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Your Developing Baby — Part 1

First Trimester

For many women the first 12 weeks (or first trimester) of pregnancy are some of the most challenging of their pregnancy.

Many women will experience tiredness and morning sickness during these early weeks. These symptoms are normal and are a result of hormonal changes in your body that start at the moment of conception.

Other symptoms you might begin to notice in the early weeks of pregnancy may include tender and swollen breasts, cravings for certain foods or a lack of appetite, mood swings, constipation, frequent urination, headaches, heartburn, and bloating. The good news is that most of these early symptoms will go away as your pregnancy progresses.

Every woman is unique and each pregnancy is different, so just because you are not experiencing some of these symptoms does not necessarily mean there is a problem with the pregnancy.

Just as you are experiencing a lot of changes in your own body, your baby is experiencing tremendous growth in this first trimester. Let’s take a look at some of the amazing things going on with your baby during these first 12 weeks of life.

At 4 to 6 weeks:

  • Your baby’s brain and spinal cord have begun to form
  • The heart is forming and begins beating 18-21 days after conception
  • Arm and leg buds appear
  • Baby grows from the size of a poppy seed to an apple seed

At 8 weeks:

  • All major organs and external body structures have begun to form
  • Your baby’s heart beats with a regular rhythm
  • The arms and legs grow longer, and fingers and toes have begun to form
  • The sex organs begin to form
  • The face begins to develop features, the eyes have moved forward on the face and eyelids have formed
  • The umbilical cord is clearly visible
  • Baby is the size of a raspberry and is beginning to look more and more like a baby each day

At 12 Weeks:

  • The nerves and muscles begin to work together; your baby can make a fist
  • The external sex organs show if your baby is a boy or girl. A woman who has an ultrasound in the second trimester or later might be able to find out the baby’s sex
  • Eyelids close to protect the developing eyes; they will not open again until the 28th week
  • Baby weighs almost an ounce and is about the size of a plum

Join us soon for Your Developing Baby—Part 2: The Second Trimester!

If you think you are pregnant, please schedule your appointment online or call us at 972-386-4015 to speak to one of our friendly staff to schedule your appointment.

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