Your first trimester begins on the first day of your last period. It lasts until the end of week 12. So, by the time you know you're going to become a mother, you might be already four to six weeks pregnant.
A lot of things happen during the first trimester. The fertilized egg separates into layers of cells and gets fixed on the wall of the womb. These layers further turn into an embryo, which is what we call a baby at this stage.
Let's see what your body goes through during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Week 1: Pregnancy starts from the first day of your last menstruation cycle, and then conception takes place in 2 weeks. So, even if you think that pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks, you carry your baby inside you for 38 weeks.
What to do: Take daily prenatal vitamins with minimum 400 micrograms of folic acid; this vital B vitamin has shown signs of preventing neural-tube defects, like Spina Bifida.
Say no to any unhealthy habits, such as drinking or smoking as this can put adverse effects on the development of your baby.
Week 2: Ovulation takes place. To increase the probability of getting pregnant, consider having sex one or two days before your expected ovulation date.
What to do: Keep your body moving. Experts say that you should exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days throughout pregnancy.
You can start looking for a midwife or obstetrician. Many of them will be already reserved.
Week 3: You might be pregnant at this time but won't have any significant symptoms yet.
What to do: Prefer taking no medications or prescriptions without consulting your doctor. Especially avoid products that contain vitamin A or its by-products, such as Accutane or Retin-A. However, there may be conditions that require ongoing treatments, such as asthma or diabetes. Thus, talk to your OB before discontinuing any necessary medications.
Week 4: At this stage, you may start to feel bloated, tired, crampy and moody. You may experience sore breasts, nausea/vomiting, and a frequent urge to pee. Don't worry even if you don't find any of these symptoms, that's normal.
What to do: Buy an extra supportive bra, especially if you find your breasts are expanding. Stay away from chemicals and secondhand smoke. Ask your spouse to manage the litterbox duties (cat feces contain parasites that can cause toxoplasmosis, an infection that damages the fetus).
Week 5: At week 5, the embryo grows only to a size of a grain of sand, most organs begin to develop, and baby's arm and leg buds start appearing. This situation is called "pregnancy brain."
What to do: Make an appointment to see your OB or midwife. Most caregivers prefer to see you for the first time between six to ten weeks.
Week 6: Now your pregnancy is getting more real, and you may worry about miscarriage.
What to do: Ensure that apart from extreme behaviors, like using drugs, there's nothing you attempt to cause a miscarriage. Some studies also link early pregnancy miscarriages to excessive consumption of caffeine daily, more than 300 milligrams a day. So to be safe, try limiting your caffeine intake.
Week 7: The embryo grows double in size but is still a half-inch long. As the hormones of your pregnancy develop, morning sickness may get worse, and you may starve 27/7.
What to do: To deal with nausea, try consuming small meals throughout the day, especially prefer ginger and citrus. Refrain from strong odors, and wear an acupressure wristband.
Try to keep your weight gain to a minimum during the first trimester. However, you can give in to cravings occasionally.
Week 8: Your doctor may try to find or listen to the baby's heartbeats with an ultrasound. You can even get the ultrasound imagery directly to your smartphone. Or convert your ultrasound DVD into a beautiful movie with the help of innovative services offered by BabyFlix.
What to do: Although your due date will sound very far away, start educating yourself about baby care now. You won't get much time for this after your baby arrives.
Week 9: Your growing uterus will put pressure on your bladder, which may cause leakage of urine in small amounts.
What to do: Exercise kegels: Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles as you're trying to stop the flow of urine. Keep doing this simple yet effective exercise a few times a day throughout pregnancy.
Kegels help strengthen your pelvic-floor muscles as well as provide aid with incontinence.
Week 10: At this week, you can call your inch-long baby a fetus. While the icky side effects of your pregnancy may start to reduce, you may get anxious about having a healthy baby.
What to do: If you happen to be a 35 older woman when you deliver, consider making an appointment to discuss diagnostic or gender testing, such as CVS (Chorionic villus sampling).
Week 11: You may develop cravings ranging from cheeseburgers to chalk. Such food cravings are known as pica, and they may indicate a deficiency in the diet.
This week, almost all the fetus's organs will begin to function- genitals begin to take the form of a male or female.
What to do: Consult your doctor if you are experiencing pica.
Week 12: Your uterus begins to grow outside of the protective pelvic bones. It will astonishingly increase in size at the end of your pregnancy by 1,000 times from what it was during the third week.
What to do: You have reached a point where you need to steer clear of any activities that can pose the risk of a fall or abdominal trauma. Also, refrain from exercises that require you to lie down on your back.
Week 13: Now that you have reached the end of your first trimester, you can eat for two- in small amounts. You also need to plan to gain about 12 pounds in the next 14 or so weeks.
What to do: You can shop for maternity clothes indeed. To sustain your baby's growth without gaining excessive weight, try to get extra 300 calories a day from foods rich in nutrients and vitamins.