Pregnant woman holding her belly and a picture of her ultrasound.

Why the First Trimester of Pregnancy is the Most Dangerous

The first trimester is said to be the most crucial period of pregnancy because at this point, your baby is growing from an embryo to a fetus. The fetus then enters a stage of rapid development, forming most organs, facial features, skeletal tissue and limbs. This puts your growing child at a high risk of developing complications or even worse you could suffer a miscarriage.

When a pregnant woman experiences vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal or back pain, and heavy spotting, be sure to go the doctor immediately, as these are symptoms of a miscarriage. About half of the cases are due to genetic complications and are therefore unpreventable.

“We believe that the greatest cause for miscarriage is related to the integrity of the embryo itself, ‘’ added MCRM Fertility medical director, Dr. Peter Ahlering.

However, exposure to harmful substances and underlying conditions may also be factors, which is why it’s important to look after your health during this time. Refrain from smoking as well as alcohol and use of any medication. It’s either you give up unhealthy habits for you and your future child or risk experiencing a miscarriage and coping with its aftermath.

You are also opening your child up to potential birth defects if you neglect your wellbeing, and that’s if you’ve avoided a miscarriage. A study cited by The Conversation stated that babies with abnormal brains were ‘twice as likely to have a mother who used illegal drugs in pregnancy’. Other defects related to exposure to nicotine and illegal substances include cleft lip or palate, a smaller sized head and it may even result in preterm birth. Another research study on Science Signaling concluded that maternal fevers during the first trimester can lead to congenital birth defects, making personal health care all the more important. 

Moreover, Dutch researchers found a correlation between poor growth in the first trimester and early risk factors for heart disease. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, studied over 1,000 children from early pregnancy until the age of six. They found a pattern that children who were smaller at birth and underdeveloped also had a higher likelihood developing fat around the abdomen, higher blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels, which can follow them through their adult life.

What to do

In case you suffer a miscarriage, MCRM Fertility laid out the steps you can take as an individual and as a couple, and talking is the first and perhaps the most important thing. Becoming withdrawn is a natural reaction, but bear in mind that this is a time when you need each other’s patience and support the most. In an overview by Maryville University on social psychology, the detail how it is basically about understanding the reasons why people act/behave a certain way around others. This can explain the mindset of a hopeful parent who has recently experienced a truly heart-breaking event like a miscarriage or knowing that their child will have a more difficult life because of a birth defect. The important thing is to communicate with each other, in therapy, or in support groups. 

To reduce your chances of going through this difficult experience, focus on eliminating factors that can affect your baby’s health. The more you take care of your own health, the more you ensure that your child will come out healthy and happy. 

Feature solely written for by Stella Kravitz

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