Pregnancy – the first trimester
Pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks. This period is divided up into trimesters. The first trimester is up to 12 weeks, the second one up to 27 weeks, and the last one up to week 40.
How is the due date calculated?
The due date is an estimate of when you will deliver. We start counting 40 weeks from the first day of your last normal period. I always say give or take two weeks from the date that the doctor or nurse clinician gives you. If you have no idea when your last period was then try and get a sonar done as early as possible and this should give a good estimate of your due date.
Can I take any over-the-counter medication during the first trimester?
We discourage you from taking any medication that has not been prescribed by a doctor or nurse clinician – especially in the first trimester. This phase is very important for your baby and we do not want you to take anything that could harm baby. Always tell health workers that you are pregnant so that you can be treated accordingly. If you are currently on medication make sure that you tell your health worker so that we can make sure it is not harmful to baby. Make sure that you get a pregnancy supplement and that you take it daily.
What about smoking and drinking? Recreational drugs?
Try to stop all the above. It is not always easy but you need to put the health of your baby above all else.
What should I worry about during the first trimester?
Always look out for any spotting or bleeding - especially if it is accompanied by abdominal pain. It is always best to see a doctor or nurse clinician if you have experienced any bleeding. Rather safe than sorry.
What about exercise and sport?
It is best to check with your doctor or nurse clinician before continuing with your usual exercise or sports routine. This is not to say that you must not continue but you need to make sure that it is safe to do so.
And sex? Should I continue to have sex or abstain?
Sex is safe unless your doctor or nurse clinician recommends otherwise.
When will I start showing that I am pregnant?
Most women start showing in the second trimester of pregnancy. Your breasts may however grow bigger in the first trimester.
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