Congratulations! You are now pregnant and anxiously awaiting your little one’s entrance into the world. Even though that moment can seem very far away, it’s such an exciting time! It can also be an uncertain time. Especially if this is your first pregnancy. So, what can you expect during your first trimester of pregnancy? I hope this post will be a helpful guide in answering your questions!
what happens during the 1st trimester?
The first 13 weeks of pregnancy is considered the first trimester. During this time a lot of changes are happening to your body, as your baby starts to grow and develop. The starting date of your pregnancy is the first day of your last period. Which means you aren’t even pregnant at this time, but this is where your 40 weeks will be calculated from. Which will give your estimated due date. I say “estimate” because your baby most likely won’t come on that specific day. It just gives you a general idea. You can go into labor a couple weeks earlier or a couple weeks later. Did you know only 5% of babies are actually born on their due date?
So when do you actually become pregnant during the first trimester? Ovulation occurs during week two and implantation during week four. This is when you are officially pregnant and can get a positive pregnancy test. From this point on your baby will drastically change. They will start out as an embryo, as small as a poppy seed, and be about the size of a peach at the end of your first trimester. Even though your baby is still very small at thirteen weeks they are actually completely formed, which is amazing!
what symptoms are common during the 1st trimester?
The first trimester can often be one of the hardest times during your pregnancy. It’s very common to experience a variety of symptoms. Here are some possibilities:
- Morning sickness, including nausea and vomiting. Here are 10 tips to help relieve nausea.
- Sore breasts
- Mood swings
- Difficulty eating/food aversions
- Food cravings
- Implantation bleeding, this includes light spotting and cramping
- Possibly a small amount of weight gain
There are a few symptoms that you should be aware of. If you experience any of these you should call your doctor right away.
- Heavy bleeding
- Severe pain
- High fever
things to do:
There are a couple important things to do during your first trimester. The first thing is to choose your OB/GYN and get your first prenatal visit scheduled. This will usually happen between week 6-10 of your pregnancy. At your first appointment both you and the babies’ health will be evaluated. Your vital signs will be taken, and you may be asked to do blood and urine tests. The baby’s heart rate will be monitored, which you will be able to hear yourself. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy or medical history, make sure to talk to your doctor.
As soon as you find out you are pregnant you should start taking prenatal vitamins. It is even beneficial to start taking them when trying to conceive. Folic acid is the most important vitamin, as it helps with growth and development. Which decreases the risks of any defects in the baby’s brain and spine. There is also iodine, calcium and iron in prenatal vitamins.
It is common, especially during the first trimester, for the vitamins to make you feel more nauseous or sick. You can talk to your doctor about this and try different kinds of vitamins. For me, I was already very sick during my first trimester and there was a certain brand of prenatal vitamins that made it worse. So I had to find the best option for my body.
things to avoid:
Once you become pregnant you need to be aware of what can be harmful to your baby. This includes:
- Unpasteurized or raw foods.
- Fish, with high mercury.
- Large amounts of caffeine. According to the American Pregnancy Association, “Pregnant women should limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day. This is equal to about one 12 oz cup of coffee.”
- Any strenuous activities or high contact sports. Avoid lifting heavy items.
- Hot tubs, really hot baths, or saunas.
Overall the first trimester of pregnancy is an amazing experience, even though it can be difficult at times. It is one of the first steps to starting your motherhood journey. So enjoy every moment you can!
What was your experience like during your first trimester?