The first trimester of pregnancy

The First Trimester of Pregnancy – Complete Guide to Parenting Part 3

So you have just found out that you are pregnant and now you want to know what to expect in the first trimester of pregnancy? Congrats on your pregnancy mommy to be, here are some guidelines for your first trimester.

What to expect in the first trimester of pregnancy?

You have just got to know that you are pregnant. Most probably you are feeling a bit overwhelmed as you are aware that this is a major milestone in your life. If you were planning for this baby you are thrilled about it.

If it is an unexpected pregnancy you still need to get used to the idea that within a year from now you are going to have a newborn baby to take care of. The whole barrage of emotions and thoughts will multiply if this is your first pregnancy.

You have no experience at this and everything seems so new!

You need to take a breath, calm yourself and try to be ready to understand what you will be facing.

First and foremost, believe in the beauty of this moment. You are carrying your child, and you are going to be his or her mother.

This is the most beautiful experience in your life because nothing can be as rewarding and as fulfilling as motherhood.

There are going to be ups and downs, moments when you feel tired, and times when you feel overwhelmed. But, there is no denying that you are going to love it.

At this point you are in the first trimester of your pregnancy. This is the period between week 1 and week 13 of your pregnancy.

Despite the fact that you do not look pregnant yet, as there is no baby bump, your body will be undergoing certain changes as after all you are now carrying a child in your womb.

Some changes are common, whereas others may vary from one woman to another.

There are women who literally feel great, while others feel tired, nauseated and downright miserable.

These first three months are not going to be the same for any woman, and whatever you are going to face, just remember that at the end of it all you are going to become a mother. That is quite enough to have you go through anything!

Common first trimester symptoms and how to deal with them

In order to clarify what you can expect during this first trimester, we shall be listing some symptoms that most pregnant women experience during this first part of their pregnancy journey.

Breast Tenderness

Your breasts may feel a bit sore and tender. This is normal due to hormonal changes. Your breasts are getting ready for breastfeeding after all. In order to deal with breast tenderness it may be helpful to buy your bras in a bigger size, or to use support bras.

Morning Sickness

This is a well-known symptom during the first trimester. Due to hormone changes, it is normal to experience nausea. For some women it is mild, but for others it is more problematic as they end up vomiting often, especially in the morning. High protein snacks like crackers and cheese could help a bit.


A thin and whitish discharge is quite common during the first trimester. You may need to wear a panty liner if you are experiencing this. Should the discharge color look yellowish and be foul smelling, consult your doctor.

Frequent Urination

Some women experience this symptom more than others. It is important to keep drinking, despite the fact that you hate having to go to the bathroom very often.


Due to the extra iron you are getting from the prenatal vitamins, you may experience some constipation. Moreover, the muscle contractions which move the food you eat through your intestines will be slowing down now that you have higher levels of progesterone. It is important to drink plenty of water and increase your fiber intake. You should also consult your doctor to see if a mild laxative might help if this is proving to be a recurring problem.


Heartburn is a relatively common pregnancy symptom. Since there is some muscle relaxation, acid reflux may result. To make up for this it is best to eat smaller meals more often during the day. Certain foods such as acidic, spicy and greasy foods should be avoided. You can also try chewing gum to relieve heartburn.

Food cravings and food aversions

This is a very common symptom pregnant women face in the first trimester. There is nothing wrong with craving certain foods and then consuming them, as long as you are not ending up with an unhealthy diet and over eating.


You may be feeling much more tired than before. The urge to take a nap at strange times during the day is common. Fatigue is common because ultimately your body is working harder than before to support the baby that is growing within you. So try to sleep more and avoid tiresome tasks.


You will very likely have some implantation bleeding when you first fall pregnant.

Some women experience some bleeding during the first trimester. This is not alarming, as long as it is slight, or just light spotting. However, if the bleeding is significant, or you feel any sharp pains in your abdomen, it is important to seek medical assistance as this could be a sign of a possible miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.

Besides these possible changes in your body, you are evidently going to gain some weight. It is important to keep track of your weight gain as even though it is normal, it should not be exaggerated.

Moreover, you may notice that you are experiencing some mood swings. This is also completely normal and is a direct result of hormone changes.

Seek support and people who can help you feel better. There is nothing wrong to feel a bit downcast, or to cry.

