Some interesting facts about the first month of pregnancy
- Morning sickness is not only experienced in the early mornings. It can happen any time of the day like afternoon, midday, or even evening in the first month of pregnancy
- In morning sickness, women mostly feel nauseous as the placenta starts producing hormones, however, they generally don’t feel sick
- Hormones hold a vital role in making changes in the body and fetus development. Progesterone help in the natural development of the fetus, while oestrogen stimulates the development and enlargement of the breasts to prepare it for lactation
- For women using fertility drugs or those on IVF treatment, are more likely to have multiple babies, that is twins or even more
- During pregnancy, the heart pumps 40 to 50 percent more blood as well as increased both in width and length, and also beats faster than before
- There are no proven facts, but it is still observed that a baby bump makes people smile
- Pregnant women love showing off their baby bumps by wearing clothes that reveal the belly like bikinis, crop tops, etc.
- The breasts start preparing for milk just after the conception period which can lead to sensitivity in the initial phase.
First Month of Pregnancy – A Bunch of Surprises
Missed your periods? Wondering if you are pregnant? This question is sure to knock the minds of many women when the date passes or some unusual changes are observed in their bodies. However, it is not compulsory every woman experiences the early pregnancy signs expect regarding the delay in periods.
Pregnancy is one of the biggest joys for every couple seeking for parenthood. But the changes your body goes through can make it an overwhelming experience in many new ways. Pregnancy comes with happiness for sure, but there are various unenjoyable symptoms that can be irritating at times. Is everything fine? Am I suppose to feel like this? Is this normal? The answer to all these questions is that all such symptoms are totally normal.
Mostly, women go for a pregnancy test for confirming the pregnancy, but there are particular signs and symptoms that can also help you know that changes are surely happening inside you. Many women start feeling nausea or mood swings around 3 to 4 weeks post conceiving on reaching the gestational age of 5 to 6 weeks.
In this article, let’s talk about all your confusions, symptoms, care tips, etc. regarding the first month of pregnancy to help you enjoy the phase in a relaxed way.
What are you going to experience in the early pregnancy phase?
During the early pregnancy phase, women are more likely to experience health issues like breast soreness, fatigue, nausea, mood swings, etc. However, some might feel it lightly while for some the symptoms can be severe. Some women come to know about pregnancy once their period date is missed. Some might have spotted in the first month which is quite normal in 4 out of 5 cases. But it is still recommended to see the gynecologist when spotting is observed for avoiding any complications.
What are the possible signs and symptoms of the first month of Pregnancy?
Pregnancy takes place when an egg gets fertilized by a sperm once it gets released from the ovary at the time of ovulation. The fertilized egg then moves towards the uterus for the process of implantation. When the process of implantation gets successfully completed, it results in a positive pregnancy.
Pregnancy is affected by various factors. Women with early prenatal care and early pregnancy are more likely to have a healthy pregnancy. Again, it is essential to monitor your health as well as the baby’s health throughout the pregnancy.
Here are some of the initial and common symptoms of pregnancy.
1. Missed periods
Missed periods are among the foremost signs indicating pregnancy. When any woman conceives, the body stops the release of progesterone hormones that stops the periods or monthly menses. However, sometimes it is possible she might have conceived even after having her periods regularly. Yet, a missed period is widely considered to be a pregnancy.
Spotting is another sign that can result in a positive pregnancy test. When the egg gets attached to the uterus for the process of fertilization, some women might experience slight spotting and cramping. The spotting is widely observed while cleaning the genitals which is different from the bleeding during periods. Spotting is a normal condition during initial pregnancy, however, if abnormal spotting is noticed, you need to see the doctor at the earliest to work on complications if any.
3. Mood Swings
Are you observing any changes in your mood? Do you feel irritated, sad, or even happy all of a sudden? Wait a minute, this can be due to pregnancy. Yes, during pregnancy women go through various hormonal changes that affect the mood and force it to change rapidly. They might cry for no reason, or feel snappy too. All these can also be among the common pregnancy symptoms.
4. Tenderness of Breasts
Noticing any changes regarding the breasts? During the initial phase of pregnancy, the breasts might turn out to be tender or sore when touched. This symptom is again much similar to the symptoms of the pre-menstrual phase. The areola starts turning darker and some veins might even be visible on the breasts.
5. Frequent visits to the washroom
Hormonal changes are hasty during the first month. Hence, the flow of blood would increase in the pelvic area. This helps in making the uterine lining thick for boosting the growth and development of the fetus. Due to this, the pressure on the kidney increases, and it has to work more on the increased amount of body fluids. All these changes regarding the kidney and hormones as well as the growth of the uterus pressurize the bladder which increases the need to urinate frequently.
