Recommended Tests During The First Trimester
What is the first trimester?
The first trimester begins on the first day of its last period and lasts until the end of the 12th week. This means that by the time you know for sure that you are pregnant, you may already have five or six weeks of pregnancy!
Much happens during these first three months. The fertilized egg is quickly divided into layers of cells and implants on the wall of your uterus where it continues to grow. These layers of cells become an embryo, which is what is called the baby at this stage.
- Dating Scan
The Dating scan can be done anytime, but it is the most accurate during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
To know more about Dating Scan and how Foresight Prenatal Clinic offers this service, Click Here.
The Nuchal Translucency Scan or NT-Scan is a screening test done to assess if the baby is likely to have any chromosomal defects like Down’s syndrome, Neural tube defects, 18-trisomy syndrome, Edwards syndrome or 13-trisomy syndrome. A screening test can only assess the risk of your baby having these defects. Whereas a diagnostic test, such as Chorionic Villus sampling (CVS) or Amniocentesis will give you a definite diagnosis (but carries a risk of miscarriage).
To know more about Dating Scan and how Foresight Prenatal Clinic offers this service, Click Here.
Activities for your first trimester
- Make sure you’re really pregnant
Most home pregnancy tests can accurately detect pregnancy in the week after your period is normally due – two weeks after you ovulate. If the test shows a negative or a faintly positiveresult, wait another few days or a week and try again if you still haven’t gotten your period.
- Take your prenatal vitamin
If you haven’t started taking a prenatal vitamin yet, now’s the time to start. It’s particularly critical to get enough folic acid, while trying to conceive and during your first trimester. Folic acid greatly reduces your baby’s risk of developing neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida.
- Investigate health insurance/Corporate health package
Make sure you know what your health insurance plan covers as far as your prenatal care and delivery costs, as well as care for your new baby. Get answers to these questions by calling your health insurance companyor talking to your company’s benefits department.
- Choose a healthcare provider
If you already have a doctor you love, you’re set. If not, you’ve got some homework to do. Talk to friends and relatives, ask one of your other providers to recommend someone or you can sign-up with Foresight Prenatal Clinic .
- Make a prenatal appointment
Many healthcare providers won’t see you until you’re at least 8 weeks pregnant, but you’ll want to get on their calendar well before this since appointments can fill up fast.
To prepare, jot down the first day of your last period so your provider can determine your due dateand start making a list of any questions that arise. Talk to relatives on both sides about your families’ medical histories. Your provider will want to know whether any chronic conditions or genetic abnormalities run in either of your families.
- Consult your provider about medications you’re taking
Many drugs – even some over-the-counter ones – aren’t safe during pregnancy. If you take any medications to treat a chronic condition, don’t stop cold turkey but do call your provider right away to go through your medication list and find out what’s safe and what’s not. Mention everything, even vitamins, supplements, and herbs.
- If you smoke, quit
Smoking raises your risk of a host of problems, including miscarriage, placental problems, and preterm birth. It also slows fetal growth and increases the risk of stillbirth and infant death. Some research has even linked smoking to a greater risk of having a baby with a cleft lip or palate.
It’s never too late to quit or cut back. Every cigarette you don’t light gives your baby a better chance of being healthy.
- Stop drinking alcohol
As little as one drink a day can raise the odds of low birth weight as well as your child’s risk of problems with learning, speech, attention span, language, and hyperactivity.
No one knows exactly how harmful even the smallest amount of alcohol may be to a developing baby, so skip the booze altogether.
- Cut down on caffeine
Studies have linked high caffeine consumption to miscarriage and other pregnancy problems. That’s why the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises expectant moms to limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day (that’s about one 11-ounce cup of coffee).
- Make sure your activities are pregnancy-safe
Some activities, jobs, and hobbies can be hazardous to you and your developing baby. There are chores you should avoid now, and everyday things in your home – such as cleaning products, pesticides, solvents, and lead in drinking water from old pipes – to steer clear of.
