Pregnancy! The start of a fascinating journey in the life of a woman, pregnancy is accompanied by plenty of excitement and a tinge of apprehension.
If you have already tested positive then it is a distinct possibility that you would like to know what to expect in the coming weeks.
As your doctor will tell you pregnancy is essentially divided into three trimesters spread over forty weeks.
The first trimester begins from the first day of your last normal menstrual cycle and is marked as ‘complete once you complete thirteen weeks of pregnancy.
The second trimester predictably begins from week fourteen and is completed once you reach the twenty seventh week of pregnancy.
When you enter the third trimester you are essentially entering the most exciting phase of pregnancy. This begins with week twenty eight and continues till you deliver your baby which would be by the fortieth week of pregnancy.
During the first trimester of pregnancy the body and developing baby undergo a significant transformation due to hormonal changes:
Week 1 & 2
There is no baby yet but this is the start of your pregnancy!
The logic is simple; experts are of the opinion that it is difficult to pinpoint the exact time when the sperm from the man meets the egg from the woman. Hence the start of pregnancy is counted from the time of the first day of the last menstrual cycle although there is no baby just yet!
This is just the preparatory stage….
This is a more happening week in your pregnancy as it is now that the sperm meets the egg and fertilization occurs.
This solitary fertilized cell is better known as the zygote and the sex of your child is already determined. Once the egg travels along your fallopian tube it continues to multiply and the solitary cell now has over 200 cells.
This bunch of cells embeds in the uterine wall, dig deeper into the wall and you may experience a small amount of bleeding. This is better known as ‘spotting’ in medical terminology and is normal at this stage.
The cells multiply further and the developing placenta will secrete pregnancy hormones.
This week your baby is growing very quickly indeed and is already the size of a tadpole. The miniscule heart begins to beat this week.
You will now begin to experience some symptoms associated with pregnancy like soreness of breasts, increased frequency of urination and fatigue or a sense of tiredness.
Now is the time when your baby begins to develop a face which is great news. On the contrary you will begin to experience a sense of heartburn which can be uncomfortable at times. The trick is to wear loose dresses and move through your meals slowly.
You will begin to experience a sense of queasiness and nausea and will feel like vomiting early morning from this week onwards.
This week your baby will develop even more rapidly as it almost double of the size when compared to week six.
The urge to urinate will be even more intense considering that the blood supply to your pelvic region has increased further.
Concurrently the pressure of your growing uterus on your urinary bladder is even more severe thus further aggravating the sense of urgency.
The baby continues to grow and actually begins shifting position and moving during week eight.
It is still too early for you to feel the movements of your baby, the fact remains that your baby has begun to move!
Concurrently the potential mother will experience a change in breast size as they begin to grow and prepare for lactation in the future.
Your baby is growing rapidly with increased formation of the face, nose, eyes and ear lobes and the baby is now at least an inch long which is impressive.
On the contrary you will begin to experience a perceptible increase in waist size although others will not be able to notice any significant change at this point of time.
This is the time when you will notice significant mood swings which will get more intense with the passage of time.
You will experience a rapid fluctuation of moods as you will be elated in one moment and anxious in another.
This is a busy time for your baby as she swallows a lot of fluid and kicks up a storm in your uterus. All her vital organs have now developed and all that remains is for them to grow in size through subsequent weeks.
If you want to hear the heartbeat of your child, this is now possible using a Doppler monitor. This is simply an ultrasound device that is placed over your abdomen or belly and the heartbeat is audible.
You will begin to experience a significant increase in waist size and the midsection of your body. Opt for looser dresses which should not constrict your body movements.
The baby is far more active now than before and even begins to hiccup. Nevertheless you will not be able to appreciate this new spurt of activity at this stage.
The good news is that you will be far more energetic now and the sense of nausea and vomiting will be lower than before.
Conversely due to the rising levels of pregnancy hormones, you will begin to experience a sense of constipation.
Your baby looks far more human now as the nose, eyes and ears are in their right place. Concurrently your baby will now begin to make typical suckling sounds although you will be unable to hear these sounds just yet.
You will begin to experience more of heartburn now than ever before. Heartburn is best defined as a burning sensation which extends from your lower throat region to the bottom of your breast bone.
This is the last week of the first trimester and you have now completed one third of your journey. Your baby has fingerprints now and the body, limbs, head and face are very well developed by now.
Although labour is still many weeks away, the breasts of the mother would have begun to make colostrum. This is best defined as the highly nutritive secretion from the breasts which is in effect the first important feed for the baby.
CONGRATULATIONS !!! yOU HAVE completed onE trIMESTER.