Start Your Pregnancy Calendar From Day One - Share It With Your New Family Member
A pregnancy calendar tracks the stages of your pregnancy by week, and allows you to record your experiences as your pregnancy progresses. You can create different types of pregnancy calendars, some of which make good keepsakes. These are places to record fond memories of your pregnancy week by week, which can then be shared with your baby when he or she is older.
Calendars are not only suitable methods for keeping track of your pregnancy and knowing what to expect in your first, second and third trimesters - they can also be used to track ovulation, and thereby help you get pregnant in the first place. We'll talk more about this later on.
Types Of Pregnancy Calendars
Online Pregnancy Calendars
There are numerous online pregnancy calendar services available on the internet. They usually require you to put the date on which you're due to give birth into a pregnancy calculator. Based on this information, the pregnancy calculator generates a specially-tailored week by week pregnancy planner. These planners usually contain the following information:
- Fetal development stages for your pregnancy by week
- Typical pregnancy symptoms for each trimester
- Pregnancy health tips and warning signs to look out for (such as miscarriage symptoms)
- The stages at which you should go for certain tests to monitor your pregnancy
- Advice about finding a midwife and going for Lamaze classes
Some of these services even email you week by week pregnancy updates, with pictures of how your baby looks as he grows, and even life-size diagrams to show you how big he is.
Pregnancy Calendar Kits
Special pregnancy calendar kits, which give you not only all the information mentioned above, but also let you record your memories, are available for purchase in bookshops and from online stores.
These are particularly suitable as keepsakes and may be nice things to show your child when he or she gets older. (They may even be useful tools when the time comes to explain a little bit about the birds and the bees.) These kits allow you to insert photographs (perhaps ultrasound images), to write about your thoughts and feelings, and to keep track of your pregnancy-related appointments.
Doing It Yourself
You can create your own pregnancy calendar. Keeping a calendar in the form of a pregnancy diary, for example, gives you a lot of freedom as to what to record. Pick a nice notebook in which you can write about your pregnancy stages as they advance - include photographs, mementos of the pregnancy, etc. Perhaps your partner would also like to contribute?
Another option is to create your pregnancy calendar or diary on a computer, then you can have it professionally printed and bound.
Sharing With Your Child
If your plan is to show your child your pregnancy calendar, it's best to focus on the positive when you are creating it. After all, you don't want to scare him by making him worry about you when/if you become pregnant with his younger siblings.
To avoid this, you could make one calendar for yourself, in which you are totally free to express your thoughts and even worries, and another, edited version of the calendar for your child.
The pregnancy stages you might want to record in your calendar are divided into the first trimester, second trimester and third trimester.
First Trimester - during this trimester (months 1 to 3 of pregnancy), your pregnancy emotions may not always be positive. This is the stage of pregnancy in which morning sickness hits, as well as breast tenderness, constipation and other, not so pleasant, signs of early pregnancy. The first trimester is the time at which the risk of miscarriage is greatest. Try not to stress yourself out, but be aware of miscarriage symptoms.
On the plus side, your baby's brain, spine and other organs begin to develop during the first trimester. His heart begins to beat too. By the end of this pregnancy stage, his fingers and toes will have taken shape. These are the types of things you should record in your calendar.
Second Trimester - many women find the second trimester (months 4 to 6 of pregnancy) the most comfortable. This is when your belly really starts to grow, so include some photos of yourself your pregnancy calendar. Your baby will probably start to kick during this period - an important pregnancy milestone. By the end of this trimester he'll be able to make facial expressions, and hear!
Third Trimester - the third trimester (month 7 until the end of month 9), for many women, is the stage in which things start becoming difficult again. You may have swollen ankles and a sore back, and it's natural to be a bit anxious about labor and delivery. Still, the time when you first get to meet your baby is getting closer and closer. You may want to record your feelings of excitement in your pregnancy calendar.
Ovulation calendars are useful for tools women hoping to get pregnant, and are a good monitoring method of women's health, particularly reproductive health, in general. You can find them online, but it may be just as easy to record your ovulation patterns in an existing calendar or diary.
You start by recording the dates of your periods. The first day of each period is the most important. This is day 1 of your next menstrual cycle. Ovulation takes place mid-cycle. In an average 28-day cycle, you would ovulate on approximately day 14. If you have a longer or a shorter cycle, you should calculate your ovulation date accordingly.
Just after ovulation, you have a one or two day window in which to have unprotected sex and get pregnant. Remember that sperm lives for up to 3 days inside you. So you can get pregnant by having sex on the days leading up to ovulation, as well as on the day afterwards.