During the first trimester of pregnancy, which lasts approximately fourteen weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period, your body is hard at work forming one of the most intricate and complex works of nature. By the end of your first official month of pregnancy (six weeks after your last menstrual period, but four weeks since conception), your developing child will have grown an astonishing 10,000 times in size.
Making its longest journey until the big move nine months from now, your developing baby (called a zygote, or fertilized ovum) travels from the fallopian tube and into the uterus (or womb). By day four, the zygote has formed a small solid cluster of cells known as a morula.
By day five or six, the morula grows to a blastocyst. Within days, the blastocyst nestles into the nutrient-rich lining of your uterus (the endometrium) as implantation begins. About fifteen days after conception, the blastocyst becomes an embryo. Next to the embryo floats the yolk sac, a cluster of blood vessels that provide blood for the embryo at this early stage until the placenta takes over.
As month one draws to a close, your baby's heart is beating, lung buds have appeared, and construction of the gastrointestinal system and liver are underway. The neural tube, the basis of the baby's central nervous system, has developed and the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain are defined. He (or she) is starting to look more like a person, too. Arm and leg buds-complete with the beginnings of both feet and hands-are visible. It's an amazing list of accomplishments considering your baby is about the size of a raisin (less than ¾ inch long).
At this point in your pregnancy, you might not notice any significant changes in shape and size. You may feel some of the following changes, though. Note which you are experiencing so you can look back on the progress of your pregnancy and discuss any concerns you have with your healthcare provider.
Pregnancy is a time of great anticipation as you head out into uncharted waters. Worries about the baby's health and the possibility of miscarriage are common fears early in pregnancy. Although it may be easier said than done, letting go of your anxieties, at least for a little while, is the best thing for you and your baby right now.
Here are some ways to deal with anxiety about miscarriage and stress about the pregnancy:
Set up your first prenatal care visit as soon as you know you are pregnant. For now through the seventh month, you'll be seeing your provider on a monthly basis (unless you are considered high risk, in which case you may have more frequent appointments). If you still haven't chosen a provider, now is the time to do so.
When you go to the doctor or midwife for your first checkup, you will likely experience the following:
Most providers determine gestational age (how far along you are) from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). If you have a regular twenty-eight-day cycle, you can figure out your own estimated due date.
For example, if your last period began on September 1, you would go back through August 1 and July 1 to June 1. Then add seven days to come up with an estimated due date of June 8. An alternate method is to count 280 days (40 weeks) from the first day of your last period.
For some nutritional insurance, your doctor or midwife is likely to prescribe a prenatal vitamin containing most, if not all, of these nutrients.
|__ Calcium||__ Riboflavin||__ Vitamin C|
|__ Copper||__ Thiamin||__ Vitamin D|
|__ Folic acid||__ Vitamin A||__ Vitamin E|
|__ Iron||__ Vitamin B6||__ Zinc|
|__ Magnesium||__ Vitamin B12|
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor or midwife immediately:
While a good dose of common sense should be used in contacting your doctor or midwife after hours, in most cases better safe than sorry applies. Trust your instincts. If something just doesn't feel right to you, make the call.
From Everything Pregnancy Organizer Copyright © 2007, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.
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