Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Hints & Tips
Pregnancy

Doctor Tips, Weeks 1-13

Jennifer Lincoln, MD, IBCLC, Board Certified OB/GYN
January 3, 2019 . 27 min read

1. Weeks 1-2

Remember that even as early as the first week or two of pregnancy, your body is doing some pretty amazing things for your baby! However, you can prepare for this before you even see two pink lines. Having a pre-pregnancy visit with your doctor or midwife can ensure you are doing everything possible to get your pregnancy off to its healthiest start.

Read more about weeks 1-2.

2. Week 3

If you’ve already gotten a positive pregnancy test, congrats—you are way ahead of the game! Try to takes those vitamins, get exercising, and eat healthy. In the next few weeks, you might fall victim to common first-trimester symptoms such as nausea and fatigue, so this might be the time to be active and get plenty of fruits and veggies into you.

Read more about week 3.

3. Week 4

Some women wonder when they should tell others that they are pregnant. For some, it’s as early as now, but some prefer to wait until the first trimester is over because this is when the risk of a miscarriage drastically decreases. There is no right or wrong answer, so do whatever makes you and your partner comfortable. Just keep in mind if you do have a miscarriage that you will then need to explain this to all the people who you spilled the beans to.

Read more about week 4.

4. Week 5

Many women who are feeling crummy from morning sickness (or all-day sickness, as it sometimes seems in reality) get very stressed out about the nutrients they are providing for their baby. It’s important to realize that you need not lose sleep over this and just have to do the best you can: take your vitamins (even if they are chewables or children’s versions), eat and drink what sounds good, and focus on taking care of you.

Read more about week 5.

5. Week 6

It’s really important to feel comfortable with who you see during your pregnancy. Luckily, many women have a choice among different OB/GYNs, midwives, family physicians, and high-risk obstetricians (if needed). If you start with one and don’t get a good vibe from the provider or the office staff, it is OK to consider switching to someone else. This is a partnership lasts for about 40 weeks, so you need to feel that you can trust your provider.

Read more about week 6.

6. Week 7

It’s important to report all medications you are taking to your doctor or midwife. Keep in mind that this includes supplements too. Many “natural” supplements are marketed to pregnant women, but the majority have not been tested for safety or efficacy—meaning that we don’t even know if they work. While some alternative therapies are fine in pregnancy, it’s important to get the all-clear from your provider before starting them. Natural does not always mean safe.

Read more about week 7.

7. Week 8

At this point in your pregnancy, bloating and constipation may have you particularly uncomfortable. Luckily, there are a few tricks to try. Instead of eating three big meals a day, try to eat 5-6 smaller ones. Avoid foods that make you extra gassy. Staying well-hydrated helps, especially if you are constipated. Over-the-counter medications that are safe in pregnancy include simethicone (to help with gas/bloating) and docusate (a stool softener for constipation). Adding more fiber will certainly help, but your symptoms may actually be worse for a couple of weeks as your body adjusts.

Read more about week 8.

8. Week 9

Many women are shocked at the way their breasts have begun to change so early in pregnancy. Common changes include an increase in breast size and firmness, more sensitivity, and noticing a darkened or enlarged areolae. This is your body’s way of already preparing your breasts for breastfeeding! If you haven’t noticed any of these symptoms, be sure to mention it to your doctor, since it might signal a concern for future lactation issues.

Read more about week 9.

9. Week 10

Every year, thousands of people are hospitalized because of the flu and pregnant women end up in the hospital much more often and can get a lot sicker. They may develop serious breathing complications, need to be intubated, and may even give birth very prematurely because of this infection. Therefore, the flu vaccine is recommended for all pregnant women. The inactivated shot is safe in pregnancy (not the weakened live nasal spray), and it even has the added benefit of getting some antibodies to your unborn baby.

Read more about week 10.

10. Week 11

While it can be perfectly normal not to show at this point, most women will notice that their abdomen has started to fill out a bit (and moms who’ve had kids before usually show a bit sooner). Pants may become snug, and by the end of the day, you may appear much more pregnant than when you started in the morning. If you aren’t feeling that you are quite ready to make the jump to maternity clothes but need a smidge more space, consider buying a belly band. These stretchy bands (think a tube top for your belly) can help hold your pants up even when you can’t button or zip them all the way,which can buy you some extra time in your regular clothes. They are also very useful after you deliver!

Read more about week 11.

11. Week 12

You will probably have a discussion of genetic screening with your OB/GYN or midwife soon. Various options exist, and the purpose of all of them is to identify certain abnormalities, such as chromosomal problems or issues with formation of the spinal cord, that may affect the health of your developing baby. These tests can come in the form of a blood test, an ultrasound, a combination of both, or a sampling of the placenta or amniotic fluid. Each test has its risks and benefits, which can be discussed in detail with your provider or genetic counselor.

Read more about week 12.

12. Week 13

Many women fear stretch marks so much that they spend a huge amount of money on creams and treatments that claim to prevent them or eradicate them after they’ve shown up. Unfortunately, there are no good studies that prove that these work. Stretch marks tend to be genetic. That, in combination with excessive weight gain, can make them more likely. Remember, though, that stretch marks are not life-threatening. While you may not love how they look, once you are holding your baby in your arms, you might just come around to thinking they were worth it!

Read more about week 13.

Powered by Bundoo®

23020cookie-checkDoctor Tips, Weeks 1-13