The first three months, the developmental stage, is the period in which your baby will go through the most rapid growth ever. The development is quite dramatic. In this short time, the baby grows from a single fertilised cell, into a bundle of growing limbs and body systems. Lots of things happen in this time all the vital organs are formed, and the brain begins to develop. Though at the end of the first trimester, the baby is only the size of a small apple, it has all the basic genetics, major organs and nervous system. It has a heartbeat, limbs, fingers and toes, and even hair!
In the first month, the major organs begin to form. The neural tube, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, is formed. Blood cells start developing. The digestive system, heart and circulatory system are formed. The eyes and ears also start developing. In the second month, the nervous, urinary, digestive and circulatory systems continue to develop. The embryo starts acquiring a human shape, but it still doesn't look anything like a fully-formed baby. The baby's heartbeat can be clearly heard and the baby even begins to move. But the mother can't feel it yet. In the third month, the external genital organs are formed, but these are not easy to distinguish yet through an ultrasound. Fingernails, toenails and eyelids develop.
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All these rapid changes mean that your body has to provide a safe, nourishing environment for the growing embryo. Insufficient nutrition and exposure to chemicals, might cause a miscarriage, or might cause stunted physical and mental growth in the baby. So, for the healthy development of the foetus, you need to take good care of your body.
(Also read: 10 Must-Have Foods During Pregnancy To Stay Healthy)
Maintain A Healthy Diet
Eat healthy, homemade food. Avoid processed food, and resist eating out, because you don't know what colours and additives go into food in restaurants.ADVERTISEMENT
Take vitamins and folic acid supplements, and food rich in folates and carbohydrates.
For some women, it is not easy to keep from throwing up the food you've eaten. So eat whatever you can. If big meals are not possible, eat many small meals during the day.ADVERTISEMENT
Do not avoid calories. You needn't eat for two, but eat whatever you can, as often as you can.
Exercise is essential to keep your body flexible and in good shape to take on the stress it will go through as your pregnancy progresses. Be sure to get your doctor's approval before exercising, though. Slow walking and breathing in fresh air is a good idea if you can't do anything else.ADVERTISEMENT
Try and get as much sleep as you can. You need the rest to help your body get rejuvenated and replenished.
Avoid stress and over-exhaustion - Ensure that you do not overwork yourself. If your average day is stressful, take it easy during this time.
(Also read: 9 Things About Childbirth That Your Gynecologist Doesn't Tell You)
The foetus is very vulnerable during the first trimester. The risk of a miscarriage is quite high during this time. Since the major organs and body systems are being formed, they are susceptible to damage if the foetus is exposed to toxic chemicals, drugs, radiation, cigarette smoke and alcohol.
If you are a user, give up drugs immediately; quit smoking, chewing tobacco and alcohol.
Avoid passive smoking; if any person near you lights up, request him / her to put out the cigarette or not to smoke near you. Keep away from polluted places.
Fumes from paints, and working with pesticides and fertilizers are also on the no-no list.
Use natural cosmetics.
But remember, you just need to be careful, not paranoid! If you have any doubts, you can always ask your doctor!
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