First Trimester Essentials
So! You took a pregnancy test at home and then went to your OBGYN to confirm your pregnancy on ultrasound .
You saw your little nugget to be!
You are excited about this pregnancy!
But, now what? What are the next steps during this adventure?
I created this timeline of events for the first and second trimester of pregnancy. Hopefully, it will give you a brief, but an informative look of events during the first half of your pregnancy. You can download this timeline as a PDF. Click the link below.
Weeks 6 – 10 – You’re pregnant, but now what?
Do you remember why coming prepared to your doctor is important?
Here’s why! At your first official pregnancy visit, you cover a lot of ground:
- A complete review of your medical history.
- A Physical Exam, including a Breast and Vaginal Exam
- Blood work to determine :
- Vaccine immunity (varicella, MMR)
- ABO blood type
- Hepatitis B immunity
- Urine cultures
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) – Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, HIV, Syphilis
- Genetic Screening for Aneuploidy
- These are screening tests, which are designed to determine the RISK for a condition being present in the fetus, such as Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome)
- Some couples may choose to do genetic testing before pregnancy. Here’s a brief look into genetic screening in pregnancy
Having a pre-pregnancy genetic test can provide a lot of information to both patients and doctors. This is especially important in patients with a personal or family history of Thalassemia, Sickle Cell, Down Syndrome, exposure to certain medications or drugs, history of infertility, etc. If you or your partner are positive for being a carrier or having a condition, you should be referred to a genetic counselor to guide you with the next steps
- A possible Ultrasound to determine the dating of the pregnancy
Fetus measuring 9-10 weeks Gestational age.
Some women will have Nausea and Vomiting of pregnancy
- 50-80% of women in pregnancy report nausea, with less than half having vomiting
- Here are a few tips to manage these symptoms
- Avoid foods that trigger these symptoms
- Have small, frequent meals: bland foods and high protein content help!
- Try ginger gum, candies or tea
- Vitamin B6
Still, got symptoms?
- Diclegis or the combination of Vitamin B6 and Doxylamine have been found to significantly reduce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting
- Medications like Zofran and replan can be prescribed. As a note, there are some studies that early use of Zofran can have an increased risk of birth defects. Please ask your doctor for further details.
Weeks 11 – 14
From here, each of your visits your doctor and your team will:
- Take your blood pressure
- Measure your weight
- Collect Urine
- An official ultrasound is done to look at the fetal neck – this is nuchal translucency and its part of the genetic screening test
You’ve made it through the first trimester. Click below for a downloadable PDF for these highlights. Personally made for you! As always, leave your comments and concerns below. Always consult your own doctor with more questions!
Up next: The Second Trimester!
Glossary of Terms
Varicella – A highly contagious viral infection causing an itchy, blister-like rash on the skin. Commonly known as chicken pox
Measles Virus – a highly contagious viral infection that causes measles. This is passed through air droplets. Easily preventable with vaccination
Blood type – classification of blood and antibodies, designated as A, B, or O
Anemia – A condition in which the blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells.
Aneuploidy – presence of an abnormal number of chromosomes in a cell
Nuchal Translucency – An ultrasound evaluation for the collection of fluid under the skin behind the fetal neck in the first-trimester of pregnancy.