those infant carseat/carrier things.   We
had purchased 2 carseats that said on the box they were for infancy
to toddlerhood (30 pds?).  Forget it.  They didn't tilt back enough
for a newborn.
 
>- select a hospital
 
The choice of hospital has a lot to do with which doctor you choose.  My
doctor was credentialed to deliver at a couple local hospitals so I had a
choice.  I suggest touring a couple different ones so you can compare them.
 
-----------
I don't have any specific recommendations - your list looked good.  I
like to be prepared ahead of time and I found it tough to wait until
the last minute but my family planned a baby shower for two weeks
before my due date and I didn't want to go shopping before the
shower...  Also, you could be a month or even two earlier than you
think.  And the last month I _really_ didn't feel like any major stuff,
especially if it involved standing or being away from a washroom :-(

--------------
The one thing I can tell you is that you don't select the hospital; the
hospital of the OB you selected is the one you go to. Find out which
hospital your OB is affiliated with. If it is not the one you want,
change OBs now.

(You should really have selected the hospital first.)

Quite a list there! Don't buy too much stuff for yourself until AFTER
your shower, assuming someone will surprise you with one. It's real
frustrating for the shoppers if you've left them nothing to buy! Your
work friends will buy you something too.

Ask your OB when you should take the classes. Or, call the place where
you are going to take classes and ask them.

You cannot update your will until after the baby is born, because you
need to explicitly name the child in the will.

The rest of your list of "when's" are mostly personal preference. You
could probably pack your hospital bag when you're in labor, but you'll
probably tend to do it a couple of days before your due date. You can
set the nursery up today, or your family can do it after the baby is
born.  Some people are superstitious and don't want to do that until
the baby is born. Birthing plans aren't necessary but of course you
will be researching all along to figure out what you want. YOu might
also want one pediatrician for in the hospital and another to be your
regular one if the ped you pick doesn't practice at the hospital at
which you are delivering. My OB gave me the name of a ped to use at the
hospital because my regular one didn't practice there. But you could
start looking for pediatricians any time now.  I think once you know
what's important to you. For example, if you are not planning to nurse,
you want to be sure to go to a non-judgemental pediatrician.  Or if you
are, that your pediatrician is very supportive in this regard.

If you select a daycare center, you're going to want to get a space
ASAP.  They can book up a year in advance, especially if they are good.
I think home day care probably would not be that hard to find, even
very late in the pregancy. I don't know about nannies. You might want a
separate post on How to find a nanny to get some more specific advice
if you go that way.

-----------------
I think these things are very personal and depend a lot on your
personal situation, but...

>- move furniture to create a nursery

I'd say as soon as is comfortable.  The larger you get, the harder it
is to move things around (even the lightweight things-- you just get
tired of carrying them from room to room).  Now, at 6 1/2 months
pregnant I'm really not in the mood to move the bookcases that need
moving!

>- buy major baby items (crib, carseat, stroller, etc.)

Carseat you need as soon as baby's born, so as soon as is comfortable
is probably ok there.  Crib you don't need right away, so conceivably
you could wait until after birth (we are since we have a family cradle
to use the first few months).  Stroller depends on your alternatives
and how much you think you'll stroll the baby early.  If you think
you'll be carrier types (carry baby in arms or front carrier or
whatever), you might want to wait to buy a stroller until you think you
need it.  Others like having a plush stroller that reclines so that
they can haul a tiny baby around in it and always have a comfy place
for baby to nap.

>- buy baby clothes and minor items

I'd lay in a basic supply of newborn clothes (like onesies and sleepers
and such) of the no-frills variety.  That way, you'll be covered if no
one gets you anything.  Then, after showers and such, you can buy
whatever else you need.  AGain, I don't think it matters so much *when*
you buy them, as long as it's before the baby arrives (and before any
major pre-baby deadline crunches you might find yourself in).

>- take birthing class

Schedule that ASAP.  Lots of them book early, and since they run
several weeks usually, their time slot doesn't always correspond with
your ideal time to take them.  For instance, our baby's due in February
and the class we're taking is 6-7 weeks long.  There's no class over
the holidays (which wouldn't have been convenient for us anyway), and
most likely the class after the holidays is starting too late for
comfort in our case.  So, our class starts tomorrow and we booked it a
few months ago (when it was already close to booked full).

>- select a hospital

I'd do this ASAP, just in case you run into trouble finding a hospital
that meets your needs.

>- read up on baby care

Start now--when the time comes, there'll be no time ;-) I like Penelope
Leach's books, myself.

