The First 3 Months: What To Expect During The First Trimester Of Your Pregnancy
Typically, pregnancies last about 40 weeks, starting the count from the first day of your last period to the date of the babys delivery. It is divided into three sections called trimesters. Most people refer to pregnancy as lasting nine months, although it is truly 10 lunar months of 28 days more or less, including the two before the egg is fertilized and implanted in your uterus.
If you plan to get pregnant or try to have a baby, these are some things you can be doing to get your body, your family, and your budget ready for the big day when baby arrives.
Prenatal Visit Schedule: What To Expect During Each Appointment
Prenatal care is an important part of a healthy pregnancy and allows your doctor to regularly monitor you and your baby. But what should you expect when it comes to your prenatal visit schedule?
Basically, youll visit your doctor once a month at the beginning of your pregnancy and then once a week at the end of your pregnancy. That said, its important to schedule your first prenatal visit as soon as you see a positive pregnancy test!
In this article, the experts at Mustela discuss how your prenatal visit schedule will most likely look and what to expect during each appointment.
Development Of Embryo And Fetus
The sperm and the egg cell, which has been released from one of the female’s two ovaries, unite in one of the two Fallopian tubes. The fertilized egg, known as a zygote, then moves toward the uterus, a journey that can take up to a week to complete. Cell division begins approximately 24 to 36 hours after the female and male cells unite. Cell division continues at a rapid rate and the cells then develop into what is known as a blastocyst. The blastocyst arrives at the uterus and attaches to the uterine wall, a process known as implantation.
The development of the mass of cells that will become the infant is called embryogenesis during the first approximately ten weeks of gestation. During this time, cells begin to differentiate into the various body systems. The basic outlines of the organ, body, and nervous systems are established. By the end of the embryonic stage, the beginnings of features such as fingers, eyes, mouth, and ears become visible. Also during this time, there is development of structures important to the support of the embryo, including the placenta and umbilical cord. The placenta connects the developing embryo to the uterine wall to allow nutrient uptake, waste elimination, and gas exchange via the mother’s blood supply. The umbilical cord is the connecting cord from the embryo or fetus to the placenta.
Relative size in 1st month
Relative size in 3rd month
Relative size in 5th month
Relative size in 9th month
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How To Stay Healthy
Staying healthy is doubly important during pregnancy. If you are a smoker, this is a great time to quit speak with your doctor or pharmacist for support.
It is safest not to drink any alcohol while you are pregnant, since even low-level drinking, particularly in the first trimester of pregnancy, can have long-term negative effects on your baby.
Try to eat a variety of nutritious foods during pregnancy since this will help meet your babys nutritional requirements, as well as your own. While the amount of food you need to eat during your first trimester wont increase by much, you will need more of some nutrients. Most women will also need folic acid and iodine supplements because it’s difficult to get enough of these from food alone.
Its important to keep up regular physical activity during your pregnancy because of the many benefits both for you and your baby. If you experience any discomfort or complications, speak to your doctor or midwife.
Change In Eating Habits
Women often experience food cravings and food aversions. A womans taste buds can actually change during pregnancy. Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet is an important part of having a good pregnancy, so make sure to monitor food intake.
A condition called pica, a craving for non-food items, may occur during the first trimester and can be dangerous. If you experience pica, discuss it with your doctor.
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An Overview Of Your First Trimester Of Pregnancy
During the first trimester, youre getting used to the idea of being pregnant, and pregnancy symptoms week-by-week can vary a lot! With pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and exhaustion, your body will be feeling many internal changes during this early pregnancy phase.
Throughout this time, you may experience first trimester pregnancy symptoms such as:
- Visible veins
- Weird dreams
Not only do you have pregnancy symptoms to take into consideration, there are a lot of emotions that are felt, from excitement for your growing family to nervousness about parenthood. With the right resources and a good understanding of these first 13 weeks, youll feel more confident as you start your pregnancy journey.
Nutrition And Supplements For Pregnancy
When it comes to over the counter nutritional supplements, there are a few to consider and a few that you should avoid. Here are some of these considerations, below.
- Consider taking an over the counter prenatal vitamin that contains at least 400-800 mcg of folic acid.
- Try to have a healthy food intake and taking a daily prenatal vitamin which is all that is needed unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.
- Avoid exceeding 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. You may want to look for one that also has 150 mcg iodine, 27 mg iron, and 200 mg DHA .
- Avoid any prenatal vitamin that contains any type of herbal supplements and/or essential oils, as these have not been studied for safety in pregnancy.
