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FAQ156, April 2018

How does pregnancy begin? Fertilization, the union of an egg and a sperm into a single cell, is the first step in a complex series of events that leads to pregnancy. Fertilization takes place in the fallopian tube. Over the next few days, the single cell divides into multiple cells. At the same time, the small cluster of dividing cells moves through the fallopian tube to the lining of the uterus. There it implants and starts to grow. From implantation until the end of the eighth week of pregnancy, it is called an embryo. From the ninth week of pregnancy until birth, it is called a fetus.


FAQ027, February 2018

What is the Rh factor? The Rh factor is a protein that can be found on the surface of red blood cells. If your blood cells have this protein, you are Rh positive. If your blood cells do not have this protein, you are Rh negative.


23.
February 2018

FAQ001, February 2018

How can I plan healthy meals during pregnancy? The United States Department of Agriculture has made it easier to plan meals during pregnancy by creating www.choosemyplate.gov. This website helps everyone from dieters and children to pregnant women learn how to make healthy food choices at each mealtime.


24.
November 2017

FAQ177, November 2017

What is gestational diabetes (GD)? Diabetes mellitus (also called “diabetes”) is a condition in which too much glucose (sugar) stays in the blood instead of being used for energy. Health problems can occur when blood sugar is too high. Some women develop diabetes for the first time during pregnancy. This condition is called gestational diabetes (GD). Women with GD need special care both during and after pregnancy.


25.
September 2017

FAQ060, September 2017

The information on this page has been replaced with FAQ060, "Having a Baby After Age 35: How Aging Affects Fertility and Pregnancy."


26.
July 2017

FAQ113, July 2017

What is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)? Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).


27.
June 2017

FAQ025, June 2017

What is ultrasound? Ultrasound is energy in the form of sound waves. During an ultrasound exam, a transducer sends sound waves through the body. The sound waves come into contact with tissues, body fluids, and bones. The waves then bounce back, like echoes. The transducer receives these echoes, which are turned into images. The images can be viewed as pictures on a video screen.


FAQ032, May 2016

Why is it important to be supportive during your partner’s pregnancy? Women who have an involved and supportive partner during pregnancy are more likely to give up harmful behaviors, such as smoking, and lead healthier lives. Babies may be born healthier as well, with lower rates of preterm birth and growth problems. Women who are well supported during pregnancy may be less anxious and have less stress in the weeks after childbirth. You can be supportive by educating yourself about pregnancy, going with your partner to prenatal care appointments, and joining her in making healthy lifestyle c...


29.
April 2016

FAQ182, April 2016

Being overweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25–29.9. Obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or greater. Within the general category of obesity, there are three levels that reflect the increasing health risks that go along with increasing BMI: • Lowest risk is a BMI of 30–34.9. • Medium risk is a BMI of 35.0–39.9. • Highest risk is a BMI of 40 or greater.


30.
January 2016

FAQ115, January 2016

What causes back pain during pregnancy? The following changes during pregnancy can lead to back pain: Strain on your back muscles Abdominal muscle weakness Pregnancy hormones


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