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The First Trimester

 What To Expect? (Week 1 to Week 12)


The feeling of pregnancy is like your getting a gift from God for lifelong. You will feel every moment special when you are with your child. Parents' hearts and minds are filled full of emotions and happiness. These three months are going to be the most important phase for you and your baby. Your body will change a lot for the growth of your baby. During these 9 months, a mother may also face many health and mental issues. You will forget all about it when you see the first sight of your baby. His first cry will make you smile from the heart with tears rolling down from your eyes. This is the special moment when you have to thank god for what he has given you. A special gift for the rest of your life. Check here to know more about how pregnancy occurs and what are the first symptoms of pregnancy.


Let's see what changes you and your baby may see in these first three months of pregnancy:-
Pregnancy is different for every woman. Some women won't face any problems and have a perfect and healthy pregnancy in the first trimester. While some women may feel miserable and exhausted in this first trimester and the whole 9 months. It's important to know what changes you may feel in your body and how your baby develops every month so that you take care of yourself properly. Every parent is curious to know what will happen next. Every day they keep on questioning themselves about their and their baby's health. Your loved ones around you will be more concerned about you now and your pregnancy and take great care of you so that you don't face any problems related to pregnancy. As everyone is showing so much care to you, you may feel special and thankful for each and everyone and mainly the god. 

Changes in The Mother:-

1. Nausea and Fatigue:Up to 80% of pregnant women have nausea in their first trimester. It is also called morning sickness as it occurs mainly in the morning when you wake up. It occurs due to the hormonal changes in your body. It causes vomiting, tiredness, and vomiting sensation. It ranges from mild to severe. If you have severe nausea talk to your doctor as it can affect the amount of nutrition your baby is getting in your womb.  Since your body is going through so many hormonal changes for the development of your baby, you may experience stress, mood swings, vomiting, and tiredness. You need some rest and proper sleep at this time. Eating healthy and nutritious food can make you stay active and healthy. Include so many iron-rich foods in your diet to prevent anemia which can make you more tired and your baby may also suffer due to a lack of blood in your body. 

2. Food Cravings:- More than 70% of women have food cravings throughout their pregnancy and it is at a high peak in the first trimester. Some women may want to eat what they didn't like before. You may feel hungry often and grab something or the other food item present in your kitchen. It can be from leftover rice, peanuts, Roasted channa dal, pickles, and sugar to junk food like pizza, burgers, donuts, and french fries. Many women feel hungry at midnight as the changes of hormones are at their peak levels during the night when you are asleep. Try to have a healthy snack every time you feel hungry. 

3. Frequent Urination:- Since your uterus is growing in size, it puts pressure on your bladder which causes frequent urination as there is very little space for the storage of urine in the bladder. Don't hold it or stop drinking more fluids. Urination passes out many harmful substances from your body and drinking more fluids at this time of pregnancy is very necessary for e healthy development of your baby. 


4. Breast Tenderness:-  Your breasts may become sore due to the hormones which are preparing your breast to make milk for the baby who is going to come out in a few months. To feel comfortable you can wear a support bra or increase your bra size a bit. Your breasts may slowly increase in size throughout pregnancy as it is making milk. Your bra size may increase from 34 to 38 or 40. Your breasts will come back to their normal size after you stop nursing your baby. 

5. Constipation:- This is very common throughout pregnancy and also after the birth of your baby. The pregnancy hormone progesterone slows down the digestive system of the body. As the digestion process is slow you may experience heartburn sometimes. Drink more fluids and eat fiber-rich foods to prevent it. Do some activity or exercise a bit every day. Eat small frequent meals. Don't sleep after having meals. Avoid spicy, acidic, and citrus foods. 

6. Bleeding:- Some women may experience slight bleeding or spotting in the initial days after fertilization occurs. This is also called implantation bleeding. Slight bleeding will cause no problem to your pregnancy. If you have heavy bleeding, cramps, and sharp pain you should call your doctor immediately as this can be a sign of miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.

7. Discharge:- A small amount of white milky discharge is common during the first trimester and also throughout the pregnancy. If your discharge is heavy every day you may need a doctor's advice. If your discharge is green or yellow or smells very bad, it may be due to infection. So consult your doctor immediately. 

8. Weight Gain:- At the time of pregnancy a minimal weight gain is considered as the healthy development of both the mother and the baby. But you should not become overweight. During the first 3 months, you have to increase from 3 to 6 pounds more than your normal regular weight. It is a myth that you have to eat for two. One for you and one for baby. This is totally wrong. It can make you overweight and obese. You just need 150 calories extra in the first trimester.  Have a healthy diet for the healthy development of your baby.



