The first month of pregnancy is probably the most exciting time. This is when you have just found out that you are pregnant. It is a mixture of several emotions going from extreme excitement one minute and pangs of anxiety the next. Enjoy this phase by learning what to expect and taking good care of yourself.
First Month Pregnancy : Bodily Changes in the Mother
The changes in your physical appearance are very few during the first month. This is when you only just find out that you are pregnant. The first missed period and a home pregnancy test are your only clues at this stage until you get your first pregnancy test. That said, there are certainly in the first month
- Weight: The foetus itself does not contribute to any weight gain in the first month. However, some women may gain weight due to hormonal changes. In addition to this, the misconception of having to eat more in the first month itself usually leads to significant weight gain. The calorie intake must increase gradually based on the stage of pregnancy.
- Hormones: The levels of progesterone and estrogen do not change drastically during this stage. It is the addition of a new hormone called the human chronic gonadotrophin that causes the symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea and morning sickness.
- Tenderness of the breast: The breasts and the nipples seem swollen and tender to touch in the first month. This is the result of the hormonal changes that take place in the body. The skin of the nipple may become darker. The veins of the breasts also become more prominent.
- Sleep: From the first to the third month, women tend to feel drowsier as the levels of progesterone increase steadily. However, the discomfort caused due to the tenderness of the breasts might make it harder to fall asleep easily.
- Spotting: You may notice spots of blood in your undergarments even though you have missed your period. This is because of implantation bleeding that occurs when the fertilized egg implants itself on the uterine wall.
Read More: Signs of Pregnancy
First Month of Pregnancy: Developmental Changes in the Fetus
The development of the baby starts from the time the egg is fertilized. The different stages that the embryo goes through in the first month of development are as follows:
- The egg is fertilized: The egg is fertilized by the sperm and now contains 23 pairs of chromosomes.
- Cell division: In 24 hours of being fertilized, the embryo divides and forms two cells. Then the cells continue to divide and the embryo moves down the fallopian tube.
- Change in shape and size: After about 3 days after fertilization, the cells in the embryo form a tight ball. There are about 12-16 cells in this cluster in this ball, which eventually enters the uterus.
- Formation of two parts: The ball floats in the uterus for close to 24 hours after which it separates into an inner mass of cell and an outer layer of cells. The outer layer turns into the placenta while the inner layer develops into the baby.
- Implantation of the embryo: The embryo implants itself on the lining of the uterus after 6 to 10 days of fertilization. The nourishment for the embryo is provided by the cells of the lining of the uterus.
- Formation of the yolk sac: The yolk sac develops after implantation and becomes the source of nutrition until the placenta develops.
First Month of Pregnancy: Pregnancy Symptoms
- The symptoms of pregnancy in the first month are as follows:
- Frequent urination
- Aversion to certain foods and smells
- Metallic taste in the mouth
First Month of Pregnancy: Things to Take Care of
- The first month is a tender stage of your pregnancy and there are several things that you should take care of:
- Make sure that you get a pregnancy test done with your doctor to confirm pregnancy.
- Get a detailed medical history of the family in place to check for any genetic disorders.
- Tests like pap smears, blood tests, and urine tests must be completed to check for any abnormalities.
- The diet should include dairy products, folate-rich foods like spinach, lentils and beans, whole grains, poultry and eggs, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and meat.
- Make sure you avoid foods like soft cheeses, packaged food, seafood, papaya, and sugary foods during this stage as they may harm the embryo.
- Drugs, alcohol, caffeine or any such substance should be avoided totally.
- Ask your doctor for prenatal vitamins and supplements.
- Make sure that you drink enough water.
- Do not ignore symptoms like extreme abdominal pain, white discharge from the vagina, sudden discharge and vaginal bleeding. Make sure you visit the doctor when you notice these symptoms.
Healthy Diet Plan For Pregnant Women
Pregnant women should include the following food items during first month:
- A healthy serving of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Servings of whole grain breads and cereals along with low fat milk products.
- Lentils, pulses, lean meats, chicken without skin, fish, eggs.
- Plenty of water to keep the body hydrated.
#1. Raw meat
#2. Fish and Seafood
#3. Raw eggs
#4. Raw Papaya
#6. Fennel and Fenugreek seeds
Is bleeding during the first month normal?
Yes. There can be some spotting during the first month. While bleeding does not really cause for concern in this stage, it is a good idea to check with your doctor.
Is it safe to have sexual intercourse?
Yes. It is safe to have sex during your first month of pregnancy. However, most women may experience a lack of sexual desire during this stage.
When will the pregnancy symptoms be noticed?
This varies from one woman to the other. Some of them may experience it right from the time they miss their period. For others, they may not be quite as noticeable as they are not so intense.
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