Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 27

Hhere Lehranstalt fr wirtschaftliche Berufe Dr. Arthur-Lemisch-Strae 15 9300 St.

Veit an der Glan

Fachspezifische Themenstellung
aus Biologie und kologie/ Englische Arbeitssprache

The Miracle of Life

Abigail Faffelberger
5CHW 2012/2013 Eingereicht bei Frau Prof. Mag. Hainzl Elisabeth

St. Veit, 12.04.2013

Authors declaration Hereby, I confirm that all references in this text are indicated evidently and that the following paper is entirely my own scholarly work. Accordingly I take full responsibility for any inaccuracies of facts.

Weitensfeld, February 2013

. (Abigail Faffelberger)

Table of Contents

In my final paper I wrote about what happens in a mothers womb during pregnancy. The first three chapters treat the three stages of pregnancy, and in the next few chapters I briefly examined the problems that can occur during pregnancy as well as the different stages of labor pains, the changes of women during pregnancy and how pregnant women can stay healthy. My decisive factors to write especially about pregnancy are that I am really interested in this topic, and if in future I have my own children I already know something about what happens in a mothers womb. Personally I am so fascinated by the development of a baby. Even though I thoroughly examined many things about pregnancy for this paper, the development of a human being is still such a secret to me and I cannot stop to brim over with enthusiasm for the development of a baby. My target audiences are especially women. I chose to write for this particular audience because it is actually the woman that is concerned, and if a woman reads my paper I would wish for it to speak to her heart that she gets touched by it and gets a different point of view about pregnancy. To have a baby is a beautiful thing and it is a present from God because the chance of getting pregnant is so small but still women can do it.

Pregnancy is a wonderful thing and women have the absolute privilege to be able to have a baby. For many women these nine months are a time of great happiness but a woman also has to go through many challenges during this time. But what would a woman not endure if she can cuddle a healthy baby at the end of this sometimes tough time?

1 The First Trimester of Pregnancy

During the first trimester of pregnancy all important organs of the baby are developed. In this time the baby grows faster than in any other stage of life. The first trimester begins with the first week and lasts until the twelfth week of pregnancy. Since the exact moment of a babys conception is unknown, the pregnancy is dated from the time of the last menstruation. But how can the date of birth be calculated? You have to add seven days to the first day of your last menstruation and then you have to subtract three months. In this way you can approximately figure out the date of birth. However, only in few cases do women give birth to their babies on the calculated date.

1.1 The First Week of Pregnancy

1.1.1 Fertilization of the Egg Cell
In the womans ovaries, eggs ripen in fluid-filled sacs After the ovulation, the unfertilized egg cell begins its of the womans eggs erupts from its follicle, is swept called follicles. journey. One away from the

ovary and is taken up by the fallopian tube. There it stays and waits for fertilization. The chance that a single sperm reaches the egg cell is a chance of one to one million. The released egg cell only lives for about 12-24 hours, and at best the egg cell will be fertilized. Men ejaculate about 250 million sperms but only about 300 sperms reach the oviducts upper part and only one manages to fertilize the egg cell. The sperms have to swim from the vagina through the cervix, up into the uterus to the fallopian tube, and penetrate the egg for fertilization to happen.1
Figure : Fertilization of the Egg Cell

1 http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-2-weeks_6000.bc

The second the sperm enters the outer membrane of the egg, it usually hardens. Fertilization is finished when the chromosomes of the sperm and the egg cell have been connected. The baby will become a girl if the sperm carries an X chromosome, and if it carries a Y chromosome it will become a boy. Unless the egg cell has been fertilized the change of the mothers hormones stops the normal cycle of menstruation. 2 It takes the fertilized egg, now called zygote, about three to four days to reach the uterus through the fallopian tube. During this time the zygote will divide into 16 identical cells. As soon as the zygote enters the uterus it is called morula.3

