(The first 14 weeks)
What is happening with your baby?
At about six weeks after conception, your baby was about an inch long, and brain, nervous system, heart, lungs, and tiny buds for arms and legs had begun to develop. By the end of this trimester, your baby will be about six inches long and weigh about 4 ounces. Your babies internal organs will be developing, and fingers and toes will be completely formed. Your baby is moving around, but is still too tiny for the movements to be felt.
What is happening to you?
As you know by now, the first few months of pregnancy are a time of adjustment as well as wonder. Whether your pregnancy was planned or unplanned, it still takes a little time to get used to the idea of a new life growing inside your. The newness of it all, combined with fluctuating hormone levels, may cause dramatic mood swings. While they might not seem normal to you (or your partner), these mood swings are quite normal, and should stabilize over the next few months. In the meantime, it may help to talk to your provider about them, as well as to other mothers who have “been there”.
During the early weeks of our pregnancy, ou may not see many changes to your body, but you can certainly feel them. You may be tired much of the time now. During the day, even brief rest periods will help. At night, you will be ready for bed much earlier than usual. As you enter your second trimester, this constant fatigue should pass. In fact, most women report new bursts of energy starting at about 14 or 15 weeks.
In addition to mood swings and fatigue, hormonal changes can also cause breast tenderness, more frequent urination and changes in appetite or food preferences. You may experience a slight increase in vaginal discharge, but should not have any itching or irritation.
The most infamous symptom of early pregnancy is morning sickness, which can occur at ANY time of the day. Many women experience no nausea at all, while others suffer from frequent vomiting. To better cope with nausea, you may want to:
- Eat dry crackers in the morning before rising
- Eat several small meals, instead of three large ones
- Avoid rich, spicy, fatty and fried foods
- Take daily walks in fresh air
- Avoid offensive odors
- Drink plenty of fluids
- If vomiting is severe, call your provider
Contact your provider if you experience any of the following symptoms of possible complications:
- Vaginal bleeding or abnormal vaginal discharge
- A temperature higher than 101 degrees
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- A burning sensation during urination
- Diarrhea that lasts longer than 24 hours
- Severe vomiting
At the care provider visit…
During the first trimester, you will see your provider about once a month. You will have your weight and blood pressure checked and a urine analysis done. Toward the end of this trimester, your provider will be ale to estimate the size of your uterus by gently examining your abdomen. At about 12 weeks, your provider may be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat. This is an exciting time for many women, when their pregnancy starts to feel “real” to them.
Depending on our specific needs and your provider’s style of practice, a variety of tests and screenings may be done during the first trimester. Blood tests are commonly done to identify your blood type and Rh factor, to determine if you are immune to the German measles and to check for anemia.
Other routine laboratory tests may include a pap smear to test for cervical cancer, a urine test to see how your kidneys are working, a syphilis test and/or gonorrhea and chlamydia cultures to see if any infections are present.
Today, many providers also counsel and encourage pregnant women to be tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This testing is strictly voluntary and done with your consent. HIV testing early in your pregnancy is important for both you and our baby. With early detection, treatments can be started that help reduce the chances of your baby being born with the virus.