What Happens In The First Trimester Of Pregnancy

What Are The Signs Of Pregnancy

What to expect in your First Trimester of pregnancy | Pregnancy Week-by-Week

For a lot of people, the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Most pregnancy tests will be positive by the time youve missed your period. Other early pregnancy symptoms include feeling tired, feeling bloated, peeing more than usual, mood swings, nausea, and tender or swollen breasts. Not everyone has all of these symptoms, but its common to have at least 1 of them.

The First Trimester: Changes To Your Body

During pregnancy, many changes will happen to your body to help nourish and protect your baby. Women experience these changes differently. Some symptoms of pregnancy continue for several weeks or months. Others are only experienced for a short time. Some women experience many symptoms, and other women experience only a few or none at all. The following is a list of changes and symptoms that may happen during the first trimester:

Symptoms To Have Checked Out

With all of the changes going on in your body during pregnancy, you may wonder whats normal and whats not. In many cases, that odd twinge is not a cause for concern. However its also important to understand that your risk for miscarriage is the highest during the first trimester. Here are a few symptoms that do always warrant a call to your doctor:

  • Fever over 101.5 F, chills and/or backache
  • Severe puffiness in the hands/face
  • Vision disturbances

If you experience any of the above symptoms, call your doctors office right away. If you dont get someone on the phone within a few minutes, head to the nearest ER.

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Smoking And Alcohol In Pregnancy

Its time to quit cigarettes and alcohol. Both can be harmful to your growing baby because the toxins pass through the placenta.

Find out more about the effects of smoking in pregnancy.

And if youre still struggling to stop smoking, these ten steps towards quitting could help.

If you use street or recreational drugs, stop or ask your doctor for advice on stopping safely.

How Do These First Trimester Changes Affect You

Pregnancy by Trimester: A

While women do not physically feel the egg and sperm meet, they may feel the egg implanting in the uterus. Some women report feeling a small cramp and a bit of spotting. This spotting is typically associated with the upcoming menstrual cycle when it is actually implantation spotting.

So, the hormones estrogen, progesterone and hCG are flooding the body at this point. From the first moments after conception, the body kicks into a gestational mode. These hormones are to blame for many of the pregnancy-induced symptoms women feel in the first trimester of pregnancy including nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Some women actually feel like they have a touch of the flu for most of the first trimester of pregnancy. Hormones are not selective. They cannot increase in the bloodstream and selectively attend to only the needs of the fertilized egg . When progesterone levels rise, you will feel symptoms more.

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Look At Your Employers Maternity Leave/paternity Leave Policies And How These Might Affect Your Income

Most expecting parents request leave no later than 30 days before they use it, and many ask for it several months in advance. Also, think about whether you will return to work or stay at home with the baby. Find out if your employer offers family-friendly work arrangements or at-work day care. See if your short-term disability policy covers maternity or paternity leave for part of your delivery and recovery time.

When Should I Talk To My Doctor About Severe Nausea And Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting that gets so severe it prevents you from keeping food or liquid down, even water, juice, prenatal vitamins or medicines is called hyperemesis gravidarum. If your situation becomes this severe, it is time to talk to the doctor. Other times to call the doctor about nausea and vomiting include:

  • You have lost two or more pounds
  • You develop nausea or vomiting after your ninth week of pregnancy, or it continues into your fifth month of pregnancy
  • You vomit blood

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Babys Growth In The First Trimester

During the first 13 weeks, your baby changes from a fertilized egg into a fully-formed fetus. All the major organs and systems are taking shape. That means your baby could be harmed if you use street drugs, have an illness, or get exposed to radiation. Heres whats happening:

  • The fertilized egg becomes a cluster of rapidly dividing cells that implants in your uterus. The placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic sac all start to grow.

  • Your babys nervous system changes from an open neural tube to a brain and spinal cord. Nerves and muscles start working together. Your baby can move on its own, but its too soon for you to feel it.

  • The heart takes shape and begins to beat. You can hear it on ultrasound as early as week 6. It beats 120 to 160 times per minute. Red blood cells are forming.

  • Your baby develops a digestive system, including intestines and kidneys.

  • They have lungs and other major organs, but theyre not fully developed.

  • A soft skeleton is starting to grow.

  • Your baby starts to look like a baby, with arms, legs, fingers, and toes. Their face gets eyes, ears, a nose, and mouth. A tongue and tooth buds grow. Eyelids cover your babys eyes, and by the end of the trimester, they even have fingernails.

  • Genitals start to grow, but its too early to tell by ultrasound whether youre having a girl or a boy.


Where You Want To Give Birth

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You may want to start to consider where you would like to deliver your baby when its time to give birth. Women can choose to deliver at a hospital, birth center, or at their own home. You should weigh the pros and cons of each location and discuss them with your doctor.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists believes that hospitals and birthing centers are the safest place to deliver a baby. If there is an emergency, a hospital is fully equipped to handle the situation.

