First Trimester Pregnancy Information at iVillage Pregnancy & Parenting

Congratulations! Stunned, frightened and excited are common emotions felt by the newly pregnant woman. Often, all three hit you at the same time, even if you carefully planned this conception. You may not even truly believe you are pregnant, despite the six home tests you have taken. Adding to the disbelief may be the lack of pregnancy symptoms you are experiencing. In fact, you could swear that your period will arrive at any second due to the crampiness you feel.

Meanwhile, the fertilized egg has completed a seven to ten day journey to the uterus, where it settles into the endometrial lining. It has divided in two: one part becoming the placenta and the other, the embryo. From a medical perspective, even though you have been pregnant for two weeks, you are technically four weeks pregnant. Pregnancy dating begins from the start of your last menstrual period.

Because most miscarriages occur in the first trimester, you may be feeling nervous and be eager to advance to the second trimester. One good sign is the identification of the heartbeat, either by the practitioner’s doppler, or by ultrasound.

As you approach the end of your first trimester, your baby is three inches long and weighs in at 14 grams. It has the ability to swallow, absorb, and discharge fluids. Hands are formed and fingernails are in progress. Your baby even has tooth buds. The 12th week is an important one as the placenta takes over hormone production. By the 13th week, vocal cords are nearly formed, although it will be some time before your little one blurts out the word, "mommy."

The first trimester can be trying, both physically and emotionally. Appreciating that your body is responsible for this incredible feat of baby development, from organ formation to complex brain circuitry, makes it all worthwhile. In just a few weeks, you’ll be reacquainted with two old friends: energy and enthusiasm!


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