1.1.2 The Corpus Luteum (Yellow Body)

During ovulation the egg leaves behind a tissue that had surrounded it before its release from the ovary. This discarded tissue is called the yellow body. The corpus luteum secretes the hormone progesterone and thus plays a key role in maintaining the plush carpeting of the uterus. The yellow body sends a signal to the uterus so that by the time an egg reaches it, the lining will be prepared and ready to accept it, allowing the egg to implant. After fertilization, the progesterone, which is secreted by the yellow body, keeps the uterine lining for 8-10 weeks, and then the placenta continues to make progesterone.4

1.2 The Second and Third Week of Pregnancy

A lot is now going on in the mothers womb. A part of the blastocyst starts to produce the pregnancy hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). Due to this hormone the increased production of progesterone and estrogen takes place, and the hormone also tells the ovaries to stop releasing eggs. By the end of the third week pregnant women are also able to get a positive result from their pregnancy test due to this hormone. At this point in time the developing baby is a little ball of cells called blastocyst. The blastocyst contains an inner cell mass that will become the embryo, a fluid-filled cavity that will become the amniotic sac, and an outer cell mass that will
Figure : Blastocyst

2 http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week20.htm 3 http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-2-weeks_6000.bc 4 http://www.parenting.com/article/yellow-body-important-menstruationandpregnancy

become the placenta. The placenta gives life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients to the baby and it even carries away waste products.5

1.3 The Fourth Week of Pregnancy

The embryo consists of two layers: the epiblast and the All organs will form from those 2 layers. At the moment only has the size of a poppy seed. The amniotic sac houses the baby, the amniotic fluid cushions the embryo as it grows, and the yolk sac is now ready to take over the duty of producing the embryos red blood cells, and also helps to deliver nutrients until the placenta has developed.6 hypoblast. the embryo

1.3.1 The Placenta

Figure : Fourth Week of Pregnancy

The placenta is a very efficient organ and unique in its flexibility. It is able to perceive different functions of the lungs, kidneys, intestinal tract, liver and ductless glands. It also develops substances to prevent infections. Further, the placenta is also very important for the future production of milk, and it is also the main source for the hormones. The placenta even helps to keep mother and baby healthy. It can produce globulins, which are natural blood components, to defend infections. The baby is connected to the placenta with an umbilical cord.

5 http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-3-weeks_1049.bc 6 http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week4.html

1.3.2 The Umbilical Cord

The umbilical cord connects the baby in the uterus with the placenta. It contains umbilical arteries and veins. These transport the blood from the heart of the embryo to the placenta and back. The umbilical cord looks like a bluish clew. During pregnancy it lengthens steadily and by birth it has a length of about one meter. 7

1.3.3 Blood Circulation

Despite the fact that the baby relies on its mother, it has its own blood circulation and its own heart that pumps about 30 liters of blood per day.

1.4 The Fifth Week of Pregnancy

In the 5th week both cell layers split and the Now the embryo is made up of three layers: ectoderm and the endoderm. The embryos nerve tracts, from which the brain, the backbone, the medulla, and the nerves develop, grow in the top layer called the ectoderm. This layer is also responsible for the growth of the babys tooth enamel, skin, nails, hair, sweat and mammary glands. The heart and the circulatory system arise in the mesoderm, the middle layer. A tiny tubular heart is formed and begins to beat and to pump blood. The mesoderm will also develop the emybros muscles, subcutaneous tissue, cartilage and bone. With the development of the neural tube, the mesoderm is divided into equal blocks of cells, which are situated on both sides of the neural tube. The inner layer, the endoderm, forms the lungs, the digestive tract, and the beginnings of the urinary passages, and it will also house the embryos thyroid, liver, and pancreas. Meanwhile, the placenta and the umbilical cord have already started to do their job, and are supplying the baby with nourishment and oxygen. 8
Figure : Fifth Week of Pregnancy

middle layer appears. the mesoderm, the

7 http://www.paradisi.de/Health_und_Ernaehrung/Anatomie/Nabelschnur/ 8 http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-5-weeks_1094.bc

