What to Expect During Your First Trimester

The first three months of your pregnancy are called the first trimester. It is important to start your pregnancy right by establishing a healthy prenatal care routine. You can start this routine by visiting your health care provider.

Your health care provider will need answers to several questions, so be prepared with personal information such as your social security number, medical background, and family background. You will be asked about your menstrual cycle, what you use for contraceptives, if you have had any previous pregnancies, and if you have any allergies or other medical conditions. Your health care provider will also ask if you are taking any prescription or over the counter medications. If you are not asked, you should still tell your doctor about any family genetic disorders or family history of any congenital abnormalities.

You will also be asked when you last period was so the healthcare provider can establish the due date. He or she will do this by adding 40 weeks to the date of when you had your last period.

You will be given a physical exam. The doctor will need to know how healthy you are as well as how healthy the baby is. You will be weighed, have your blood pressure taken, and have your height recorded during this exam.

The doctor will also give you a pelvic exam and a pap test. From this exam, the doctor will determine if there are any infections or other abnormalities, such as cancer. The stage of your pregnancy can be determined by the change in your cervix and the size of your uterus.

You will also be given a blood test - not only to determine your blood type, but also the Rh factor which is a specific kind of protein that is on the surface of your red blood cells. The blood tests will also show if you have had any exposure to diseases like syphilis, measles, mumps, rubella, or hepatitis B.

Your urine will be tested for specific amounts of sugar and protein. Too much sugar or protein in your urine indicates diabetes or kidney problems.

Your health care provider will talk to you about vitamins, exercise and other lifestyle changes that may need to happen, such as not smoking or drinking.

During your first trimester, doctor visits will be scheduled for every four to six weeks. At these visits, you will be weighed and your blood pressure taken. These visits will handle about any questions or concerns that you have. Your doctor is a great support system for you, so it is important to be honest and open about anything you need to discuss. Also during your first trimester you will have an ultrasound. This will give you your first look at your new baby and your doctor will be able to check how the baby is growing and developing.

Physical changes in your body

Some physical changes in your body may include:

  • Tender breasts
  • Being nauseated, mostly in the morning, but may last all day
  • Being extra tired
  • Emotional changes
  • Some dizziness (If your dizziness occurs with pain in the abdomen or vaginal bleeding you will need to call you doctor right away).
  • More frequent urination, or leaking due to coughing, sneezing or laughing.

The most important thing is to make an appointment to visit with your doctor or health care provider as soon as you know or if you suspect you may be pregnant. Taking care of yourself and your baby will provide you with a much happier and healthier pregnancy.

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