During these first 8 weeks, our baby is in what we call the embryonic stage. Physiologically, babies begin to develop the beginnings of limbs, which will result in their arms and legs. Their height reaches 9 mm at the end of the first month and weighs 0.5 grams. The first internal organs are formed, including the heart, which begins to beat on the 25th day, and lungs. At the same time, the neural tube begins to form which becomes the brain and spinal cord.

During this early stage of pregnancy, the expectant mother should stay fit doing some light exercises.

The first obstetric visit is the most important one, where the health status of the woman will be assessed through information obtained in the clinical history and laboratory testing. It is recommended have this carried out as soon as possible after missing a period or receiving a positive pregnancy test. (The pregnancy test can be performed in blood or urine).

The objectives of this visit are:

  • Confirm the pregnancy and date it correctly through the first scan, performed vaginally
  • Iodine and folic acid (or a multivitamin that contains both ingredients) will be prescribed if it has not been already
  • The first trimester blood tests will be requested
  • The patient is informed about the changes that will occur as well as the most common symptoms in these first few weeks (nausea, vomiting, chest, nose, constipation, fatigue, insomnia).
  • The doctor will offer tips for food, work, travel, lifestyle and avoiding toxic substances.
  • The doctor will also inform the patient regarding the various prenatal tests: their purpose and timing.

Dr Francisco Sellers, director of  obstetrics at Instituto Bernabeu.

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