Get the next nine months off to a great start with our guide to early pregnancy.
You might think the second trimester has all the fun—and you might be right. You get to wear adorable maternity clothes and feel those first kicks. But there’s a lot going on, and a lot you can do, during the first three months.
Here, Julia Flowers, M.D.,an Ob-Gyn on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine, shares what you can do to provide a healthy beginning for you and your developing baby.
During the first four weeks of pregnancy, most women don’t even know they’re pregnant. And though your baby will only be the size of a poppy seed by week four, you already may be experiencing frequent urination.
Before trying to conceive, talk to your doctor. “He or she may recommend changing medications, quitting smoking or losing weight before you become pregnant,” Dr. Flowers says.
If you plan on conceiving soon, Dr. Flowers suggests taking a daily prenatal vitamin. And avoid alcohol if you think you may have become pregnant.
By the end of week eight, your baby will be the size of a kidney bean and will have developed webbed fingers, toes and eyelids, and even begun to form primitive neural pathways in the brain.
Unfortunately for you, nausea, vomiting and exhaustion may be setting in due to hormonal changes, Dr. Flowers says.
“Take naps when you can, go to bed earlier and eat small, frequent meals throughout the day to avoid nausea,” Dr. Flowers says.
“Staying hydrated and taking a vitamin B6 supplement also can help with nausea and fatigue.”
By the end of 12 weeks, your baby will be two inches long and look every bit like a tiny human, complete with almost all o his or her organs. And you’ll look and feel different, too.
In fact, your growing uterus may cause your organs to shift up, resulting in heartburn.
“Avoid spicy and acidic foods within two hours of bedtime, and prop yourself up at night to avoid heartburn,” Dr. Flowers said.
You’ll also schedule your first appointment with your obstetrician between 8 and 10 weeks.
“Patients with a history of miscarriage or who experience unusual symptoms should ask for an appointment sooner,” Dr. Flowers adds.
Ready for a baby? Visit BaylorHealth.com/DallasChildbirth to register for parenting classes and to preregister for your delivery.
This blog post was originally published in the January 2014 edition of Baylor Health Magazine.