Pregnancy is a joyous (and sometimes tiring) journey of your body’s development to accommodate a new born child as he or she gets ready to enter the world. At times you’ll be excited, at other times you’ll be tired. Though it isn’t all fun and games (think hunger pangs and cravings), your pregnancy milestones will give you an indication of how much your child has developed.
To get ready to take off on this pregnancy adventure, the first thing you can do is take note of your pregnancy symptoms week-by-week so you know what to expect.
Let’s explore how your body changes up to when you’re 12 weeks pregnant.
Week 1 – 4
It’s difficult to tell your exact date of conception, since your tummy doesn’t pop out like a balloon right after you get pregnant. The start of pregnancy is calculated from the first day of your last period. It then lasts for about 40 weeks. That being said, fertilisation is accepted to begin two weeks from your last period. At this point, your child is just a bunch of cells growing at a very fast rate. The outer layers form the placenta, while the inner layer will become the embryo. The bunch of cells will implant itself into the lining of the uterus.
Here’s what you can do: Build the foundation of a healthy pregnancy with the right foods. Don’t stuff or starve yourself, and continue to eat balanced meals. Avoid alcohol, and don’t go overboard with the coffee.
Week 5 – 8
This stage is where you really feel or start looking for pregnancy symptoms week by week. The morning sickness, the feeling of nausea, soreness in the breasts and needing to urinate more often; these are some early signs. As for your baby, the embryo will begin to form into organs, as well as bones, muscles, the brain, heart and neural tube (the soon to be spinal cord). The umbilical cord will form connecting you to your child. Don’t get too excited yet; during the first few weeks of pregnancy, your child will be smaller than a pea.
Here’s what you can do: Book an appointment with your healthcare specialist when you suspect you’re pregnant. You can plan out your pregnancy, check on your current medication and get advice. To reduce the feeling of queasiness, take small snacks and don’t starve yourself or force yourself into fad diets. Not that you should do that normally anyway. Exercise moderately with low impact movements; you’ll want a healthy body to support your pregnancy.
Week 9 – 12
Towards the end of the first trimester, you may feel like you have bigger breasts and a slightly bigger tummy. No, you’re not getting fatter, your child is just getting bigger, slowly. However, others may not notice that you’re pregnant yet. While you still might feel a little moody sometimes, the symptoms may begin to go away when you’re 12 weeks pregnant. Your child will still be growing, now developing tooth buds and toenails. The limbs would have grown out slightly longer. Your child might have movement; although you won’t be able to feel it.
Here’s what you can do: Your calcium will begin to deplete during your pregnancy. As such, you’ll need to have your calcium from milk and other sources. Continue your exercises; consider swimming as a low impact alternative to running.
It can be exciting to experience pregnancy symptoms week by week, as it shows that your child is growing within you. As you become 12 weeks pregnant, you can look forward to the easy part of pregnancy – the second trimester!
Check out the next stage of pregnancy, and find out more about it here.