Congratulations you are pregnant!
The first trimester of pregnancy is the earliest stage of the pregnancy. Its start date is the first day of your period and lasts until the 13th week. All of the hormonal and emotional changes happen in your body rather than physical yet.
Knowing what to expect in the coming weeks and months will help you to get through this period very easily.
What changes in your body?
Pregnancy is different for every woman. Some women will glow with good health and some might be so miserable.
Bleeding - If you are bleeding at the early stage of your pregnancy you should go to your doctor immediately. Sometimes this may be normal (25% of pregnant women bleed during their first trimester) but it is always safe to check it out with your doctor.
Light spotting is very common in the early stage of your pregnancy as the fertilised embryo has implanted in your uterus. But if you have pains, cramps and bleeding, call the doctor. This could be a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is where the embryo plants outside of the uterus.
Breast tenderness - Sore breasts are the earliest sign of pregnancy. They are getting milk ducts ready for feeding your baby. You will soon go up for a bra size or more. You should wear a supportive bra during this period, which may be more comfortable.
You won’t probably go back to your regular bra size until after your baby is finished nursing.
Morning Sickness - 85% of the women have nausea. It results from hormone changes in your body and can last for the entire first trimester. Nausea is generally worse in the morning. To calm your nausea, eat small, high-protein snacks (crackers, meat, or cheese) and sip water, clear fruit juice (apple juice), or ginger ale. Avoid any foods that make you sick to your stomach. Nausea may not go away for weeks, this can affect the amount of the nutrition that your baby gets. Call your doctor if you can't stop throwing up or can't keep down any food.
Fatigue - Your body is working hard to support your growing baby and you will feel more tired than before. Make sure that you take naps during the day if you can. Make sure that you are also getting good iron. Your doctor will probably ask you to take some supplements which will ease the symptoms and help your baby grow.
Food choices - You may start eating very different food that you have not tried before. Your tastes can change while you are pregnant. More than 60% of pregnant women have food cravings. But make sure that you eat good healthy food such as fruit, vegetables, and low calorie food most of the time.
Constipation - During pregnancy, high levels of the hormone progesterone slow down the muscle contractions that normally move food through your system. As a result, you feel bloated and uncomfortable. Eat more fiber and drink extra fluids to keep things moving more smoothly. Physical exercise can also help with your constipation.
Heartburn - Your body produces more progesterone hormones during pregnancy. It relaxes smooth muscles such as the oesophagus, which is the tube that connects your mouth and stomach. This muscle keeps your food and acids in your stomach. When they loosen up, you can get heartburn (acid reflux). To avoid this;
- Eat small portions
- Don’t lie down after you eat
- Try raising your pillow
- Don’t eat acidic foods
Peeing a lot - Because your uterus is growing regardless of your baby’s size, it is putting pressure on your bladder. As a result, you may feel that you need to pee all the time. Carry on drinking quite a lot of liquid as your body needs them but cut down on your caffeine especially late at night.
Discharge. It's normal to see a thin, milky white discharge (called leukorrhea) early in your pregnancy. You can wear a panty liner if it makes you feel more comfortable, but don't use a tampon because it could put germs into your vagina. If the discharge smells really bad, if it’s green or yellow, or if there's a lot of clear discharge, call the doctor.
Mood swings. Increased fatigue and changing hormones can put you on an emotional roller coaster that takes you from joyous to miserable, or from hopeful to terrified in a matter of seconds. It's OK to cry, but if you feel overwhelmed, try to find an understanding ear. You can talk to your partner, a friend, a family member, or even a professional.
Weight gain - You need to be careful not overeating when you are pregnant. During the first trimester you can gain 3-6 pounds. You do not need to eat lots more during your first trimester. You only need to eat 150 calories more a day which could be an apple or a banana.
First Trimester - Baby’s growth
During the first 13 weeks, your baby changes from an egg to a fully formed fetus. All the major organs and systems are taking shape. That means that your baby could be harmed if you use drugs, have an illness or get exposed to radiation.
What happens to your baby during the first trimester;
- The fertilised egg becomes a cluster of rapidly dividing cells that implants into your uterus. The placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic sac start to grow.
- Your baby’s nervous system changes from an open neutral tube to a brain and spinal cord.
- Nerves and muscles start working together. Your baby can move on its own and you can soon feel it.
- Your baby’s heart takes shape and begins to beat. You can hear it on ultrasound as soon as 6 weeks onwards. It beats 120-160 times within a minute.
- Your baby develops a digestive system, including intestines and kidneys.
- A soft skeleton starts to grow.
- Your baby starts to look like a baby, arms, legs, fingers and toes are formed. Face is shaping eyes, nose, ears and mouth.
- Genitals start to grow, but it’s too early to tell by ultrasound whether you’re having a girl or a boy.
Emergency Symptoms During the First Trimester
Any of these below symptoms can be a major problem with your pregnancy. Do not wait until you see your doctor. Call your doctor right away.
- Abdominal Pain
- Abnormal bleeding
- Severe dizziness
- Rapid weight gain or lose