1st Trimester Visits – 0-13 weeks gestation (Months 1-3)
1st prenatal Visit – At approximately 8 weeks gestation
12 weeks visit
- Check weight, blood pressure, urinalysis
- Lab results will be reviewed from the previous visit
- Listen to fetal heart tones with Doppler (if still unable to hear the heartbeat, the Dr. will do an ultrasound to see the heartbeat)
- Optional Genetic Screening
- All patients are offered genetic testing: Including Integrated 1st and 2nd-trimester maternal serum test, +/- nuchal translucency ultrasound. The first-trimester blood test is drawn at 10-14 weeks gestation. The second-trimester blood test is drawn at 15-20 weeks gestation. The nuchal translucency ultrasound is performed between 11-14 weeks. These tests are to asses if your baby is at high risk of having a neural tube defect, and assesses for risk of some chromosomal abnormalities, including Down Syndrome. This test is not diagnostic. Additional studies are available to asses for genetic disorders with more accuracy, including NIPT, CVS, and amniocentesis.
- If you are 35 years old or older at the time of delivery, or if you are at high risk of having a child with a chromosomal abnormality, genetic disorder or birth defect, you will be referred for genetic counseling as well.
Mother’s Physical Changes During the 1st Trimester
Everyone is different, but here are some of the common changes you may encounter:
- Breast changes: fullness, tenderness, darkening of the areola
- Fatigue, lack of energy, sleepiness
- More frequent urination
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Increased sensitivity to smells
- Emotional ups and downs
- Excess saliva
- Occasional headaches
- Slight vaginal discharge
- Varicose veins
- Skin breakouts
Baby’s Development During the 1st Trimester – The first trimester is an amazing time when the single-celled embryo grows rapidly and develops into a fetus with all the main organ systems.
Conception usually happens in the middle of your menstrual cycle. However, remember, when your doctor calculates your due date, she will add 40 weeks to the date when your last period began. From the very first day after fertilization, your tiny zygote (created when the sperm and egg unite) goes through rapid cell division and multiplication, traveling down the fallopian tube and eventually becoming an embryo when it reaches the womb.
By this stage, your baby’s well on his/her way to becoming a remarkable little human being. The baby’s main organs have started to form, and he/she has fingers, toes and tiny bumps on either side of her head that are early ears. A strong, rapid heartbeat is seen on ultrasound.
Your baby is now about 2 ½ inches long (about the size of a plum). The baby has all of his/her organ systems in place and now begins to move. With stimulation, the baby may squint, open his/her mouth and flex the fingers and toes. Brain function is also beginning. Your baby’s head is becoming more rounded, and her brain, nerves, and muscles begin to work.