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Will I Get A More Accurate Due Date Later In The Pregnancy

You will have your first appointment with the midwife, the ‘booking appointment’, between 8 weeks and 12 weeks pregnant. Here you will be given a scan and receive an accurate date for your baby’s birth. But if you’re impatient to know when your baby will arrive, then our pregnancy calculator tool gives you an estimate due date without the wait.

Not pregnant yet?

Choose Your Lead Maternity Carer

As soon as your pregnancy is confirmed you need to choose a lead maternity carer or LMC. Your LMC is the person who will help to guide you through your pregnancy, the birth of your child and the first 46 weeks of parenthood.

Most LMCs are registered midwives, but they can also be family doctors who provide maternity care or obstetricians .

  • Mum2Be helpline. Phone 0800 MUM 2 BE to get lead maternity carers in your area.
  • Find a midwife This website lists contact details for qualified midwives who are members of the NZ College of Midwives.

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Second Trimester: The Baby At 20 Weeks

At about 20 weeks in the second trimester, your baby continues to develop:

  • Your baby is more active. You might feel movement or kicking.
  • Your baby is covered by fine, feathery hair called lanugo and a waxy protective coating called vernix.
  • Eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails, and toenails have formed. Your baby can even scratch itself.
  • Your baby can hear and swallow.
  • Now halfway through your pregnancy, your baby is about 6 inches long and weighs about 9 ounces.

What Happens To A Womans Body During The First Trimester

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In the first trimester, a womans body goes through many changes. The body releases hormones that affect almost every single organ in the body. The first sign you may be pregnant is missing a period. As the first few weeks pass, some women experience the following:

  • tiredness

You may need to rest more or eat smaller meals during this time. Some women, however, dont feel any of these symptoms at all.

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What Can Be Expected At The Doctor

When you first learn you are pregnant, make an appointment with your doctor to begin caring for the developing baby. If you are not already on prenatal vitamins, start them immediately. Ideally, women take folic acid for a year before the pregnancy. Women normally see their doctor once a month during the first trimester.

During your first visit, a doctor will take a full health history and perform a full physical and pelvic exam. The doctor may also:

  • perform an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy
  • take your blood pressure
  • test for sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and hepatitis
  • estimate your date of delivery or due date, which is around 266 days from the first day of your last period
  • screen for risk factors like anemia
  • check thyroid levels
  • check your weight

At around 11 weeks, the doctor will perform a test called a nuchal translucency scan. The test uses an ultrasound to measure the babys head and thickness of the babys neck. The measurements can help determine the chance that your baby will be born with a genetic disorder known as Down syndrome.

Ask your doctor whether or not genetic screening is recommended for your pregnancy. Genetic screening is a test used to find out your babys risk for specific genetic diseases.

What Happens To The Fetus During The First Trimester

The first day of your pregnancy is also the first day of your last menstrual period. At about 10 to 14 days after, an egg is released, combines with a sperm, and conception occurs. A baby develops rapidly during the first trimester. The fetus begins to develop a brain and spinal cord, and the organs begin to form. The babys heart will also begin to beat during the first trimester.

Arms and legs begin to bud in the first few weeks, and by the end of eight weeks, fingers and toes start to form. By the end of the first trimester, the babys sex organs have formed. According to the , the baby is now about 3 inches long and weighs almost 1 ounce.

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Lifestyle Tips For The First Trimester Of Pregnancy

  • It is very important to give up smoking as well as to avoid passive smoking.
  • Do not visit saunas: high temperatures adversely affect the fetus.
  • Try to rest more and get enough sleep.
  • Take medicines only if your attending doctor prescribes them.
  • Try to avoid contact with people with acute respiratory diseases.
  • Be careful when using household chemicals, give up repellents, self-tanning and other substances that may contain toxic components.

What Is The First Trimester Of Pregnancy

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The first trimester is the earliest phase of pregnancy. It starts on the first day of your last period — before youre even actually pregnant — and lasts until the end of the 13th week. Its a time of great anticipation and of rapid changes for both you and your baby. Knowing what to expect will help you get ready for the months ahead.

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Emotional And Mental Wellbeing

How are you today? If you’re feeling anxious or low, then talk to your midwife or doctor who can point you in the right direction to get all the support that you need. You could also discuss your worries with your partner, friends and family. You may be worried about your relationship, or money, or having somewhere permanent to live. Don’t bottle it up â you’re important, so ask for help if you need it!

What Happens To The Fetus In The First Trimester

The fertilized egg develops into an embryo, which becomes a fetus 8 weeks into the pregnancy.

