Author Topic: information about pregnancy & babies  (Read 1420 times)

Offline van

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information about pregnancy & babies
« on: April 25, 2019, 07:35:15 PM »

hi! hello! what's up! (that's a rhetorical question, i'm not expecting anyone to respond with the sky or something)

so tnw has been having a lot of babies and pregnant women lately, and i thought writing up a little thread with details about pregnancy, labor, and child development. i'm by no means a professional; i'm eighteen years old and have never been pregnant or had a baby. i haven't even been around an insane amount of pregnant women. but i've been writing human pregnancy and motherhood with my characters for the last year or so, i've visited a lot of mommy forums, and when i first knocked one of my characters up, i was sort of working from scratch. so after many long nights of googling things, going undercover on forums, and interrogating pregnant cousins, i present my collection of... knowledge and stuff.

also, from here on, i'd like to toss out a content warning for the things you'd expect to read with pregnancy. mentions of blood, bodily fluids, discussions of miscarriage, infant death, labor, pain, and all that fun stuff.

for starters, there are the trimesters. your first trimester starts at conception, and ends at twelve weeks; your second trimester begins at thirteen weeks, and ends at twenty-six weeks; your third trimester starts at twenty-seven weeks and ends when the baby is born, typically approximated at forty weeks.
a baby is considered to be premature if born before thirty-seven weeks of pregnancy; this term is extended to extremely premature when the baby is delivered between twenty-three and twenty-eight weeks, and moderately premature when born between twenty-nine and thirty-six weeks.

the earliest sign of pregnancy is typically a missed period. however, this can be caused by a number of issues, from malnutrition to stress, and in a setting like the new world, it usually wouldn't be a strong indicator until one or two was missed. morning sickness typically begins around six weeks of pregnancy, and lasts until the fourteenth week, however, it's case by case. some women don't experience morning sickness at all, for some women it begins around the third week of pregnancy, and for some women, it can last until the twentieth week, or for the entirety of the pregnancy. a fetus can typically be detected on an ultrasound at around five weeks, though finding a still in tact ultrasound, with all of it's supplies, and proper power may prove difficult depending on the group.

a typical woman will begin to "show" in her pregnancy between twelve and sixteen weeks, but there are various factors affecting this, including, but not limited to: if you've been pregnant before, how many babies you're carrying, your height, your pre-pregnancy weight, the shape of your body, and the positioning of the baby.
women who have had previous pregnancies tend to show earlier, as this bodily change is something your abdominal muscles and uterus have experienced before, and some women have reported showing as early as six weeks. women who were thinner pre-pregnancy tend to show more and sooner, while women who were overweight typically take longer, not showing even until the third trimester. taller women tend to show later, while shorter women tend to show sooner.
women typically feel the need to change into larger, looser clothes around their fourth or fifth month of pregnancy, finding their old clothes don't fit them anymore. just as bumps grow, breasts typically do the same, beginning from six weeks of pregnancy, and most women go up a cup size or two.

pregnancy-specific medical issues
hyperemesis gravidarum (hg) which, while considered rare (occurring in about 1% of all reported pregnancies), can cause persistent vomiting lasting the entirety of the pregnancy, as well as frequently feeling faint, and normally dehydration from being unable to keep fluids down. while there are plenty of treatments in our world, they're limited in the new world, largely left to eating small, frequent meals to help nausea, and foods high in vitamin b6 (pork, poultry, fish, eggs, whole grains, etc).
if a woman experiences hg in one pregnancy, it's very likely she'll continue to experience it in all of her pregnancies. however, it typically peaks at the end of the first trimester, and mostly subsides near the middle of the second trimester, save for severe cases that may last the entirely of the pregnancy.

pre-eclampsia or toxemia is a potentially life threatening complication that occurs in 5-8% of pregnancies, and it has a maternal mortality rate of 6-14% among those who suffer from it. it arises typically after the twentieth week of pregnancy, and is typically characterized by high blood pressure and high protein levels in the urine, though testing the protein levels is largely impossible in tnw. headaches, nausea, swelling in the legs, and fatigue are often common, but they're largely indistinguishable from a normal pregnancy.
the largest damage this condition does to the baby is by limiting blood flow to the fetus, causing babies to be born smaller and often premature. if toxemia presents itself after thirty weeks, the mother is 13% more likely to experience it in her next pregnancies; if it presents before thirty weeks, the likelihood rises to 40% or higher.

miscarriages are an unfortunate, but painfully common complication in pregnancy that takes place in about a quarter of all pregnancies, and that's only numbers of known miscarriages, as some women never even know they're pregnant or miscarrying in the first place. a majority of miscarriages occur in the first trimester, and this is largely why many women in the modern day don't announce it until they've reached the second trimester. about half of all miscarriages are caused by a chromosome abnormality, where either the sperm or the egg contributed one extra or one less chromosome, and the fetus was unable to develop further. this is something that largely cannot be prevented, and most people have a number of eggs or sperm in this state. other causes can range from issues with maternal health, the egg not properly implanting into the uterus, lifestyle (smoking, drinking, etc), maternal trauma, or various other causes. in the modern world, sometimes the exact cause is difficult to determine, and in the new world, it would be close to impossible. however, things like intercourse or moderate exercise are proven to have no effect of the likelihood of a woman miscarrying.

infant development
it normally takes babies a few months to learn to do things, to do them well, and do it for a long period of time. when a baby begins to hold it's head up, they might only be able to do it for a minute or two at first, and they'll get better with time. premature babies tend to go about things a little later, and if you want to know what a baby is capable of, you should measure from their due date.
for example, if a baby is born january first, and their due date was february first, then by june first, they would be five months old. however, they would only be doing the things you'd expect of a four month old.

cooing: 1 to 3 months
smiling: this typically begins at shortly after birth, but they're not real smiles; rather, they're called reflex smiles, often caused by gas. real smiles normally start between 1 1/2 to 3 months old.
laughing: babies typically give off early laughter between 2 to 3 months old, however these laughs are caused by physical things, like raspberries and tickling. responding to funny faces and gestures doesn't begin until closer to 4 to 6 months.
holding their own head up: 3 to 6 months
sitting up independently: 4 to 7 months
crawling: 6 to 10 months
pulling themselves up: 9 to 12 months
cruising (walking while holding on to things): usually 3 to 4 weeks after pulling themselves up
walking: 14 to 17 months
talking: this is where it gets more complicated. if you say "mama" to her over and over again, eventually she'll say "mama" back at 6-10 months, but she won't understand what she's saying, she's just mimicking. understanding the meaning of words ("mama" means their mother, "no" means no, "naughty" means bad) those words back and form them in the mouth starts around 10-14  months. however, most babies by this age only really know 1-3 words apart from mama and dada, and understand nodding and pointing.
at 15 months, they should know 14 words, and from here learning picks up exponentially; at 16 months, that expands to 40 words; at 18 months, about 70. between 18-24 months, they should be able to form short, 2-4 word sentences "want some milk"/"mama pick up please"/"lizzie is mean".
learning their name: babies will realize that, when hearing their name out loud it means them around 5-7 months old. (hope knows "hope" is her, lizzie knows "lizzie" is her, etc.)

i'll be updating this as time goes on, to add on things like fetal development in utero, more child development, labor, breastfeeding, and things like that. if there's anything you want me to research or to add on here, just lmk? all this stuff is extremely fascinating to me, and since there are six children among my characters currently, it couldn't hurt to learn more.
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