If you’re routinely exposed to chemicals, heavy metals (like lead or mercury), certain biologic agents, or radiation – as can happen in some research and medical jobs – you’ll need to make changes as soon as possible.
Talk to your doctor about what your daily routine involves, so you can come up with ways to avoid or eliminate hazards in your home and workplace.
- Start avoiding hazardous foods
During pregnancy it’s especially important to avoid foods that could contain bacteria, parasites, or toxins – including undercooked meat, unpasteurized soft cheeses, anything that contains raw eggs, sushi made with raw fish, raw oysters and other shellfish, fish that’s high in mercury, and raw sprouts. Use caution with deli-style salads (especially those containing protein, like egg, chicken, ham, and seafood), hot dogs and luncheon meats, and smoked meats and meat spreads.
- Do your best to eat well
Don’t worry if you can’t eat a well-rounded diet in your first trimester – nausea can make this difficult. Just do the best you can to follow the principles of eating well during pregnancy.
- Stock your kitchen with healthy stuff
Make your pantry, fridge, and freezer pregnancy-friendly by filling them with healthy eats like nuts, fresh and dried fruit, multigrain pasta, and yogurt.
- Get relief from morning sickness
Unfortunately, “morning sickness” can last all day – and it strikes about three-quarters of pregnant women during the first trimester. If you have a milder case, some relatively simple measures may be enough to help. Try eating small, frequent meals and snacks and sticking to bland, room-temperature foods. Ginger and acupressure bands work for some women. If these things don’t help, talk with your provider about taking vitamin B6 or an anti-nausea medication – these are considered safe and effective during pregnancy.
- Go to bed early
In early pregnancy you may be more exhausted than you ever imagined you could be. Get more rest by turning in early – even if it makes you feel like a grandma.
- Consider your options for prenatal testing
During your first trimester, your provider will offer you various screening teststhat can give you information about your baby’s risk for Down syndrome as well as other chromosomal problems and birth defects.The Nuchal Translucency Scan (NT-Scan) – this is generally done at 11 to 14 weeks.
- Learn the signs of a pregnancy problem
So many aches, pains, and strange feelings arise during pregnancy that it can be hard to decide what’s normal and what’s not. To complicate matters further, some symptoms may be more or less problematic depending on your particular situation.
- Think about when and how you’ll announce your pregnancy
Some women spill the beans to friends, family, and co-workers right away. Others wait until they’re in their second trimester, when their pregnancy is well established and the risk of miscarriage has declined significantly. But if you’re having morning sickness or pregnancy complications, or if your job is strenuous or potentially dangerous, you may have to tell folks (like your supervisor) sooner than you’d planned.
- Join your Birth Club
Nobody understands what you’re going through as well as other expecting moms in the same stage of pregnancy. Connect with women due the same month as you in your group. This can be groups in the Social Media or any online forum in Bangladesh or globally.
- Start taking belly photos
Have someone take a picture of you every week, or take your own picture using your reflection in a mirror. It’s a great way to see your progress, and you’ll love having the keepsake.
Tips for a great shot: Consider wearing the same outfit, standing in the same spot, and striking the same pose (profiles work best) for each photo.
- Start a daily ritual to connect with your baby
Set aside two five- to ten-minute periods a day to think about your baby. Just after waking up and before going to sleep works well for many expectant moms. During these times, sit quietly and gently rest your hands on your belly. Focus on your breathing and then start thinking about your baby (your hopes and dreams, your intentions as a parent, and so on). It’s a great way to initiate the bonding process and to help you plan for the kind of parent you want to be.
- Buy some new bras and undies
If your breasts are sore, get a good supportive cotton bra. Maternity bras can offer extra support, so try a couple on to see whether you like them. Your breasts might go up one or two more sizes, especially if this is your first pregnancy, and a knowledgeable sales associate can help you with sizing. And as your abdomen expands, maternity briefs, bikinis, and even thongs can make a bigger difference in your comfort than you may realize.