>- select pediatrician

I'd start chatting with friends to get recommendations now, and start
interviewing as it becomes convenient.  Part of it depends on how picky
you are.  With the homebirth, it's hard for us to find supportive
pediatricians, so we started early.  Lots of people I know didn't start
until the last month or two of their pregnancy.

--------------------
I can suggest a few things, but I'm not a parent yet :) so these are just
my suggestions.  Congratulations on your future arrival!

>I figured out that the next things I need to do are:
>- buy maternity clothes

My sister did this as needed (ie when she started gaining weight she
went out and bought a few things.  When her uterus expanded by leaps
and bounds when she was 16 weeks along, she had some clothes to wear
while picking out season- ally appropriate clothes for the size she
was.

>After that, WHEN (or at least in what order) do I do the following:
>- move furniture to create a nursery

Everyone has a different opinion here :) :)  JJ set up the "nursery"
(read a portacrib in a large closet that had a window and put a table
top changing table on to the dresser in the living room) about two
weeks before her due date.  A couple of friends varied between setting
things up two to three months before, and leaving it for their
significant others to do while they were still in the hospital with the
baby

>- buy major baby items (crib, carseat, stroller, etc.)

Car seat is definately needed before you come home from the hospital, I
know some people drove around with them in the car for a few weeks
(with a stuffed animal strapped in) before the baby was due to get used
to putting someone/thingin to the seat each time they got in and
getting the item/baby out each time they got out. Everyone I know
highly recommends umbrella strollers, but I haven't seen anyone using
them before the baby is about 3 or 4 months old.  Before that they seem
to prefer carrying the baby to putting him/her in a stroller.  Cribs
are variable, some misc.kidders feel a mattress on the floor is ok,
othersprefer a crib.

>- rewrite will and designate guardian

This is, I can't emphasize it enough, very important!  You should, from
my point of view, do this before the birth.  I had a friend in
elementary school whose parents were killed in an auto accident when
she was three weeks old.  No relatives were found, and there was no one
designated as a gaurdian if something happened to Laura.  The result was
she became a ward of the state and was then put up for adoption.  There
are probably relatives out there, the county or the State of California
just couldn't find them to tell them.  Additionally, my grandparents
both died before my mother was 12.  No one was designated as a
gaurdian, and she was placed in a foster home for 5 years. One year
(age 12-13) was spent being shuttled between various half-brothers and
sisters who were either unable to care for her at the time or didn't
wish to because she was from their father's second marriage.

>- read up on baby care

An anecdote to give you an idea of what some new parents are like :)
Bootsie and Mark come from fairly large families (7 kids, 4 kids
respectively) and did not help out with younger brothers or sisters due
to age or disinterest.  When they were expecting Daniel, they wouldn't
listen to anyone's suggestions, they both said "We come from big
families, we know all about babies".  Soooo, their parents and friends
just stepped back and kept their suggestions to themselves.  Daniel
arrived, and three days later they took him home from the hospital.
After about 5 hours, Mark called his mom in desperation - Daniel
wouldn't stop crying, would she come over and see if she could help.
Betty arrived, and found one very, very upset baby.  He'd been in the
same diaper for 6 hours and had been nursing almost non-stop.  She
showed them how to change a diaper and suggested at least one diaper
check per hour :)

JJ was worse :)  She wouldn't let anyone hold the baby for weeks
because she was sure no one else in the world knew how to hold one (Uh,
JJ, you're supposed to support Robby's head, his neck isn't strong
enough to :) ...

>- pack hospital bag

JJ did this a month before her due date, as did Bootsie.  The bag was
packed and in the car, so all they had to do was hop in and go!

>- ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN ADD THAT I LEFT OUT

I'd suggest you prepare meals that can be taken out the freezer and thrown
in the microwave or oven so that you don't need to cook for the first few
days/weeks, depending on freezer size.  Stock up on a variety of foods you
like so you can limit the grocery store panic runs :)

Check in to getting someone (friend, relative, whatever) to help with
doing laundry/dusting/tidying up so you can rest/nap/enjoy your new
baby or to give you just some general relief and adult company during
the first few weeks.

Depending upon whether you've chosen cloth or disposable diapers, get more
than you think the baby will need.  The estimate I heard was that newborns
go through 24 diapers per day for the first 8 weeks.  Do not, repeat, do not
follow my airhead sister JJ's example and think you can economize by using
extra absorbent diapers and leave them for 3 hours.  It just don't work, and
baby gets wet and upset.  You don't need to spend money on wipes, either.  I
know several families who have a large pile/basket of washcloths that are 
dipped in warm water, wrung out, and used to clean up the baby.  The cloths 
are then thrown in the laundry after a rinse.

