Once the pregnancy has been confirmed, we will start to monitor it by scheduling regular appointments that will allow us to keep a close eye on it and detect possible problems in time.
During the first consultation that we schedule we will talk about all the doubts that you have from this wonderful moment.
It will be a good time to talk about:
- Common symptoms during pregnancy such as fatigue, heartburn and varicose veins.
- How to handle nausea during pregnancy.
- What to do about vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy.
It is very important to take enough folic acid when you are trying to conceive and during the first trimester of pregnancy, as it significantly reduces the risk of your baby developing birth defects such as spina bifida.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, there are several prenatal studies that your doctor may want you to do, depending on your medical history. These studies can provide information about the risk of Down syndrome and other genetic problems and birth defects.
One of these studies is the analysis of fetal cells in maternal blood, which is a completely safe technique that gives us very important and reliable information about the most frequently altered chromosomes in pregnancy. It is also possible to analyze the chorionic villi, which is done between weeks 8 and 12 of pregnancy, or the fetal cells contained in the amniotic fluid through amniocentesis, although this is done in the second trimester, between week 14 and 16 of pregnancy.
Prenatal Tests during the First Trimester of Pregnancy
Before the first visit, once the pregnancy is confirmed, you can start writing down the questions that come to mind. Find out about your family’s medical history and the family of the father of your baby.
During this first visit we will determine the prenatal tests needed to properly follow your pregnancy and find possible problems or infections early in your pregnancy.
The most common tests are:
- Complete pelvic exam.
- Vaginal cytology and cultures to look for infections or problems.
- Weight check.
- Blood pressure check.
- Urinalysis to look for sugar or protein.
- Determination of blood group (Rh factor).
- Serology of hepatitis (A, B or C), HIV and rubella
- Testing for sexually transmitted diseases (syphilis, AIDS…)
By performing this first ultrasound scan we will be able to get an idea of the probable delivery date.
All women are offered genetic testing for birth defects and genetic problems, such as Down syndrome or abnormalities of the brain and spine.
You will receive counseling from our medical team to help you understand the risks and results of the tests.
Women who may be at increased risk for these genetic problems include
- Women who have had a fetus with genetic problems in previous pregnancies.
- Women 35 years of age and older.
- Women with a family history of inherited birth defects.
Care during the first trimester of pregnancy.
As we said before, now that we have achieved our dream pregnancy we must continue to maintain a healthy routine that will help us to be in the best condition.
Smoking increases the risk of pregnancy complications, including miscarriage, placental problems, and premature birth. Smoking also slows the growth of the unborn child.
It’s never too late to quit. Every cigarette you don’t light gives your baby a chance for better health.
Avoid alcoholic drinks
Even a single alcoholic drink a day can increase the risk that your baby will have low birth weight or develop problems with learning, speech, concentration, language and hyperactivity.
Avoid risky activities during pregnancy
Some activities, jobs and hobbies can be dangerous for your developing baby and you should avoid them for the time being.
If you are routinely exposed to chemicals, heavy metals (such as lead or mercury), or some biological agents or radiation, as can happen in some medical and laboratory jobs, you will need to make changes as soon as possible.
Avoid dangerous foods
During pregnancy it is especially important to avoid certain foods that could contain bacteria, parasites or toxins, such as undercooked meat, soft unpasteurized cheeses and anything containing raw eggs. Also, sushi or ceviche made with raw fish and other seafood, fish that contain large amounts of mercury and raw, undisinfected vegetables.
Don’t worry if you can’t eat very well-balanced meals during the first trimester of pregnancy, because nausea may make it difficult.
Go to bed early
You may be more tired in your early pregnancy than you ever imagined.
During pregnancy you need to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Add one glass for each hour of light activity.