First month of pregnancy basically begins from the third week after your last menstrual period. Usually there are certain tell tale signs of pregnancy which will actually be there – only you can experience that.
You need to understand that your body is undergoing a lot of changes physically as well as hormonal so do not become anxious, pregnancy symptoms take their time to express themselves.
If you are vigilant enough, you will observe that you
- Feel restless
- Feel Hot and flushed
- Want to cry or become angry all of a sudden ( cool gal, you are just entering your first month to a long journey)
How Do You Find If You Are Pregnant
If you have been trying to get pregnant and are anxious not able to wait for the traditional urine test, well, here are some of the early symptoms of pregnancy, many of which you might even mistake as signs of your menstrual period, a stomach bug or even worse – stress.
Here’s how to tell whether your symptoms are early signs of pregnancy or something else.
Increased Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge happens due to many reasons, however three of them are the most common
- vaginal yeast infection – which is the most common of the three reasons, however you would have itching, an odor and white curdled milk sought of appearance in the discharge.
- Beginning of the next ovulation cycle – this is most common among women entering their mid twenties and above.
- Leucorrhea – a condition where you get vaginal discharge because there is increased blood supply to your vaginal region. The discharge is odorless, no irritation and clear. This is a sign of pregnancy.
2. Bloating And Constipation
In the early weeks of pregnancy your progesterone levels begin to increase, this will slow down all your other metabolic activities including the digestion process. Your body is actually getting ready for supporting your kid and hence your GI tract goes to a light sleeping stage.
You would find that constipation raises and you may feel bloated.
Blame your life style or recent exertions, well, for some women fatigue is the first sign of pregnancy.
Pregnancy hormones and progesterone causes changes in your body. It also takes a lot of energy for your body to cope with the massive changes involved in a pregnancy and to support a growing baby!
All you need is extra sleep (12-14 hours of sleep). So have enough sleep and prepare yourself for exciting part of motherhood.
4. Spotting and Cramping
It takes some effort to implant the embryo in the uterus and for some this process might lead a light bleeding, for some it may look like a light period too. Although this is observed in 1 to 2 percent of pregnancies, it is a sign of pregnancy which you can spot easily.
So if you a bleeding in the first month of pregnancy – do not worry, most of the times it normal. However, it is advisable to check with you gynecologist in case of high bleeding in first month.
Light cramps similar to those while/before periods can be seen during this time.
However cramping alone cannot be considered as the main symptom for pregnancy. Consult your physician when you have the following symptoms accompanied by cramping:Nauseated feeling/vomiting, high temperature and dizziness.
5. Elevated Basal Body Temperature
With so many reactions going within your body elevates your body temperature and this is why you feel hot. In fact a one degree raise in your basal body temperature is observed after slight decrease in temperature during ovulation and this lasts for more than two weeks.
6. Frequent Urination
Frequent urination is common during pregnancy. This happens because the kidney takes more time to process the blood in pelvic region and hence frequent urination. The pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) boosts blood flow in the pelvic area and later during the months growing baby pushes on the bladder, causing frequent urination.
If you have migraine problem, you will see an increase in migraine episodes with pregnancy. Many women who get hormonal migraine headaches find they get more of them during early pregnancy stages.
However not all people suffering from migraine have shown such symptoms.
8. Mood swings
You might feel suddenly sad or angry or happy all these are the common sighs that you are getting pregnant and your hormones are going uncontrolled. It’s natural to go through a variety of emotions as hormones are adjusting and the body is changing.
9. Tenderness of breasts
Breast tenderness can be common during pregnancy, breast tenderness is due to hormones and body is getting ready for nursing the baby soon. Sometimes nipples get kind of darker and tender to touch.
What Happens In the First Month of Pregnancy
Every month women ovulates and egg get released, when not fertilized, she has regular menstrual periods. However when the egg gets fertilized she misses her first month period.
Doctors count the month of pregnancy since your last period, so for about the first two weeks, you are not pregnant. But then, sometime around ovulation in the middle of your cycle (14th day of menstrual cycle), the sperm fertilizes the egg and fetus starts to form.
The fertilized egg starts to multiply many times and becomes a ball of cell called Zygote. The lining of the uterus becomes softer and spongier for the ready for the zygote to implant into uterine walls.
After the zygote gets implanted, your body knows that it is pregnant. The regular menstrual periods will stop. This implantation typically occurs 6 to 10 days after ovulation, or day 20 to 24 of a menstrual cycle. These days for implantation can vary from women to women.
After Zygote gets implanted into the uterus it becomes more bigger ball of cells called the Blastocyst.
Some women either miss the implantation symptoms or don’t feel the symptoms, It does not mean they are not pregnant. If in doubt you can do one of the many pregnancy tests that can be carried out at home.
