If you have been thinking about an offspring, then it’s a good idea to get yourself programmed to dealing with said offspring when it arrives. That means getting up early, keeping fit, conditioning your mind to the prospect of nights dealing with the future infant’s needs instead of your usual need to down a few beers or pop a bottle of champagne.

Usually, women do get an inkling when they are late on their periods. In such cases, its always a good idea to use a pregnancy test kit and get the answer instead of freaking out about the uncertainty of the outcome.

Also, it would be helpful to use the test kit in the morning, as that is the time when your hCG levels are at their highest. hCG is a hormone that takes centre-stage during pregnancy and it is also what most pregnancy test kits rely on.

For couples who are trying for a baby, need to understand some very significant terms related to pregnancy:

Folic Acid: This is vital for the baby’s spinal cord formation and in the mother’s case, she will notice a spurt in growth of her hair and nails. In fact, its advisable to begin taking folic acid 30-60 days before you plan on being pregnant and following it through the course of your pregnancy.

Blood and Urine Analysis: Known as Analisís de sangre / orina here, it involves a slew of tests, so mentally prepare yourself in getting used to doctors, cups and needles. Thankfully, you won’t have to endure a lot if it’s a normal pregnancy, but then the first trimester always requires some extra level of precautions and therefore tests.

Genetic Testing: Done at 12-20 weeks of pregnancy, this is basically a blood and urine exam to rule out any genetic anomalies (like Edwards Syndrome or Down’s Syndrome) that your future baby may have. Additionally, the test confirms your blood group. Genetic testing becomes especially important for women around 35-years or above.

Sonogram/Ultrasound: For until about 12-weeks the tests will be mostly vaginal. Post 12-weeks when the foetus has undergone ample development, he/she will be detectable through abdominal sonogram. Expect three or more of these during a normal pregnancy.

High Risk Pregnancies: Typically, women over 35-years who have either had more than one miscarriage before or have certain medical conditions or both, fall into this category in Spain. Those pregnancies deemed high-risk shall require frequent doctor visits and testing.

Miscarriage and Abortion: While the subject of abortion is controversial in many countries, in Spain it can be performed up to 14 weeks in case its by choice. In the event that the abortion needs to take place owing to high risk to the mother or the baby, then that time is extended to 22-weeks. However, for your area, its highly advised that you consult about this subject with your healthcare provider.

Due Date: Fecha del Parto in Spanish, this refers to 40-weeks after the to-be mother last missed her period. However, important words that shall be repeated by your doctor and gynaecologist is trimester and weeks. Also, the gestation period of the baby is in terms of weeks plus days e.g. 12+4.

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