Congratulations, you’re expecting a baby! You are probably now on a rollercoaster of emotions. Having a baby is one of the most amazing, life-time experiences that a woman could ever experience. I can imagine your excitement thinking of the moment you’ll bring your baby home, picking their name, and preparing their new room! Knowing exactly what to expect throughout the whole pregnancy time can save you the hassle.
The first trimester of pregnancy can be pretty overwhelming because this is the stage where you notice the changes in your body for the first time. Learning what to expect can help you better take care of yourself and your fetus as well.
How Long Is the First Trimester?
The first trimester is about 13 weeks long, in fact, it starts a week before you’re pregnant. A full-term pregnancy is around 40 weeks long so your doctor can calculate 40 weeks from your last menstrual period to set your due date.
What to Expect: Changes in Your Body
In the first trimester, many changes happen inside every pregnant woman’s body. This happens because the body releases hormones affecting every little organ. Missing a menstrual period is the most obvious sign of being pregnant. However, as the first few weeks pass by, you may also experience the following symptoms:
- Changes in breasts: breast tenderness or sore breasts are the earliest symptoms of pregnancy. Soon after conception, hormonal changes take over your body. Your breasts would become more sensitive or sore as they are triggered by hormonal changes. This mainly happens because your body is preparing the baby-food-factory, AKA your breasts. You may consider going up a bra size or more or wearing a supportive bra.
- Food cravings and aversions: being pregnant could affect your stomach in certain ways. For example; you may become sensitive to some odors and your taste might change as well. Surprisingly, you may find yourself craving foods that you used to dislike, or on the other hand, you may stop eating certain foods that you used to love.
- Nausea: Morning sickness, which can happen at any time of the day by the way, usually happens one month after becoming pregnant. In order to relieve nausea, make sure to avoid having an empty stomach. You may also consider eating slowly and in small portions every two to three hours. On top of that, avoid foods with smells that annoy you.
- Bleeding: Around 25% of pregnant women experience slight bleeding. This can be a sign that the embryo (your baby’s name at this stage) has been implanted in your uterus. However, if you face severe bleeding or cramps, call your doctor right away. That could be a sign of miscarriage!
- Constipation: This happens due to the high levels of the hormone progesterone that can slow down the movement of food. Intaking Iron supplements can also increase constipation. In order to relieve that feeling, make sure you include rich fibered foods in your diet. Besides, drinking a lot of water and other liquids can effectively make you feel better.
- Visible veins: you may notice that your veins become more visible. This actually happens because your body is making extra blood causing your heart to pump faster. As a result, blue veins can be clearly seen on your belly, breasts, legs, and breasts.
- Skin changes: your skin may look shinier. This is called “pregnancy glow” by some people. This glow happens due to increased blood circulation.
- Frequent urge to pee (Frequent urination): you might find your journeys to the bathroom significantly increased. Your uterus is stretching to fit your baby’s growing size, causing pressure on your kidneys and bladder.
- Fatigue: the levels of hormone progesterone change, especially at the early stage of pregnancy, making you feel tired and sleepy.
Weight Gain in The First Trimester of Pregnancy:
As a matter of fact, your body will gain around 3 to 4 lbs during the first trimester. Your baby is still tiny and that point of pregnancy, you’d be experiencing morning sickness and/or vomiting. As a result, you may not gain much weight.
What about Your Emotions During the First Trimester?
This is the part where most pregnant women wonder about. Pregnancy will make you feel anxious and exhausted most of the time. Of course, you will feel excited, happy, and curious about meeting your baby. Pregnancy can bring stress to your life which is totally normal. Having mood swings is also on the menu, feeling like you are riding a roller coaster of emotions is absolutely normal.
What Happens to Your Fetus During the First Trimester?
The first day of pregnancy is also the first day of your last period. Between 10 to 14 days after, an egg will be released to be fertilized by the sperm. Then your baby will start growing and developing so quickly during the first trimester. Your baby, AKA a fetus or an embryo, will begin to develop the brain, the spinal cord and other organs start to grow as well.
Then their heart starts to form and their arms and legs also in the following few weeks. In addition, by the end of 8 weeks pregnant their fingers and toes will start to form. By the end of the first trimester, your baby’s sex organs will start to form.
Your Baby’s Development in the First Trimester
There are a lot of changes going on for your baby during the first trimester. Here are the main baby milestones in details so you can have a look at them:
4 Weeks: Implantation
The inner cells of your uterus will become your baby’s inner cells and the outer cells will become the placenta. The placenta will provide your baby with the nourishment they need until they arrive in the world.
6 Weeks: Shape is forming
Between six and seven weeks pregnant, the heart, lungs, and other main organs will start to grow and develop. In addition, your baby’s head and limbs will start to form as well.
9 Weeks: In Motion
At 9 weeks pregnant, your baby will start to move. However, you will not feel their movement until the second trimester.
10 Weeks: Baby’s Fingers and Toes
Your baby’s weeks and toes will lose their webbing and will grow bigger.
11 Weeks: The Sound of Your Baby’s Heart
You may get so excited at this stage of pregnancy, finally, you will be able to hear the sound of your precious one’s heartbeats.
What Should You Do to Stay Healthy During the First Trimester?
It’s highly important for expecting mothers to learn what they should do and what they should avoid in order to take care of themselves and their little ones.
What to do
Here are the main things you should do during the first trimester:
- Take vitamins after consulting your doctor
- Make sure you do some light exercises on a daily basis. You can exercise in the comfort of your own home, watching YouTube videos you can easily find due to a large number of views, obtained through a promotion with The Marketing Heaven or a resembling company.
- Make sure you have a well-balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and fiber to provide your body with the nutrients your body needs.
- Drink a lot of water and other fluids too
What to avoid
Here are the main things you should avoid during the first trimester:
- Give up smoking throughout your pregnancy
- Limit drinking alcohol or cut it at all
- Reduce intaking caffeine (tea, coffee, and chocolate)
- Avoid all kind of drugs
What are the Dangerous Symptoms that You Should Be Extra Careful about?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor right away:
- Heavy vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Severe abdominal pain or cramps
- High fever
- Disturbance in the vision
Here is the First Trimester To-Do List:
- Pick your practitioner: the first trimester is a good time for you to choose your practitioner. There are many options you can always pick what suits you the best.
- Take prenatal vitamins: if you haven’t started taking already, consult your doctor.
- Start thinking about names for your baby: this will reduce your stress and will make you feel better at the same time. The first trimester gives you time that you may not find later on.
- Have sex and enjoy it: whenever you feel like you want to have sex, just do it.
- Set a budget: reevaluate your monthly expenses; growing your family is not an easy task.
- Have a well-balanced diet: Consult your doctor or medical care provider to learn which foods you should focus on your diet. In general, vegetables, fruits, and rich-fibered foods are always recommended.
In the end, remember that what you’re going through is very normal and you should actually enjoy every single change your body goes through. You are making a baby! Also, make sure to stay tuned for the next blog as we’ll be joining you on every step of your pregnancy.