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Prenatal Care Signs and Symptoms

Early Signs of Pregnancy

Being pregnant is one of the biggest joys in the world. We will discuss the early signs of pregnancy in this article that will definitely help you to identify whether you are going to be a mother or not.

What You Experience in the Early Stages of Pregnancy

Our body’s anatomy is impeccable, and any changes that happen within can be experienced immediately. The same goes in the case of pregnancy, which means as soon as you get pregnant your body signals you about the same. These symptoms may be very mild, such as breast soreness, fatigue, and feeling of sickness. However, not all women may be able to register them in the initial stages of pregnancy. For most women, missed periods during the first month of pregnancy may be the first symptom.

Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms in the First Month

As you enter your first month of pregnancy, you may experience many signs and symptoms of pregnancy. Though these may appear more like pre-menstrual symptoms and may confuse you.

  1. No Periods: Missed periods is one of the major indications of pregnancy. As soon as you conceive, your body starts releasing progesterone hormones. These hormones are responsible for stopping your periods also.
  2. Slight Spotting: When the egg attaches itself to the uterus in the process of fertilization, some amount of cramping and spotting may be experienced. Mostly it may be noticed while washing or wiping your genitals. Though most cases of the first month of pregnancy bleeding or spotting are considered normal if you notice any abnormal amount of blood or spotting, then you should seek immediate medical help.
  3. Breast Tenderness: Your breast may feel sore or tender to touch. This is quite similar to your pre-menstrual symptoms. Your areola may become darker, and you may even notice veins on your breasts.
  4. Changing Moods: Due to the major hormonal changes happening in your body, you may feel your moods to change quickly. One moment you may feel happy and gay, and the very next moment may invoke the feeling of despair. You may find yourself snappy for no reason. These are all very normal symptoms of pregnancy.
  5. Frequent Loo Trips: The changing hormones lead to more blood flow around the pelvic region. This aids in thickening the uterine lining for optimal fetal growth and development. To handle the increased body fluids, the kidneys are required to work more. This entire process may make your uterus feel full and thus, the frequent trips to the loo.
  6. Tiredness: There is so much going inside your body during pregnancy. Therefore, you may find yourself low on energy and more tired than usual. The feeling of being tired and exhausted may lead to sleeplessness too.
  7. Change in Food Habits: You may develop a liking towards certain food items, and on the contrary, you may despise some food items. It is very normal for you to have an aversion to your favorite food and you may crave the ones which you disliked.

Changes in Body During Initial Month of Pregnancy

Though in the first month of your pregnancy, you may not notice any evident physical changes, you may see the following changes in your body:

Early Signs of Pregnancy
Early Signs of Pregnancy
  • Your breast size may increase due to the increased secretions.
  • You may feel bloated, and your clothes may feel little tight around the waist.
  • Your nipples and areola may turn bigger and darker.
  • You may experience increased vaginal discharge.
  • You may experience occasional spotting (not all women experience this).

These are some of the changes that you may experience in your first month of pregnancy. It may take a few more months for your baby bump to show because in most cases your first month of pregnancy belly will not show that you are pregnant.

Development of Your Baby in the First Month

When you become pregnant, this is how your baby development takes place in the first month:

  1. The Process of Fertilization: The process of fertilization may happen anytime within forty-eight to seventy-two hours after sexual intercourse. Your baby comes into existence as soon as ovum and spermatozoa unite with each other. At this stage, your baby can aptly be called a zygote. The zygote multiplies very fast, and this is how your unborn baby’s growth and development starts.
  2. The Process of Implantation: The zygote thus formed starts to travel through the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. The zygote then divides into morula – a solid cluster of cells, by around the fourth day. In the next few days, the morula divides into the blastocyst and tries to attach itself to the uterine wall for nutrition. As it implants itself, the embryo gets surrounded by the yolk sac and some blood vessels to obtain nutrition until the placenta is formed.

Diagnosis and Tests Involved in the First Month of Pregnancy

You must plan a visit to meet your doctor the moment you suspect that you are pregnant. Your doctor may suggest the following diagnosis and tests establish your pregnancy:

  1. Medical History and Physical Examination
  • You will be asked to share your last menstruation’s duration, flow, and frequency.
  • Your doctor may want to know about your method of contraception if any.
  • You may need to take a physical examination to find out any pregnancy-related complications that may have faced in the past, such as ectopic pregnancy, tubal disease, tubal ligation, tubal manipulation, and inflammatory disease.
  • You may be asked about your conception methods in detail, in case you underwent any fertility treatment.
  1. Lab Tests
  • Your urine sample will be taken to establish the presence of the hCG hormone. A blood test may be suggested in case the results are not convincing.
  • The hCG hormones are monitored closely to check if they are growing slowly or at a lower rate, which could indicate an ectopic pregnancy.
  • The higher levels of hCG can mean chromosome abnormality, molar pregnancy or multiple gestations.
  • To establish any kind of abnormality or risk in pregnancy, serum progesterone will be measured.
  • To establish the progesterone levels in the body dipstick, ELISA will be used.

First Month Pregnancy Care Tips

Once your doctor confirms your pregnancy, the following pregnancy care tips may come handy:

  1. Prenatal Care: You may start with your prenatal care routine, which should include taking your vitamin supplements. Folic acid is the most important supplement that you may start taking as soon as you plan to get pregnant until conception. Folic acid ensures a healthy pregnancy and also reduces your baby’s risk of having any neural tube defects.
  2. Prenatal Appointments: You may start planning for your prenatal appointments with your doctor. You may choose and compare various options available and narrow down to the one best suited to your requirements. Choosing the right doctor may seem to be tedious, but it is very important. You may also take references from family and friends for the same.
  3. Choosing a Caregiver: You may also like you narrow down on your caregiver. Recommendations from friends and family may prove to be helpful.
  4. Refrain from Self-medication: It is suggested that do not take any over-the-counter medicine before consulting your doctor. When in doubt, consult your doctor to avoid any probable complications.

Precautions to Take During 1st Month of Pregnancy- Do’s and Don’ts

For a healthy pregnancy and birth, you will be required to make some lifestyle changes. These changes may include some dos and don’ts that will help you to progress smoothly in your pregnancy.

What You Should Do

Following are few of the things that you should do

  1. Increase Your Fluid Intake: It is very important to stay hydrated during pregnancy as dehydration may lead to complications. The best way to keep remain hydrated is by increasing your daily water intake. You may put an alarm that reminds you to drink water. Alternatively, you may drink fruit juices, vegetable juices or soups to up your fluid intake.
  2. Include More Fibrous Foods: The changing hormones may lead to constipation. Therefore, it is suggested to increase that your first month of pregnancy diet should include more fibrous foods in your diet. Legumes, leafy vegetables, cereals, and sprouts are good ways of eating fibrous foods.
  3. Exercise: It is important to exercise in order to stay healthy and fit. The same applies to pregnancy as well. You should do mild exercises to help your body function properly during pregnancy. Walking is the ideal way to exercise without causing any unnecessary exertion to the body. However, it is best to get in touch with your doctor before following any exercising routine.
  4. Get Adequate Sleep: Your body is undergoing a lot of changes in pregnancy, and this may make you very tired and exhausted. Therefore, it is very important to get ample rest and sleep when you are pregnant, in order to regain your lost energy.

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