The good news of your pregnancy will have an effect on all the people around you, although without a doubt the future mother is the star of this story, the person who step by step will help create a new living being. This is a process teeming with changes in your body, but also full of emotional change. We welcome you to your first quarter!
During these first weeks the placenta develops, which is the organ that will nurture and protect your baby, and your whole body will start to generate the necessary hormones and to produce the changes that will allow this new living being to grow little by little each day. When you see your gynaecologist, he will ask you when you had your last menstrual period in order to determine your due date, as well as advise you on the checks you should undertake.
It's been a week since you missed your period and you might be thinking of conducting a pregnancy test. The egg has been fertilized for only three weeks, so it is still a little early to feel any changes.
Nevertheless, some women might feel that their breasts have increased in size and others might feel strange or unwell when they get up from bed, and this can be accompanied by feelings of nausea. Some women are immediately certain that they are pregnant, but it is always best to confirm pregnancy.
Little by little your symptoms will grow, although they will be different in every woman (they will even be different in each pregnancy). The most conspicuous will be morning sickness, which in some cases can last all day. Your breast size will also increase and may feel tender, and the pressure your womb exerts on your bladder may increase the frequency of your visits to the toilet. Try drinking a sufficient amount of water to keep you hydrated, especially if you have to recover the water you have lost through being sick.
During this week you may lose some weight due to morning sickness, and these sickness episodes may last the whole of the first quarter. Try to eat small amounts frequently during the day, and especially when you feel peckish. As to your pregnancy, this is the week the mucus plug begins to form, which is a jellylike structure that seals off the cervical canal in order to protect your womb, and which will be expelled just before labour.
The womb's size is that of an orange, which means you might feel it at waist-level and you might find it hard to fasten some of your clothes. You might feel now and again some pangs located on the lower part of your belly which are similar to premenstrual cramps, but which simply reflect the increase in size of the blood vessels that connect to the womb.
Your breasts might feel enlarged, heavy, and tender, and you will be more sensible to smells. You can expect an increase in appetite, gas retention, and constipation due to progesterone. You will notice your tummy getting slightly bigger, although other people might not be able to notice, and your clothes will start to feel tight at waist-level.
You will feel tenderness in your breasts as they continue to grow. If you look carefully, you will see some blue lines which are veins that have dilated due to an increase of the blood supply, which can be 40 to 50% over the levels prior to your pregnancy. You will also notice them on the areas of your stomach and legs. The size of your womb is now that of a large apple, and this will increase the outline of your waist. Due to the hormones, some light brown patches may appear on your face. It is a good idea to avoid direct sunlight or use high-factor sunscreen.
At an emotional level you might feel bad-tempered, weepy, and nervous, both because of the new situation and due to the hormones.
Little by little some of the physical and psychological discomforts will go away. The first to go away will be morning sickness and nausea. If by now they have still not disappeared, you will just have to be a little patient.
On the other hand you will feel hungrier and you might start gaining weight. Your breathing may also accelerate and you might sweat more than usual, which is a sign that your organism is functioning correctly to offer your baby what he needs. You might notice an increased sense of smell, which at times will be annoying, as you will find many smells distasteful.
After Week 12 the possibility of miscarriage reduces considerably, which is why many people choose to wait until this moment to share the good news. As to changes, the womb keeps on growing and you might feel it above the pubic bone. Your metabolic activity also increases, which may make you feel warmer than usual, and due to a larger volume of blood you may get occasional headaches which will not last long.
This is when the most pleasant stage of pregnancy starts: The womb continues to grow and surpasses the pelvis, which means it will stop pressing against your bladder and this will reduce your need to use the bathroom. Also the ligaments that hold the womb become stretched and this can cause pain on the sides of your tummy when you move which is due to your round ligaments. This is of no consequence and you can alleviate the pain by using a pregnancy belt. You will also notice an increase in vaginal discharge which is caused by a higher production of hormones by the placenta. There is nothing to worry about except if it feels itchy, in which case you should seek advice from your gynecologist in case you have a vaginal infection.
At this new stage you will probably feel better. You will have left behind the discomforts of the first quarter, and the ones from the third quarter are still a long way ahead. Your pregnancy may now be more conspicuous, although in most cases it will still go unnoticed. As to changes, your breasts' areolas will increase in diameter and darken in colour in preparation for breastfeeding.