1.5 The Sixth Week of Pregnancy

The nose, mouth and ears are beginning to take Protruding buds mark the embryos emerging The embyros nervous systems are growing at a The digestive and respiratory systems are form too. The heart still consists of a simple flat stage the embryo is as large as a lentil. 9 shape. arms and legs. rapid beginning pace. to

canal. It beats

almost twice as fast as the heart of an adult, at around 100 to 160 times per minute. In this

1.6 The Seventh Week of Pregnancy

Figure : Sixth Week of Pregnancy

There are several major developments in this week. You can see that the embryo has already developed all vital functions. All organs are now emerged despite the fact that the embryo is just about 2 cm large and weighs only about one gram. It already has a human face with eyes, ears, nose, lips, a tongue and even the buds of its wisdom teeth are already visible. The lungs of the baby have started to develop as well as the intestines. In this week the gullet separates from the air tube (trachea) and both connect to the stomach. The pancreas and the gall bladder are formed through the duodenum. Both brain hemispheres continue to grow and the liver ejects red blood cells (This happens until the bone marrow has formed the liver takes over this role). The brain shows similarities to the brain of an adult person. It sends impulses which control the other organs.
Figure : Seventh week of pregnancy

1.7 The Eighth Week of Pregnancy

In this week, fingers and toes are beginning to form, and the embryos breathing tubes are starting to extend from the tubes to the branches of its lungs that are developing as well. The

9 http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week6.html

eyes are becoming more visible due to the development of the pigment in the back of the eye. 10

1.8 The Ninth Week of Pregnancy

From now on the embryo is no longer called embryo but fetus. Its starting to look more and more human. The fetus is already very active despite the fact that it only weighs about 30 grams. The heart is now divided into four chambers. The fetus eyes are now fully formed but the eyelids still stay closed until the 27 th week. Nerves, organs and muscles are kicking into gear.

Figure : Ninth Week of Pregnancy


development of arms, legs, and eyes are already clearly visible and the backbone is beginning to develop. The skin of the unborn child is still transparent and its organs are visible, with, for instance, the brain and the heart shining through. Compared to the rest of the body the head is still very big. 11 In this week the organs are starting to function, for example, the liver starts to produce blood cells. Also, the brain develops at a remarkable pace. Within two days it expands about a quarter of its original size. Up to 100,000 new nerve cells are produced every minute. Until the baby is born about 1 billion nerve cells will be produced.

10 http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-7-weeks_1096.bc 11 Schwangerschaft Tag fr Tag

1.9 The Tenth Week of Pregnancy

Starting from now the organs and tissues of the fetus body grow and mature rapidly. In this week the fetus makes a lot of progress. Some spot minute details are tiny nails forming on fingers and toes as well as peach-fuzz hair beginning to grow on its sensitive skin. It has also started swallowing.

1.10 The Eleventh Week of Pregnancy

In this week, the ears and eyes find their right position. The eyelids develop but stay closed for the next months. The baby is moving all the time and it can even control its movements. Even some hiccupping may be happening since the diaphragm is forming. The skeleton begins to ossify and to gain stability. Now the tips of the fingers and toes are forming. By this time the head of the fetus accounts for about the half of the body length. The mother will not feel the fetus acrobatics for another 1-2 months because it is still too tiny.

1.11 The Twelfth Week of Pregnancy

The most important developments of this week are the fetus reflexes. Fingers begin to open and close, toes start to curl, its mouth starts to make sucking movements and its eye muscles start to contract. The sensitive lips are formed. Taste buds and salivary glands develop. Even its vocal cords are formed this week. From now on the fetus is able to pass the amniotic fluid out of the body as urine. The movements of the baby become versatile and harmonize. By now the fetus has the size of a plum.13
Figure : Comparison - Size of the Baby in

1.12 Ultrasound Testing

Ultrasound testing is when the body is exposed to high-frequency sound waves. It is painless and safe,

12 http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week10.html 13 http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-12-weeks_1101.bc

and by using sound waves it captures the returning echoes as pictures of the interior of the body.14 At the first testing the ultrasound will detect whether the pregnant woman carries one or more babies. The anomalies of the uterus become visible and even some or more malformations of the embryo can be diagnosed.15
Figure : Ultrasound Testing

2 The Second Trimester of Pregnancy

2.1 The Fourth Month of

The baby is growing so fast that it reaches half it will have by the time it is born. In only four gains about six times of its weight and about height. Meanwhile the placenta is fully of the length weeks 12cm developed, it in

supplying the baby with oxygen and nutrients until it is born. By now you can clearly see if the baby is a girl or a boy. The baby can even squint, frown, pee, and grimace. The babys facial muscles are working constantly and its tiny features form one expression after another.

