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You and your baby: The first trimester

It goes without saying that during the nine months of your pregnancy, you — and your baby — will experience a lot of changes. Here is a brief overview of what to expect in your first trimester.

Early stages of pregnancy
First Trimester Pregnancy

The first trimester encompasses the early stages of pregnancy: from week one through to the end of week 12. Read on for the short list of what’s happening with mom and baby.

For mom

  • The pregnancy will be confirmed by a health care provider.
  • Will have the first prenatal appointment, with a full physical that includes a Pap smear, urinalysis and blood tests. The physician or midwife will also take a complete health history and discuss medical screening tests.
  • Will possibly have her first ultrasound for a due date determination or testing for Down’s syndrome. May have other screenings, depending on her personal health history.
  • The potential onset of morning sickness. Generally women don’t experience morning sickness until weeks five or six of their pregnancy, and it tends to subside by week 12, although this is only a guideline, since every expectant mother is different. There is also a broad range when it comes to the extent of nausea, with some moms suffering only mild symptoms, while others go through extreme bouts of sickness, and unlike its name, it’s not necessarily only in the morning!
  • May have PMS-like symptoms, such as bloating and headaches. Cramping or spotting might occur. Some expectant mothers start to feel symptoms of pregnancy, such as breast tenderness and enlargement, mood swings and food aversions. Keep your pregnancy a healthy one by discussing any symptoms or issues with your health care provider.

For baby

  • The baby develops from a single fertilized cell — a zygote — into an embryo. This embryonic stage lasts until week 10. At week 11, the embryo is deemed a fetus, which lasts until birth. By the end of the first trimester, the fetus is roughly 3 inches long.
  • All the baby’s organs start to form.
  • Muscles develop, and the baby can move, although it will be undetected by mom.
  • Facial features develop. The eyes have moved more to the front, and the ears are in the normal position, so the baby looks more human.
  • The nervous system — the brain, spinal cord and nerves — develops.
  • The vocal cords are complete by week 12.
  • By the end of the first trimester, the baby’s kidneys are formed and produce urine.

Preparing for baby
Must-have gadgets for your baby
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