During the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, a rudimentary brain and spine form, along with muscles of the eyes, nose, and mouth. The fetus measures 11.5 inches , or 2.53.8 centimeters , at 8 weeks.

of the first trimester, all major organ systems have formed, although the organs are not fully developed.

Muscles and bones are beginning to form, and the external genitals are growing. An ultrasound cannot detect the sex of the fetus at this early stage, but a blood test may.

The fetus is larger at the end of the first trimester about 34 in long. Although the fetus starts moving in the first trimester, it is usually too small for the pregnant person to detect any movement.

However, some pregnant people report feeling movement very early, especially if they have been pregnant before.

The first trimester is the most vulnerable time for fetal development because all of the major organs are forming at this time.

The risk of pregnancy loss drops significantly in the second trimester.

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Eat As Healthfully As You Can To Prepare Your Body For Pregnancy

Fill your kitchen with healthy food, including a variety of proteins, fruits, multigrain pasta, yogurts, and vegetables. Your body will need many nutrients to grow a baby and provide energy. While you can get many vitamins from your prenatal vitamin, your calories and most of your nutrients must come from food. Read more about gain here.

Third Trimester: Emotional And Physical Changes A Woman May Experience

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In the third and final trimester you will notice more physical changes, including:

  • Swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face.
  • Tender breasts, which may leak a watery pre-milk called colostrum
  • Your belly button may protrude
  • The baby “dropping,” or moving lower in your abdomen
  • Contractions, which can be a sign of real or false labor
  • Other symptoms you may notice in the third trimester include shortness of breath, heartburn, and difficulty sleeping

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Do Carry Your Pregnancy Notes

It is recommended to carry your antenatal notes everywhere you go as they contain all your medical and pregnancy history. This is particularly important if you need to go to the maternity unit, especially at short notice, as this is how health professionals will be able to see your history and what has been happening in your pregnancy.

First Trimester Fetal Growth And Development Benchmarks

The chart below provides benchmarks for most normal pregnancies. However, each fetus develops differently.

  • All major systems and organs begin to form.
  • The embryo looks like a tadpole.
  • The neural tube , the digestive system, and the heart and circulatory system begin to form.
  • The beginnings of the eyes and ears are developing.
  • Tiny limb buds appear, which will develop into arms and legs.
  • The heart is beating.
  • All major body systems continue to develop and function, including the circulatory, nervous, digestive, and urinary systems.
  • The embryo is taking on a human shape, although the head is larger in proportion to the rest of the body.
  • The mouth is developing tooth buds, which will become baby teeth.
  • The eyes, nose, mouth, and ears are becoming more distinct.
  • The arms and legs can be easily seen.
  • The fingers and toes are still webbed, but can be clearly distinguished.
  • The main organs continue to develop and you can hear the baby’s heartbeat using an instrument called a Doppler.
  • The bones begin to develop and the nose and jaws are rapidly developing.
  • The embryo is in constant motion but cannot be felt by the mother.
From embryo to fetus
  • After 8 weeks, the embryo is now referred to as a fetus, which means offspring.
  • Although the fetus is only 1 to 1.5 inches long at this point, all major organs and systems have been formed.
During weeks nine to 12
  • The external genital organs are developed.
  • Fingernails and toenails appear.

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What Happens During Week 3

The fertilized egg moves down your fallopian tube and divides into more and more cells. It reaches your uterus about 34 days after fertilization. The dividing cells then form a ball that floats around in the uterus for about 23 days.

Pregnancy begins when the ball of cells attaches to the lining of your uterus. This is called implantation. It usually starts about 6 days after fertilization and takes about 34 days to be complete.

Pregnancy doesnt always happen, even if an egg is fertilized by a sperm. Up to half of all fertilized eggs pass out of your body when you get your period, before implantation is complete.

What Can Be Expected From The Doctor And Midwife

Baby’s Second Trimester Growth & The Anatomy Scan

Your antenatal health checks might be with your GP, a midwife or an obstetrician, depending on where you will give birth. During your first antenatal health check, you will probably have your pregnancy confirmed with a urine or blood test. These are more reliable than home pregnancy tests. First trimester antenatal health checks usually happen every 4 to 6 weeks, but this can vary, based on your health and how your baby develops.

Many women are offered an ultrasound scan at around 12 weeks you might hear the babys heartbeat at this scan. This ultrasound will also show if you are having a multiple birth and can help estimate the babys size and due date, as well as check for some health conditions.

Other health checks during the first trimester include:

  • urine tests to detect urinary infections, a common but manageable condition that if left untreated can trigger pre-term labour
  • blood tests to check your blood type , iron levels, blood sugars , rubella immunity, and other infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis
  • general maternal health and wellbeing checks, including a discussion of concerns you might have about your pregnancy or general health, and a medication review to check for safety during pregnancy

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