The babys body is covered with lanugos, protecting its skin from the amniotic liquid.
Figure : Sixteenth Week of Pregnancy

Its eyelashes begin to grow. In this stage, the baby uses several methods to prepare for life outside the womb. Fat cells or adipose tissue starts to form under the skin, which will help to keep the babys temperature constant after birth.

Several important organs and functions are also developed in this time. The lung cavities are formed but the lungs remain unused until the babys first breath. The babys bones begin to fix calcium and they become stronger week by week. Muscles continue to develop.

The brain develops quickly during this time. The right and the left sides of the brain connect. The left half of the brain controls the right side of the body, and the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. At the end of the 15th

14 http://www.satyakiranhealthcare.com/Ultrasound.aspx 15 http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=genus

week the baby can use fat as an energy source but it is still not as important as the glucose that is given to the baby through the placenta. 16

2.2 The Fifth Month of Pregnancy

The head of the baby grows more slowly but its extremities grow legs are longer than the arms. The fetus can already grab with its example it plays with the umbilical cord, it even sucks on the exercises are very important preparations for its first weeks of life all, the movements of the fetus become faster. The baby swallows amniotic fluid and rejects it again. The skin of the baby becomes thicker and consists of 3 layers. Liver and spleen start to produce white blood cells and the heartbeat becomes louder. Even the nipples are growing. The skeleton hardens, and so do the nail beds of the fingers and toes. In this month the baby gains before she will surely feel it this month. 17 Preparing for life after birth, the babys immune system starts to develop by taking antibodies from its mother. It will also be wrapped in a white oily substance, a protective coating to ward off infections. Calcium is very important for the ossification of the babys skeleton structure. The baby picks the calcium from its mothers blood circulation. If the mother does not contain enough calcium in her blood, the extra amount needed is extracted from her bones. Generally, women need about 1300mg of calcium. They can get it by the intake of dairy products, canned fish, cereals, juices or bread.
Figure : 20th Week of

faster. Soon the small hands, for thumb. These after birth. All in

a lot of weight because of the fat deposits. If the mother has not felt the babys movement

2.3 The Sixth Month of Pregnancy

16 http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-15-weeks_1104.bc 17 http://www.veria.com/pregnancy-parenting/5-months-pregnant

The fetus grows further five centimeters, reaching a length of about 22 cm, and gains a lot of weight during this month. At the end of this month it weighs a remarkable weight of about 800g. In this month tiny tooth buds of the permanent teeth start to develop beneath its gums. The babys grip becomes so strong that it could lift its own weight.

2.3.1 First Meconium

The constrictor of the anus is fully functional. Hence meconium can

get into the amniotic fluid. Meconium is produced after the 12th week of pregnancy. Its the fetus first bowel movement. The color of the meconium is greenish-black. It consists mainly of cells, which are released by the mucus membrane of the intestines during growth. Other waste products of nutrients, which the fetus absorbs by swallowing amniotic fluid, are also released. do not produce intestinal gases.
Figure : Twenty-fourth Week of Pregnancy

However, this gives no reason to worry, since the meconium is sterile because the intestines

2.3.2 The Surfactant

During this time, the baby begins to form a substance called surfactant. With this substance it can breathe properly because the air sacs in its lungs are kept from collapsing and sticking together when it exhales air. If the baby is born prematurely, the amount of secreted surfactant is not enough, thus creating difficulties for the baby to breath. If this happens, this underdeveloped function could cause premature death.

