Pregnancy Trimesters

What to Expect in Your First Trimester of Pregnancy

First Trimester of Pregnancy Week by Week

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In the first trimester, many women will experience nausea or morning sickness. The term “morning sickness” is somewhat of a misnomer because you can have this nausea at any time of the day or night, not just in the morning.


There are some women that never morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy, while others can’t have a day go by without it. Some expecting moms fall in the middle, where they experience intermittent morning sickness from day to day. If you’ve already experienced morning sickness, it’s likely that you’re wondering why it’s even been dubbed “morning sickness” being that it can occur at any time, day or night. In most pregnancies, morning sickness begins in the first trimester and clears up by the second trimester

Are you feeling tired and fatigued all of the time?

Well, it’s a very normal part of pregnancy. You may find yourself sleeping 9 to 10 hours a night and still requiring a 2-hour nap every afternoon. Or if you are lucky you may have energy with just a normal amount of sleep. Typically in the third trimester shortly before the birth, a woman’s energy level will rise and many women experience a phenomenon called “nesting”.

Nesting can be a very positive experience…

Nesting is when you feel a great and sudden urge to deep clean and organize your home. For some women, who do not normall enjoy cleaning as much, the urge might come as a great shock. It is not uncommon for a woman who is 8 ½ months pregnant to be cleaning her grout with a toothbrush. It’s just part of the pregnancy, a mother’s instinct kicks in and she wants to make everything clean and perfect for her new little bundle of joy.

A baby’s development and growth obviously begins on first trimester – from the moment of conception. With so many changes taking place in your body as it adjusts to caring for and nuturing your little one, it’s easy to see why the hormone change can produce these symptoms. 

First Trimester Baby Development

After fertilization, an egg starts traveling through the fallopian tube to implant itself on uterine walls. It is here that your child undergoes development process to become an embryo, next to a fetus and lastly a baby.

In 5th week of first trimester, the three layers of the embryo start developing in different body parts and organs. By the end of the first trimester, all major organs are in place. Body tissues develop into legs and arms, the pancreas starts producing insulin, the liver starts secreting bile and ovaries and testes are growing depending upon the sex of your child.

What to Expect During Your First Trimester

Listed below is some physical changes to expect during the first trimester of pregnancy.
During first trimester, signs and symptoms of pregnancy can be rather severe and noticeable. A first symptom that a mother faces is nausea and it may continue with vomiting. Morning sickness generally lasts till the end of the first trimester and it can cause fatigue and tiredness. Sometimes these symptoms start even before a missed period is noticed. Tenderness in breasts and tendency to urinate frequently are common signs of early pregnancy. 

Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms that you may experience: 

  • Morning sickness – nausea which can strike at any time of the day or night.
  • Tender breasts – Right after conceiving hormonal changes can sometimes make your breasts tender.
  • Greater urination – You will probably find yourself urinating more frequently than normal.
  • Fatigue – Fatigue, in addition, will rank very well amongst first trimester conditions.
  • Food cravings – You are going to find yourself craving certain foods.
  • Heartburn – In order to avoid heartburn symptoms, try to eat smaller and more frequent meals.

Your sense of smell in the first trimester may be extremely sensitive. Smelling something unpleasant which may not have affected you before, may lead to intense nausea and vomiting. An increase in levels of hormones like progesterone and estrogen leads to emotional outbursts and mood swings. In case of severe pain in the back, extreme nausea and bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Belly Size During the First Trimester of Pregnancy 

Some women will develop a huge belly and there will be no denying that they are pregnant, while others may be able to get to the 9th month before anyone notices the changes. These are extreme examples – some mothers will fall somewhere in the middle. It all depends upon the woman and how her body adjusts to carrying the baby.

Contrary to what you may have heard there are very few women who are able to leave the hospital wearing their pre-pregnancy clothes. It just doesn’t happen often. Usually, even if the woman didn’t gain a lot of weight, there is water retention and so forth, so don’t feel bad if you can’t fit into your old jeans for a month or two.

You just had a baby, your body went through huge changes, give yourself a break. You can lose weight in the next few months.

Most women will lose what’s referred to as “baby fat” faster if they choose to breastfeed their baby. Breast milk is the best possible choice for healthy nutrition for a growing baby. Formula will work but it can never come close to what nature has provided. Breastfeeding is also better for the mom as it helps the uterus to contract and helps you lose weight faster. There are also many other documented health benefits for the mother to breastfeed, so it’s recommended always if possible. It’s better for your baby, better for you and the way nature intended.

If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot breastfeed, please don’t feel bad. Every woman’s health and lifestyle is different.

After the six week checkup following the birth of your baby, the doctor will generally give you the okay to resume your exercise program. Most women really need about 6 weeks or so to recover and since you probably won’t be getting much sleep, you should take the 6 weeks to rest and recuperate. One of the best pieces of advice for a brand-new mom is “if the baby is sleeping you should sleep too!!” (even if it’s 10:00 am!).

What Should I Be Doing?

It is necessary to make an appointment with an obstetrician as soon as you find out about your pregnancy. Generally a doctor suggests first prenatal check-up to be scheduled before 8th week. In the case of a mother who is having morning sickness or other discomforts, a visit may need to be arranged as soon as possible.

  • A prenatal visit includes calculating due date, examining medical history of a patient and checking on embryo and the expectant mother. Certain precautions are necessary during the first trimester as an embryo has not properly embedded inside a uterus and there is always a risk to the pregnancy.
  • Basic development of the nervous system in a baby starts in the first trimester. For a healthy baby, it is necessary to take the prescribed folic-acid supplements and prenatal vitamins. As this is the time of high risk for defects one must avoid drugs, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Exercise during the first trimester of pregnancy is generally not advised but one can follow relaxation techniques. Although traveling and flying are considered safe during the first trimester it is better to consult a doctor as every pregnancy is unique in itself. 


This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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Stephanie McClane About Author

Stephanie McClane is a mother of three and enjoys sharing the knowledge she gathered throughout her pregnancies. After approaching her last two pregnancies from a more holistic prespective and having two natural births, she was inspired to share her experiences with other moms-to-be.

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