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First Month

1-5 weeks




Believe it or not most women don't even need to read about the first month because by the time they find out they are pregnant its usually the 4th week. That is mainly for first time pregnancies. A lot of times with second, third and more, you may know a little earlier. I have been told by others that once you go through the first pregnancy its easy to spot the second pregnancy. I've actually found that statement to be wrong at least for myself and others. I've found with a second pregnancies you are looking for the typical tender breasts, having to pee a lot, gain in appetite and morning sickness, basically everything you had with the first pregnancy. My husband and I had been casually trying for two months and I had slightly been looking for those symptoms. Two weeks before my period I was caught off guard by cramping pains that felt like menstrual cramps that came and went but it was no wear near my period and my ovulation date had passed. I ended up taking a home pregnancy test a few days later and found out I was pregnant. My ob's nurse said that with second pregnancies cramps are common. I ended up finding out I was two weeks pregnant when I took the test. The cramps were the only first sign I had and a week or two later was when the other typical signs showed up.

If you do happen to find out you are pregnant in the first month here is what you have to look forward to or what you have already been through:)


For the first three weeks after conception your egg is released from the ovary and the cells inside are rapidly dividing. Your body is preparing itself to hold and care for a baby. By week four your baby is considered a embryo and is about the size of the period at the end of a sentence. Before pregnancy your uterus was the size of a clenched fist and now it is the size of a grape fruit. At this stage of your pregnancy you may not even feel the least bit pregnant. That's one of the reasons many women don't realize they are pregnant until their period doesn't show and by then they are already almost a month into the pregnancy.

Feelings

With the first month of pregnancy some women have very few pregnancy symptoms to the point were unless you are looking you may not feel pregnant at all. Here are some of the feelings you may incounter if you notice. After finishing this page check out Symptoms To Expect The First Trimester to learn more about each symptom and read about tips that can help get you through dealing with them. I also very strongly suggest you read When Should I Call My Doctor? Don't be alarmed if you don't feel any of these symptoms on this page during the first month. Its common not to get any of these until you are well in the middle of your second month of pregnancy. With most pregnancies you really don't start to feel like you are really pregnant at all until the third month.



Fatigue


For me and most women fatigue and sleepiness was the most common side effect of pregnancy in the first month. All of a sudden you'll wake up one morning still feeling like you have very little sleep at all. For me I had problems with getting chores around the house done as quickly as I use to. I would sort laundry and would have to relax afterwards because I felt like I had just sorted a million piles of clothes. For some women they don't feel as tired. Basically what your body is doing is getting use to the whole concept of providing for two bodies. Its kind of like being sick only your body is working over time to provide for two bodies instead of fighting a foreign substance. As your body gets more and more use to the whole concept you will feel like you have more and more energy. My first two months I would ware out easily but in the beginning of my third month I started feeling like I had more energy and didn't feel as limited.


Breast Changes



Breast changes can occur from a week after conception to a month after conception. I was a month along with my daughter when I started feeling tingling sensations like I was wearing a sweater with no bra. With my second child I noticed breast changes a week after conception. Soon after conception hormones are produced in your body to start getting your body use to caring for second body. Hormones cause your breast to start getting ready to produce milk even though with most women milk production doesn't start until soon before or after the baby is born.

 

The darkish redish circle around the nipple is called the areola. When you become pregnant the areola changes from a light pinkish to a darkish red or mauve color. After birth the color will get lighter but not as light as it once was. Its not in the illustration but there are also little bumps that you may notice on your areola are sweat glands. After birth they shrink but don't go away. You may also notice blue veins on the breast too. Those also show when you are pregnant especially when you are fair skinned.

 

Here is a diagram I drew of what your body is preparing itself to produce milk. Your breasts may enlarge as the months go by but it is common for some women not to enlarge or not enlarge until later in the pregnancy. If you do happen to enlarge and go up a bra size then there are chances the breast may keep its shape after baby is born and after you finish breast feeding. When I was pregnant with my daughter I went up from a 32b to a 36c and have been at a 36c since. I have yet to know if I will go up any more sizes with my second pregnancy.