6. Likes and dislikes in food items
Have you started liking particular food items that you hated before? This can be due to the initial pregnancy phase. It is quite natural or normal for women to have different likes and dislikes with food items. You might crave for certain food items that you disliked or might ignore having your favorite food. This is again another sign of pregnancy.
7. Increase in tiredness
Are you feeling tired and low in terms of energy these days? This is again another symptom related to pregnancy. Feeling exhausted and tired can add to sleeplessness, and lack of required sleeping hours can also make you feel more tired.
Another common symptom revealing the starting of your pregnancy phase is heartburn. When the woman conceives, various changes take place inside the body that results in heartburn and acid reflux. Heartburn is a symptom that might continue in the future months also as the baby grows inside and the acids make its way to the esophagus again.
9. Morning Sickness
Nearly 4 out of 5 women suffer from vomiting or even nausea after conceiving. This is widely observed after around 3 weeks post conception. Many women feel nauseous throughout the day, or during a particular time like morning, evening, etc. So, if you often run to vomit or feel nauseous, check out, you might be pregnant.
10. Boosted smelling sense
Has your smelling sense developed to a great extent than before? During pregnancy, the smelling sense of women heightens. You might feel good with a particular smell, while might not be able to stand some other smell. Some women might also vomit or feel nausea on smelling some strong odor.
11. Irregular bowel movements
During pregnancy, the progesterone levels in the body increases which leads to changes in the functions of various muscles as well as hormones. The muscles work slowly which reduces the speed of food moving towards the intestine. This results in irregular bowel movements and even constipation.
12. Back pain and headaches
The ligaments on the pelvic area become lose at the time of pregnancy due to the increase in the progesterone levels. As a result, women suffer from back pain. The sudden changes in the internal body system add to the stress levels, blood volume, and hormones which can cause headaches.
Apart from all these, other common symptoms noticed in the initial phase of pregnancy include hunger pangs, giddiness, fatigue, cramps, bloating, weight gain, anemia, depression, hypertension, insomnia, hip pain, diarrhea, etc. Hence, after missing your period date, if any of the above signs are observed, the chances of pregnancy increase. Again, it is not necessary every woman would have such symptoms. Some might not have any such symptoms and can yet be pregnant apart from missed periods.
What are the changes to look for in the first month of pregnancy?
In the first month of pregnancy, the changes in the body are palpable. Here are some changes to look for in the first month of pregnancy.
- Changes in the hormones related to the breast tissues can increase the size of the breast
- The clothes you wear might turn out to be slightly tight around the waist adding to the feeling of bloating
- The areola area and nipples turn darker and bigger
- Increase in the vaginal discharge
- Some women might feel spotting sporadically
- Some woman can feel tired, lethargic, dizzy, and giddy
These are the initial changes to witness in the first month of pregnancy. Of course, there is still time for the baby bump to appear, you can still look for these changes to track your pregnancy and add to your excitement levels.
What is the development of the baby in the first month?
The embryonic development during the initial month of pregnancy can be divided into three phases, that is fertilization, implantation, and development. Doctors usually calculate the development of the fetus in weeks post the menstrual phase. After the first two weeks of having your period, the egg starts ovulating and gets released from the ovary. The ovulation phase usually depends on the length of the menses cycle, which is mostly of 28 days. After this, the three phases that take place include:
Once the process of ovulation is over, the egg gets released and travels down towards the fallopian tube heading towards the uterus. In this journey, when the egg combines with any sperm, the process of fertilization takes place. Once the fertilization process is over, the fertilized egg is then termed as zygote which multiplies rapidly initiating the development phase of the unborn baby.
The zygote in the implantation phase travels to the uterus through the fallopian tubes. Once it reaches there, it gets divided into morula on the fourth day. Morula is a cluster of various cells. In the coming days, the morula gets divided into blastocysts which then tries to get attached to the uterine wall for obtaining nutrition. When the zygote implants itself, it then surrounds itself with a yolk sac and blood vessels for obtaining nutrition until the placenta is created. The zygote is now termed as an embryo.
The development phase of the embryo takes place in the 3rd or 4th week when the heart of the baby would start beating. At this time, the size of the embryo is similar to the pea size, as the lungs, legs, and arms start to form.
At the end of the first month, the embryo has already started with the development of the tiny spine, face including eyes, mouth, ears, nose, etc. and the limbs.
What are the do’s and don’ts to focus on in the first month of pregnancy?
