The first trimester of pregnancy is a crucial time for the mother and baby. It is vital that women prepare before becoming pregnant so that they can maintain their health and the health of their baby full term. Having a health plan needs to include prenatal vitamins and a nutrient-rich diet. Some women take care of their bodies through acupuncture, before and during pregnancy, to ensure their bodies are in prime condition for the early stages of life and beyond. Some women may have fertility issues that can be greatly helped with acupuncture as well.
This articles details what occurs during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. At Bergen County Acupuncture we are here to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have about the wellness programs that acupuncture can offer for fertility and recurrent miscarriage. We also treat pregnant women that experience nausea, lower back pain, acid reflux, insomnia and stress that can occur at different times during the pregnancy.
Week one is actually the preparation for pregnancy. A woman’s hormones increase and the uterus and cervix become filled with mucus. This fertile mucus is what will aid sperm to transport easily into the fallopian tubes to be ready for the released egg.
During this crucial week, the woman releases the readied egg. If sperm are within her fallopian tubes, and are able to fertilize the egg, the baby will be conceived. One sperm will make it through to the inner section and the egg will then change to become protected from other sperm. The head will stay inside the egg, and the tail will be released. The cells will begin to multiply into a ball, or morula. A sac of fluid is formed, and the morula will become a blastocyst, and this will move down the tubes and implant into the uterus.
In this week, the blastocyst implants into the lining of the uterus. After about six days the baby will be connected to the blood supply of the mother. The baby will then produce hormones that will inhibit the next period from occurring and these hormones are what cause a pregnancy test to read positive. The blastocyst is ever changing, with clumped cells to one side and other cells that become the internal organs of the baby (endoderm); the skull and bones, muscles, heart, and sex organs (mesoderm); and the baby’s hair, eyes, skin, brain, spinal cord, and ears (ectoderm). The placenta and amniotic sac are forming as well. What a miraculous time it is!
It is now fourteen days after conception, and a woman usually notices her period may be late. The blastocyst has been renamed to an embryo, and this embryo is about .06 of an inch. It is later in this week where the spinal cord and brain begins to form, and the back is coming together. By the end of week four, the entire neural tube is fused together. The umbilical cord is beginning to form. When the placenta is fully ready it will be what transports the nourishment. At this point the yolk sac is doing this job.
The baby’s heart will begin to beat and the umbilical cord will develop and will have one vein and two arteries. These vessels relay oxygen and nourishment from you to the baby and remove waste and carbon dioxide from the baby. Small feet and hands are beginning to form, and the neural tube (covering the brain and spinal cord) closes completely. The baby’s size is anywhere from .08 to .16 of an inch.
The features of the face are forming. The mouth forms first and then the eyes are on the sides of their large head. The arms will form and then the legs, and the fingers and toes will as well. The stomach, kidneys, esophagus, lungs, and bowel are being made and its heart now has four chambers and beats rapidly.
The baby continues to grow, and hands are feet are coming into shape. The heart, lungs, intestines, brain, spinal cord and appendix are continuing to grow. The face is continuing to form with the nostrils, mouth, and eyes becoming more defined.
This is a huge week for growth, as the organs continue to develop; the eyelids and ears are becoming established. The baby is swimming around within its mother’s womb.
Even though a massive amount of development has already occurred, the baby is only the size of a little peanut. The head is more upward, as the neck has formed. Even though the baby is swimming around, it cannot be felt yet.
The baby can now bend its knees and elbows and continues to grow. It is about an inch and a half long, and the bones are developing. Also, the teeth are beginning to form! The baby is actually beginning to look like a tiny human.
The genitals are forming however the sex cannot be determined yet. The baby is swimming rapidly and the heartbeat is strong and rhythmic. He is now the size of a fig and at just eleven weeks is almost completely formed! The diaphragm is coming into place, and he is doing a lot of hiccupping!
At this week, every part of the baby is continuing to develop. She will have about twenty tooth buds now. Fingernails and toenails are forming, and from this point on, she will continue to grow and become stronger.
What a miraculous time it is for a couple and their new baby! In just twelve weeks, the little bundle of joy has gone from an egg to a very visible and functioning (with help from the mother) human being.
If you are pregnant or experiencing fertility issues, acupuncture is a viable option that can assist with both. Give acupuncture a try today!