Frequent Urination


Don't be alarmed if the sudden urge to go to the bathroom every two hours has yet to happen. Usually the urge to pee more than often doesn't really start until between the fourth week to sometime in the middle of the second month. With both pregnancies I didn't start feeling the urge until the middle of the second month.

Nausea a.k.a. Morning Sickness



If you have yet to start feeling like you don't want to eat and you can't keep anything down, consider yourself very lucky. Some women start morning sickness as soon as they find out they are pregnant, some don't start until later on in the pregnancy and others may not have it at all. With my first pregnancy I started morning sickness after I found out I was pregnant which was in my second month. With my second I started morning sickness a week after I found out I was pregnant. Both didn't last more than three to four months. Each pregnancy is different so if this isn't your first pregnancy than whether you did or didn't have morning sickness during your first doesn't mean you will or won't have it during this pregnancy. If you have already started morning sickness than don't worry there are things you can do to help you either get ride of it or pass the months by more comfortably. Check out the Symptoms To Expect The First Trimester for tips on helping with morning sickness.

Exessive Saliva


You may not notice it with your first pregnancy but with my second pregnancy, not too long after I found out I was pregnant, I realized my mouth was producing more saliva than normal. I'd wake up in the middle of the night with drool all over my pillow and a bad taste in my mouth. I've never been the type who drools in my sleep.

Moodyness


Are you starting to feel like you feel more emotionally sensitive to things in your life? You feel fine one minute but as soon as you see a emotional commercial or movie you're in tears when normally you wouldn't be. Or your husband is too slow in getting ready for dinner and you practically bite his head off. All these emotions are normal and pretty much last through out your pregnancy. It all has to do with hormones being released. Even if you don't experience moodiness yet, you should start in the middle of your second month. Don't worry pregnancy isn't always a emotional roller coaster. You get use to it sooner or later and all becomes the joy of being pregnant.



Feelings Of Joy, Fear Or Uncertainty

 

 


Feeling like you could jump for joy as soon as you get the positive sign on the pregnancy test is very normal. Feeling the exact opposite is also a very normal feeling especially if your pregnancy was not planned. The feeling of fear and uncertainty usually goes away as the pregnancy progresses and you feel more confident of what is going on.

 

If you do have the feelings of fear or uncertainty, talk to others about it. I've found that talking to your husband, a friend, a on-line friend or even a very close relative helps to ease your fears and helps you get through the negative feelings quickly and easily so you can start enjoying your pregnancy. If you do talk to your husband about your feelings and he brushes it off,doesn't listen or doesn't help you feel better at all, don't give up. Most men aren't pregnancy friendly and shy away when approached with their wife's emotional problems towards the pregnancy. They also might want to sound like they know what they're talking about when they really don't by telling you not to worry about it. If you find your husband doing that, don't give up. Talk to a close friend or close on-line friend. I went through the same problem with my husband with my first pregnancy. My first pregnancy wasn't planned and I had alot of fear and uncertainty especially since my husband was thousands of miles away at college and I was in the middle of planning our wedding.

 

 

Frustration Because You Feel Like You Aren't Pregnant


You may not feel frustrated now because the idea of being pregnant is so new. If you do feel frustrated that you don't feel the least bit pregnant, don't worry its very common and passes as the symptoms increase.

If at any time you don't feel right, you have unusual pain such as menstral cramps, you have a brown or red discharge or you are bleeding like when you have your period, call your doctor A.S.A.P. If you are bleeding and are soaking a pad go the the Emergency Room A.S.A.P!



WHAT DO I NEED TO DO THIS MONTH?

 

Hopefully as soon as you found out you were pregnant you called your Obstetrician or doctor. Because your pregnancy is still very new and cells are still dividing, your OB will not want to see you until you are at least eight weeks along if not ten which would be at the end of your second month of pregnancy. The best thing to do until your first doctor's visit is to take a look at your life style. Ask yourself these questions:
Is my life too stressful? How is my diet, do I eat healthy or do I eat too much junk food? Do I plan to work out while I am pregnant?