-------------
I'm not a parent, but these are my suggestions based on what family and
friends have done.

>After that, WHEN (or at least in what order) do I do the following:
>- move furniture to create a nursery

This was done anywhere from a week to three months before the due date,
and in one case while the mother was recovering in the hospital from
the birth.  The last one was because they had only recently moved their
toddler out of the crib and in to his "big boy" bed and they didn't
want him to think he was going to be put back in the crib.

- buy major baby items (crib, carseat, stroller, etc.)

Before the baby arrives you might want to spend a few weeks with the
carseat in the car so that you can adjust to its presence, and maybe
practice for the baby by putting in/taking out a stuffed animal each
time you use the car.

Umbrella strollers seem very popular with people, but I have rarely
seen them used with babies under 3 months, either because the parents
like carrying the baby, or the're unsure of the stroller's ability to
support the baby.  Maybe someone else can offer some advice on this.

---------------------
Hi Elisa:  Sounds like you have a really good handle on what should be
accomplished before the little one is born.  I'm not so sure it's all
that vitally important to have a specific time-table so long as you
have everything done at least 6 weeks before your due date (on the
chance your baby might be born early).

I had a feeling early on that we needed to get things done for my
daughter Emma.  My due date was Nov. 4 but by August we had everything
done except selecting a pediatrician and my husband was building Em a
cradle and thought he had "plenty of time" to finish it.  Wrong!  She
was born on Sept. 16 (7 weeks early) so I was _very_ grateful that we
had planned ahead.  I ended up picking her pediatrician the day she was
born :)  (I knew who I wanted to use but hadn't ever gotten around to
talking to her ahead of time, oops!  It all worked out just fine
though)  My husband never did get the cradle done.  We had set up her
crib already so she just went right into that when she got to come
home.

I would avoid buying too much in the way of baby clothes ahead of time
unless you happen to have an amniocentisis and _know_ that you're
having a boy or girl.  Ultrasound technicians only make a guess based
on what they see and they aren't always right :)  They couldn't see
anything at my ultrasound but I was convinced I was having a boy.  I
didn't buy too much ahead of time, thankfully and anyway Emma did look
stunning in blue :)

Another reason not to buy too much for clothing is that you don't know
how big your baby will be.  If you have a 10 1/2 pounder like my
husband's sister did none of the newborn stuff will fit and if you have
a 4 pounder like we did, it may be a different season of the year
before the baby is big enough to wear it.

-------------------
I'm about 32 weeks along now.  Sounds like all the stuff you've
*already* done are good.  But I guess the next two things I'd suggest
to do now are: (1) pick a hospital or delivery site now (you may not
have a choice if your OB is associated with only one particular
hospital), and (2) select a childbirth class and sign up ASAP.  I
mention the childbirth class because I kind of wish I'd shopped around
more for one - I'm not that enthusiastic about the one we're in, but I
figured they'd all be about the same (not true, from what I now know!),
and the classes fill up fast so you need to sign up soon!

Next I would decide on if you want to paint or wallpaper the nursery.
Selecting the paint/wallpaper takes a loooong time if both you and your
husband are anything like us!  And it may take awhile to order certain
paper.  Then just getting it painted or papered takes awhile of
course.  It's much easier to get this done earlier in the pregnancy.

Now, this is a little iffy, but if you think a baby shower will be
held, you should definitely hold off on buying some things, including
some larger items, in case you have very generous family or friends.
But if you have definite preferences for certain brands/models of
carseat, stroller, etc, you may want to either let relatives know this
in advance, or maybe register at a baby store in your area.

I'm just now visiting the daycare centers that I'm considering, and
I think my timing is just about right (but my baby is due in January
and I don't need the daycare until June 1995).  I'm also meeting with
pediatricians now to choose one, and that's worked out fine.

We bought our crib, have been loaned lots and lots of baby clothes,
as well as a swing and two infant car seats.  I was surprised with
a baby shower last week, and we received a stroller, lots more clothes,
crib sheets, blankets, and lots of misc stuff.  I had purchased
a few cute outfits that I found on sale, as well as a few essentials
before hand, so now we're all set.  We bought an almost-new, second-hand
crib in about the 5th month, but we'd been looking at cribs for about
1 month before we found one we liked.  New cribs sometimes take quite
awhile on order.

