Trimester 1 – Weeks 4 to 8
Growing a healthy baby inside you
This is a time when morning sickness affects approximately 70% of pregnant Moms/Moms-to-be. It is also the crucial time for formation of some of your baby’s organs and you will want to stay away from substances/agents that can cause damage to your baby eg (alcohol during pregnancy). You’ll want to know your baby’s week by week progress and just get used to the fact that you are pregnant!! You’ll be deciding who you will share that information with and you’ll be searching the pregnancy websites looking for pregnancy facts and finding out what you can to help make your baby healthy.
This is the time to see your Doctor or Midwife, to confirm your pregnancy and find out what else you need to do, get information on pregnancy and nutrition (see our Nutritionist tips). They will also guide you on what nutritional supplements may be helpful.
You’ll want to stay away from people who have contagious diseases, such as Rubella (German measles), colds and flu’s.
Diseases that can cause miscarriage or damage to your baby include:
TOXOPLASMOSIS – this is caused by a parasite and is found particularly in the soil and faeces (pooh) of animals, especially cats.
- Make sure you cook your meat thoroughly
- Wash your hands after handling meat
- Wash all vegetables thoroughly before eating or cooking
- Wear gloves if handling litter trays, gardening etc
- Avoid contact with cats if possible
CYTOMEGALOVIRUS – a virus from the Herpes family. Varicella zoster (Chicken Pox), Herpes Simplex which causes cold sores, and Glandular Fever (Epstein-Barr) – are all related viruses.
This virus is spread through the air, and blood contact, urine or faeces, mucous membranes in the mouth and also via the genital organs.
LISTERIOSIS – caused by a bacteria which exists in the soil.
- Avoid unpasturised soft cheeses (Brie and Stilton), basically all soft cheeses, processed meats, ready made salads, and undercooked chicken.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STD)
- Genital Herpes
It is important that you protect yourself during sex – if your partner has any of the above, as they can affect your baby.
Speak to your Doctor/Midwife if you are unsure, and in most countries there will some screening during your pregnancy for some of the above diseases
The other big danger to your baby is XRAYS – particularly during pregnancy first trimester. TELL THE PERSON DOING THE TESTS – BEFORE THEY START!!!
Possible Effects on You
- Sore or tender breasts
- Needing to go to the toilet frequently
- Some queasiness
- Tired or exhausted
- Dizziness or fainting
- No period – that at least is a bonus
- Absolute disbelief that YOU ARE PREGNANT
Baby Week by Week
4 Weeks pregnant – the tiny being is smaller than a grain of rice
5 Weeks pregnant – neural tube developing which eventually becomes the brain and spinal cord
6 Weeks pregnant – Embryo 3mm in length
7 Weeks pregnant – the heart starts to beat; embryo has it’s placenta (which becomes the afterbirth) and the amnio sac. The placenta attaches to the wall of the uterus (womb) to get oxygen and nutrients for your baby-to-be!
8 Weeks pregnant – Embryo 1.3mm (about 1/2inch). The spinal cord looks like a tail and the head is very large compared to the body
Trimester 1 – Week 5
Your baby (called an embryo) is approx 2mm or 1/8 inch in size. All the cells that make up your embryo – are beginning to differentiate into
Heart, brain, spinal cord, muscle and bones. The placenta, which will provide oxygen and nutrients to your baby, and the amniotic sac which will allow your baby to swim and move around – are now forming.
By 5 weeks the collection of cells that makes up the embryo – start to lengthen with a bulge for the head and what looks like a tail.
The embryo is divided into three layers: the ectoderm becomes the skin and nervous system (brain and spinal cord); the mesoderm – which become the skeleton, muscles kidneys and reproductive organis. The inner layer called the endoderm – will become the lungs, bladder and intestines.
The chances are that you might start feeling nauseaus – (sympoms of morning sickness)
It’s really important that you avoid alcohol and drugs as this is a crucial time for your baby’s development (read alcohol+pregnancy)