PREGNANCY, DRUGS IN
PREGNANCY, FALSE
Enlarged
milk
glands
Swollen
abdomen
Slightly
swollen
breasts
Fully
formed
fetus
Slightly
thickened
waistline .
Intestine
Head of _
fetus over
pelvis
Uterus
Enlarging
uterus
Fetus
Mucus plug ,—
protecting fetus
from infection
Bladder
PREGNANCY
Fetus
Intestine
compressed
by uterus
AT 12 WEEKS
AT 24 WEEKS
AT 36 WEEKS
egg implants into an abnormal site,
such as a fallopian tube, resulting in an
ectopic pregnancy.
A normal pregnancy lasts around 40
weeks from the first day of the woman's
last menstrual period. It is divided into
3 stages (trimesters) of 3 months each.
For the first
8
weeks of pregnancy, the
developing baby is called an embryo;
thereafter it is called a fetus.
In the 1st trimester the breasts start to
swell and may become tender. M
orning
sickness
is common. The baby's major
organs have developed by the end of
this stage. During the 2nd trimester, the
mother's nipples enlarge and darken
and weight rises rapidly. The baby is
usually felt moving by 22 weeks. During
the 3rd trimester, stretch marks and
colostrum
may appear, and
Braxon Hick's
contractions
may be felt. The baby's
head engages at about 36 weeks.
Common, minor health problems dur-
ing pregnancy include
constipation,
haemorrhoids
,
heartburn
,
pica
, swollen
ankles, and
varicose veins
. Other com-
mon disorders include
urinary tract
infections
, stress incontinence (see
in-
continence, urinary),
and
candidiasis.
Complications of pregnancy and disor-
ders that affect it include
antepartum
haemorrhage; diabetic pregnancy; mis-
carriage; polyhydramnios; pre-eclampsia;
prematurity
; and
Rhesus incompatibility
.
(See also
childbirth
;
fetal heart monitor-
ing
;
pregnancy
,
multiple.
)
pregnancy,
drugs in Certain drugs
taken during
pregnancy
may pass to the
fetus through the
placenta
or interfere
with fetal development. This may lead
to
birth defects
. Although relatively few
drugs have been proved to cause harm
to a developing baby, no drug should be
considered completely safe, especially
during early pregnancy. For this reason,
pregnant women should seek advice
from their doctor or pharmacist before
taking any drug, including over-the-
counter preparations,
Problems may also be caused in a
developing baby if a pregnant woman
drinks
alcohol,
smokes (see tobacco-
smoking
), or takes drugs of abuse. The
babies of women who use
heroin
during
pregnancy tend to have a low birthweight
and a higher death rate than normal
during the first few weeks of life. Babies
of women who abuse drugs intravenously
are at high risk of
HIV
infection.
pregnancy, false An uncommon psy-
chological disorder, medically known as
pseudocyesis, in which a woman has
physical signs of pregnancy, including
morning sickness,
amenorrhoea
(ab-
sence of periods), enlarged breasts, and
abdominal swelling, but is not pregnant.
The woman is convinced that she is
pregnant. Treatment for false pregnancy
P
461
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