Development Of The fetus:- 

During the first trimester, your baby grows into a 2 to 3-inch long baby from a small fertilized egg. Isn't this exciting? Every day and week there will be a new development in your baby's body. Let's see what happens in these first three months of pregnancy:-


  • At 4 weeks your baby's face and neck develop and take their shape.
  • Their face gets eyes, eyelids, ears, mouth, tongue, tooth buds, and a nose.
  • The placenta, umbilical cord, and amniotic sac start to grow. 
  • Your baby's brain and spinal cord are taking their shape during the 8th week of pregnancy.
  • Your baby's heart will start beating around week 5. Heart formation starts after 40 days of pregnancy. It beats 120-160 times per minute.
  • Your baby's kidneys, liver, lungs, and digestive system are developing slowly by about 8 weeks.
  • By about 8 weeks arms, legs, hands, and feet start forming and taking shape.
  • Fingers and toes form around week 10.
  • Their major organs and skeleton start developing.
  • Genitals start to grow but not fully. An ultrasound cant detect the baby's gender now itself as the genitals are not formed fully.
  • Blood vessels and red blood cells also start forming by week 4.
  • By week 12 your baby is more than 2 inches and starts making movements. 
  • Optic nerves, retina, and lenses of the eyes start to form.
  • By weeks 5 to 11 your baby's skin formation, growth of nail beds, and development of hair follicles take place.
  • By week 8, your baby's taste buds develop but still, he cannot taste the amniotic fluid around him which tastes more like your recent meal as he needs taste pores that develop after the first trimester. 
  • White blood cells, vocal cords, and the formation of muscles also take place in the first trimester.

The Do's and Don't During The First Trimester

Do's:-

  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Take Vitamin, Calcium, Folic acid, and Magnesium tablets suggested by your doctor regularly.
  • Do light Excercise and Walk regularly.
  • Have a healthy diet with lots of green vegetables, fresh homemade juices, and fruits.
  • Eat small frequent meals.
  • Maintain oral hygiene. 
  • Buy a pregnancy pillow for comfortable sleep at night.
  • Gain knowledge about pregnancy, labor, delivery, and breastfeeding.
  • Check your weight and blood pressure monthly.
  • Take rest whenever you feel weak.
  • Take an ultrasound between week 18 and week 22.

Dont's:-

  • Avoid overeating. Do not exceed more than 300-500 calories in a day.
  • Don't lift heavyweights.
  • Avoid strenuous exercises and strength training.
  • Limit your caffeine intake. No more than one cup of coffee a day.
  • Quit smoking and alcohol completely.
  • Avoid eating raw fish and raw sprouts.
  • Don't drink unpasteurized milk or other dairy products which are not pasteurized.

When To Call The Doctor:-

  1. Rapid weight Gain.
  2. Severe Nausea and Vomiting.
  3. Jaundice.
  4. Extreme Swelling.
  5. Severe abdominal pain and cramping.
  6. Bleeding heavily.
  7. Dizziness often.
  8. Lots of Sweating.
  9. Extreme fatigue and snoring.
  10. Fever.

Tablets given in the First trimester:-

  • Folic acid tablet. You should continue taking this tablet every day until you reach the 18th week of your pregnancy. It can be taken at any time of the day or after dinner. But fix a specific time so it will be easy for you to remember. 
  • Thyroid tablet if you get thyroid in early pregnancy. This tablet can be taken throughout pregnancy early in the morning on an empty stomach only. A thyroid test is done every 2 to 3 months in pregnancy to see if it has reduced or increased. If the thyroid reduces you will be given a less dosage of thyroid tablet. If it is increased, your dosage also increases. 
  • If you have any pelvic pain or abdominal pain that bothers with your everyday routine or if it is unbearable, your doctor might give you a tablet and an injection to be taken every 10 days. This can be taken at any time of the day.
  • If you have constipation, Dhuphalac syrup is given. 5 ml should be taken every day for one week. 
  • If a low-lying placenta is detected in your NT scan during your 13th week of pregnancy, you have to take proluton injections every 10 days for a month. Traveling is not recommended at this stage, but if you have no other choice or if your travel is very important then your doctor will suggest you go by train in sleeper class and take a tablet before the journey. 
  • If your nausea and vomiting are disturbing your everyday life, your doctor will suggest you take a pyridoxine tablet for vomiting and Nosie tablet to treat nausea or morning sickness.  


Tests and Scan in First Trimester:-

1. Internal uterine scan to confirm your pregnancy and to measure your fetus week.
2. Blood test to see if you have enough blood to support your growing baby.
3. Thyroid test if you had thyroid before or in your first pregnancy. 
4. Sugar test if you had sugar before or in your first pregnancy. 
5. NT scan to check for any chromosome or genetic defects in your fetus.
6. Double marker blood test to check if your baby is getting enough blood from you.
7. HIV test. 
8. Weight measurement, fetal movements, baby heartbeat, and BP will always be checked whenever you make an appointment with your doctor. 

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