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First trimester

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Getting pregnant and waiting for your baby’s arrival is an exhilarating experience for parents. Your gestation period will be lasting for 40 weeks and your first trimester means the first three months or from week 1 through week 12. So what will you be expecting during your initial days of pregnancy?

We explain you everything here...


Changes that you will experience

The experience certainly varies from one woman to another. Nonetheless, certain things are common and very obvious during pregnancy... They are:

Food cravings and aversions

You will get huge cravings for some foods, while the smell and taste of other will be repelling. Even your favourite dish may become unpalatable for you while making you crave for something that you never bothered to eat. So enjoy eating whatever you like...

Morning Sickness and Fatigue

No wonder nausea and vomiting are experienced by more than 85% of pregnant women and blame it to the changes in your hormones. Your baby has started growing, therefore, feeling sleepy and tired are quite obvious.


Due to increased amounts of progesterone, the peristaltic contractions of your intestine slow down and this is the reason behind why pregnant mothers suffer from constipation.

Tenderness in breasts

Yes, it’s the same symptom that you might have experienced before your periods, but this time it’s due to the hormones that work on preparing the milk ducts for feeding your baby.

Vaginal discharges

Mild spotting are positive symptoms signifying proper implantation of the fetus in your uterus. You can also clearly notice white discharge, which is nothing unusual during first trimester.

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Diagnostic tests during first trimester

Blood tests: First of all a blood hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) test will be advised to confirm your pregnancy. Thereafter, on confirmation, you will have to under blood tests which are commonly known as screening tests and are done for detecting STDs like syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, rubella, and anaemia. Your rhesus factor will also be determined during first trimester itself.

Furthermore, urine test may be recommended for diagnosing gestational diabetes, possibility of urine or kidney infection and albumin levels in urine.

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) is the diagnostic test for Down syndrome and is usually performed between weeks 10 and 12. It can also detect other genetic defects like sickle cell anaemia and cystic fibrosis in the fetus.

Your doctor might consider performing a vaginal or abdominal ultrasound to look inside your uterus and check your baby.


How your baby develops in first trimester

It is important for the mother to know the stages of development of her baby. Your weeks of pregnancy are calculated from the first day of your last period.

First month:

After successful conception, the uterus prepares itself to harbour the fetus. Then the embryo attaches itself to the womb which is known implantation. It happens by the end of third week. Your baby actually starts growing from the 4th week. The mouth, lower jaw, and throat begin to develop and it derived nourishment from the fluid filled amniotic sac. Your baby measures just 6-7 mm

Second month:

The primary organs start forming.  Your baby’s nervous system is developing. The neural tube or the spina bifida shows up in 5 weeks. Following that the heart and the brain starts rapidly developing. By the end of 8 months, the digestive tract, sensory organs, legs, toes, fingers, and eyes start forming. Your baby would be about 2.54cm.

Third month:

Your baby’s face starts forming in 9th week. The major organs like brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach, gut, etc. continue maturing. The sex can be identified by 12 weeks and by then your baby is fully formed, as seen in ultrasound. It can measure 7.6 -10 cm.

Next page: Second trimester

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: June 03, 2014

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