LETS LOOK AT THE FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY
The first trimester refers to the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. There are bodily changes you need to be aware of during this period. You may have just discovered that you are expecting a baby and you are very excited. This can also be a very trying time for first-time mothers who have never been pregnant before. You'll notice your days filling up like nursing bras and researching pregnancy support and pretty intense cravings all round.
Here are some changes that will take place inside your womb during the first trimester:
- Formation of the amniotic sac around the fetus which is then filled with amniotic fluid that has many functions such as protecting it from shock.
- Formation of the umbilical cord that connects the fetus and the placenta on the uterine wall. It nourishes the baby and takes away its waste
- Structure of the placenta which attaches to the uterine wall. It takes in nutrients and oxygen to the baby through the umbilical cord.
CHANGES TO YOUR BODY
- You will notice that your breasts enlarge and become tender. This is due to the expansion of the mammary glands in preparation for production of milk.
- You may need to pee more often due to the enlarged uterus that presses against your bladder.
- The tell-tale morning sickness which leaves you nauseated.
- The dark area around your nipples (areolas) enlarge and may become covered in tiny white pimple-like projections.
- Your belly will begin to increase in size, and you may need new clothes to accommodate this expansion.
- Mood swings due to hormone fluctuations.
- You may feel constantly tired. This is because your body is using a lot of energy in developing the fetus.
THE GROWTH OF THE FETUS
Significant changes occur in the fetus during the first trimester. They include:
- Formation of major organs and body systems such as the brain. The fetus is called an embryo during the first four weeks of the trimester and looks a lot like a tadpole.
- Formation of the external genitalia
- Development of bones, jaws, finger, and toenails.
- Formation of hands and legs. The fingers are webbed but can be told apart from other organs.
- There is an increase in fetal movement, but the mother may not be able to feel it.
The first trimester is when the fetus is most vulnerable. Exposure to harmful substances or force may kill it. Also, even though most organs are developed, the baby may not be able to survive independently.
Your first visit to your doctor during the first trimester is usually the moth through. Some examinations and tests taken including;
- Genetic tests
- Labs tests including urine and blood tests
- Pelvic exams
- Recording of family medical history (both maternal and paternal)
- Gynecological and obstetrical history
As this is the most vulnerable stage of fetus development, you should take as much care as possible. Check with a doctor to see whether any medications you plan to take will affect the baby. Also, minimize or stop smoking and drinking.
When you find out the sex of your baby, you will want to get some cute infant onesies to dress them up in a million different ways!