What to Expect in the First Trimester

What to Expect in the First Trimester

What you Need to Know about the First Trimester

If you’re newly pregnant, I’m here to tell you that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  In my opinion, the first trimester is the worst trimester (and lots of moms have shared the same sentiments in their pregnancy and birth stories).  While those initial weeks after finding out you’re pregnant can be full of excitement, many moms don’t know what to expect in the first trimester.  That excitement can quickly be overtaken by morning sickness, fear, and insane hormones.  The good news is, the dreaded first trimester only lasts 12 weeks (and that’s measured from the first day of your last period so you’re already about 4 weeks along by the time you get a positive pregnancy test!)  Here’s what to expect in the first trimester.

First Trimester Fears

The first trimester can be a very scary time for a newly pregnant mother.  It’s common knowledge that most miscarriages happen in the first trimester which causes moms to be extremely anxious and fearful for those first few weeks.  I was not unlike most moms and was constantly worried about the well being of my sesame seed sized baby.  Here are some ways I calmed my first trimester fears:

  • Search for information that works against your fears.  For example, I searched for statistics that told me my chances of having a happy and healthy baby were much higher than my chances of something bad happening.
  • Know that your chance of miscarrying is significantly reduced after a doctor detects a heartbeat on an ultrasound.
  • Know that if something does happen, it’s not your fault and you are not to blame.
  • Remember that everything happens for a reason.

Update:  I’m pregnant again!  Unfortunately, those first trimester fears are just as real the second time around.  I dedicated an entire post to how to calm your nerves and manage your first trimester fears.  I hope it’s helpful!

RELATED: Check Out my Favorite Pregnancy Resources

First Trimester Nausea and Fatigue

The first trimester is famous for wreaking havoc on new moms.  You’re nauseous, overwhelmingly tired, and your eating habits can instantly change.  While I never experienced true morning sickness in the first trimester, I still felt awful almost every single day.  I felt sick, went to bed at 7pm, and turned into a full on vegetarian (the thought of eating meat absolutely disgusted me).  One day, while I was wallowing in my first trimester sorrows at work, a friend gave me a pack of Preggie Pop Drops (she was few weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy and served as my motherhood trailblazer).  These things taste like candy and helped relieve my nausea almost instantly (and they’re super cheap!).  As for the fatigue, my best advice is to listen to your body.  You’re pumped full of new hormones, you’re exhausted from being sick, and oh yeah… you’re creating a human!  Take as many naps as you please and don’t feel guilty for curling up in bed before the sun goes down.

Pregnancy Hacks

You have no Idea what You’re Doing

When you first get pregnant, nine months seems like a long time.  Then you think about everything you need to get done, and suddenly, those nine months don’t seem like long enough.  I remember having so many questions when I got pregnant.  What should I be eating?  What should I register for?  Should I switch doctors?  What should I do about work?  What about childcare?  How do I want my birth to go?  I wanted someone to send me a list of everything I needed to do so I could cross things off and calm my brand new mommy anxiety.  If you’re anything like me and love to plan, stay organized, and feel prepared, my best advice is to check out the Oh Baby Pregnancy Planner.  It’s packed with to do lists, checklists, provider questionnaires, and even includes pages on newborn care.

Everything’s a Secret 

Many people wait a bit before telling anyone they’re pregnant, which makes things a bit difficult when it comes to interacting with friends and coworkers.  People do start to wonder why you don’t feel good every day, why you’re not sucking down your usual cocktail at dinner, and why you’d rather lay on the couch than do just about anything else in the world.  When and how you decide to tell people is completely up to you.  Have a chat with your partner and decide what works best for you.

What to Expect in the First Trimester Ultrasound

When you first find out you’re pregnant, one of the first things you should do is call your doctor and schedule an appointment.  Don’t be surprised when you’re doctor doesn’t want to see you until sometime around you’re 8th week of pregnancy.  If you aren’t considered high risk, most doctors don’t want to do an ultrasound until the baby is between 8 and 10 weeks gestation.  You should also be warned that the first trimester ultrasound is done transvaginally.  The mental image you have of an abdominal ultrasound doesn’t happen until later in the pregnancy.

RELATED: What to Expect at your Prenatal Appointments

First Trimester Symptoms

In the first trimester, you don’t have that cute little baby bump that everyone thinks of when they think of pregnant women.   You won’t look pregnant, but you’ll probably feel pregnant.  Here are some of the most common first trimester symptoms that I haven’t already discussed:

  • Bloating
  • Frequent urination (unfortunately, this symptom doesn’t really go away)
  • Heightened sense of smell
  • Sore and tender breasts (I highly recommend investing in some nursing bras from the very beginning.  You’ll likely find you need to go up a size or two while you’re pregnant, so save yourself some money, skip the underwire, and go straight for the comfy nursing bras.)

Related: 20+ Moms Share their Strange Pregnancy Symptoms

Those first few weeks can feel overwhelming and hopeless.  The fear that you’ll feel this way for nine long months is terrifying.  But, alas, the second trimester will roll around and (hopefully), you’ll start to feel better.  So, take lots of naps, eat lots of carbs, and remember, it’s totally worth it.

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Related:

What to Expect in your First Trimester of Pregnancy

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