General Practice 2022

1º trimester of pregnancy: symptoms, care and tests

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1º trimester of pregnancy: symptoms, care and tests
1º trimester of pregnancy: symptoms, care and tests

The 1st trimester of pregnancy, corresponding to the first 3 months and weeks 1 to 13 of pregnancy, is marked by the development of the baby in which there is a rapid multiplication of the cells of the embryo and the formation of the main organs, in addition to the placenta and of the umbilical cord, being considered the most delicate phase of pregnancy, as substances such as medicines, alcohol or cigarettes can affect the baby's development.

During the first trimester, many hormonal changes also occur in women, which are considered normal during pregnancy, and may lead to the emergence of some symptoms such as morning sickness, excessive tiredness or breast tenderness, for example.

During the 1st trimester of pregnancy, the first prenatal consultation and the exams recommended by the obstetrician, such as blood, urine, feces tests and the first obstetric ultrasound, should be carried out, so that the doctor can evaluate the women's he alth and the development of the baby, in addition to providing guidance on the use of vitamin supplements and measures to help alleviate the symptoms of the first trimester of pregnancy.

Baby development

The development of the baby in the 1st trimester of pregnancy is mainly marked by the accelerated multiplication of embryo cells and the formation of the main organs, such as the heart, lungs, liver, intestine, kidneys, bones and cartilage, as well as neurons and the small buttons that will give rise to the arms and legs.

Due to the rapid multiplication of cells in the embryo, the first trimester is considered the most delicate, as some substances such as medicines, medicinal plants, alcohol or cigarettes can interfere with the baby's development and may cause malformations.

At the end of the first trimester, the baby measures about 7.4 centimeters and the placenta and umbilical cord are fully formed, and will be responsible for carrying the nutrients and oxygen necessary for the maturation of all the organs of the baby, which will continue to develop until the end of pregnancy.

Changes in a woman's body

At the beginning of the first trimester of pregnancy, the woman's body produces the hormone beta-HCG, in addition to other hormones such as progesterone and estrogen, which allow the baby to develop in the uterus. These hormonal changes can lead to the appearance of the first symptoms of pregnancy such as morning sickness, excessive tiredness or breast tenderness, which can often be confused with PMS symptoms. Know how to differentiate the symptoms of pregnancy and PMS.

Also, a woman may experience pelvic pain as the normal hormonal changes of pregnancy cause the ligaments in the pelvis to loosen to accommodate the baby, in addition to other symptoms such as heartburn, a burning sensation in the stomach, tenderness in the gums, or urge to urinate frequently. Check out all the changes in a woman's body week by week in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Care in the 1st trimester of pregnancy

The first trimester of pregnancy is the most delicate period of the baby's development, and it is important to follow all the obstetrician's recommendations, take folic acid and/or other supplements indicated by the doctor, in addition to having a balanced diet that provides all the nutrients necessary for the baby's development and to practice physical activities, as long as they are authorized by the doctor. Learn how to eat during pregnancy.

In addition, it is important that the woman is attentive to the use of medication, avoiding using it on her own and using only the medication or taking vaccines with a doctor's recommendation, because at this stage the arms, legs and organs of the embryo in training, are very sensitive to certain drugs that can cross the placenta and cause birth defects.

During the entire pregnancy it is also important to avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages, cigarettes or drugs of abuse, as they can harm the baby's development.

How to relieve 1st trimester symptoms

In the first trimester of pregnancy, some precautions are important to help alleviate the discomforts that may arise, such as:

  • Morning Sickness: Eat small meals frequently throughout the day and stay hydrated. If the nausea is very intense, the doctor may prescribe the use of medicine for nausea during pregnancy. Learn about the treatment of severe nausea in pregnancy;
  • Excessive tiredness: Creating a bedtime routine and waking up at the same time each day or getting some sleep during the day can help reduce fatigue and increase mood;
  • Breast tenderness: Wear a supportive bra to relieve tenderness, pain, or the feeling of heavy breasts. This bra can also be used at night to support the breasts and relieve that discomfort;
  • Pelvis Pain: Light stretches and gentle movements can help relieve discomfort. However, if the pain does not improve, or if you have a fever, you should contact your doctor immediately;
  • Heartburn or a burning sensation in the stomach: eating in small amounts and not lying down after meals can help alleviate this discomfort. Another important measure is to avoid drinking liquids during meals and to avoid eating fried, spicy or very spicy foods. See other tips on how to relieve heartburn in pregnancy;
  • Sensitivity in gums: you should use a soft toothbrush and continue brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. In addition, it is recommended to consult the dentist to assess the he alth of the mouth and teeth;
  • Willingness to urinate frequently: do not hold urine, as leaving urine trapped in the bladder can increase the risk of urinary tract infection.

It is important to always follow the obstetrician's guidelines, according to the symptoms presented, in order to guarantee the woman's he alth and allow the he althy development of the baby.

Main 1st trimester exams

As soon as the pregnancy is confirmed, an appointment with the obstetrician should be scheduled until the 13th week of pregnancy to confirm the stage of pregnancy and clarify doubts such as the probable date of birth of the baby and care during pregnancy.

In the 1st trimester of pregnancy, prenatal care is carried out through tests that assess and monitor the development of the baby and the he alth of the woman, in addition to checking whether there is a risk of the mother passing any disease on to the baby.

The main tests requested by the obstetrician in the 1st trimester of pregnancy include:

1. Gynecological exam

The 1st trimester of pregnancy is performed with the aim of evaluating the woman's intimate region and thus identifying signs of infection or inflammation in the genital region, this is why some situations such as candidiasis, vaginal inflammation and cervical cancer, for example, when not identified and treated can influence the development of the baby.

2. Routine exams

In all follow-up appointments, the obstetrician may perform some more general tests to assess the woman's he alth. Thus, it is common to measure blood pressure in order to assess the risk of eclampsia, which can lead to early delivery, in addition to assessing the woman's weight.

Another routine exam that is usually done is the uterine height check, in which the abdominal region is measured in order to assess the baby's growth.

3. Laboratory tests

Some laboratory tests may be recommended by the obstetrician in the 1st trimester of pregnancy, namely:

  • Complete blood count;
  • Blood type, Rh factor and indirect Coombs test;
  • VDRL;
  • HIV;
  • Hepatitis B and C;
  • Thyroid, such as TSH, T3 and T4;
  • Glucose;
  • Toxoplasmosis;
  • Rubella;
  • Citomegalovirus or CMV;;
  • Type 1 or EAS urine, and urine culture;
  • Feces.

In addition, during prenatal care, tests may also be performed to identify other sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, which can be diagnosed by examining vaginal secretions or urinating. If there is any change in any of these tests, the doctor may request that the test be repeated in the second trimester of pregnancy. Find out which exams are indicated in the second trimester of pregnancy.

4. Obstetric ultrasound

The obstetric ultrasound of the 1st trimester of pregnancy is transvaginal, which is usually performed between the 8th and 10th week of pregnancy and serves to confirm the gestational age, how the embryo is developing, if it is in the correct place inside the uterus, if the pregnancy is with one or more babies, as well as checking the baby's heart rate and allowing you to calculate the expected date of delivery.

5. Nuchal Translucency

The nuchal translucency ultrasound is performed between 11 and 14 weeks of gestation, and serves to detect malformations and genetic diseases, such as Down syndrome, for example. Learn how the nuchal translucency test is performed.

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