Obstetrics: What to Expect From Your First Trimester
Did you know that pregnant women make up around 1% of the United States population at any given time? For many people, the early weeks of a pregnancy can be an exciting time.
But, there’s also a lot of stress that comes with facing the unknown. That’s why we made this obstetrics guide with some pregnancy tips.
In it, we’ll break down what you can expect from your first trimester, from body changes to obstetric visits. That way, you can begin your pregnancy with the confidence that you need. Let’s get started!
How Long Is the First Trimester?
As the name suggests, the first trimester is the first and earliest phase of pregnancy. The first trimester begins before you’re ever actually pregnant. It officially starts on the day of your last period.
Then, it lasts till the end of your thirteenth week pregnant. In other words, it lasts for a little over three months.
Compared to the other trimesters, your body is going through the most rapid changes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the physical changes that come with your first trimester.
Physical Body Changes to Expect
There are some physical body changes and symptoms that will occur during your first few months. First, there’s morning sickness. And sadly, this nausea isn’t confined to the morning.
It can strike at any part of the day. Next, your breasts will likely get bigger and swollen. It’s normal for them also to feel tender and tingly. These changes are caused by rapid hormonal changes.
Speaking of hormonal changes, it’s also common to experience mood swings. And it’s not just from happy to sad states. Many women report being elated, anxious, excited, and exhausted all at the same time.
Know that these emotional states are perfectly normal. Hormonal changes are also responsible for the weird cravings you experience while pregnant. You may also be repelled by certain smells or tastes that you used to like.
Even though your baby is still small, it’s important to try to gain between three to four pounds in your first trimester. If you don’t gain this weight, it’s all right as long as you put it on in the second or third trimester.
Lastly, you might notice other symptoms like increased urination, fatigue, constipation, and heartburn.
What Isn’t Normal?
For expecting mothers, any minor symptom can seem scary. That being said, some things are perfectly normal, and other things will require medical attention.
In terms of what’s normal, you’re likely going to experience headaches, stomach pain, and cramping.
What’s more, light bleeding is normal when the embryo attaches to the uterus. That being said, some symptoms are cause for concern. These include:
- Heavy bleeding
- Severe pain in your abdomen
- Pain during urination
- Rapid feelings of thirst
- Fevers over 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit
- Severe puffiness in your face or hands
Remember that your chances for a miscarriage are highest in the first trimester. So, if you experience any of these symptoms, then you should see a professional right away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Schedule An Obstetrics and Gynecology Visit
Your first trimester is when it’s time to book your first OB-GYN visit. What should you expect from your visit? First, your doctor will review your health records and perform a basic physical.
That way, they know of any pre-existing conditions that might affect the baby. After that, you’ll undergo a lot of tests. These include a urine analysis, Pap smear, and blood work.
The blood work is especially important because it will tell them things like your hCG levels, blood type, Rh levels, and the presence of any infections. After that, you’ll undergo an ultrasound.
This will be used to detect a heartbeat, determine how far along you are, and see if things are progressing as they should be. If your family suffers from genetic illnesses or diabetes, then you might also be screened with some genetic tests.
Your doctor is going to be asking you a lot of questions during the process. Make sure you ask questions, too if you have any. Write down any that you have before your visit, so you don’t forget them at the moment.
Get Ready to Avoid Certain Things
When you first get pregnant, there are a few things that most people know to avoid. For example, it’s widely known that a few drinks can cause a high chance of developing fetal alcohol syndrome.
Similarly, most people know that cigarettes and drug use are bad for the baby. However, there are other things that you should avoid that aren’t as widely known.
For example, did you know you should avoid your cat’s litter box? Cat feces can contain a parasite known as toxoplasmosis. If you contract this parasite, then it can cause serious health problems for fetuses in the first trimester.
You should also avoid hot tubs, saunas, and hot baths. Anything that brings you a temperature above 101 degrees Fahrenheit is bad.
Lastly, make sure you’re careful around raw or undercooked food. That means no more sushi or beef tartare while you’re pregnant.
Looking For Prenatal Care? Contact Women’s Health of Augusta
We hope this obstetrics guide helped you learn what to expect from your first trimester. As you can see, there are a lot of uncomfortable body change symptoms that come within the first three months of pregnancy.
However, despite the discomfort, it’s still vital to get your ducks in a row in terms of finding an obstetrics provider. If you live in the Augusta, Georgia area, then you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than Women’s Health of Augusta.
For forty years, we’ve been providing comprehensive care to our community. Plus, we accept most types of insurance. So, if you’re ready for the expert prenatal care that you deserve, contact us today to schedule an appointment.