Things I still have left to do in the next couple of weeks:

- Make final decision on which daycare center and submit application.

- Write up birth plan (I already have my ideas all set, just not 
  written up) and discuss with doctor.

- Still decide on a name!  (We've been working on this since
  about week 12!)
 
- Pack a bag for the hospital.

- Buy a couple of wall decorations for the baby's room with
  money we received from the baby shower.

I'm very comfortable with everything EXCEPT I really wish we could
decide on a name (we've known it's a girl since the amino around week
12).  And I'm really glad we got the baby's room done nice and early,
since we've been putting all the baby things in it as we acquired them.

----------------
>- buy baby clothes and minor items

Don't buy much until you know the size (and sex) of the child! Some are 
tiny and will need the smallest size, others start out wearing the 6 month size!

>- take birthing class

Are there waiting lists for the popular ones in your area? 

>- rewrite will and designate guardian

Designating a guardian can take time if there isn't one obvious choice.
You also need to make sure the guardian is willing!

>- ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN ADD THAT I LEFT OUT

Allow for the possibility of an early birth! My daughter was born at 36
weeks (5lb 6oz), and I hadn't finished my birthing classes, didn't have
anyplace for her to sleep, etc., etc. 

----------
I can't tell you when to buy furniture since my nursery's been done for
three years now. We lost our first child at 8 months, so I had already
gotten all the furniture. I would suggest if you see a good bargain to
go for it though, all my furniture is second hand, I'm not picky as
long as it is in good shape and poses no safety hazards.

I would leave most of the minor things to the last month or so or at least 
until all your baby showers have been thrown, It's amazing how much little 
stuff you get.

I've opted not to take birthing classes, It's also 50/50 on my having 
another c-section and I'd hate to waste the money, so I've just checked 
out a couple of books and video's from our local library and video store.

It's also up in the air about the birthing plan.  The  DR knows I prefer 
to go natural if possible though.

I'll probably stay home for the first couple months after birth so I 
haven't thought about day-care plus my mother only lives 15 minutes 
away:-).

We already picked a name, I'd start this as soon as possible, just pick 
one boy and one girl name.  My sister-in-law and her husband never decided 
until she was ready to leave the hospital and they regret not spending 
more time on it. 

I constantly read up on baby care, I figure the more I know the better off 
I'll be.

I suggest that once you pick your hospital that in your 8th month (give or 
take) you take a tour, most hospitals hold maternity tours and its worth 
the time for you and your other to take.  It gives you a feel for the 
place and keeps you from getting that lost feeling.

I haven't even begin to think about the financial side yet.  I also
don't know when to pack for the hospital either or pick a pediatrician,
I have though made note of the pediatricians located near our home.

If you don't already have it, I would suggest the "What to expect When 
your expecting" book.  My DR provided me with a copy and I think it's 
great but opinions will differ, browse through it at the store if you 
like.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have one, but it's hysterically outdated.  It suggests that at week
X you should stock up the freezer so your husband will have something
to eat while you're at the hospital! 8-)

Seriously, there isn't any "right" time to do things - except that
things tend to have their natural deadlines.  If you are wondering
whether to have a certain test done, for instance, you have to make up
your mind before the time when the test is to be done.  (Or by the
deadline for signing up - some hospitals and clinics like you to sign
up so-and-so many weeks ahead of time.)  When the baby comes home, you
will need to have clothes and diapers.  And so on.

I don't know about the daycare situation where you are, of course, but
if there are long waiting lists then you definitely should start
looking.

>After that, WHEN (or at least in what order) do I do the following:
>- move furniture to create a nursery

This depends.  Are you just going to set up the furniture?  If so, you
can do it as soon as you buy the furniture, or someone can do it for
you the day before the baby comes home.  It really doesn't make a
difference.  But if you want to put up new wallpaper, lay down new
flooring, etc., then you'll want to get started a few months before
your due date - so you don't have to rush, and you'll know it will be
done in time.

>- buy major baby items (crib, carseat, stroller, etc.)
>- buy baby clothes and minor items

There's absolutely no rush.  If you see something you want at a good
price, pick it up.  If i were you i would wait until after the
Christmas madness is over to shop, especially for the big items like
the car seat.  You'll want to compare several brands, ask about the
features, and compare prices, all of which are easier to do when the
stores are relatively quiet and the clerks have some time to talk to
you.

>- choose names

The record among people i know is when the baby is four months old
8-).  Seriously, this depends on where you live.  In some places you
need to register the name a few days after the birth, in others you
can get a birth certificate without a name and name the child months
or even years later. 