2.3.3 Amniotic Fluid

At the beginning, the amniotic fluid protects the fetus. Later it pads the baby against punches to the womans stomach and helps regulate body temperature. The amniotic fluid carries the fetus, allowing it, so to speak, to be weightless and move around easily. However, staying in this fluid for such a long time could make the babys skin wrinkly, similar to what happens if a child stays in the bath too long. For this reason, a thick layer of white cream protects the baby. 18

18 http://www.veria.com/pregnancy-parenting/6-months-pregnant

3 The Third Trimester

3.1 The Seventh Month of Pregnancy
This month the babys sight becomes more pure. The baby is able to close and open its eyes easily, and is able to differentiate between light and dark.

Another thing that develops during this time is

Figure : 27th Week of Pregnancy

taste. The mother influences the taste of the amniotic fluid with the food that she eats.

The lanugo, which used to be a further means of protection for the babys skin, now slowly begins to disappear but the scalp hair continues to grow. The eyelashes and eyebrows also become very distinct.

At this time, the babys lungs are already developed so far they could even work outside the mothers womb, but still they are not yet fully developed.

Another amazing feature is that the baby is able to differentiate different voices from each other. It is not able to hear the sounds clearly because its ears are covered with vernix, a waxy substance that protects the babys skin from becoming harmed by the amniotic fluid, but nevertheless it can distinguish different sounds. 19

3.2 The Eighth Month of Pregnancy

In the eighth month the fetus gains about 1 kg of weight. This month is mainly important for the formation of fat pads that are significant for keeping the body warm after birth. If the mother eats too much during this period the baby can become too corpulent. However, the baby will gain a lot of weight during this time. The brain and the nerve cells keep developing and the skull also grows. The babys bones strengthen but they stay pliable and soft until birth, so the baby is flexible enough to pass through the birth canal. The mother needs plenty of vitamin C, iron, folic acid, protein and especially calcium.

19 http://www.veria.com/pregnancy-parenting/7-months-pregnant

In the womb, the baby swallows about half a liter of amniotic fluid and eliminates it. The smell of its taste is developed so far that the baby can notice when the mother has eaten spicy meals. The amniotic fluid does not enter the lungs but is swallowed into the stomach. The stomach is filled every 40 minutes. About two weeks later the gap widens to 80 minutes. For the baby it is not as calm in the mothers womb as we might think because it can clearly hear the mothers heartbeat, stomach cramps, and breathing. The baby begins to remember familiar sounds. We know this from the way the baby reacts to well-known sounds after it is born. Also, if the sounds are not familiar, the fetus might get frightened and turn away. 20

3.3 The Ninth Month of Pregnancy

The fetus is now able to live on its own, because in the last 3 months, its mother gave many substances of protection to the fetus. It now sheds most of its lanugo as well as the vernix substance.

Proteins from the mothers blood, so called antibodies, fight diseases. The mother has specific antibodies against many illnesses, which she had faced during her lifetime, such as measles, chickenpox, mumps, whooping cough, scarlet fever, the common cold, and streptococcus diseases, as well as some forms of flu and infantile paralysis. 21

4 Labor Pains
There are several different types of labor pains. Some occur often during pregnancy but are harmless, others, which happen toward the end of the pregnancy, set birth in motion. Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic uterine contractions that start around the sixth week of pregnancy. They usually involve only mild cramping, which the mother usually hardly feels until the last weeks of pregnancy. Normally they occur irregularly and infrequently, and are not harmful.22

20 http://www.veria.com/pregnancy-parenting/7-months-pregnant 21 http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week34.html 22 http://www.babycenter.com/0_braxton-hicks-contractions_156.bc

