When you first find out that you are pregnant and you begin your trimester I, one of the biggest life altering moments is. What exactly is a trimester in terms of pregnancy stages? Basically the 9 months of pregnancy are divided into three equal parts and the first trimester is the first 13 weeks.
3 Weeks Pregnant
From the time that you become pregnant, your body will increase production of progesterone, which prevents the body form shedding your uterus lining. When the placenta is developed enough, this increased level of progesterone will stop around 6 weeks. Pregnancy symptoms like tingling and tenderness of the breasts are caused by the high levels of progesterone that are produced during the early stages of the first trimester.
Only around 5% of babies are born on their actual due date and that is the reason why you often hear people saying, “My baby was 2 weeks early or 2 weeks late”. The fact is that most babies are born only a few days either side of their actual due date, we just don’t have the technology to know exactly when conception took place.
From the moment you actually conceive to the end of your 1st trimester your body and baby will undergo some amazing changes, not all of them will be pleasant for you. You will not notice much in the way of outer physical changes during the first trimester, the developments that are going on inside your womb are miraculous.
Progesterone, also responsible for the extra fat that is associated with pregnancy, helps to relax your muscles to prevent premature labour and allows your baby to “eat” from glycogen deposits; however it is also the main cause of nausea, constipation and indigestion. Your immune system will become suppressed to ensure that the body does not expel the baby thinking it is a foreign object and therefore you will be more likely to catch a cold or any other bug that is flying around.
Once you have had a pregnancy test to confirm that you are indeed pregnant, the due date will be calculated from the first day of your last period and although you have not actually conceived it is still counted as part of the 9 month gestation period. Even though the first trimester is 13 weeks you will only be pregnant for about 11 of those.
7 Weeks Pregnant
By now you may be experiencing some of the side effects that many women get when pregnant. The majority of woman will experience some degree of morning sickness with a few developing Hyperemesis Gravidarum (severe morning sickness) which could mean a couple of days in the hospital due to dehydration.
At this stage of pregnancy the embryo is only about 7mm long but already has a heart that beats and pumps around 150 times per minute and your baby already has tiny arms and legs, although the elbow and knee joints are still forming. The eyes, lungs, kidneys and spine are now starting to be formed as well as the nose, lips and tongue. For something that has only been growing for 7 weeks that is quite impressive, but the fact that it is only the size of a cherry makes it absolutely incredible.
By the time you have reached this stage of the first trimester your baby has gone through some amazing transformations. What started out as an egg and sperm collision is now rapidly taking on all the features of a tiny little baby. The placenta and umbilical cord is developed enough now to provide oxygen, essential nutrients and expel waste that your baby is producing.
The most common tips for help with morning sickness are:
Lower back pain: This is almost a given for women during any stage of pregnancy, but especially so during the first trimester. This is because the body is experiencing tremendous physical change in perpetration for pregnancy and delivery. Sitting straight, walking straight and avoiding slumping helps with preventing lower back pain.
Constipation: During the first trimester of pregnancy constipation is a commonly reported symptom by many women. To avoid constipation drink plenty of clear fluids especially early in the day. Try to eat on a regular schedule and eat balanced meals.
Morning sickness: Everyone knows about the commonly experienced nausea and vomiting associated with the first trimester of pregnancy. Ginger tea is recommended as a natural herbal remedy to relieve symptoms of nausea and vomiting and is considered safe to use during the first trimester. Avoiding smells and foods that increase the feeling of nausea helps as well as eating a few non salted crackers or pieces of toasted bread which help keep something on your stomach and soak up excess stomach acid.
Fatigue: Many women report increased fatigue during the first trimester of pregnancy. Eat foods high in iron and protein and avoid stimulants such as foods and drinks with caffeine in them. Remember to take your prenatal vitamins, they help ensure you have the nutrients you need in your body to support the fetus in its growth and help you to avoid fatigue due to nutrition deprivation.
Don’t go for long periods during the day without eating and have many small meals rather than a few big ones.
Spicy and fatty foods should be avoided altogether.
Ginger is known to help, whether it is ginger biscuits, beer, tea or capsules that you can buy from the local health store.
Cracker biscuits are another tip that most women have said helped ease the queasiness.
12 Weeks Pregnant
Swollen feet and ankles: Often a comment ailment during the first trimester of pregnancy, alleviate swollen feet and ankles by sitting with your feet propped up for 10-15 minutes before resting, wear low heeled or no heeled shoes and try to limit long periods of time spent standing or walking. Because they can be symptoms of other serious health problems, if problems with swollen feet and ankles continue this should be discussed with your health care provider.
Increased Urination: Pregnancy comes with quite a few changes to the body. One of these changes is the expansion of the uterus which puts pressure on the bladder and can cause a need to urinate more frequently. Drink fewer fluids in the evening to avoid frequent late night trips to the bathroom and urinate whenever you feel the need to avoid urinary tract infections.
Your first trimester is almost over now and the second trimester, which is only a week away, is the time that most women say was the most enjoyable throughout their pregnancy. By now you should have a good idea of what to expect for the remainder of your pregnancy. Your body will still go through a lot of changes in the months ahead but by now the majority of women are more relaxed and are getting used to the difficulties that come with being pregnant.
From the time you were 7 weeks pregnant to now you have probably gone through various wild mood swings, noticed your breasts growing, maybe seen your tummy grow a bit and probably had some constipation problems. During the 2nd trimester many women panic as a lot of these symptoms disappear and things quieten down ready for the final burst of growth in the third trimester, but this is entirely normal.
It is now time to treat yourself to a shopping spree for some maternity clothes as your body will start to get bigger much faster from now on. Take some time to pamper yourself as you have done great getting through the first trimester.
The first trimester of pregnancy can be a difficult and confusing time for some women. Most women are not showing until well after the first trimester there are massive unseen changes going on inside your body. Professional health care providers list the following guide lines for relief of uncomfortable and bothersome symptoms that are common during the first trimester of pregnancy.
By the end of the first trimester your baby looks and functions just like a real little baby. The sex organs are distinguishable by the end of the first trimester and you could find out if you are having a boy or girl at this stage. From now until the end of the third trimester the only thing left for your baby to do is mature and grow.
Tender breasts: Breast tenderness is due to your body preparing itself to care for the new baby. Wearing a supportive bra or sports bra may help to alleviate some of the tenderness.
Heartburn: The evil twin of morning sickness, heartburn is a common symptom during the first trimester. Avoid any foods that you have previously experienced heartburn with before the pregnancy. Ginger tea and lemon tea are recommended for natural heartburn relief and are considered safe to use during the first trimester.
Nasal problems: many women report nasal problems during their first trimester, snoring, runny noses, congestion, sinus problems, sneezing and coughing. Over the counter nasal sprays, antihistamines and oral decongestants can be used but always check with your health care provider first to make sure the product is considered safe for use during pregnancy.
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