It has been a great moment of making love and now, the great news is here; you are pregnant. It is exciting! It is the magic of giving life. But, keep short the celebration because the next 40 weeks are long and must be handled with great care. In the first trimester (first 12 weeks), the fetus is in the early stages of development and, therefore, faced with a plethora of life-threatening risks. Wondering what these risks are? Read further to have a clear understanding of the risks as well as how to avoid them.
The danger of birth defects
When a sperm reaches the fallopian tubes and fertilizes an ovary, the newly developing embryo has to get proper nourishment in the uterus. During this early period, proper nourishment of the sperm is very crucial because the spinal cord and head are forming. The main birth defect associated with the fetus at this moment is Spina Bifida.
To prevent this birth defect, it is important to take about 400 mg of folic acid every day. You should also eat a lot of food that are rich in Vitamin C, phosphorous, calcium, amino acids and essential fats.
Vaginal bleeding and the danger of miscarriage
While spots will be noted when the fertilized embryo implants on the uterus wall (a few days after fertilization), it is prudent to be careful about excessive bleeding during pregnancy. In many cases, heavy bleeding could be an indicator of miscarriage while sharp pains could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy.
If you note excessive bleeding or sharp pain on the lower abdomen, you are advised to immediately rush to a doctor for a checkup. The blood will be tested and a few scans carried out to establish the cause of the problem and address it before it gets worse
Fever and the danger of deafness
If you notice fever that goes above 101 degrees F, it is important to seek urgent help as it can pose serious risks to the baby. High fever is an indicator that the mother is suffering from an infection that could affect fetal development.
If the high fever is accompanied by joint pain and rashes, chances are that you might be suffering from cytomegalovirus (CMV), toxoplasma or parvovirus. If Cytomegalovirus is not treated, your baby is at high risk of suffering deafness after birth. Therefore, symptoms such as rashes, joint pain and fever should be immediately reported to your doctor.
If a pregnant mother is suffering from diabetes in the first trimester, there is a major risk of the baby having learning disabilities, hypoglycemia, type-2 diabetes, and macrosomia. At this point, it is prudent to stay focused on lowering blood sugar through the right diet and exercises. For example, you should take to mild exercise such as daily walks and performing simple common household chores.
To keep diabetes at bay, you also need to work with your doctor for professional assistance. For example, you can set realistic sugar targets without starving the body at a time when the baby needs a lot of nutrients.
The danger of fetal alcohol syndrome
If you take alcohol during the first trimester, there is a high risk of fetal alcohol syndrome. Unlike adults who have a well-developed liver to process alcohol and toxins when they get into the body, the baby’s organs are still young and fragile. Therefore, if alcohol passes to the fetus, it could suffer from brain and spinal cord damage.
When you decide to conceive, it is advisable to bid goodbye to alcohol. Indeed, you should consider halting taking alcohol about three months before conception. Then, stay alcohol-free for the entire 40 weeks to prevent unnecessary birth defects.
Falling pregnant only marks the beginning of a journey that is marred with many risks that can threaten your life as well as that of your unborn baby. Therefore, do not ignore anything that you find unusual. Talk to your doctor and go for regular checkups for assurance of healthy baby development. A healthy pregnancy means a healthy and happy baby!
About The Author:
Ethel Houston is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant. She specializes in health, entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.