The moment you discover that you are pregnant, everything around you takes on another dimension. Your life begins to revolve around that baby that is forming inside you, and your body will adapt to it in an amazing way. Your emotions will also experience important changes, going from allergy and the most absolute euphoria, to uncertainty about the future and the fear that something is not going well.
Today we analyze what happens in the first trimester of pregnancy , both the physical and emotional changes that the mother will experience, as well as the growth and development of the baby in these first weeks.
Major physical changes
One of the first symptoms that many mothers begin to experience is general tiredness and the desire to sleep at all hours . This is due to the significant physical changes your body is undergoing, including increased blood volume, which makes the heart and the organs involved work harder than usual. In addition, in this first trimester the placenta and the main organs of the baby are formed, so it is normal for there to be a higher energy consumption.
Nausea and vomiting are common to many pregnant women during the first few weeks , especially in the morning. In other cases, the urge to vomit is triggered by a smell or taste, as many women experience a remarkable acuity of smell and taste. This can lead the pregnant woman to reject foods that she used to like or to avoid certain odors that went unnoticed before pregnancy.
Discomfort and changes in the breasts are also normal, and usually begin to be noticed from the beginning of pregnancy, as one of the first symptoms. In the first few weeks, it is common to feel tightness, sensitivity, tingling and swelling, as well as changes in the pigmentation of the nipple and areola.
This is perhaps the most notable physical change, because in terms of the tummy, it is normal that nobody appreciates anything except the woman herself, who may notice that her waist widens in the first weeks. On the other hand, if it is not your first pregnancy, it is more likely that the gut will appear before , although it will also depend on your constitution.
To try to prevent or alleviate these discomforts , it is recommended that pregnant women rest whenever possible, stay well hydrated, eat a healthy and balanced diet with foods that help combat nausea , and practice moderate exercise to stay fit and raise their level of Energy.
The fears and doubts typical of the beginning
If until now we have talked about physical changes, it is undeniable that with pregnancy the woman will also experience a spiral of emotions , which will change as the pregnancy progresses. Thus, from the absolute happiness that many experience when they hear the news, it is common to move on to fear and uncertainty for the future and for the well-being of the baby.
Among the main concerns in this first trimester is knowing if everything will be alright – on many occasions weeks go by from the time the woman confirms the news with a pregnancy test, until the first ultrasound is done – or what things can harm the baby.
If you already have another child, it is normal to wonder if you will be able to love the new baby as much as your firstborn , or if you will have the ability to care for all your children equally. Although living a pregnancy with another child -especially if this one is very small- can be physically and emotionally exhausting, it is recommended that you take some time for rest and self-care every day, and that you spend a little time connecting with your baby. It will be great for both of you!
The first pregnancy tests
After confirming the pregnancy through a test , you will have a first visit with the midwife or gynaecologist, who will assess your general condition, perform a physical examination, calculate your probable date of delivery based on when your last period was , and ask you the tests that you must do in this first stage , and that are:
- On the one hand, a complete blood test that includes information on the presence or absence of antibodies against diseases (for example, toxoplasmosis , syphilis, rubella, HIV…) or possible infections that the mother could pass to the fetus through the placenta.
- A urine culture to rule out infection, one of the most common discomforts during pregnancy and that can put the health of the mother and the baby at risk if it is not diagnosed and treated in time.
- Although in some cases the first ultrasound takes place around the eighth week of gestation , for many women this moment does not arrive until the 11th or 12th week. This ultrasound is the most important of the first trimester , as it allows to determine the real time of gestation depending on the measurements of the fetus, listen to its heartbeat and measure the nuchal fold , the most sensitive and specific early ultrasound marker of suspected Trisomy 21 or Down syndrome.
In the first visit, the doctor or midwife will also inform you of the care you should have from now on, the physical exercise that is best for you or the foods that you should avoid consuming . If you did not take it before becoming pregnant, you will have to start taking folic acid supplements , as maintaining correct levels of this vitamin helps prevent neural tube defects in the baby, such as anencephaly, encephalocele and spina bifida.
The amazing development of the baby
From the moment of conception , your baby will begin to develop at an amazing speed , changing for weeks in surprising ways and leaving us with truly spectacular images .
Thus, at week six of pregnancy, the embryo barely measures a few millimeters, it has a ‘C’ shape and a small heart can already be glimpsed that begins to beat regularly. In this week , the vestiges of the future organs begin to develop , as well as the folding of the embryonic disc at the cephalic and caudal ends of the embryo, one along its longitudinal axis and the other along its transverse axis.
At week eight , the embryo already has a more human appearance, since its external appearance has been modified by the formation of the brain, liver, somites, limbs, ears and eyes, although it still retains a tail at the end of its back that will disappear in Around week nine .
By week ten , all the organs of the fetus have already formed and the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and intestines are functioning, and will continue to grow and develop until the moment of birth.
Week 12 marks the end of the first trimester of pregnancy. At this time, the baby is about the size of a kiwi, weighs about 14 grams and does not stop kicking and shaking his arms and head , already perfectly formed, although it is not yet possible to perceive his movements .
This first stage of pregnancy is considered by many women as the most special , because knowing the news that the baby is on the way marks, without a doubt, a before and after. In addition, as the belly is not yet noticeable, many couples decide to live these first weeks in privacy and not share the news until the end of the first trimester.