The first month of pregnancy is quite crucial. Hence, there are some things you need to focus on as well as start avoiding for a healthy pregnancy. Here is what you need to focus on.
1. Start with folic acid
Folic acid is very essential when the body has already started preparing for pregnancy with a tiny embryo inside. The baby needs multiple nutrients for its development which are obtained through the mother as it can’t obtain the nutrients themselves. So, make sure you start with folic acid medications daily to boost the development of the baby. Getting folic acid in the initial phase of pregnancy is essential for both the expecting mother and the baby as it helps in reducing any risks related to congenital heart defects, preterm labor and gestational diabetes.
Whether you are already working on any herbal medication, Ayurvedic medication, or any other prescription, as soon as you are aware of your pregnancy, it is required to check out with your gynecologist to check out if the medications are right or need to be stopped. There are particular herbs that can be dangerous for the growing fetus. So, work on the medications you are already having for a safe pregnancy.
3. Avoid smoking and alcohol
Smoking is seriously dangerous for fertility as well as the growing baby. When tobacco or alcohol is taken during the conception period, the chances of ectopic pregnancy increases which can also add to other complications during pregnancy like premature placenta detachment, abnormal implantation, early delivery, and premature rupture membranes. So, as soon as you are planning for a baby or have already conceived, quit tobacco, alcohol, and smoking.
As soon as you are clear about your pregnancy, you surely need to relax and give the required rest to your body. For this, add activities like reading, meditation, yoga, etc. to your schedule as this helps in reducing the stress levels which are likely to increase during pregnancy. As women are likely to suffer from mood swings, make sure you talk about your emotions and feelings with someone to improve your mood.
5. Go to lose clothes
During pregnancy, the body goes through various internal as well as physical changes. To make the journey comfortable, make sure you wear loose clothes as this would boost relaxation. Wearing loses clothes, especially, around the tummy area would prevent an unusual increase in body temperature and sweating, adding to the comfort of your movements and breathing.
6. Say no to energetic chores
Lifting heavy objects, bending, doing stressful chores, etc. should be strictly avoided during pregnancy. Doing such activities add to the pressure on the abdominal area which is surely harmful to the baby and its healthy development. Again, one should also avoid going for long journeys during the initial phase of pregnancy as it can add to the stress levels and discomfort.
7. Say no to hot baths and sauna
Sauna and hot baths need to be strictly avoided in the first month of your pregnancy. Exposing the body to such hot temperatures can be dangerous for the fetus and its development. This can also add to your body temperature and make you uncomfortable during pregnancy.
Apart from all these, one should talk to the doctor for confirming if sexual intercourse is safe or not during pregnancy. One should also avoid getting exposed to harsh chemicals, x-ray rooms, video terminal displays, etc., as well as keep a watch on the blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels. Have a healthy diet to keep a watch on both the levels properly. Make sure you don’t come into contact with the poop of any pet like birds, dogs, cats, etc. Even while exercising, make sure you are mild with the pressure on the workout.
Once you have entered the pregnancy phase, it is widely advised to see the doctor and work on all the do’s and don’ts along with a healthy prescription to bid a goodbye to all the possible complications that might arise in the future. Where on one hand many of the pregnant women sleep a lot, there are some who struggle with insomnia. So, check on all the possible ways to work on the signs and symptoms for an enjoyable pregnancy period.
On missing the period date, today nearly every woman opts to go for a home pregnancy test. The test kits help with accurate test results after the due date of your menses. Once you achieve a positive result with the pregnancy kit, seek the appointment of a doctor instantaneously. If the results are negative, you can wait for one more week for the next pregnancy kit test. On meeting the doctor, you would be headed towards an ultrasound for confirming the pregnancy as well as the duration.
Pregnancy is usually detected by checking the human chorionic gonadotropin levels, hCG levels, in the body. During pregnancy, the hCG levels increase at the time of implantation and can be detected once you miss your menses date. The hCG levels are detected with the help of a blood test or urine test for confirming your pregnancy. Urine tests can either be carried out at the clinic or at home through pregnancy test kits. While the blood test is carried out at the laboratory.
So, once you miss the period date, it is recommended to go for pregnancy tests to confirm the pregnancy for working on every precautionary measure for a healthy pregnancy.
No doubt, every pregnancy is different from each other, but the fetal developments are surely similar. The journey can surely be exhausting, irritating, and even wearisome at times, the joy of holding the baby for the first time is surely going to eliminate the pain and annoyance you had gone through in the journey. So, be patient, relax, eat healthy, work on your medications, meditate, and have a healthy pregnancy ahead.