First Month Pregnancy Diets
Pregnant Women are normally advised to have 3 sumptuous meals and 3 mid meal snack so that they are able to manage their hunger pangs.
The much-needed fiber during pregnancy can be derived from whole wheat grains and can be consumed in the form of bread, biscuits, crackers, pasta and roti.
Add millets such as finger millet or ragi is a rich source of fiber and calcium, pearlmillet, prosocmillet, Jowar, thenai, varagu sorghum and so on which will aid you in your constipation problem that arises in the early pregnancy.
Also choose superfoods such as quinoa which is best for your heath.
It’s important you make the right choice on diet for you and your baby to stay healthy.
Include about 3-4 servings of fresh fruits to your diet. Make sure that no fruit is consumed immediately after a good meal and 2 hours before bed time. Hence it is better to add fruits as mid meal snacks.
Also it is better if fruits are consumed as whole and not as juice. Two reasons for this are, the fiber in the fruit is essential for the baby, which is normally broken down when consumed as juice and the fiber will keep you full for a longer time as compared to juice.
However, juice can also be consumed in between meals and preferable citric acid based fruit juices of no more than a cup a day can be taken to keep the vitamin C contribution to your baby at standard levels.
Vegetables can be had in plenty; the recommended level is 3-5 servings per day. You can a cup of steamed fresh peas along with your breakfast.
Peas are rich in folate, one of the much needed nutrient in the first trimester and peas are a natural source too. The next serving can probably go in with your lunch as your native styled dish.
In the first trimester choose veggies that are rich in folates such as peas, broccoli, spinach, beans, lentils, etc. Corn is rich in Vitamin B-6 which can control nausea.
Make sure you include 3 servings of dairy food which will provide the required amounts of calcium. Although calcium supplements are not recommended in the first trimester, natural sources of providing calcium should be included.
Drink two glasses of milk per day, include yoghurt and cheese in your meals.
Proteins are essential throughout the pregnancy and the doctors normally do not recommend supplements for this at any point of time during the pregnancy.
Hence, one has to depend on sources of food to enrich your body with proteins. 2-3 servings per day is sufficient and there are plenty of options available to choose from.
For non vegetarians lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs are great sources of protein and for vegetarians beans, lentils and nuts can provide the much needed protein.
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
- Avoid and food which is under-cooked or raw. These food carry germs causing sickness to pregnant mom and complication for growing fetus. Under-cooked raw eggs, fish meat, cheese, milk should be totally avoided.
- Marine food like salmon, shark, mackerel should be limited or avoid the consumption.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking, including secondary smoking as it is bad for growing fetal tissues.
- Do not take any supplements without consulting physician.
- Limit the consumption of caffeine.
What Are Precautions You Need To Take In First Month
The first month is very important for your pregnancy because you are fragile with hormones going havoc and your physical body getting you ready. Here is what you should not do in first month of pregnancy.
Don’t During First Month
1. Excess Spotting in early pregnancy
You will not get your periods through the pregnancy. If there is bleeding or even if bleeding has stopped please contact your gynecologist as it maybe sign of something serious. Spotting because of implantation does not mean some thing is serious and bleeding is also possible by pap smear test or even having sex throughout the pregnancy.
Bleeding can also be because of miscarriage. Early pregnancy miscarriage occurs in 15 to 20 % of women around the world.
2.Cannabis, alcohol and caffeine during pregnancy
excess caffeine is strictly to be avioided. 2 small cups of coffee can be consumed per day more of this brewed beverage needs to be avoided.
Cannabis – even the very thought of consuming them need to be stopped. cannabis is linked to low birth weights of children and under development as well as premature child births. Other indicators of child health is also affected by marijuana.
Alcohol too is a big no no. If you have a drink, so does your baby’”. Alcohol can affect an unborn baby’s brain and the most critical time for this not to occur is in the 1st trimester of pregnancy.
Some medication and natural supplements can interfere with foetal development, damage the baby’s organs, cause miscarriage or bring on premature labour. Always consult your physician before taking any kind of medication.
4. Don’t Start New Exercises
Never take up any new kind of sport or exercise in the first month, if you have been practicing something n particular, get the opinion of your physician before continuing the same.
It is advisable to keep your heartbeat in the normal ranges during pregnancy.
5. Avoid Sugar
Excess sugar may lead to gestational diabetes, so as a rule begin taking lesser amounts of sugar than your what you used to take normally.
6. Avoid Excessive Heat
Saunas, hot baths and so on that will increase your body temperature need to be avoided. Take care to maintian your body temperature at the normal level.
Bizzare dreams during the early days when you are pregnant are very common. This is mainly due to insufficient sleep. When pregnancy sets you begin urinating more often disturbing your sleep, this in turn will make it difficult for you to get into deep dreamless sleep. Don’t worry these are quite harmless.
