Your first trimester of pregnancy - everything you need to know
Posted By Suborna Fermi
Posted on Jan 20, 2022
The first stage of your pregnancy is considered as the first trimester, when the egg has been fertilised by the sperm. The first trimester is the beginning of the mother's journey. A healthy pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks, and the 1st trimester of your pregnancy starts from the first day of your last period. In simple words, the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is considered as the first trimester. The first period is the vital stage of your pregnancy because in this phase your body and your baby goes through various changes. Knowing what changes may come at this stage will help you to prepare for the entire pregnancy period.
What changes may happen in your body during the first trimester?
In the first trimester the body releases hormones that affect every organ of your body, resulting in a bunch of bodily changes. The most significant and common symptom of being pregnant is a missing period. However, pregnancy changes depending on the individual. Some women may experience those symptoms only for a short span of time, while some may experience them for quite a long time of their pregnancy. Here is the list of the symptoms that you may experience during the first trimester of your pregnancy.
- Swollen or tender breast: Swollen or tender breast is one of the primary symptoms of pregnancy. Hormonal changes enlarge the mammary glands which cause your breast to be sore or sensitive to getting ready for breastfeeding. This pain or soreness will reduce, while your body adapts to the hormonal changes. Wearing a good supportive bra will give comfort this time. Moreover, in the first trimester your areolas may go larger and darker. Also, may appear some small white bumps called Montgomery's tubercles. The veins of your breast become more visible in the first trimester.
- Uterine bleeding: Some women may experience minute uterine bleeding in the first trimester due to the fact that your fertilised eggs have been implanted in your uterus. However, the most important thing is, light spotting in the first trimester is usual but heavy bleeding can be a possible cause of miscarriage. If you encounter any heavy bleeding during this time, call a doctor immediately.
- Peeing often: In the first trimester your baby is small, but your uterus is growing larger, and it is causing pressure to your bladder. This may result in peeing more frequently than usual. Although peeing more is common in pregnancy, do not cut down intake of fluids, as they are essential for your baby. As caffeine stimulates the bladder, you should cut down on consuming too much caffeine this time.
- Uterine discharge: Light milky white discharge is very normal in the first trimester of your pregnancy. However, in case of any heavy or unusual discharges consult with your doctor.
- Nausea and vomiting: Due to the rising hormone level, morning sickness begins from the day first of your pregnancy. To control your feeling of nausea, y9u should avoid eating foods which prompt nausea. Eating in small portions throughout the day and drinking enough ginger fluids, may help in the situation.
- Fatigue: In pregnancy you may feel tired more than usual throughout the day because you're growing a baby in your womb. Therefore, you may take rest whenever it is possible and whenever it is needed
- Cravings of foods: Craving of foods increases when you are pregnant. You can fulfill your cravings if the foods are healthy. However, in this stage you may want to eat non foods including clay, chalks, which can be dangerous.
- Constipation: In pregnancy, your high progesterone level delays the digestive process which causes constipation, heartburn, and gas. Eating a lot of fibers, drinking plenty of water and other fruit juices may help you.
What happens to your fetus?
In the first trimester of pregnancy, your baby grows rapidly. Your baby starts to develop every organ of the body, including the brain and spinal cord. The most lovable thing is, your baby’s heart begins to beat from the first trimester itself. In brief, in the seven week of your pregnancy the baby starts to form his or her brain. In the eleven weeks of your pregnancy, your baby develops his or her genitals. In the first trimester , your baby is now 3 to 4 inches in length and almost weighs 1 to 2 ounces.
What to expect from your doctor?
When you first learn that you are pregnant, it is essential to consult with a doctor immediately to conceive a healthy pregnancy. Usually, women need to take folic acid (prenatal vitamins) before getting pregnant. However, it is recommended to visit your doctor once in a month during your pregnancy.
After your first visit to the doctor, they might want to take a full health checkup by performing some physical and pelvic exam.
- Ultrasound: Your doctor may prefer to perform an ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy.
- Pap tests and pelvic exam: In the first trimester your doctor may want to take pelvic exam and pap tests, because they are highly used to check the health of the cervical cells. These testings are also essential to identify any cervical cancer and sexually transmitted infections.
- Blood tests: Your doctor may want to perform some blood tests to identify your blood group, rhesus factor, tests for anemia, tests to detect HIV, syphilis and other STDs. Certain blood tests are used to check the level of hCG, which helps the healthy pregnancy. Also, your doctor may give you blood tests and saliva tests to detect the risk of having cystic fibrosis, Tay-sachs and sickle cell anemia.
- Urine tests: Urine tests are necessary in the first trimester because they help to confirm the pregnancy by measuring the hCG level, and helps to identify kidney infections. Also, urine tests help to check glucose and protein to avoid any pregnancy included diseases.
- Genetic testing: Your doctor may suggest you to take genetic testing, which helps the doctors to make sure the baby will be genetically normal after the delivery. There are various genetic testing options including certain blood tests as well as ultrasounds, which are completely safe to the fetus. One of the major reasons for taking a genetic test including blood tests and screening tests is to detect down syndrome. However, if the result shows positive for down syndrome, you need to take further tests such as CVS.
- Noninvasive prenatal test: This DNA test used to perform into the 10 week of pregnancy. This blood test measures the amount of free fetal DNA in the mother’s blood, which helps to detect down syndrome pregnancies and any chromosomal abnormalities.
- CVS: If you have any family disease, your age is 35 or up, or have a positive noninvasive prenatal test report, then you may need to take CVS test between 10 to 12 weeks of your pregnancy. This test usually helps to detect various genetic diseases.
These are all the important information about your first trimester. Do not take any tests without a proper certification of your doctor. Remember the first trimester is really significant in the whole pregnancy period. Make sure to have a healthy diet and lead a proper lifestyle to conceive a healthy baby because what you eat and drink would have an effect on your baby.
Disclaimer: This article and everything mentioned in it is mainly for general information purposes only and not to be considered as professional medical advise under any circumstances. Always consult a certified doctor before making changes in your diet, lifestyle habit or starting any medication for yourself.