Pregnancy – Clearing the First Milestone
You’re now at the tail end of the first trimester! Congratulations on reaching this first milestone.
The last month of the first trimester may be a particularly trying month as hormone levels peak during the 9 -10 week, meaning more severe morning sickness. Although you’re still riding the emotional roller coaster, you’re probably less anxious and fearful of miscarriage now as you reach the end of the first trimester. Finally, there is no need to make excuses for skipping out on drinks with your girlfriends. Thankfully, nausea and vomiting are starting to wane.
Changes In Mother’s Body And Health
Increased blood volume due to pregnancy may cause increased urination, as well as more stuffy noses, ose bleeds and bleeding gums. Constipation issue may arise and it is common because of hormonal changes cause by muscular fibres trying to relax. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Do not forget to take in more water too! Consult your doctor in extreme cases.
By the end of the third month, your baby measures about 10cm long and weighs around 28g. Lots of changes are happening during this month. Features such as the external ear are already formed. Fingernails and toenails, tiny muscles and baby teeth under the gums are all developing rapidly. Some of the baby’s organs are already functioning, such as the kidneys and liver. The rest of the body parts such as the digestive system, bone marrow, reproductive organs and the pituitary gland, will mature slowly.
Between 11-12 weeks, your doctor will usually recommend that you consider first trimester testing for fetal anomalies, in particular Down Syndrome. This battery of tests includes ultrasound measurement of the fetal neck skin thickness and maternal blood tests for hCG hormone and pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) levels. Together, they provide an estimate level for Down Syndrome risk.
By now you may have gained more weight. Your belly is also starting to protrude a little to accommodate your growing baby. Do not worry about not eating enough for the pregnancy. If you start off at a healthy weight, you do not need extra calories during the first trimester. Avoid food that may contain harmful bacteria,
such as soft cheese (from unpasteurized milk), pate and raw or undercooked meat and poultry. Some fishes contain methyl-mercury, harmful in high doses to the growing fetal brain. Limit your consumption of fish to the equivalent of about two servings per week.
As your digestive system slows down, you may experience some constipation. Eat more fiber, drink plenty of water, and do some light exercise to get your bowels moving.
Don’t fret about your expanding waistline. Instead, celebrate the beauty of your pregnant body.
About the Author
Dr Cindy Pang is an experienced obstetrician and gynae-oncologist with more than 10 years of clinical practice. “Besides the management of a wide range of conditions involving the female reproductive system and providing antenatal care to expectant mothers, her main subspecialty interest is in gynaecological cancer care.”
Read more about her
Dr. Cindy Pang
Obstetrician & Gynaecologist