Pregnancy Trimesters – The First Trimester

A lot of things happen as your baby begins to develop. You may have already started to feel a lot of different changes happening inside your body, this occurs because of the hormones in your body that are preparing to take care of the baby for the next 9 months. Your body may also feel different kinds of aches. While all this is uncomfortable, remind yourself that it’s because you’re developing a human being inside your body! And that is no easy feat.

The first trimester lasts from week 1 till week 13-14. This is the period when the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, mood swings start to surface. Your cravings and sense of smell also get heightened during the first trimester. Morning sickness is strongest during the first trimester. 

If you don’t know how to prepare for the baby or what to buy for yourself when pregnant, here’s an A-Z list of everything you’ll need from Maternity Products to the things you’ll need once the baby is born.

Baby’s Growth:

When you conceive, the egg and sperm combine to form a single fertilized cell, zygote, which is then planted in the uterine wall. The zygote then develops into an embryo and that’s when all the major organs begin to form. 

During the 4-5 week time span, the embryo is only 0.04 inch long but it grows to be 3 inches long by the end of the first trimester. Following are a few major changes that happen to the baby during this period:

Bones, Hair, and Nails: 

During the first 6 weeks, the arms, legs, hands, and feet begin to grow. The fingers and toes develop around the 10th week. The skin begins to form between weeks 5 and 8 while hair follicles and nail beds around week 12.

Heart:

The tube that will become the baby’s heart starts beating more voluntarily during the 5th week of the first trimester. Around week 9 or 10, or later depending on the baby’s development, you may even begin to start hearing it. 

Senses:

Optic nerves and lenses begin to form around week 4 while the retina around week 8 and the eyelids remain closed to protect the eyes. The baby develops taste buds, connected to the brain, as well as touch receptors around the lips and nose around week 8. 

Most of the genital, palm and sole receptors are developed by week 12; the genitals are visible during this time meaning the doctor can tell the sex of the baby after a sonogram. The baby’s taste pores develop during this period as well in order to allow him to taste the amniotic fluid in the womb – whose taste resembles the most recent meal you’ve had.

Brain:

During the 8th week of pregnancy, your baby’s brain starts its developmental process more profoundly.

Digestive System:

By week 8, your baby’s intestines start to form with kidneys in their final stage of completion.

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Changes in the Body:

The mother starts experiencing a lot of changes as well. It includes, but isn’t limited to, nausea, mood swings, morning sickness, etc. Following are the major changes and symptoms that you experience during this period: 

Morning Sickness:

The name is misle ading as the sickness isn’t limited to occurring during the mornings alone. It starts during the 6-8 week time span; some women only feel mild nausea without vomiting while for others retching may occur. If it seems to be severe, you may want to consult with a doctor.

Mood Swings:

Your mood may seem to go from elation to irritation and anger quite frequently from the 7th week onward. The tremendous changes in hormonal activity affect your feelings and in-turn you end up feeling more emotional than usual hence frequent mood swings are a common occurrence. Although if you have a history of depression or anxiety disorder, you may want to consult your doctor about prenatal depression. 

Breast Tenderness:

After pregnancy, one of the major physical changes you may experience is the way your breasts feel sore, sensitive or tender to the touch. They may also feel heavier. This happens because of the rise in the amount of progesterone during pregnancy, and it may last for as long as those hormonal levels keep rising.

Cravings and Weight Gain/Loss:

Many women report having specific food cravings at specific time periods. Some also report food aversion, all this is accompanied by a strong sense of smell. During the first trimester, all a woman needs to do is gain only a few pounds of weight, if you end up losing a few pounds then that’s okay too; as long as your weight gain picks up according to how your baby requires during the second trimester, you just need to lay back and get adjusted to this period. 

You don’t really need extra calories during this trimester, they will be required in more number during the second and third trimester. Even if you have gained calories, that’s okay. Focus on eating light and frequent meals full of nutrition e.g. yogurt, bananas, whole grain bread, etc.

With all these physical changes, you may feel a need to have a slight change in wardrobe settings. Click the link for a wide variety of choices in Maternity Clothing and Accessories.

Symptoms You May Need to Get Checked:

When you’re pregnant, you go through so many changes and experience so many different symptoms that you start to wonder what’s actually common and normal and what isn’t. It’s okay most of the time, you don’t need to go to the doctor’s every time you get a slight stomach ache. But you should also remember that the risk of miscarriage is the highest during these first 13 weeks. 

The symptoms that do require an urgent appointment with the doctor are the following:

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Painful urination
  • Severe fevers or back-ache
  • Impaired vision
  • Constant thirst
  • Severe pain in the abdomen
  • Severe morning sickness
  • Severe puffiness in the hands and face

If the doctor isn’t available or you can’t get through to them, visit the nearest ER as quickly as possible.

First Trimester To-Do Checklist:

  • Appoint a Doctor or Midwife:

The first step after getting pregnant is to appoint your prenatal caregiver. You can choose to appoint a doctor, a midwife or a family practitioner – whoever you are more comfortable choosing. 

  • Plan Your Prenatal Care:

Start taking prenatal vitamins – taking vitamins in the first trimester reduces the risk of later neural tube defects. Your doctor will review your medical history and may even perform a few tests to check for signs of abnormalities in you or the fetus. Your ultrasounds will be done to ensure everything is proceeding normally and to calculate the due date. This is also the perfect time to clear your queries on how safe the medications you might currently be taking, are and what can be the alternatives.

  • Consider Genetic Exams:

You may have to get some screen tests done in order to check for the existence of genetic diseases like Down Syndrome etc; if there are any risks found in the reports, your doctor can also do more tests to check for the risk of chromosomal abnormalities.

  • Make a Budget:

Everything in your life so far has been going constant. With the arrival of a new member of the family, this constant can disrupt very easily. Now you have to make room for a little one who can’t exactly talk but he will consume more than half your time and finances. It’s important that you make a proper budget plan to avoid major financial problems once the little one arrives. Apart from this, prenatal visits don’t come cheap either. 

Just make sure you have proper savings and a good plan to help you through this process.

  • Make and Follow a Proper Diet:

This is the time for you to have a proper diet, full of nutrients. Cut out on your caffeine intake and alcohol, if you smoke it’d be better if you stop. Consult with your doctor about a healthy diet and exercise routine. Avoid physical activities that can cause abdomen and joint pain. 

  • Announce Your Pregnancy:

Plan on when you’re ready to tell the news to your family and friends. Most women wait till the end of the first trimester to share the big news as it’s then when the risk of miscarriage decreases considerably. Start thinking of potential baby names and also, research about the maternity leave policies your workplace has. You need to plan when to tell your boss about your pregnancy and what you’ll say.

This was your walk through the first trimester of your pregnancy. For information regarding the second and third trimesters, or if you want to scroll through what products you want to stock up on for before your baby arrives, visit: Little Angel Baby Clothes.

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