Early growth- the first trimester

Normal and Therapeutic Nutrition 3(2+1)
Lesson 9:Maternal Nutrition

Early growth- the first trimester

Embryo growth begins with a rapid increase in cell number. This type of growth also dominates foetal development. At about 3 weeks, cells begin to form specialized organs and body parts. By the end of 13 weeks, the heart is complete and starts beating, most of the organs have formed, and the foetus begins to move.

Nutrition is one key to a successful pregnancy. Eating balanced diet is vital during pregnancy to ensure the health of both foetus and mother. Foetal organs and body parts begin to develop very soon after conception. The first trimester (13 weeks) is very critical period when poor nutrition or drug use can cause defects in the foetus.

The most critical time for foetal development is during the first trimester. Most of the miscarriages/ premature termination of a pregnancy can occur at this time. Currently, about one-third of all pregnancies lead to miscarriage, often so early that a woman does not even realize she was indeed pregnant. The fetus develops so rapidly during the first trimester that if an essential nutrient is not available, the fetus may be affected even before the deficiency appears in the mother. Though some women lose appetite and feel nausative during the first trimester, adequate nutrition is extremely important.

Last modified: Monday, 24 October 2011, 6:33 AM