Your emotions matter, and you need to feel okay with yourself. If you are not going to come to terms with these mood swings you could end up feeling bad about the whole pregnancy experience.

So it does help to be aware that there is nothing wrong with you, or your body, or the whole experience. It is just a normal symptom that many other pregnant women experience during their first trimester.

Pregnancy Symptoms that should be reported to a doctor

Now that you are pregnant you are going to have to make sure that you are taking good care of yourself. While doing so you will also be caring for your child. This is your responsibility as a mother-to-be.

Most symptoms, such as the ones we discussed above are completely normal and to be expected. Prenatal visits are important, as are regular check-ups.

Your doctor will be asking you how you feel and you should let him/her know the symptoms that you have been experiencing.

Your doctor will also be monitoring your weight in order to be aware of any rapid weight gain, or cases where there is too little weight gain.

However, there are some symptoms which should be given more attention as they could be serious.

In case you experience severe dizziness very often, or severe abdominal pain, you should seek medical assistance immediately. The same applies in case you notice any significant bleeding.

Understanding the pregnancy symptoms you are experiencing

What you may find helpful during this period is to learn to adapt. For instance, you may wish to consider the tasks you do and whether your job is too stressful.

You should also keep an eye on what you eat. Your nutrition is very important since it will help you to nourish your baby properly too. If you lack certain vitamins and nutrients, your baby’s development might suffer too.

So make sure you prepare healthy meals, and ideally opt for small meals during the day so as to reduce the possibility of heartburn.

You should not allow the nausea to make you stop eating. There are snacks you could opt for despite the nausea you may be experiencing. Moreover, try to set an exercise routine that will be suitable for your pregnancy. Exercising is important but you should not overdo it.

This guide was intended to give you some food for thought about how to deal with your first trimester, while preparing for the second and third one. Cherish this moment and make the most out of it!

First trimester symptoms are not to be equated with problems or have you worrying yourself too much about them.

Basically they are a direct result of the changes that your body is going through as a result of the pregnancy. It is not that you are not normal, or that you are going through is traumatic experience.

Quite the contrary – you are totally normal, and this is actually one of the best experiences of your life. Do not allow these symptoms and some difficult moments such as nausea and fatigue to make you feel bad about yourself or the pregnancy. Symptoms come and go and they are very normal.

Try to focus on the wondrous things that are happening inside you. A baby is growing in your womb – your baby!

Learn to cope with these symptoms, and focus more on the beauty of this journey, which might not be repeating itself ever again!

Are you pregnant now and how is it going? What first trimester pregnancy symptoms did you experience?


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  1. Back pain
    Headaches – terrible headaches but doctor gave me iron supplement and it helped.
    Very tired
    Sore breasts

    • Thanks for sharing Marisca, yes I also had very tender breasts in the first trimester. I was also an emotional wreck crying over anything, and yes exhausted beyond belief.

  2. Unlike my other first two pregnancies this one surely gives me hell from fatigue, rudeness, heartburn, frequently urinating , flu and headaches it was very bad

  3. I was also tires and lower back pain dr gave me supplements vitamins and i just had to bare with the back pain as it wasnt so bad not to manage the pain. Tried to rest and sleep as much as i could.

  4. Elize Swanepoel

    Thanks for sharing this great post. I hope that a lot of expected Mommy’s will read this.

    The article really explains everything so well and they would know what to expect and what to look out for.

    I remember my first trimester so well.

    I didn’t expect to be pregnant so soon to tell you the truth. We decided in August that we are going to try for a baby and it was in December of that year that I had an inkling that I might be pregnant.

    I had two signs – extreme fatigue and nausea.

    I would sit at work during the day and by eleven in the morning I couldn’t keep my eyes open. In the afternoons and especially early night time I had this horrible nausea. It’s difficult to explain except that it felt different than just normal nausea. It was more extreme and I could feel that something was up with my body.

    When I started experiencing these symptoms I immediately stopped smoking and I bought a pregnancy test the very next day.

    The test was positive but I made an appointment with my doctor and it was confirmed.

    The first trimester is so exciting. You feel different. That day on my way home from the doctor I felt strange, like I was walking on a cloud. I was happy but also nervous.

    I wish I could record those nine months in my body somehow so that I can feel everything again. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I will not experience it again. I loved being pregnant and feeling my little one growing inside of me.

    This is when I felt that I have truly experienced womanhood. Like the cycle was completed.

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