Stress, illness, or a change in exercise or diet can delay menstruation. Thus, its important to pay attention to other symptoms of early pregnancy:
Tender, swollen breasts
Change in nipple color
Spotting or a very light menstrual period
Increased frequency in urination
If you have missed your period and are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you may be pregnant. This is possible even if you were using birth control. The next step is either to buy a home pregnancy test or contact your doctor.
Because of advances in testing, pregnancy can now be detected as early as four days before a missed period. These tests detect the hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) that is produced by a developing placenta. The hormone is released into a pregnant womans urine and blood and is detected by a pregnancy test.
Home pregnancy tests are simple to use. Most tests involve urinating on a chemically treated stick. If hCG is present, the chemicals in the stick react to the hormone and produce a signal in the tests result window. The tests are extremely accurate if they are used correctly. However, they do occasionally give incorrect results if they are not used properly or if you are taking certain medications. If a home test result is negative, but your period doesnt start in a few days, repeat the test or ask your doctor to give you a test. If a home test is positive, visit your doctor as soon as possible. The sooner that you start your antenatal care, the better off you and your baby will be.
Seek medical help immediately if you suspect that you are pregnant or are in early pregnancy and are experiencing any of these symptoms:
Severe abdominal pain
Spotting that lasts for more than one day
Blood clots or flesh-like tissue from your vagina
Heavy bleeding that is soaking more than one sanitary pad an hour
Foul smelling vaginal discharge
Faintness or dizziness
The baby blues, as mentioned, is the most common. It occurs within the first week or so after delivery. The symptoms may include irritability, tearfulness, anxiety, insomnia, loss of energy, decreased appetite, and difficulty concentrating. These problems usually resolve themselves in a couple of weeks, but should not be ignored. The best way to deal with them is through support, physical and emotional, by friends and family.
Postpartum depression is obviously more serious in nature and requires medical attention. The symptoms are similar to the blues, but last much longer. This mom can experience depression so severe that its a challenge, to say the least, to care for her new baby. It may have long term ramifications on the childs long term development. It may occur anytime during the first six months. Experts note that two out of every three moms recover within a years time, but it has to be managed by a doctor. They say that if the baby blues symptoms last longer than 2 weeks, the mom truly needs to seek medical attention. Treatment is available for this problem. Dont go through this alone!
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