Early labor pains, on the other hand, set birth in motion. During this process, the mothers cervix thins out and opens. Active labor pains, also referred to as the pushing stage, follow the early labor pains. They are intense contractions, which occur every 2-3 minutes during birth. Through this process, the cervix is fully opened at 10 centimeters. Very often these pains will last 4-8 hours, sometimes they may only last about 1 hour. After the first active labor pains, a transition period follows, which lasts for about one minute. It usually involves very strong contractions. Then a second wave of pains follows. There may be fewer contractions during this stage as the baby begins its descent. The doctor will tell the woman to push with each contraction that occurs. There is a huge difference when it comes to the duration of second labor pains, as they can last from a few minutes to several hours. First the babys head will emerge then the shoulders and finally the body. If everything goes well, this is a wonderful moment, especially for the mother, because after birth the mothers body releases endorphins, which are painrelieving hormones. Due to this, she will forget the pains she had to endure and is happy to finally be able to kiss and cuddle her baby. After the baby has left the womb, the third stage of giving birth takes place, which delivers the placenta. These contractions serve to separate the placenta from the uterus and support the homeostasis as well as the remission of the uterus. Contrary to the other labor pains, these contractions are not painful at all. 23

5 The Early Mother-Child Health Record Book

The early mother-child health record book is a record book which contributes to a safe pregnancy and birth for mother and child. The aim of the record book is to recognize and treat health problems as soon as possible. It was introduced in 1974 and records allimportant checkups. 24 During pregnancy and in the first 14 months of a babys life, five inspections in total are required for mother and child.25

23 http://www.babycenter.com/stages-of-labor 24 https://www.gesundheit.gv.at/Portal.Node/ghp/public/content/Mutter-Kind-PassUntersuchungen_Schwangerschaft_HK.html 25 http://www.netdoktor.at/schwangerschaft/mutter_kind_pass_schwangerschaft.htm

6 The Change of a Womans Body during Pregnancy

During the nine months of pregnancy, a womans body changes immensely. Not only does the outer form of her body change, her whole cardiovascular system changes, as well as her lung capacity, her skin and her hormonal balance. Beginning with the sixth week of pregnancy, en expectant womans blood volume will increase about 40%-50% but the red blood cells will only increase about 20%-30%. Due to the increased plasma it is necessary for the pregnant woman to supplement her body with folic acid and iron in order to keep a good level of hemoglobin. The increase of blood volume is necessary for the mother and the baby so that the respiratory gases and nutrients can be exchanged more easily. The increase also serves to minimize the risk of strong blood loss during delivery. During pregnancy the size of the womens heart increases about 12mm and also changes its position. The heart will be pushed up close to the chest cavity because the uterus expands. The cardiac output, meaning the amount of blood that is pumped out by the heart per minute, also increases about 30%-40%. Normally the womans blood pressure will stay the same but it can also happen that it drops during the second trimester. However, this is usually no cause for concern since it regulates itself again during the third stage of pregnancy. 26 Many pregnant women complain about breathlessness during pregnancy. This is because the baby also needs oxygen, thus decreasing the amount of oxygen in the mothers blood. The further along a woman is in her pregnancy the more the breathlessness increases, which is due to the fact that the growing uterus pushes the diaphragm up. 27 During pregnancy many women feel and look better due to the change of the hormones, increased blood flow and the mild fluid retention. On the other hand, some changes are not welcomed as much, such as the so-called stretch marks and chloasma that will often appear. Stretch marks can occur on the pregnant womans legs, belly, breasts, or hips. These stretches appear as lines colored pink or purple and they can also be very itchy. The other

26http://www.livestrong.com/article/355010-the-effects-of-pregnancy-on-thecardiovascular-system/ 27 http://www.deine-schwangerschaft.de/schwangerschaft-veraenderungen/

change that can appear is skin discoloration, or chloasma. About 50-70 percent of pregnant women are likely to be affected by this increased pigmentation of nose, cheeks and chin. 28 Pregnancy leads to a profound change of the hormone pattern in the mothers brain, ovary, and placenta. The most important supplier for womens hormones is the hypothalamus. The hormones take over and sometimes they can affect the pregnant woman in a strange way. On every part of the body hair will grow thicker. It can also be that the hormones affect the pregnant women in the same way as they affect teenagers, and she gets acne. 29