>- pack hospital bag

A few weeks before your due date, unless you're at risk for premature
labor or a worry-wart by nature ;-) 

About the other things: you will have lots of little bits of time
available through your pregnancy, and you'll soon find that the
hormones are reminding you of everything that needs to be done!  When
you get the urge to do something baby-related,listen to your body.  If
you feel energetic, do something active; if you're tired, read a baby
care book or look for possible names.  

I'm at home with the little guy, so childcare wasn't a priority for
us; neither was finding a pediatrician since we have a family GP (who
handled pre-natal care, too).  So i can't help you with those
things. Nor with the legal stuff, since we still haven't officially
appointed a guardian (what do you do when you have two good
alternatives?).
-----------------------------------------------------

>You definitely want one of those infant carseat/carrier things.   We
>had purchased 2 carseats that said on the box they were for infancy
>to toddlerhood (30 pds?).  Forget it.  They didn't tilt back enough
>for a newborn.

There is a new convertible seat out that does tilt back far enough for
a newborn.  It is the Century Smartmove.  It also comes with a head
supporter to keep a newborn's head from flopping around.  You will need
to make sure that it fits in your car when fully reclined in the
newborn position, though.  When we were deciding on a carseat for our
daughter, we were considering getting the Century infant seat that
snaps into a base in the car and serves as a carrier, but since we had
a front carrier for the baby already, we decided to go with the
Smartmove.  For an infant, I strongly recommend the 5-point harness
instead of the 3-point with shield.

As far as trying to get everything done, I didn't have a special plan
for most stuff.  I just tried to do a little every week.  I bought some
baby stuff in the second trimester, only because I wanted to get stuff
cheap at garage sales if I could.  The non-garage sale stuff I waited
to buy until around my 8th month.  I wouldn't suggest buying stuff
until your third trimester.  Stuff goes on sale all the time.  If you
get it all done too soon, then you may want to buy more just because
you are getting anxious for your baby or you will see more cute stuff
that you just have to have.  :)  Since I got so much at garage sales, I
felt this way.
----------------------------------------

There is a book you might be interested in entitled 'The New Baby
Checklist' (or something very close to that. It provides a rather
complete, detailed checklist of anything that might be applicable to
anyone!! Your lists of things done, and what's next seem pretty on
target. A lot of the timing on getting things done really depends on
your own individual situation and pregnancy. A low energy level or a
high risk pregnancy might mean that you need to get things done earlier
than other parents-to-be.
----------------------------------------

At 14 weeks - start asking questions about when to do what.... :-).

> Things I have done already include:
> - began taking folic acid (did this when we started trying) & other vitamins

All good. BTW: For the last one - I'd suggest having a look at some of
the 'diets' the books suggest, such as WTEWYE "Best Odds" diet. There
is a point at which you should start being careful about vitamin
supplements - some are not recommended for use during pregnancy.
Anyway, your OB should be able to fill you in. It should be possible to
get everything you need through diet, barring those weird and wonderful
(not!) shortages that your body invents during pregnancy -
Magnesium/Potassium and Calcium leap to mind for a few people I know -
when you do need extras.

> - buy maternity clothes
or borrow ? My wife, Julie, got a fair proportion from friends. As you 
see stuff, and as your current clothes get uncomfortable. Julie used
an elastic band to extend the reach of her jeans etc. for a few weeks
(during winter, with longish jumpers :-) ).

> - begin looking at daycare centers
A.S.A.P. Get onto lists early (we submitted as soon as we 
had a confirmed pregnancy - 6+ weeks ?). It varies by country/state/city
but if you're on the list early it removes a stress. Funny thing - I was
skulking around centres, checking them out, before we even announced
we were trying (let alone successful :-)) and we were worried about
getting caught by somebody we knew :-). Both of you check out a set
and make a shortlist. Revisit the shortlisted ones together. See which
both of you like.

> After that, WHEN (or at least in what order) do I do the following:
> - move furniture to create a nursery
When you have the urge/energy to. In our case we did it over the 
last 3 months, and with two weeks to go still have a bit to do.

> - buy major baby items (crib, carseat, stroller, etc.)
Is this your first baby ? Consider if the newly pending grandparents
are likely to spring for big ticket items. Again, also see if somebody
will lend you one - e.g. our cot has been used by 15 babies so far :-).
The only big thing we bought was a pram/stroller (at 13 weeks :-) ), as
they were on sale.  If space is at a premium you'll have to slowly
adapt your household, we did!...

