The First Stage of Pregnancy (Weeks 1 – Week12):
The first stage of pregnancy is from 1st month to 3rd month of your pregnancy period.
The first stage of pregnancy period until 12 weeks gestation (pregnancy length). Women usually don’t realize they are pregnant until at least two weeks into the first phase, when they miss their period. During the first trimester, your growing baby is developing at an amazing rate.
A baby starts out as a few cells. Growing baby called an “embryo” until it reaches its eighth week. After the 8th week, baby called as fetus. To develop the basis for all of the mechanisms it will need within the first trimester. Development begins when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus in a process called “implantation”. If all goes well, the fetus will be approximately 6 to 7.5 cm in length, and weigh a little over 1 ounce by the end of the first trimester. A heartbeat can usually be seen with an ultrasound around 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy.
During the embryonic phase, you may naturally find yourself on the hungry side. However, you also experience certain negative responses to specific foods that have nothing to do with morning sickness. Strong food and odor aversions may occur, and if you find the idea of eating a type of food disgusting, then simply avoid that food. Other strong food cravings may compensate.
During the first trimester, you can expect to gain anywhere from six to eleven pounds. Your doctor will be able to help you with nutritional questions and key pregnancy benchmarks that indicate good health.
You get enough vitamins, minerals and nutrients as they are essential for growth and development. It’s a good idea to consult with your health care provider to determine what is best for you.
Developments that occur during this first stage include
- The development of the placenta and umbilical cord. These structures are important for bringing nutrients from the mother to the fetus, and for removing waste products from the fetus back to the mother’s body.
- The development of the amniotic sac, a fluid-filled membrane that cushions the developing fetus.
- The development of all major organs. The heart begins to beat on or around the 25th day after conception.
- The development of the neural tube, which goes on to form the brain and spinal cord.
- The development of limb buds, which are the beginnings of arms and legs.
- The development of fingers, toes, ears, ankles, wrists, and eyelids. By the end of the first trimester the fetus will have finger and toenails and will have “buds” in its mouth area that will go on to become baby teeth.
Experience during the first stage of pregnancy
Women experience some amazing changes during the first trimester. Some symptoms you may experience during this stage include nausea (sometimes accompanied by actual vomiting), frequent urination, fatigue, food aversion, and breast swelling and tenderness. The two most pronounced (intense) symptoms are nausea and fatigue.
Nausea is commonly called “morning sickness” as many women find that it is worse during the morning. However, some women find they are nauseous all the time, and nausea is possible at any time of day or night. Vomiting should not be a cause of alarm unless it occurs more than four times per day or is bloody. Often, the symptoms of morning sickness are worse when your stomach is empty and your blood sugar is low. Avoid this possibility by eating 6 to 8 small meals per day, maintaining a small amount of food in your stomach at all times.
During the first trimester, you may find that you can’t make it through the day without a nap, or that you feel tired even after sleeping for 8 hours at night. There are a few things you can do to combat fatigue, including making sure you are eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and paying attention to environmental conditions such as poor lighting or ventilation that might contribute to tiredness. Your body is working very hard to build your new baby during this stage of your pregnancy; the fatigue you feel is your body’s way of telling you it needs rest. You will likely find that your energy levels return to normal as your body gets used to the new demands it faces.
Complications and Miscarriage chances during first stage of pregnancy
Miscarriage means spontaneous termination of pregnancy within the first 20 weeks. During the first trimester, miscarriage chances are very high. Though many women are not aware of the fact, miscarriage is relatively common, and as many as twenty percent of pregnancies may end in miscarriage. Some pregnancies end even before you experience your first pregnancy symptoms. This can result in a phenomenon known as a “chemical pregnancy” in which enough HCG is produced to register a positive pregnancy test, but following tests indicate negative results (as HCG production stops following a very early miscarriage).
There are also a few symptoms to watch out for that will require medical attention when present. Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- bloody or watery vaginal discharge
- edema (swelling of the hands, feet, or face)
- recurring headaches
- excessive vomiting
- blurry vision
- decreased urination or burning with urination
Miscarriages often occur when an abnormal fetus (for example, a fetus with serious genetic abnormalities that are “incompatible with life”). Having a single miscarriage doesn’t mean you will necessarily have a difficult time conceiving the next time you try and get.