The first trimester (from 0 to 12 weeks) is a significant period of your pregnancy. Not only will you notice the baby grow but you will also notice many changes taking place in your body during this phase.
These changes are normal. The discomforts associated will them go away as the pregnancy progresses.
Here are some facts that women need to know about the first trimester:
The baby is about the size of a coin during the first month. It has all the features of a human being. It has a head, legs and arms, eyes and mouth and a heart. The embryo looks like a tadpole; tiny limb buds appear and eyes and ears start to develop.
During the second month, the baby has all the organs in place, is about an inch long and weighs around 30 grams. The embryo has taken a human shape though the head is much than the rest of the body. In addition, the embryo is in constant motion though its movement cannot be felt by the mother.
The third month of pregnancy offers a woman the thrilling experience of listening to the baby’s heartbeat through a stethoscope. The little one has now grown quite a bit. Fingernails and toenails appear. External genital organs grow, eyelids, arms and legs are fully formed, and the voice box begins to form in the trachea.
The would-be mother will face some discomfort during the first trimester. Here are some useful tips that will help you cope up with them:
- Fight fatigue by taking adequate rest.
- Ensure that you sleep at least eight hours every day.
- Eat a balanced diet. Any deficiency in iron, vitamins or proteins can cause fatigue.
- Liven up your environment to spruce up your mood. It is important for that ‘feel good’ factor.
- Exercise helps. An outdoor stint with moderate activity can boost your spirits.
It is vital to note that your body and the fetus are developing rapidly at this time of the pregnancy. The fetus is most vulnerable to damage by undesirable lifestyle. Stay away from alcohol, drugs, and certain type of medications. Illnesses such as German measles can harm the fetus.
During the first trimester, the primary visit to the doctor is of paramount importance. Your doctor will conduct numerous tests that may include your physical examination as well as certain tests and procedures. The first visit may include the following:
- Family history – including blood pressure, diabetes, mental illness or any other genetic disability.
- Personal medical records – including your gynecological history of any past miscarriages, stillbirths, terminations and menstrual history.
- Pelvic examination – to determine the size and position of uterus, age of the fetus and the pelvic bone size. Your doctor may also perform Pap smear test to detect the presence of any abnormal cells.
- Various laboratory tests – blood test to determine the blood type and urine tests to screen for bacteria, sugar and protein.
Childbirth is a landmark event in your life. Take help from your health care provider. Ask questions and seek answers that will give you peace of mind and most of all give you confidence.