> - buy baby clothes and minor items
Again, take it easy before buying stuff. You may get many gifts
along the way. Certainly don't buy toys and such - they're an obvious
gift. We've bought the bare minimum for the hospital and the first few days
at home (clothes, that is), the rest we've received via gifts. Not knowing
the gender stops some people, so we request green things :-). There is
time, even after birth, to fill in some gaps in our stocks....

> - take birthing class
Absolutely. We had a debate a while back - is it better to have it early
or later ? With Julie tiredness became a bit of a problem (classes went
past her bedtime :-)). Also, we learnt some physio techniques that would
have been useful earlier. OTOH, some aspects of labour we didn't
want to know about at all :) - so too early would just have given us more
time to get stressed.... We had ours from week 33-37, and coped just fine.

> - develop a birth plan
as above. Probably after/during the birthing classes, once you are
really well informed. Those books can't cover everything you ever wanted
to ask !

> - select a hospital
That came first with us, then the OBs from the (only slightly)
restricted sample.  A good OBs is valuable, a good hospital invaluable

> - see financial planner about investments and insurance
> - rewrite will and designate guardian
Something that can be done at almost any stage - if you're in the mood, go
for it !

> - look at home care and nannies
You probably already have a gut feeling if you're going to need one, or 
even want one. Now, it may be a difficult birth, or your baby may be
stressful to take care of, in which case a 'possibly not' becomes 'heck yes!'.
You want to know who to call on ommediately. I'd suggest checking your options
early. Recommendation: "What to expect the first year" has a section on
just this topic, including how the father gets involved. Check it out.

> - make final decision on daycare
Not sure if I understand that right. It may be decided for you, depending
on waiting lists...

> - choose names
Half our shortlist was chosen before we got pregnant :-). The other half
was chosen, then dropped, then picked up again only a few weeks back.
Some friends have noted that when the baby arrived they didn't think their 
chosen name(s) fitted, and changed it on the spot ! Have them ready
and comfortable before the day, but be flexible :-).

> - read up on baby care
when not reading about mother-care-during-pregnancy ! Be informed. 
Before the birth don't worry about anything beyond the first 6 weeks of
baby's life - by that stage you'll develop your own routine. Knowing about
all the funny things the pregnant body does is very helpful - you and
your partner should know the index of your favourite pregnancy book ! :-).

> - pack hospital bag
To be honest - Julie chose not to pack nearly anything until it's very 
close - she's worried that the earlier she packs the later rugrat will 
arrive ! Know what you need to take (hospital/OB will tell you), and
perhaps stockpile it. You can add to it over the last 3 months, perhaps
leave stuff out...

> - select pediatrician
If you want to - we'll go with the hospital's choice for a while, as 
we trust and like the hospital staff. We can always choose a different 
one later. Perhaps ask friends for suggestions (pro/con) and have the 
list ready if you need it.

> - ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN ADD THAT I LEFT OUT

Cuppla things: Take a look around the hospital, if your classes don't
give you a tour. Visit the nursery and the delivery rooms. Find out what they
provide for your comfort (TV ? showers ? Spa ?, beanbags ? pillows ?
heatpacks, coldpacks ? A bed that folds into any comfortable angle you 
might like to be at during labour (including squatting, or over on your 
hands and knees ?). Do the staff support you in your choices as to what
to do ? Are they strict on visiting hours ? (preferably fascist ! :-) ).
What can you do in/out of hours - who can you ring/talk to, where's the
doorbell when they lock the door overnight, can you come in for
reassurance and not feel guilty.... Do they support rooming-in (the baby)
or give you a choice to chop-and-change as needed ? The W.H.O. has
a set of guidelines for 'baby-friendly' hospitals - see if your choice 
is one.

You may wish to do this very early, so that you're comfortable with
the hospital well before the big day arrives. If you don't like
it very much - choose another (if you can).

Another thing - book a *really* *relaxing* holiday for about week 24-26
(not much later than week 26 I'd suggest). We went on a houseboat, 
self drive, room for 8 but only the two of us and Julie's grandmother
(who we get on with really well), took a bit over a week off. Julie's
batteries were draining rapidly by then - the holiday saved her.
She could then cope with working till week 37 (although she could have 
left at week 34).

> I don't want to leave anything till the last second.  But some things
> shouldn't be done too early, either.  Please help me find the optimal time.