What kinds of medical tests and screenings take place in the first month of pregnancy?
At your first prenatal appointment, where you suspect (or know) that you’re pregnant, your healthcare provider may order a blood test that measures hCG levels to confirm your pregnancy and check that your hormone levels are on track.
You will be advised to take extra nutrients such as vitamins, iron and some hormones if necessary.
Is it safe to travel during pregnancy first month of pregnancy?
Usually when there is no complications it is totally safe to travel during the first month, however if you have not made any travel plans yet, it would be advisable to stop travelling much.
What’s happening with baby during the first month?
The first month your baby is just a zygote in a size of poppyseed. Just a mass of cells trying to settle comfortably in your cushioned uterus.
What will first month pregnant belly look like?
The first month pregnant belly will not have any changes at all, since the baby is a tiny mass of cells.
Pregnancy Complications In The First Month
During the first month Ectopic pregnancy and Molar pregnancy are the main reasons miscarriage.
Ectopic Pregnancy is when the Zygote gets implanted in the fallopian tube and not in the uterus. Symptom includes
- Sharp abdominal pain
- Low hCG levels
- Vaginal bleeding
Molar pregnancies are a rare kind of pregnancy. Where abnormal cells like fetus but not fetus grows in the uterus.the symptoms include
- Vaginal bleeding
- High hCG levels
- Abdominal cramps
Abnormal cell growth like a ‘grape’ can be seen in ultrasound.
A miscarriage does not mean that you cannot have a future healthy pregnancy or that you yourself are not healthy. It is the body response method to STOP unhealthy pregnancy.
Things To Remember In First month of pregnancy:
- Keep yourself hydrated by taking in more fluids like water
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat smaller and many balanced meals.
- Keep yourself happy and active.
- Consult your physician on regular basis.
- Don’t forget to take prenatal vitamin supplements.
- Don’t eat unhealthy food with more sugar and unsaturated fats.
- It is important for you adhere to a good habits and diet for healthy development of the baby.
Sex During First Month Of Pregnancy
Sex during pregnancy is safe. But if you feel nauseated and dizzy, please refrain from sex.
Women with history of miscarriage should avoid sex.
Women who carry twins or multiples should avoid having sex. Please consult your doctor about having sex in the first month.
How To Calculate The Due Date Of Delivery
First day of last period
Most pregnancies last from 38 to 40 weeks from conception so you can count 40 weeks from your last menstrual period (LMP) for due date.
The other easy method is to subtract 3 months from your first day of LMP and 7 days. For example if your last period began on 10 january, subtract 3 months – that is october 10, add 7 days – october 17 will be your due date.
The LMP method works well for women who have regular menstrual cycle, however if you have irregular periods this may not work for you. If in such condition you can try using the date of conception. If you know your day of conception then all you need to do is add 266 days to it to calculate your expected due date (EDD).
This is a reliable due date, however you need to be sure of your date of conception.
IVF transfer date
If an IVF transfer has been done calculating the EDD is relatively easy and you can calculate more precisely using the IVF transfer date.
If you have no idea of when you have conceived not the date of your last menstrual period, you do not have to worry, there are methods to find your expected due date in your fist prenatal ultrasound.
An early ultrasound, which is done within the 45 days can give you more accurately date the pregnancy.
- Other methods include the regular ultrasounds which gives the pregnancy milestones such as the first time the baby’s heartbeat is heard (around week 9 or 10, though it can vary) and when you first feel fetal movement (on average between 18 and 22 weeks, but it can be earlier or later), can give clues as to whether your due date is accurate.
- Your fundal height, which is the measurement from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus, is checked by your practitioner at each prenatal visit and helps confirm your due date.
- The size of your uterus, which will be noted when your initial internal pregnancy exam is performed, can also be a factor in pinpointing the EDD.
Can I plan my due date?
You can plan your due date during the time of your conception, if you plan rightly and if you are lucky enough you can get pregnant on planned days. However there may be a change of a few days prior or after, but don’t worry the maximum deviation would be a week.
Can my due date change?
A small deviation in due date is normal. However in cases such as the abnormality in fundal height, unusual levels of alpha fetoprotein and abnormal weight changes detected in ultrasound may need intervention by your physician where the EDD may change.
Due Date Calculator
These days you do not have to manually calculate your expected due date, you have a number of apps and online calculators to do that for you, here is one such calculator where all you need to do is enter the numbers.
“There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.” —M. Russell Ballard
Get ready for the role of motherhood and the amazing journey.
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Girija Sendilkumar is a mother of 2 and a biotechnologist by education. A fun loving person, enjoys the different challenges of parenting. When shes not on her laptop she would be seen running behind her kiddos.