Pregnancy: The First Trimester
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Pregnancy The First Trimester

Pregnancy: The First Trimester

Having a baby is the most cheerful time in women’s lives. From anticipating the day a woman will bring a little one home, to picking a name and nursery colors, the excitement is extraordinary. But no matter how well a lady plan for the arrival of their newborn, they may not be completely prepared for all of the changes the body will go through. Understanding what to expect will help the would- be-mothers to get ready for the months ahead.

A healthy full-term pregnancy is a time period of 40 weeks and can range from 37 to 42 weeks. The pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. Each trimester has a time period that lasts between 12 and 14 weeks or about three months.

  • First trimester: from week 1 to the end of week 12
  • Second trimester: from week 13 to the end of week 26
  • Third trimester: from week 27 to the end of the pregnancy

In each trimester, a woman will undergo specific hormonal and physiological changes. Being aware of how the growing baby is affecting the mother’s body will help the mother be ready for these changes as they happen. It’s also thoughtful to be aware of the specific risk factors and associated medical tests for each of the trimesters.

How long is the first trimester

The first trimester is about 12-13 weeks long, and it actually starts before a woman gets pregnant. In fact, the first day of the last menstrual period is considered as the beginning of week one of pregnancy. A full-term or a healthy pregnancy is approximately 40 weeks long, so the healthcare provider will calculate 40 weeks from the start of the last period to give an estimated delivery date.

First trimester symptoms

The symptoms a lady experienced in the first trimester might vary from week to week. In addition, symptoms during this pregnancy could differ from symptoms experienced in a previous pregnancy. Symptoms such as breast tenderness and fatigue, which might occur in early pregnancy, are some of the most common symptoms during the first trimester:

Implantation bleeding: As the fertilized egg implants in the uterus after conception, a woman may experience some light cramping and spotting.

Nausea: The nauseous (and sometimes vomiting) known as morning sickness, usually one of the most common symptoms, appear in the first trimester. Although, as the name suggests, it doesn’t strike only in the mornings, but can occur anytime. Some simple strategies, such as sucking on a lemon wedge or drinking ginger tea, might help nausea subside.

Frequent urination: Body organs work harder than usual and rapid hormonal changes, a pregnant lady may find herself needing to urinate more often than usual.

Pregnancy glow: This can be due to the increased amount of blood in the body and pregnancy hormones, the skin may look rosier and even shinier in the first trimester.

Hormonal acne: An increase in oil production can be triggered by pregnancy hormones due to which pores get clogged and lead to acne in some moms-to-be.

Cravings: Many women have desires for unusual foods when they’re pregnant, and there is nothing to worry about.

Other symptoms may include headaches, constipation, upset stomach, tiredness, weight gain, mood swings, etc.

Development of baby in the first trimester

During the first trimester of pregnancy, what begins as a tiny mass of cells quickly turns into a fetus that’s about the size of a large plum. In these first few weeks of pregnancy, the brain, spinal cord, heart, and tiny limbs complete with fingers and toes formation occur. Meanwhile, the uterus becomes a comfortable home for the little one, who will be nourished by the developing placenta and umbilical cord. By the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, all important organs and body parts will be in place. A lot is happening in this trimester, but few of the fetus development undergo:

4 Weeks: Implantation

The mass of rapidly dividing cells, called a blastocyst (ball-shaped), implants in the uterus. The inner cells will develop into the embryo, and the outer cells will become the placenta. The placenta provides nourishment to the baby until delivery.

6 Weeks: Taking shape

Around six and seven weeks, the heart, lungs, and other vital organs start to develop, and the head and limbs also take their shape. The ball-shaped mass of cells now formed into a more recognizable c-shape.

9 Weeks: In motion

From around week 9, the little one, now known as a fetus, may start moving around. The mother probably won’t be able to feel any movement until the second trimester.

10 Weeks: Fingers and toes

This week the baby’s fingers and toes lose their webbing and continue to grow longer.

10 or 11 Weeks: The sound of baby’s heart

From around weeks, 10 or 11, the baby’s heart may be beating loud enough to be heard with the help of a Doppler ultrasound.

What To Do

Here are good personal health measures a woman can take during the first trimester:

  • Take prenatal vitamins
  • Regular exercise
  • Diet high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber
  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat enough calories

What To Avoid

  • Vigorous exercise or strength training that could cause an injury to the stomach
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Smoking
  • Illegal drugs
  • Raw fish or smoked seafood (no sushi)
  • Raw sprouts
  • Unpasteurized milk or other dairy products

These are just suggestions. Consult your healthcare provider regarding what to take and what to avoid.

Medical Tests and Health Checkups Available At House of Diagnostics (HOD).


Data Sources:


Pregnancy: The First Trimester
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Pregnancy: The First Trimester
Having a baby is the most cheerful time in women's lives. From anticipating the day a woman will bring a little one home, to picking a name and nursery colors, the excitement is extraordinary.
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