There t'aint no such beast - every pregnancy, every baby is different.
Take it very easy as you go, eat well, relax a lot, read, be happy, 
talk with your partner, and do things as you feel comfortable with them.
Unlike a wedding, a pregancy knows no timetable and involves a third party
who has *never* read any of the books !!! Seriously - there's no 
comparing the two.


--------------------------------------------
Pre-Conception Planning
---------------------------------------------

Dana L. Wettergreen <dr18+@andrew.cmu.edu>

>Is there anything I should be doing regarding general nutrition *before* 
>pregnancy?  Starting to take vitamins, quit my coffee habit, etc?  I know 
>I need to lose weight, so I'm working on that now...

 
What follows is advice my sister, an OB/GYN, gave me (carefully
shortened to save space--tho it's still long):
 
-Keep track of your periods.  This will help your care provider give you
the most accurate due date.
 
-Quit smoking.  Women who smoke have more infertility, tubal
pregnancies, miscarriages, abnormal bleeding during pregnancy, premature
labor, stillbirths and fetal distress in labor.  Their babies are more
likely to have stunted growth in the womb, pneumonia, asthma, and to die
of crib death (SIDS).  It is never too late to quit and improve the
health of yourself and your child.  Call the American Cancer Society for
practical hints for success in quitting.  
 
-Avoid Alcohol (and Drugs).  There is no known *safe* amount of drinking
in pregnancy.  If you find it difficult to avoid alcohol or drugs, you
may need help quitting.  Alcoholics Anonymous can help.  (Side note:  I
also heard/read that the father's alcohol use can impact baby's health,
so your husband should also consider giving up alcohol when you're
trying to get pregnant). 
 
-Take a folate supplement.  Folate has been shown to lessen the risk of
spina bifida and other birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. 
Folate (also known as folic acid) should be added to your diet *prior to
conception* and into pregnancy.  You can get the 0.4-1.0 milligrams you
need from a multivitamin or prenatal supplement or by eating more dark
green leafy vegetables, liver, fruit, green beans and whole grains.
 
-Eat healthy foods.  Eating a wide variety of foods as close to their
natural state as possible will provide you with good nutrition, and help
your baby develop and you feel your best.  While you need to gain 25-35
pounds over the 9 months, pregnancy isn't an excuse to eat anything and
everything!  On the flip side, pregnancy is not the time to diet.
 
-Chemicals.  Some chemicals used on the job or for hobbies can cause
birth defects.  Check with Poison Control (1-800-362-0101) about
specific chemicals you use.
 
-Rubella (or German measles).  Getting rubella early in pregnancy can
cause birth defects.  A simple blood test can tell if you have immunity.
 If you are not immune, a vaccine given at least 3 months before getting
pregnant will protect you from getting rubella in the future.  (**Side
note:  I heard that the vaccine we were given in school in the 8th grade
(about 1978) has not been as effective as they thought.  So many doctors
are testing and re-vaccinating.)
 
-Diabetes.  If you are diabetic, see an obstetrician before trying to conceive.
 
-Women with HIV or AIDS should avoid pregnancy.
 
-Talk with your doctor about genetic counseling for conditions that run
in families, such as hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease,
Tay-Sachs, or mental retardation.
 
-When you do get pregnant, talk with your doctor about toxoplasmosis and
get someone else to change the cat's litterbox.  
 
-If you are on any regular medication, including those for high blood
pressure and epilepsy, talk with your doctor before you get pregnant
about safer medications.  
 
I hope this was helpful!  If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail
me and I'll "go to the source" and get answers.  
 
-----------------------------------------
Feeling The First Movements
-----------------------------------------

From: "Corrine R. Johnson" <JohnsonC@calvertgroup.com>

		WHEN DO YOU FEEL MOVEMENT
		 From 13 1/2 to 26 weeks

	Your Pregnancy Companion by Janis Graham

	Quickening:  To Reach the Stage of Gestation
		     At Which Fetal Motion is Felt

As you wait for the time when you'll start to feel your baby move, it's
not uncommon to become a little anxious, to worry, "Why haven't I felt
anything yet?"  It helps to keep the following two things in mind.

First, while some women feel fetal movements as early as fourteen
weeks, most mothers-to-be (especially first-time mothers) only discern
movements after eighteen or twenty-one weeks (or even as late as
twenty-six weeks).

Second, it's not always easy to recognize first fetal movements, since
early movements are not usually experienced as distinct jabs or kicks
but indistinct, vague "flutterings" or sinking sensations that are easy
to mistake for digestive rumblings.  In other words, feeling your
baby's first movements may not be a clearly demarcated "event" for you
but a series of suspicions ("I think that was the baby moving") that
finally add up to certainty.