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Baby’s Heartbeat Is Audible On Ultrasound
While it’s way too early to feel anything, it’s not too early to possibly hear something. Your baby’s heart is developed enough and has grown large enough for its beats to be heard with a Doppler, a handheld ultrasound device that amplifies the lub-dub sound the heart makes.
But don’t worry if your practitioner can’t pick up the sound of your baby’s heartbeat yet. It just means your shy guy is hiding in the corner of your uterus or has his back facing out, making it hard for the Doppler to find its target. In a few weeks, or at your next visit, that miraculous sound is certain to be audible for your listening pleasure.
Where You Want To Give Birth
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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Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists studies link high consumption of caffeine to miscarriage and other problems in pregnancy. They advise expectant mothers to limit intake to no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day about the equivalent of one 11-ounce cup of coffee. Hot tea is a great transition away from that double shot espresso latte.
How Should I Prepare For My First Pregnancy Appointment
Once the date is on your calendar, do a little prep work to make the most of your visit. These tips are a great place to start:
Make a list of key health facts. Your practitioner will want to discuss all the details of your medical history, so check your records at home or call your primary care doctor for a refresh. Come prepared with at least some basics about:
- Your personal medical history: immunizations you’ve had, previous major illnesses or surgeries, known allergies including drug allergies
- Your mental health history: any history of depression, anxiety disorder or other mental health disorders
- Your gynecological history: age of your first period, details about your cycle, whether you have problems with PMS or PMDD, prior gynecological surgeries, history of abnormal Pap smears or STDs
- Your obstetrical history: previous pregnancies, including pregnancy complications or losses and details about previous deliveries
- Potential disease exposure: Any contagious diseases you may have been exposed to
Take stock of your medicine cabinet. Your OB/GYN or midwife will also want to know the names and possibly the dosages of any medications and supplements you take .
Find out about health conditions that run in your and your partners families. Learn what illnesses your family has a history of, so you can clue in your practitioner from the get-go.
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Estimation Of Due Date
Due date estimation basically follows two steps:
- Determination of which time point is to be used as origin for gestational age, as described in the section above.
- Adding the estimated gestational age at childbirth to the above time point. Childbirth on average occurs at a gestational age of 280 days , which is therefore often used as a standard estimation for individual pregnancies. However, alternative durations as well as more individualized methods have also been suggested.
Naegele’s rule is a standard way of calculating the due date for a pregnancy when assuming a gestational age of 280 days at childbirth. The rule estimates the expected date of delivery by adding a year, subtracting three months, and adding seven days to the origin of gestational age. Alternatively there are mobile apps, which essentially always give consistent estimations compared to each other and correct for leap year, while pregnancy wheels made of paper can differ from each other by 7 days and generally do not correct for leap year.
Furthermore, actual childbirth has only a certain probability of occurring within the limits of the estimated due date. A study of singleton live births came to the result that childbirth has a standard deviation of 14 days when gestational age is estimated by first trimester ultrasound, and 16 days when estimated directly by last menstrual period.
Address Any Infections Or Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Illness, infections, and can harm both the mother and the developing fetus. Some can even cause illness and birth defects or can be passed on to the baby. They may affect your ability to become pregnant. It is best for you and your partner to get tested and treated before you try and get pregnant. Some vaccinations can prevent infections, but some are not safe to use during pregnancy. Your doctor can advise you on what to do.
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Get A Complete Checkup To Make Sure There Is Nothing That Could Affect Your Pregnancy
Finding and identifying these factors before you get pregnant lets you manage them and increases the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. Your doctor will ask about diet, lifestyle, medical and family history, past pregnancies, medicines and other drugs you take, and they will do a thorough physical.
Your health, nutrition and existing conditions are vital to the growth and development of the embryo during the first few weeks of pregnancy when most of the major body systems and organs form. Medical conditions you have, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, seizures, and depression, can cause problems during pregnancy. These conditions need to be discussed with your doctor before you try to become pregnant.
When Will My First Prenatal Visit Take Place
The first prenatal appointment usually takes place in the second month, between week 6 and week 8 of pregnancy.
Be sure to call as soon as you suspect you’re pregnant and have taken a pregnancy test. Some practitioners will be able to fit you in right away, but others may have waits of several weeks . Certain OB/GYN offices also offer an earlier “pre-OB” visit to confirm a pregnancy as soon as you think you’re expecting.
Regardless of when that first appointment is scheduled, start acting pregnant once you get that positive result at home . You may be familiar with the basics, but don’t hesitate to call your practitioner’s office if you need to brush up.
