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First Trimester of Pregnancy Developments
March 2, 2017 8:00 am | by

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! This is a time of many changes right from the start. The first three months of pregnancy are known as the first trimester. This period covers weeks 1-12 and there are a lot of changes that happen and physical challenges to overcome for some women.

Emotional Changes of the First Trimester

The feelings a mother may go through the first trimester can vary a great deal depending on her situation. Perhaps you’ve been trying to conceive and news of your positive pregnancy status has you elated. Or perhaps you are concerned about a tough financial or marital situation and finding out you are pregnant has you worried and apprehensive. It could be that you feel ambivalent and don’t really know what to feel! I had a dear friend tell me she felt guilty for not feeling anything at all when she felt she should be.

The truth is that all of these emotional feelings and changes are normal during early pregnancy, although not every mother will have every feeling. You might also feel tired, scared, upset, moody, doubtful, or confident. It is totally normal to feel any, or even all of these feelings in turn. When I got pregnant I was so excited and happy. Two days later I cried thinking about all the things that motherhood meant giving up or changing. But of course, I wouldn’t trade being a mother for the world.

If you’ve had a history of miscarriage you might choose to wait before telling anyone. But many people are so excited to make their big pregnancy announcement. Whether you wait to tell others, your body is likely to make it clear you are pregnant right from the first few weeks.

Physical Changes of the First Trimester

The first trimester can be an especially challenging time for a new mother because, while you experience many symptoms, you don’t yet look pregnant so may not always get the sympathy and understanding you should. If you haven’t started watching your nutritional intake, you definitely want to start right now. Use this in-depth post and printable nutrition tracker to help you! {link to Ri’s nutrition tracker}

It is common for the first signs of pregnancy to be nausea and extreme fatigue. More than one woman has gone to the doctor’s office for “the flu” and come out with more news than she bargained for. If you find yourself nodding off during meetings, or barely dragging out of bed in the mornings, please know you are not alone. Try to get plenty of rest as your body adjusts to being pregnant, which means naps, early bed times, or sometimes just kicking your feet up.

Morning sickness is often more common during the first trimester so be sure to eat small meals at regular intervals so your stomach never has a chance to fully empty. You might also find a hard candy like these preggo pops are helpful to keep handy throughout the day.

Nausea is not the only intestinal upset to plague pregnant women the first trimester as the changing hormones in your body can also cause heartburn, constipation or loose bowels. Other physical changes of the first trimester include swelling or sore breasts, frequent urination, increased thirst, vivid dreams, and – as the weeks progress – a growing waistline which may only be obvious to you.

What are you experiencing during your first trimester? If you have a pregnancy, birth, or postpartum question you can submit your question for our expert doulas and midwives by leaving a comment below or emailing!

Additional Pregnancy Development Resources:

  • The Pregnancy Book by Dr. Sears Paperback, 488 pages; ISBN 0316779148; Little, Brown and Company
  • Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Lesley Regan Hardcover, 448 pages, ISBN 0751336823; Dorling Kindersley Publishers, Ltd
  • The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger Paperback, 448 pages, ISBN 0375710477; Knopf

About the Author

Mother of five living in rural Oklahoma with her husband and children, Angela is the Founder of Untrained Housewife, co-founder of Homestead Bloggers Network and full-time Director of Content and Social Strategy with Element Associates Digital Marketing Agency. She is a CAPPA-trained childbirth educator and labor support doula who loves empowering women through knowledge and understanding to take the next step in their motherhood journey, whatever that step may be.


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