Our First Trimester Guide for Dad

Firstly, congratulations Daddy!

Your partner’s journey to becoming a new mama can be a wild and crazy ride that may leave you feeling a little out of the loop. You should know, however, that while you are not the star of the show, the both of you are having this baby and you are about to play an incredible supporting role.

To help your beautiful mum-to-be, here is an overview on the first trimester, how your baby is growing, what you can expect and how you can help her get through these amazing changes that are about to happen to her body.

So where to begin...

Pregnancy is counted in weeks, and your little one is expected at week 40 (their due date). These 40 weeks are then split into three trimesters—the first trimester spans from conception through 13 weeks and six days of pregnancy.

Now we have that covered, you might want to know how your baby grows in these first weeks...

The most dramatic changes and development happen during the first trimester. During the first 8 weeks, a foetus is called an embryo. The embryo develops rapidly and by the end of the first trimester it becomes a foetus that is fully formed! Amazing right.

By week 4

  • All major systems and organs begin to form
  • The beginnings of the eyes and ears are developing
  • Tiny limb buds appear (which will develop into arms and legs)
  • The heart is beating

By week 8

  • The embryo is taking on a human shape, although the head is larger in proportion to the rest of the body
  • The mouth is developing tooth buds (which will become baby teeth)
  • The eyes, nose, mouth, and ears are becoming more distinct
  • The arms and legs can be easily seen
  • The fingers and toes are still webbed, but can be clearly distinguished
  • The main organs continue to develop
  • The bones begin to develop
  • The embryo is in constant motion but cannot be felt by the mother

During weeks 9 – 12

  • The external genital organs are developed
  • Fingernails and toenails appear
  • Eyelids are formed
  • Baby movement increases
  • The arms and legs are fully formed
  • The voice box begins to form

From baby to mum, A lot happens for your mum-to-be in the first trimester, too. Each mum’s pregnancy is different and everyone may not experience these symptoms, but here are some of the most common ones to look out for...

  • Morning sickness: Unfortunately, it doesn't just strike in the morning — and it typically starts up by about week 6 of pregnancy. Ginger tea or drops might help, as can small but frequent meals, why not try this to help your partner if they are experiencing sickness.
  • Tender breasts: by week six you might be wondering where your partners old boobs have gone, they are about to get a lot bigger, not only this they can become very sore and tingly.
  • Mood swings: Your partner may (or may not) feel up, then down, then up again by week 7. If they have a history of depression or think it might be more serious, maybe suggest they talk to a doctor or midwife about getting screened for prenatal depression.
  • Weight gain: Your baby is still very small — which means your partner only need to gain about three to four pounds in your first trimester. However, they may suffer from appetite loss and they might even lose a couple of pounds. That is OK, too — as long as their pregnancy weight gain picks up steam in the second and third trimesters.

A new pregnancy can bring with it a huge range of emotions, as becoming pregnant is easily one of the most exciting and fearful times of life for many women. Just remember that all these emotions are completely normal and that you have a unique ability to comfort, support and encourage her in a way that no one else can. You are doing great!

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