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Pregnant? Congratulations! Welcome to the first trimester of your pregnancy, we’ve compiled some handy information about how your baby is growing, what you as a mum-to-be can expect, plus some tips to keep in mind during this important period.

Baby’s Development in the First Trimester

During the first trimester of pregnancy, your budding baby will go from a tiny bundle of cells to a foetus about the size of a large plum. In those first 13 weeks, your little one’s heart, lungs, liver, spinal cord, head and tiny limbs will form. Along with the baby, of course, his or her home is also being made at breakneck speed. By the end of the first trimester the placenta and umbilical cord will also be in place.

Some exciting milestones in the first trimester include week 9 when he or she will start moving around (though you’ll only feel these movements in the second trimester), and week 11 when you’ll be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat at an ultrasound scan. By the end of month three, all of your baby’s essential organs and body parts will be in place – albeit in teeny-tiny size.

What You Can Expect in the First Trimester

Are you experiencing any of the typical first trimester pregnancy symptoms? A home pregnancy test can confirm your hunch, but head to the doctor if you’re in any doubt. You’ll probably be curious about when that little bundle of joy will arrive, so take a look at our handy due date calculator tool.

Many mums-to-be find the first pregnancy trimester quite challenging. You could be in for a ride on an emotional rollercoaster, as well as dealing with those annoying first trimester symptoms like tender breasts, constipation, cramps, frequent urination and lower back pain.

The nausea or “morning sickness” you may experience during the first trimester is just a daily reminder that you are expecting a baby, however, you can try to reduce the symptoms of morning sickness. You might also notice some pregnancy cravings – weird as they are, these are nothing to worry about.

Each week of the first trimester brings something interesting and new, so stay up-to-date with all those exciting changes using our pregnancy calendar. Before you know it, you’ll have made it to the second trimester.

What to Keep in Mind for the First Trimester

What you’re eating will naturally impact your growing baby, so keep a healthy and nutritious pregnancy diet. Consult your doctor about taking folic acid and prenatal vitamins. Learn about what is safe to eat and what isn’t – shellfish and soft cheeses, for example. Alcohol, smoking and drugs may harm your baby so it’s best to steer clear of these. As for those life-saving coffees (and chocolate bars), the recommendation is to limit your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams a day. This is the equivalent of about two mugs of instant coffee.

Feeling exhausted? Relax – building a new life takes a lot of energy. So make sure you get plenty of rest and try to put off exercise until the second trimester, when the morning sickness will have subsided and you’ll probably experience a much-needed burst of energy.

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