The first trimester is full of questions and a few answers. You wonder if that queasy feeling signals pregnancy and find out it does. You determine your due date and decide who to tell first. During these first three months, you start laying the foundation for a lifetime with your new family member.
How It Feels
Even before you know you are pregnant, you might start feeling the earliest signs of pregnancy. From the first weeks, your breasts may start to swell and hurt. You may feel some twinges and cramps around the area of your uterus as the fertilized egg attaches and multiplies and your body prepares to make a comfortable home. You may feel exhausted throughout the day. Morning sickness is a hallmark trait of the first trimester, occurring any time of the day. It usually ends around the start of the second trimester.
How It Looks
Although you may be feeling many changes and symptoms of pregnancy, you may not see many changes in the first trimester. You might only gain 10 to 20 percent of the total weight you gain during the pregnancy. If you are trying to hide the pregnancy from others, you will be happy to know that your stomach probably won’t poke out until the second trimester. The other thing you might see is some light bleeding around the time of implantation and conception.
How Long It Lasts
For planning purposes, the first trimester starts on the first day of the woman’s last period. Although the egg is not implanted at that time, it is the first day of the first cycle of the nine months of pregnancy. The first trimester is calculated from that day until week 12 of the pregnancy.
What You Should Do
According to the National Institutes of Health, your baby will develop all its major organs during its first trimester. For this reason, you should take care of your body, even when you don’t feel pregnant. Eat healthy foods and take folic acid supplements. Stop drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or exposing yourself to drugs immediately. Rest whenever necessary to alleviate symptoms. Do not overtax your body.
When To See The Doctor
You should see a doctor as soon as you get a positive home pregnancy test. He can verify that test with a blood test. He can then discuss with you the plans for the next few months. Talk with him about any health concerns you have. He will also schedule an ultrasound to listen to the baby’s heartbeat and look for any problems.
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