The first trimester of your pregnancy is a critical moment of your life. Not only will you go through substantial physical adjustments, the hormonal changes will also affect your mental and emotional states. Above all this changeover, probably the most important thing on your mind is keeping your baby healthy and safe from harm. So, what exactly are the things you should do and the things you can’t do while pregnant? I’ve listed down a number of frequently asked questions to help you through the first three months of your pregnancy.
First Trimester of Pregnancy: Everything You Have to Know During the First Three Months
1. What is First Trimester Screening?
First-trimester screening or prenatal testing is done to detect problems early in the pregnancy. It covers both anatomical and physiological aspects of the baby. Some screening also detects problems with the mother.
2. What is the Difference Between Prenatal Screening and Prenatal Diagnosis?
Prenatal screening detects problems in a large population while a prenatal diagnosis is an in-depth analysis of a particular problem found during screening. While prenatal screening uses affordable and noninvasive methods, prenatal diagnosis involves more invasive methods.
3. What is First Trimester Bleeding?
First-trimester bleeding or obstetrical hemorrhage is common and is experienced by around 25% of pregnant women. While it is usually not a cause for alarm, it is still best to have yourself checked as it can be something serious.
4. What are the Possible Causes of First Trimester Bleeding?
Bleeding during your first trimester can be caused by a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or implantation bleeding, among others. It can also be caused by medical intervention or infection. As mentioned earlier, if you are bleeding during your first trimester, it is best to see your doctor to ensure your safety and your baby’s.
5. What is First Trimester Abortion?
Only around 30%-50% of pregnancies actually make it past the first trimester. First-trimester abortion or miscarriage is usually caused by abnormalities in the chromosomes of the baby. It can also be caused by lupus or diabetes, among others.
6. Weight Gain During the First Trimester?
Weight gain is inevitable for pregnant women but the question is not how much you will gain but how much you should gain. Weight gain will vary from one woman to another and is related to various factors. Nevertheless, there are ways in which you can safely lose weight after giving birth.
7. What are the Factors Affecting First Trimester Weight Gain?
Weight gain during the first trimester of pregnancy is related to the baby’s weight and the placenta, among others. While some women gain weight early in the pregnancy, the majority of the required weight gain occurs later in the pregnancy.
8. What is the Ideal Weight Gain to Assure a Healthy Mother and Baby?
The Institute of Medicine recommends the following weight gain for the respective body weight:
- 18.5 BMI to 24.9 BMI – 25 lbs. to 35 lbs.
- < 18.5 BMI – 28 lbs. to 40 lbs.
- 25 BMI – 29.9 BMI – 15 lbs. to 25 lbs.
- > 30 BMI – 11 lbs. to 20 lbs.
9. What is First Trimester Fatigue?
Each pregnancy is unique and pregnant women from all over the world go through different experiences but one thing is common to the majority and that is extreme exhaustion. Some pregnant women in their first trimester would find themselves sleeping more hours at night while some would have trouble sleeping. Some would feel sluggish during the day and some experience nausea and vomiting, which could drain a lot of your energy.
10. What Causes First Trimester Fatigue?
First-trimester fatigue is caused by multiple factors. It is mainly due, however, to the surge in progesterone during the first three months. Another cause if the increase in blood volume for the developing placenta and for fetal circulation. This results in the heart pumping faster and stronger.
11. How Long Will the Fatigue Last?
For pregnant women who are worried the exhaustion will last the entire pregnancy, you can now relax. As soon as you enter the second trimester of pregnancy, you will start to feel the glow and boost in energy that comes with pregnancy.
12. What is a First Trimester Ultrasound?
Most pregnant women, especially first-time pregnant women, look forward to their first ultrasound appointment. For some, it means their little one’s very first photograph. For others, it is ensuring their baby is growing safely and healthily. The first-trimester ultrasound is scheduled in your first three to four months to confirm your pregnancy. Anything before these months may be too small.
13. Why Do You Need a First Trimester Ultrasound?
You do not necessarily have to schedule an ultrasound appointment early in the pregnancy although your doctor may suggest it for a number of reasons. These include ensuring your baby’s heartbeat, identifying the correct dates of your pregnancy, and ruling out ectopic pregnancy, among others.
14. How is a First Trimester Ultrasound Performed?
A pregnancy ultrasound is mainly performed using transabdominal ultrasound. This involves scanning through your lower abdomen with the aid of an ultrasound gel and an ultrasound probe. For those who want to schedule an earlier ultrasound appointment where the developing embryo may still be too small to see, a transvaginal ultrasound is performed. This is basically an internal ultrasound where the ultrasound probe is lying in the vagina to get a better look at the baby.
15. Do You Need to Workout During Your First Trimester?
Working out during your first trimester is recommended to stay fit and healthy. Exercising has many benefits for pregnant women, which includes regulating weight and getting in shape for childbirth. It also helps improve your mood in spite of the exhaustion that comes with the first trimester.
16. What Kind of Exercises are Recommended During the First Trimester?
Not all women are in the habit of working out on a regular basis and pregnant women may most likely find it hard to start. That is why starting with the basics seems more viable. You can start by walking for around 30 minutes a day, at least three to five times a week. You can proceed to do yoga, pilates, or running eventually to address certain concerns during pregnancy like lower back pain.
17. What is First Trimester Insomnia?
Sleep problems during pregnancy are common among mothers-to-be. While pregnant women get more sleep during their first trimester, the quality of their sleep actually is quite low. This is mainly due to first-trimester fatigue, which can result in insomnia.
18. What Causes Insomnia in the First Trimester?
There are various reasons why pregnant women develop insomnia during their first trimester. The main culprits include the need to urinate more frequently, nausea, vomiting, back pain, and breast tenderness, among others.
19. How Do You Address First Trimester Insomnia?
The main solution for first-trimester insomnia is a good sleeping habit. Start by going to bed at the same time every night and avoiding late night activities. You also need to watch your diet and exercise as they have a huge impact on your sleep.
20. Are There First Trimester Symptoms?
There will be a lot of changes in your physical, mental, and emotional states once you’re pregnant. While it may seem scary at first, you will be able to overcome it eventually. The first key is to know what these symptoms are so you can better address them properly.
21. What are These Symptoms?
The first sign of pregnancy is a missed period although this can be overlooked by some women. Other symptoms include tender breasts, nausea, vomiting, increased urination, first-trimester cramping, fatigue, food aversions, heartburn, and constipation. You will also find yourself going through a surge of emotions including anxiety and exhaustion. These are common to pregnant women and should not be a reason to panic.
Health & Fitness shares a short clip of what to expect during the first trimester of your pregnancy:
Pregnancy is a journey and a good one at that. While some pregnant women will experience some negative symptoms, the overall feeling remains to be joy and excitement. Stay fit and healthy for yourself and your baby by knowing what to expect during your first trimester of pregnancy and how to deal with them accordingly.
How far along are you in your pregnancy and are you experiencing the same symptoms? Let know in the comments section below.
Up Next: Week Thirteen of Pregnancy