Stress

Believe it or not stress in your life is bad enough when you aren't pregnant but being stressed out while pregnant can be worse especially in the first trimester of pregnancy when miscarriage is common. If you find you come home from work feeling like the world is about to collapse or you have too much to do in your day and not enough time try your best to start taking it easy. Put your priorities first and other things as second but don't let things fall apart too much:). A little stress may not do any harm but a lot can cause problems. I've been told by my OB that in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy 20% of pregnant women have miscarriages and stress is one of the many factors the medical world believes may cause a miscarriage. You don't need to drop everything in your life if you feel you may have stress. All you really need to do is take things a little easier than normal. If you have a deadline for a project at work and you're not even close to being finished, try finding a relaxing breathing or safe physical exercise that you feel helps calm you down. If you work at home or are a stay at home mom, try slowly taking things more easily. Don't rush to get everything done during the day. Just get the major things done one step at a time. If you feel you can't handle the stress you are under call your OB's office, they should be able to recommend something that will help.

Diet


Believe it or not what you eat while you are pregnant not only effects the health of your unborn baby but also can determine how much weight you keep after the baby is born. While I was pregnant with my first child I ate pretty much anything I felt like eating without considering where it was going. I am usually a fruit and vegetable person but while I was pregnant I mainly ate junk food mixed with healthy thinking that as long as I was gaining the weight things were ok. I gained 30lbs in the last few months but after my daughter was born I kept most of that weight on and couldn't seem to loose it. With this pregnancy I've learned that not only is sticking to a healthy diet good for your baby but after baby is born you won't have as much problem with added weight. When I say healthy diet I'm mainly referring to sticking as much as you can to the food triangle and 2,200 calorie a day diet while also treating yourself to fast food once a week. I still go out to a restaurant for dinner once or twice a week which is healthy when you choose the right food. I also treat myself to desert just as long as I don't feel stuffed beforehand. I don't really feel you have to follow the food triangle to the letter just as long as you keep the fats and sugar to a minimum and the meats, breads, pasta, rice, dairy, veggies and fruits as your priority. With being pregnant, protein, calcium, and folic acid are your friend and are very beneficial to your baby's growth. I've been told by my OB that because my nutritional needs are greater now that I am pregnant. Eating six small meals a day is most beneficial and easy. Here is a example of a daily meal plan:


Breakfast:

Bowl of corn flakes with 1/2 cup of milk
1 piece of toast with butter and jelly
Glass of orange juice

SNACK: Pretzels
Glass of apple juice

LUNCH: Egg salad sandwich (turkey sandwich if you don't like egg salad) on wheat bread
1 cup of yogurt
Glass of juice

SNACK: Fresh fruit

DINNER: Steak
Baked potato with butter and sour cream
Green beans
Ice tea with 2tbs sugar

SNACK: cookies
Glass of milk



This is basically the meal plan that my OB gave me and is usual for most pregnancies. Try your best to keep to this plan until you are able to go to your first prenatal visit if you can. If not then that's ok. Personally,I try to but with my lifestyle I have to make adjustments. I've never been one for breakfast so by the time I eat its lunch time.
I make it up by eating my snacks when ever I feel hungry which usually makes up for keeping to the six small meals a day. I find that if I'm eating a meal and can't finish it all then it's ok. I can make up for it later on.

If you are diabetic, a vegetarian or are carrying multiples, check with your doctor about your dietary needs because they will in some way be different from this.


Vitamin Supplements



It is very important that you call your doctor as soon as you find out you are pregnant. He or she will prescribe prenatal vitamins for you which help keep your dietary needs for both you and your unborn baby. Vitamin supplements contain folic acid which is very important to take while you are pregnant because it helps dramatically lower some birth defects. Prenatal vitamins are much different than over the counter vitamins and usually can only be prescribed by your doctor. If you are already taking prenatal vitamins do not take folic acid supplements at the same time unless you are told by your doctor. Too much folic acid can be a bad thing and cause problems.


