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What is important to know during the 1st trimester of pregnancy?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Here are some useful things to know and do during the first trimester of your pregnancy:

  • Follow good health habits by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and taking prenatal vitamins that contain lots of folic acid.
  • Get all of your necessary nutrients, especially calcium, iron, folic acid, protein and plenty of water.
  • Some weight gain—up to five pounds for most women in the first trimester—is normal and healthy for your baby. Some of the heaviness you may feel is caused by the fluid retention and a growing uterus.
  • Avoid harmful substances like alcohol, street drugs, some prescription and OTC drugs, large amounts of caffeine and nicotine, all of which can have a significant effect on your baby during a time when the risk of miscarriage is highest.
  • Early pregnancy brings with it symptoms of fatigue, nausea or vomiting and frequent gas and urination.
  • You may also notice "implantation spotting," or very light spotting that may be caused when the egg implants in the uterine wall.
  • Week 4 is the start of the embryonic period. During this period, the baby is already developing tissue that will eventually form the organs.
  • At week 5, your baby is an embryo with three layers.
  • At week 6, your baby is developing facial features, and the heart is pumping blood throughout its body.
  • At week 7, facial features become more defined and the hands start developing.
  • At week 8, your baby starts moving.
  • The end of week 10 marks the start of the fetal period, which is when your baby’s organs are developing quickly.
  • At week 12, your doctor may want to discuss additional screenings to test for genetic abnormalities, especially if you have certain risk factors. (Some more invasive tests, such as chorionic villus sampling, may have a risk of miscarriage associated with them.)

Above all, if you have any questions or concerns about what’s going on during the first trimester, talk to your doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.