Pregnancy Trimesters

What to Expect in Your First Trimester of Pregnancy

First Trimester Fatal Development
Written by Stephanie McClane

First Trimester of Pregnancy Week by Week

Week by Week 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
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 have morning sickness and nausea, however, and there are women who will have one pregnancy with no morning sickness while the next pregnancy they may have ferocious morning sickness. Every pregnancy is different even for the same woman.

Another very common complaint in pregnancy is exhaustion and fatigue. 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 is when everything in your house and home gets cleaned and sparkled up, even if you have never been a great housekeeper in the past. 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, something inside the mother clicks and she wants to make everything clean and perfect for her new little bundle of joy.

A baby’s development and growth actually depends on first trimester. This period starts from first day of last periods or menstrual cycle and it continues till 13th pregnancy week. Generally first three months of a pregnancy come under first trimester with first four weeks in first month, next four weeks in second month and last five weeks in third month.

First Trimester Baby Development

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

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

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 are at its peak. A first symptom that a mother faces is nausea and it may continue with vomiting. Morning sickness generally lasts till end of first trimester and it can cause fatigue and tiredness. Sometimes this symptoms start even before a missed period is noticed. Tenderness in breasts and tendency to urinate frequently are common signs of first trimester.
Other common symptoms in first three months are as follows:-

  • Morning sickness – nausea which can strike at any time of the day or night.
  • Tender breasts – Right after conceiving hormonal changes tend to 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.

Smelling sense in first trimester is at its peak as it results in worsening of nausea and often leads to vomiting. An increase in levels of hormones like progesterone and estrogen leads to emotional outbursts and mood swings. In case of severe pain in back, extreme nausea and bleeding during first trimester of pregnancy, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Belly and Stomach Size

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. It all depends upon the woman. However, 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 the weight in the next few months.

Most women will lose the 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. Breast feeding is also better for the mom as it helps the uterus to contract and helps you lose weight faster. There have also been other documented health benefits for the mother to breastfeed, so if it is possible you really should do it. It’s better for your baby, better for you and the way nature intended.
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 take an appointment with an obstetrician as soon as a woman finds about her pregnancy or has doubts about it. Generally a doctor suggests first prenatal check-up to be scheduled before 8th week. In case, a mother is having morning sickness or other discomforts a visit must be arranged as soon as possible.

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

About the author

Stephanie McClane

Hi, I’m Stephanie. I graduated college with a business degree and a minor in biology. I met my husband at a business convention and was happily marriage and pregnant within the first two years after saying the words “ I do”.

Jennifer is the eldest of the three. Being pregnant with her, my first, I researched everything pregnancy related and read nearly every book. Giving birth to Anthony and Matty seemed more natural and less stressful the third time around.

I’m happy to share what knowledge I have gathered and learn new things from other mothers. From morning sickness to Anencephaly, or potty training to thumb sucking, I have books and resource guides to share.