Once you're sure you're feeling the baby (and that may take weeks after
the first suspicion), chances are you'll be excited and reassured.  The
baby is likely to some how seem more real to you from then on.  Most
women also find that their feelings toward their unborn baby greately
intensify once movements are felt, and that the movements are, overall,
a source of joy and comfort during the later part of the pregnancy.

There may be still times however, when the subject of the baby's
movements cause you concern.  These facts should provide perspective:

o  Every baby has his or her own unique pattern of movement:
   some kick like clockwork the same time everyday, others jab
   you irregularly; some pack powerful punches, others just
   nudge you gently.

That means if a friend describes fetal kicks so strong that they wake
her up in the middle of the night, you shouldn't be worried if you only
feel gentle puches.  You simply can't compare your baby's style of
"getting around" with any other baby's.  The range of what's normal,
usual, and healthy is tremendously wide.

o   When you are active, you'll tend to notice your baby's
    movements less and your baby will tend to move less (as
    he or she is lulled by the rhythm of your movements).  
    Also, there will be days when your baby is more wakeful
    and active than others.

o   In a normal, low risk pregnancy there's generally no need
    to count fetal movements every day (in some high-risk
    pregnancies, doctors will instruct a woman to count fetal
    movements three times a day in thirty-minute sessions).  
    *Only after the 28-30th week*  After the thirtieth week
    though, you should contact your doctor if you feel no fetal
    activity or feel markedly diminished activity in any 
    twenty-four hour period.

    *Even if you feel no movement or a slowing, it doesn't
     necessarily mean something is wrong; if you're near term,
    for instance, a lessening in activity is often a signal 
    that labor is about to begin.

-----------------------------------------
When is a Blood Test Accurate?
-----------------------------------------
>  I have a question on the blood test you can get at the doctor's.  How 
>  soon after conception can it detect a pregnancy?

I was totally impatient too--My doctor said that a  blood test would
show positive 10 days after conception, and I was dying to know so I
went in 10 days after my blue line.  The test was negative, I cried and
cried, wanted to die for awhile, accepted it, and looked forward to the
next month.  Then two weeks went by-- no period.  I was frustrated,
figured I'd have to take provera to bring it on or something.  I did a
home pregnancy test for the hell of it, and lo and behold it was
positive!  So I jumped the gun.  I would recommend that you not take a
blood test until you are pretty sure it's 10 days after ovulation.
What happened to me was an emotional roller coaster!

-------------------------------
How To Calculate Your Due Date
-------------------------------

From: chicar@aol.com (Chicar)

This is how to calculate your due day.

The due month is: your LMP month + 9. 
The due date is: your LMP date plus 7.
 For Example, if your LMP was 3/10/95: 
3 + 9 = 12 (Dec), 10 + 7 = 17 (17th day). 
If the added month exceeds 12, then you subtract 12. 
For example, if you LMP was 6/20/95,  the month will be (6 + 9) - 12 = 3
(March), and the date will be 20 + 7 = 27, 
so your due date will be 3/27/96.

----------------------------------------------------------------
Traditionally, this is calculated by Naegele's rule, which says 
you take the first day of your last menstrual period, count back
3 months, then add 7 days.  The following reference questions
that approach (which is several hundred years old...  Nutrition
has improved significantly since then!)

The Length of Uncomplicated Human Gestation
Mittendorf, R. et al
Obstetrics & Gynecology, V.75, N.6, June 1990 pp. 929-932.
(From the Dept. of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health;
Harvard School of Dental Medicine; St. Margaret's Hospital for Women;
and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston MA)

Abstract

By retrospective exclusion of gestations with known obstetric
complications, maternal diseases, or unreliable menstrual histories, we
found that uncomplicated, spontaneous labor pregnancy in private-care
white mothers is  longer than Naegele's rule predicts.  For primiparas,
the median duration of gestation from assumed ovulation to delivery was
274 days (P=.0003).  For multiparas, the median duration of pregnancy
was 269 days, also significantly longer than the prediction (P=.019).
Moreover, the median length of pregnancy in primiparas proved to be
significantly longer than that for multiparas (P=.0032).  Thus, this
study suggests that when estimating a due date for private-care white
patients, one should count back 3 months from the first day of the last
menses, then add 15 days for primiparas or 10 days for multiparas,
instead of using the common algorithm for Naegele's rule.

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