1st Trimester

Congratulations you are going to have a baby! Let us help to answer your questions about pregnancy, your relationship with your partner and planning for the birth of your baby. It will also prepare you for the most important role you will have – being a parent!

All About Baby

Pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks or about 280 days and is divided into 3 sections called trimesters. This first trimester takes you from the first day of your last menstral period until your 15th week of pregnancy. During each of these trimesters your baby is developing in many ways and his or her development will begin to have an influence on your body.

All about you, Mom

You and your partner may find that it’s hard to believe that you are actually pregnant, however, over the next three months you may start to notice some changes, both physically and emotionally, that pregnancy brings to you. In this trimester you might notice the following physical changes and discomforts: breast changes, fatigue, headaches, increased urination, increased vaginal discharge, lightheadedness, nausea and vomiting, skin changes and shortness of breath.

What physical changes or discomforts are normal and which are symptoms that you should contact your care provider about? If you have any of these Pregnancy Red Flags it is important to see your health care provider.

Emotions are affected by pregnancy hormones and you may feel like you are on a rollercoaster. Learn more about these and how to cope with them at the following links:

Keeping healthy during pregnancy helps your baby to develop. Nutritious eating, physical activity, decreased stress, avoidance or limiting of harmful substances, maintaining proper dental care, getting enough rest and sleep and limiting lifestyle practices that could be harmful play a part in helping you and your baby to be healthy.

Seeking prenatal care is important for both you and your baby! As soon as you learn you are pregnant you should schedule an appointment with your health care provider. This first appointment will include a complete check-up, including details about your health history such as, previous pregnancies and births. You will also receive a head-to-toe exam and a review of your immunizations and medications. Your doctor will also order several tests to check your health and the development of your baby. Learn more about these prenatal tests and screens. Learning more about the medical tests and procedures that may occur helps you make more informed decisions. Your health care provider should give you information to answer the following questions. If not, be sure to ask:

  • Why is this test, screen, procedure or treatment being done?
  • How will this test, screen, procedure or treatment be done?
  • When will this test, screen, procedure or treatment be done?
  • What are the risks to baby if we have this test, screen, procedure or treatment?
  • What are the risks to mom if we have this test, screen, procedure or treatment?
  • Are there any alternatives?
  • What might happen is we don’t do this test, screen, procedure or treatment now?

Regular checkups are scheduled about every 4 weeks during your first trimester to monitor both you and your baby’s progress.

All about you, Dad/Partner

Emotions not only affect your pregnant partner, but you as well. Mom’s emotional swings may be challenging for you, there are strategies that you can use. Did you know that Dads are also known to experience some physical symptoms of pregnancy?

All about you, the Couple: Couple Relationship

The emotional swings of pregnancy can have an impact on your relationship together. Maintaining effective communication skills and being supportive of each other are important skills now and as you become a parent.

Sometimes all of these changes result in more friction between you and your partner, in some cases this may escalate to abuse. Mom’s physical discomforts during pregnancy may mean that she is not able to do all the tasks that she normally did to keep your home running as smoothly. Determining who does what and any expectations around different household tasks will help you now and when your baby arrives.

What about the sexual aspect of your relationship during pregnancy? Can we continue to have sexual intercourse? For most couples having intercourse will not cause harm unless your health care provider tells you to avoid it.

All about you, the Couple: Becoming Parents

Here are some questions you can ask yourselves during th first trimester of your pregnancy:

  • Who you will have to deliver your baby. Depending on where you live you may have several choices of care providers such as a family doctor, midwife or obstetrician.

  • Where you want your baby to be delivered You may also have a choice of birth settings such as a birth center, home or hospital.

  • Will you attend prenatal education classes. Attending prenatal classes is one way to learn about the delivery options and health care providers who deliver in your community. You will also learn other information that is helpful to you during pregnancy-plus you will meet other parents-to-be in your community. To find prenatal classes in your area contact your local public health department, or hospital.

Learn as much as you can about these different options before you make a decision. Part of becoming a parent is protecting your baby now during pregnancy, as well as after they are born. What factors in your workplace may cause risks for your developing baby? Learning about what you are exposed to will help to protect you and your baby. How can you make your home a healthier place for you and your baby? Everyone in your family will benefit from these changes.

As your pregnancy becomes more real to both you and your partner, your thoughts might turn to what it will be like to be a parents. What does it mean to become a mother or to become a father.

Be sure to visit the Prenatal section for more on thinking about pregnancy, all three trimesters and for postnatal information.  

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