Month 1: (1-4 weeks) We’ve only just begun!

A new life starts!

You’ve just found out you’re pregnant and are probably overwhelmed by all the new ideas and concepts whizzing around in your head! Also, you may already be experiencing quite profound changes in your body – ranging from small irritations like needing to go to the toilet more frequently, to aspects like morning sickness and exhaustion which really influence your daily life. The changes you are feeling are symptoms of the incredible events which are already occurring to enable this miracle to occur – there is a baby growing inside you and nothing will ever be the same again.

So many changes…

Pregnancy is a phase in your life of huge change and upheaval not unlike adolescence. The obvious physical changes will be accompanied by emotional changes – you will be constantly reassessing your attitude toward your body, your relationships will change and you may even experience an identity crisis as you try to come to terms with the idea of becoming someone’s mother! Remember that there is a whole range of emotions from joy to fear and they are all normal.

You and your doctor

A vital step at this point is to choose a doctor and go for your first visit. While you may have gone to your GP for the initial blood test to confirm your pregnancy, you need to decide now whether or not your GP is the right person to see you through this period. At this point, it is important to work out the date that your last period started, as this is the date that the 40 weeks of pregnancy will be counted. The time between conception and birth is approximately 266 days, to which the 14 days since your last period will be added to give the 40-week gestation period. The Doctor will then take an extremely detailed history, which will include the medical history of both you and your partner and your families. If you confirmed your pregnancy with a home pregnancy test then the Doctor may want to confirm it with a blood test. He/she may also want to carry out a whole range of blood tests and do a full physical examination which might include an internal examination. These tests are all vital to establish the baseline for the pregnancy and to eliminate any problems early on. Your doctor should be willing to spend the time to discuss all your questions and allay any fears you have about your medical condition.

Step back and relax…

During the first month do take time to step back and relax. Your body is working extremely hard to create the placenta, which will support the growing fetus. Although the embryo is only the size of a grain of rice, the physical changes in your body, both hormonal and structural, mean that this is probably the hardest physical work you have ever done. Your metabolic rate is 10 – 25% greater than normal and your heartbeat and breathing rate have increased. So if you are feeling exhausted, you need to listen to the message your body is sending you and rest whenever you have the opportunity. Accept help from others, get extra sleep and make sure that your diet is sufficiently nutritious.

See also: When to call the doctor? +27 (0)81 885 4683 

*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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