- Have sex if you feel up to it
In your first trimester, you may feel too tired, moody, or nauseatedto make love. But if you’re feeling amorous (and you don’t have any complications that may make sex dangerous), go ahead – you won’t hurt the baby. The amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus protect your baby, and the thick mucus plug that seals the cervix helps guard against infection.
- Talk to your partner about parenting
To get the conversation going, try this creative writing exercise: Each of you makes two lists, one titled “My mother always…” and one titled “My mother never…” Then do the same for “My father always…” and “My father never…” When you’re done, talk about what you wrote down and decide together which behaviors you value and which you’d like to change as you raise your child.
- Make a baby budget
Think about how you’ll handle new-baby expenses – the cost of clothes, food, diapers, toys, and gear can add up fast. Brainstorm where you can trim your budget to make room for your baby’s needs. Consider making some budget adjustments now, and start banking your savings for your baby.
- Get ready to see or hear your baby
At a prenatal visit around 9 to 12 weeks, you may get to hear your baby’s rapid heartbeat with the help of a Doppler fetal monitor. Many women say it sounds like the thunder of galloping horses.
Some women have an ultrasoundas early as 4 or 5 weeks (though the standard is between 16 and 20 weeks). If you do get to see your baby in the first trimester, don’t be surprised if he or she looks like a lima bean with a tiny, flickering heart.
- Start a baby name list
You have plenty of time to decide on a baby name – but it’s fun to start writing down the possibilities.
To-do’s for every trimester
- Drink water
During pregnancy you need about 10 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day (80 fluid ounces) plus an additional 8 ounces for each hour of light activity. Every woman is different, so don’t worry if you end up needing a little more or less. Keep an eye on the color of your urine – if it’s dark yellow or cloudy, you need to drink more. Clear or pale yellow urine means you’re well-hydrated.
- Do some stretching
Stretching enhances your flexibility, prevents your muscles from tightening, and makes you feel looser and more relaxed.
- Sneak in a pregnancy power nap
When fatigue makes it hard to get through the day, revive yourself with a 15-minute snooze. If you’re at work, find a place you can escape (close your office door, use a conference room, even sit in your car) and set the alarm on your cell phone.
- Pack healthy snacks
When hunger attacks, it helps to have snacks that pack a nutritional punch ready in your desk, purse, or car. And if you’re suffering from morning sickness, munching on a simple snack like crackers throughout the day or before you get out of bed can ease nausea.
- Try a relaxation technique
Deep breathing, guided imagery, prenatal yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation can help you stay on an even keel – and sleep better.
- Take a quick walk
A 15- to 20-minute walk can help boost your energy levels when you’re exhausted.
- Eat a pregnancy superfood
To give your pregnancy a nutritional boost, nosh on colorful fruits and veggies, eggs, salmon, sweet potatoes, yogurt, walnuts, beans, and more.
- Write down your pregnancy memories
Whether you keep a formal journal or just jot down a few notes when the spirit moves you, you’ll love sharing these pregnancy stories with your child someday.
- Track your weight gain
Your provider will monitor your pregnancy weight to make sure you’re in a healthy range and gaining at an appropriate pace. You can also use our pregnancy weight gain tool to stay on track.
- Do something nice for yourself
If you’re feeling up to it, go to a movie, have dinner out, get a pedicure, or do something else you enjoy. You deserve it – pregnancy is hard work!
- Check in with a friend
Pregnancy is an emotional rollercoaster. Ease your mind by sharing your fears, hopes, and excitement with a friend or a fellow mom-to-be.
- Know the signs of a pregnancy problem
If you have any complaints, call your doctor immediately.
- Take belly photos
It’s a great way to document your growing bump.
- Have sex if you feel like it
If you’re feeling amorous (and you don’t have any complications that may make sex dangerous), go ahead – you won’t hurt the baby.Information source: