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What to expect in the first trimester

There are many changes that happen to a woman during the first trimester – both physical and emotional. When a woman finds out she is pregnant she is typically already 6-8 weeks into her pregnancy! That’s largely because the first trimester actually starts before you are pregnant. It starts on the first day of your last menstrual cycle and goes through to the 13th week of pregnancy. Knowing what to expect during the first trimester – especially for first-time mom’s –  can help you feel less overwhelmed and make you feel better prepared for what lies ahead.

First, it’s important to understand that every woman and every pregnancy are unique. Caused by an increase in hormones, there are a number of symptoms that are pretty common during the first trimester. They include nausea (“morning sickness,” though it can occur throughout the day), heartburn, fatigue, and the consistent need to urinate. You may experience all of these, or you may feel none.

Although you will not see a baby bump right away, there are a lot of physical changes happening to you and your baby during the first trimester. Most of the fetus’ major organs and systems are developing, such as the lungs, heart, and limbs. The shape of the fetus’ face becomes more defined. Towards the end of the first trimester, the fetus’ urinary and digestive systems are fully functioning, and the fetus will have developed toes, fingers, and nails. As for your own body, you may notice your breasts feel swollen and tender as they prepare for breastfeeding. Your body’s blood volume will increase to meet the needs from your pregnant body. This may result in visible veins, or spider veins, on your legs and belly. 

Finally, the increased levels and changes in your hormones may cause you to be forgetful and lose your ability to focus. It’s also common to feel moody and fatigued. If you feel like any of these symptoms are overwhelming, please speak to your healthcare provider.

If you would like to talk to one of our healthcare providers about your pregnancy, please make an appointment by calling 307-634-5216.