7 Problems That Can Occur During Pregnancy

Some women are not affected during their pregnancy, others may experience some of the following symptoms that may come with carrying a child. Often pregnant women feel strong fatigue, the main reason for this being the massive change in hormones, and the physical burden that results from it. Another problem that can occur is sleeping disorder. The main reason for sleeping disorders is the constant urge to urinate. Also, many women get hungry during the night and others wake up because of a feeling of sickness in their stomach. Sleeping disorders occur especially during the first and the third trimester. Further, some women may experience swellings in their legs and ankles. Swelling appears because of the water increase in the cells and partly because of the increased amount of blood. However, the swelling can also be a sign for complications, like preeclampsia. When a woman does have preeclampsia it means that she has a high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine. This can lead to fatal complications for mother and the baby. Other women may sense that their breasts become very sensitive during pregnancy. This breast tenderness is due to a strong increase of estrogen and progesterone. More sensitive and larger breasts are also often an indicator for pregnancy. Sometimes the breasts hurt so bad that they cannot be touched. The nipples are very hot and pulsing.

28 http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a222/skin-changes-during-pregnancy 29 http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/your_pregnancy/pregnancy.html#

During the early pregnancy, a feeling of faintness can occur when the woman sits down. The reason for these heart and circulation problems is probably the lower amount of blood sugar. Pregnant women have to take care that they eat enough during pregnancy. Another normal occurrence is thrush. Normal vaginal discharge is thick and milky in color. Some indicators for thrush are a thick discharge that is white and creamy, soreness and itching in or around the vagina and bottom, or a feeling of pain when passing urine or during sexual intercourse. 30

1 Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

In order for both mother and child to stay healthy during pregnancy, some simple rules should be adhered to. Alcohol is one of the main things that should completely be avoided. There is no difference between wine, beer or any other alcoholic beverage during pregnancy, everything that the mother drinks will rapidly reach the baby. The alcohol enters the tissue of the embryo, causing developmental disorders and deformations by this poisoning of the fetus. Nicotine is another highly dangerous substance during pregnancy. The poisonous substance prevents nutrients from reaching the fetus. Babies of smoking mothers are often smaller, lighter and more likely to become ill. Even miscarriage and premature birth are more likely to happen when pregnant women smoke. Caffeine is not as harmful as either alcohol or nicotine but it should be cut down nevertheless. Pregnant women should not drink more than 200mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy. One thing to be aware of is, that caffeine is not only found in coffee but also in teas and chocolate. A high amount of caffeine can increase the pulse rate of the fetus, which is a burden for its heart and can lead to a risk of miscarriage. Generally during pregnancy, women should be aware of what they eat. Especially during the first trimester of pregnancy the mothers eating behavior is prone to changes. Some women have addephagia while other women suffer from an absence of appetite and have to force themselves to eat properly and enough. During the beginning of the pregnancy a sufficient supply of folic acid, vitamin-B and iodine are recommended. These substances are important for the development and cell division of the fetus. Vegetables, whole grain, and fruits contain

30 http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-coping-with-discomforts

a lot of folic acid, and iodine is provided by salt and sea food like fish. Women should limit their intake of sugar, such as sweets, cakes, and also white flour. Also important to stay healthy are physical activities. If no complications occur during pregnancy, doing sports will only increase both the mothers and the babys health. Athletic activities are good for the circulation and relieve stress on the tendons and muscles. The baby is even supplied with more oxygen when his mother does some activities. Recommended sport activities are swimming, biking, Nordic walking, gymnastics, or simply going for a walk.31

8 Complications During Pregnancy

Unfortunately, complications can occur during pregnancy. Early miscarriages, anemia, amniotic fluid problems, or bleeding are some of these. An early miscarriage is normally caused by an illness of the fetus or by chromosome anomalies. The baby needs 23 chromosomes of its mother and 23 of its father. If there is an absence of chromosomes the baby could be prevented from developing healthily. A miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of the pregnancy before the fetus is able to live outside the uterus. It affects 10-20% of all pregnancies. Mostly, it occurs in the first 12 weeks. Only 1% of women lose their baby after the first trimester. 32 A pregnant woman has anemia when she does not have sufficient healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. Simple anemia occurs often during pregnancy because there is a lack of red blood cells. Therefore, women should try to get enough iron, which is needed for the formation of hemoglobin. Lack of iron is also the reason for fatigue, breathlessness and paleness.33 There are 2 types of amniotic fluid problems: polyhydramnios and oliohydramnios. Polyhydramnios occurs when the pregnant woman carries too much amniotic fluid around the fetus. This can be caused by too much fluid being produced or by problems with absorbing the fluid. The symptoms are a hardening of the belly, breathlessness, heartburn, swelling of legs, and blockage in the veins. Oliohydramnios occurs when the pregnant