And if the wait is of concern because you feel your pregnancy may be high-risk , check in with the office to see if you can come in earlier.
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Changes During The First Trimester
Your baby undergoes rapid changes during this time as the fetus begins to develop things like a brain and spinal cord, and the babys heart forms and begins beating during this period as well. By the end of eight weeks, your baby will already have formed a head, arms, legs, all vital organs, sex organs, and on average will be just three inches long and weigh about one ounce. At this point in the pregnancy, the placenta will be formed. This organ provides nutrients and oxygen to your baby and helps keep your babys blood free of waste products.The placenta is attached to the womb at one end and to the umbilical cord on the other, which ultimately attaches to the babys belly button. It is through the umbilical cord that your baby receives all the nutrients he or she needs via your bloodstream.
Anyone For Gherkins And Custard
Are you getting cravings? Some women do, some don’t. Pregnancy cravings are caused by hormonal changes affecting your senses of taste and smell. Some mums go off coffee and curries. Others crave cake or fruit. Try eating a balanced healthy diet. If you get any weird pregnancy cravings, like wanting to eat dirt, talk to your midwife or doctor, as you may have a dangerous condition called pica caused by a lack of iron.
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The First Trimester: Fetal Development
The most dramatic changes and development happen during the first trimester. During the first eight weeks, a fetus is called an embryo. The embryo develops rapidly and by the end of the first trimester, it becomes a fetus that is fully formed, weighing approximately 0.5 to 1 ounce and measuring, on average, 3 to 4 inches in length.
Baby Growth During First Month Of Pregnancy
You count weeks of pregnancy from the first day of your last period. It implies that youre not actually pregnant during the first couple of weeks of conception. Your fertilized egg will move towards the womb during the third week. It travels through fallopian tube and divide repeatedly. It will become a mass of over 100 cells when it finally reaches the womb. It burrows into the lining of your womb and completes implantation.
Heres a video about the development of a baby during first month of pregnancy.
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Signs Of Preterm Labor
- regular or frequent contractions more than 4 to 6 per hour
- recurring low, dull backache
- unusual pressure in the pelvis, low back, abdomen, or thighs
When to call your doctor: First trimester warning signs
In summary, if you have any of the following symptoms or warning signs in your first trimester, you should report to your doctor:
- Bright red bleeding
- Dizziness, spots before eyes, or blurred vision
- Gush or leaking water from vagina, vaginal discharge that becomes bloody, watery or significantly increases in amount
- Severe headache unrelieved by rest or Tylenol
- Swelling of hands, feet or face
- Temperature greater than 100.5 F
- Sharp or constant pain in any part of the body
- Uterine contractions or tightening more than 4 per hour
- Pelvic pressure and menstrual-like cramps
- Low backache that comes and goes
- Intestinal cramps without diarrhea
- An overall feeling that something isnt right with you or your baby
What Is An Ultrasound
An ultrasound is a painless diagnostic test that most women will receive during pregnancy. High-frequency sound waves travel into your uterus, and they bounce back from the fetus as vibrations. The echoes are translated into electrical signals that are projected as black-and-white pictures on a monitor. The images display your baby’s soft tissues and organs.
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Changes In Your Body At 1 Week Pregnant
Again, no noticeable physical changes take place during the first week, although many internal changes are happening. Common symptoms include digestive problems like gas, constipation, tender breasts, fatigue, mood swings, morning sickness, and hormonal changes.
These symptoms vary from woman to woman, and most women dont feel these changes until after the second week.
Doctors advise that the first week of pregnancy is your get out of jail free week. If your diet isnt perfect, or if you have a glass of wine with dinner, your pregnancy isnt likely to be significantly affected.
When Will You Be Able To Confirm That Youre Pregnant
If your period is fairly regular, your first clue that you may be pregnant could be that your period doesnât come on time. If you think you might be pregnant, take a home pregnancy test.
Keep in mind, if you take the test too early there may not be enough of the hormone in your urine yet for the test to be accurate. Check the packaging on the test you buy for information on when to take the test. Some require you to wait until at least the first day of your missed period. Others can detect lower levels of hCG, and may be accurate a little earlier on.
If you think you may be pregnant but the test says otherwise, try again after a few more days or speak to your healthcare provider.
You can also ask your healthcare provider to confirm your pregnancy. Your provider will do a blood test.
Think you might be pregnant? Take our Am I Pregnant quiz. It wonât tell you for sure, but itâs all good fun!
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