Taking Care Of Other Children

If you have or are taking care of a child that is under the age of one and can not walk, try your best to not carry the child. Carrying a child over 20lbs can cause a lot of stress on your joints and ligaments, which are stretching to support your pregnancy weight in the future. Carry a child over 20lbs can also cause a lot of pain and discomfort for your back and legs later on in your pregnancy. If it is necessary to carry the child only carry he/she for a short period of time. I have a two year old and know from experience that in some occasions its hard to avoid picking her up to put her in her high chair or her crib. I've learned from experience that carrying a 23lb child for over five minutes at this stage of pregnancy can be harsh on your back and legs. I have also heard somewhere that carrying a lot of weight like that can put a lot of stress on your body which may cause miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy. I am not sure if this is true so if it is a concern talk to your doctor before lifting that heavy load.

HOW IS BABY DEVELOPING?

In the first month of pregnancy your baby is changing from divided cells to a embryo the size of the period at the end of this sentence. By the end of the month your baby will be the size of a grain of rice and he/she will start to develop the brain, spinal cord, arm and leg buds and a few organs. You might be wondering if your baby is a he or she even though genitals haven't begun to develop yet. There has been some controversy for years whether or not it's true that if you conceive early in your fertile cycle (4 days before you ovulate) then you will have a boy and if you conceive closer to your fertile cycle (1 to 2 days before ovulation) you will have a girl. I believe that theory is true. I first learned about the theory at epregnancy.com when we were first trying to conceive. I used their ovulation calendar and made absolutely sure that it matched exactly the day I was suppose to ovulate. My husband and I had sex four days before I was to ovulate and sure enough I am having a boy. I went back and checked my calendar from the time my daughter was conceived and sure enough she was conceived two days before my ovulation date. I believe you can find in recent medical journals that scientific study has concluded that every embryo is a girl when first conceived until the point in pregnancy when a specific hormone may or may not be released which makes the embryo a boy. I know I have heard it all over the news in the past few years. I believe that when you conceive is connected with if the male hormone is released or not. Unfortunately the medical community has yet to do official studies on whether the day you conceive on your fertile cycle makes a difference so the best we can do is do the testing ourselves. So far I have found it to be true.

This is basically a diagram I drew from different types of research of what your body may look like during the first month.

 

Should I Tell Others I'm Pregnant?


Many doctors and women who have been pregnant before would strongly suggest that at this time you keep your happy news between you and your husband. The first three months of pregnancy is a very fragile time for both your development and your emotions. From the time you conceive until your 12th week of pregnancy there is a 20% chance that your body may not be ready to carry a baby yet and may miscarry. It's a small enough chance not to be very concerned and scare yourself half to death about it though. The main reason its advised not to let others know yet is because if there is some chance something did go wrong, you wouldn't have to go through the emotional stress of having to face everyone and tell them the news. You and your husband would be able to heal alone and start trying whenever you are ready. Because you have a stronger chance of having a healthy first 12 weeks of pregnancy, whether you wish to tell others is really up to you and your husband.

From a more personal point of view, I have had many friends and have read many stories about others who have gone through the pain of losing a baby. In most accounts telling others the good news too early and having a miscarriage causes the unnecessary pain of telling others the bad news and having outside interference with others constantly asking you when you are going to try again and wondering why you aren't pregnant yet. There is a very strong chance you won't have to go through all of that and that's why not telling others quit yet is really only a suggestion and is really a decision you need to make. I have also found that if you work, unless you have a very friendly relationship with your boss, you really shouldn't tell your boss the news until you start to show. Many friends and others who have told their boss early have had problems with being discriminated against. Even though it is against the law for your boss to fire you because you are pregnant, doesn't mean he/she won't feel threatened by it and treat you harshly. As I said before this is from a personal point of view. The decision should be up to you and your husband.

 

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