Welcome to your first trimester of pregnancy!
Our goal in this article is to look at body changes, common questions, your healthcare needs (called prenatal care), decisions you will need to make, and what is going on with your growing baby…week by week. Let’s do this!
Technically, you’re not pregnant yet. But the 40-week countdown begins on the 1st day of your menstrual period. You get 2 free weeks right at the start!
This is the week the fertilized egg implants into your womb. Some women experience light spotting (a few drops of blood that stain a panty liner or undies). This is called Implantation bleeding. You probably don’t even realize that you are pregnant at this point because you have not missed your period yet. If you have been trying to become pregnant, you should already be avoiding unhealthy habits and taking prenatal vitamins.
Congrats! Your your period has disappeared and positive pregnancy test. Cherish the excitement! Signs of pregnancy are heading your way soon. If you aren’t already taking prenatal vitamins, stop reading this article right now and go buy some. 🙂 Stop any habits that are bad for you and even worse for your unborn baby.
Call your doctor to set up your first prenatal visit. For most of you, your first appointment will be when you are between 7 to 12 weeks pregnant. If you have a chronic medical condition, your first appointment may be sooner than that. If you have any vaginal bleeding or severe abdominal pain, don’t wait for your first prenatal appointment. Call your doctor now.
If you have conceived with the help of fertility specialist, that doctor will probably care for you until 8 to 12 weeks. Once released from your fertility specialist’s care, you will start seeing an OB doctor.
One of the first clues you’re pregnant is that your breasts will be sore and tender. You may need to get up a few times a night to go number 1. You may also start having quite a lot of vaginal discharge. Sorry, but this will continue throughout your pregnancy.
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Pregnancy should be in full swing now. Many women experience severe fatigue, all-day nausea (who are we kidding by calling it MORNING sickness?), and general grumpiness. Some women also experience mild pelvic cramps. You have to live with some of these unpleasant issues for the next 4 weeks or so.
If you have excessive vomiting, you need to call your doctor now. You’ll have your first prenatal visit this week or soon after. Be sure to bring your partner with you to this visit, and block out your morning or afternoon (it’s usually a long appointment). And yes, lab tests are a fact of life for all pregnant moms. Plan on routine appointments with your doctor about once a month until you are 28 weeks.
This is the week of the enlarging breast and waistline. Your partner will enjoy looking at your new chest but your breasts will be so tender that they’ll be off limits. You will notice that you can button your pants in the morning, but not in the afternoon. If you haven’t spilled the beans to family, friends, or your boss, you won’t be able to hide your body changes much longer.
If you are 35 years of age or older you many want to learn about the optional tests that screen for chromosomal abnormalities like the First Trimester Screening Test, Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS), Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening (NIPS) or Aminocentesis. The first trimester screening test is done between 10 and 13 weeks and a CVS is done at about the same time.
You are almost done with your first trimester! Hooray! If you have made it this far, it’s much less likely you will miscarry. Your little baby bump may start to appear…yes, you are really going to have a baby. Your doctor will begin listening to your baby’s heartbeat with a Doppler device at each visit. This is really fun (and very reassuring =) to hear. You’ll start swiping between 13-20 weeks, depending on your body stature, weather this is your first baby or not, and how many babies you are caring. Normal complaints in the first trimester include headaches, lightheadedness, forgetfulness, all-day nausea, constipations, excessive gas and burping, lots of vaginal discharge, lots of peeing, acne, and of course, moodiness and fatigue. You’ll be happy to head into your second trimester. Pregnant life does get better!
Obligatory Legal Disclaimer
The information we provide in this article and website in intended to help you understand the medical issues around pregnancy and childbirth. It is NOT intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Before you start any medical treatment, always check in with your doctor who can advise you on the specific needs for your pregnancy and baby. We have made a tremendous effort to give you the most up-to-date medical info available. However, medical research is constantly providing new insight into maternity healthcare.