You’ve just missed a period and perhaps carried out a pregnancy test - and you’re expecting a baby! New mums (and dads) often experience a mixture of emotions, from being excited and elated one minute to worrying about the responsibility of it all the next - particularly if the pregnancy was unplanned or happened sooner than you thought it would.
Although you can’t see anything happening, and probably feel no different from normal, the first trimester is a time of incredibly rapid development
Despite being barely visible, and looking more like a tadpole than a baby, by this time the baby’s nervous system is already beginning to develop:
- The ‘neural tube’ is developing - this will become the spinal cord and brain
- The heart is forming
- The foundations of the muscles and spinal bones are soon in place
In early pregnancy your hormones start to work overtime and they can cause extreme mood swings. You may also find that you are feeling really tired; that you become super-sensitive to smells or that you start to feel nauseous or ‘go off’ certain foods and drinks. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal - and it will pass. Of course, you may also feel wonderful, or not feel any different from usual - but that’s fine too, so don’t worry about it!
Have you booked a doctor's appointment?
Visit your doctor to confirm the pregnancy and find out about antenatal care. You will have your first antenatal appointment with the midwife between weeks 8 and 12. If you haven't already checked to see if any medications that you are taking are safe to continue with during pregnancy, now is the time to do this.
Continue to take your folic acid supplement until the end of week 12
Do you or your partner smoke?
For information on stopping smoking during pregnancy visit the NHS website or call the NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline for support on 0800 169 9 169 (lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am to 5pm).
It's also best to avoid alcohol, too, in the first trimester. Click here to check the current guidelines on alcohol during pregnancy.
If you have a cat or work with animals you should take extra care when handling them and should avoid changing cat litter if possible. This will help to prevent infections such as toxoplasmosis. You should also wear gloves when gardening.