31 http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/your_pregnancy/preg_health.html# 32 http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a1039515/understanding-early-miscarriage#section1 33 http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/anemia-in-pregnancy

woman carries too little amniotic fluid. This can be caused by the break of the egg membrane or problems with the placenta. Fetal anomalies or growth problems of the baby may occur. 34 When bleeding occurs late in pregnancy, the mother instantly has to go to the hospital. Serious causes for late bleedings are a placenta previa or a placenta separation. Placenta previa is when the placenta lies low in the mothers uterus. When this happens, it lies close to the cervix or even covers it. Early bleedings are a result from it. It is painless, sometimes very strong and occurs repeatedly. 35

Figure : Different Stages of Placenta Previa

Placental abruption occurs when the placenta starts to separate from the wall of the uterus and may lead to severe stomach aches. If the blood flows between the placenta and the uterus, the bleeding is not visible. A separation of the placenta is life threatening for the baby, because the placenta cannot function anymore. This is also very dangerous for the mother, because of internal blood loss.36

34 http://phoenixchildrens.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Library/Encyclopedia/90,P02430 35 http://www.babycenter.com/0_placenta-previa_830.bc 36 http://www.babycenter.com/0_placental-abruption_1425791.bc

9 Conclusion
In my paper I examined the three different stages of pregnancy that expecting women go through, pointing out important phases of the babys growth in these stages. Further, I looked at the problems that may occur during pregnancy and how pregnant women can make sure to stay healthy when carrying a child. I really enjoyed writing about this topic and doing research on it, as I personally learned a lot by this, especially how important it is to put your whole heart when working on your final paper. You have to really enjoy the work you are doing, because only then the topic is examined well. My hope is that through my paper, people will focus on the beauty of pregnancy and the miracle of life that happens there. Pregnancy really is something so special and it makes me angry when I see how people are so egoistic and often destroy the life of a human being through abortion. I really hope that this paper may help in part for our society to rethink the uniqueness of the life of a child during pregnancy, that people see and realize what they are doing when they have an abortion, and that abortion will be banned from our society.

www.babycenter.com (27.02.2013) www.kidshealth.org (27.02.2013) www.parenting.com (28.02.2013) www.paradisi.de (27.02.2013) Schwangerschaft Tag fr Tag (17.01.2013) www.radiologyinfo.org (27.02.2013) www.veria.com (27.02.2013) www.gesundheit.gv.at (17.01.2013) www.netdoktor.at (19.01.2013)
www.livestrong.com (27.02.2013) www.deine-schwangerschaft.de (16.01.2013)

www.webmd.com (28.02.2013)
www.phoenixchildrens.staywellsolutionsonline.com (28.02.2013)

Table of Figures

Register of Illustrations:
Figure 1: http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week2.html Figure 2: http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week3.html Figure 3: http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week4.html Figure 4: http://www.babycenter.com/fetal-development-images-5-weeks Figure 5: http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week6.html Figure6: http://www.babycenter.com/fetal-development-images-7-weeks Figure 7: http://www.aurorahealthcare.org/yourhealth/healthgate/getcontent.asp Figure 8: http://thenealworld430.blogspot.co.at/2012/07/baby-neal-at-12-weeks.html Figure 9: http://mixentry24.blogspot.co.at/2012/02/ten-must-have-tests-during-pregnancy.h Figure 10: http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week16.html Figure 11: http://www.thebabycorner.com/pregnancy-calendar/week-20/ Figure 12: http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week24.html Figure 13: http://www.babycenter.com/fetal-development-images-27-weeks Figure 14: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a830/low-lying-placenta-after-20-weeks-placenta-