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What to Expect for the First Trimester

Did you find out you are pregnant? Wondering what to expect for the first trimester? Read our detailed guide.

What to Expect for the First Trimester

For many ladies, the first trimester of pregnancy is exciting and perplexing. Your body is going through a lot, which can result in all sorts of symptoms.

The good news is that these should fade away as the pregnancy progresses and your baby grows bigger and stronger! Here’s what to expect for the first trimester:

How many weeks is the first trimester of pregnancy?

The first trimester of pregnancy is 12 weeks long. It begins after the first day of your last period and ends 40 days later, on week 13.

How long is the first trimester of pregnancy
How long is the first trimester of pregnancy, and what to expect for the first trimester

what to expect for the first trimester?

Nausea and Vomiting

In the first trimester, expect nausea and vomiting. Sickness is caused by the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone. This hormone is released when an egg attaches to the wall of your uterus. HCG can cause your body to secrete an enzyme that triggers nausea and vomiting.

Nausea and vomiting can be managed by:

  • Eating small meals throughout the day,
  • Avoiding greasy foods,
  • Drinking ginger ale or lemonade instead of soda or alcohol, and
  • Taking anti-nausea medications with food or just before bedtime if your doctor prescribes them during pregnancy.

Tender, Swollen Breasts

You’re not alone if you notice that your breasts are tender, swollen, and painful. Some women even find it difficult to wear a bra. The tenderness can last until the end of the first trimester, but the pain usually goes away a few weeks later.

If you’ve been pregnant before, you’ll likely notice an increase in breast size and sensitivity during this time.


Fatigue is a common symptom of pregnancy that you need to know to Expect for the First Trimester, which you’ll likely experience throughout the first trimester. Hormonal and physical changes in your body can cause this fatigue.

Because you’re pregnant, your body produces more blood to transport oxygen. As well as this, your uterus is expanding to make room for the growing baby, making you feel heavier than usual.

In some cases, fatigue can be worse during the first trimester due to these factors combined with nausea and vomiting that often comes with morning sickness.

Increased Urination

Feeling thirsty is normal, but you may visit the bathroom more often. Your body is adjusting to pregnancy hormones, and your kidneys work harder to flush out excess fluid.

The baby is growing and developing its organs, which means more waste in the form of amniotic fluid. Your body also makes extra blood cells for you and your growing baby.

Food Aversions or Cravings

Perhaps one of the most familiar things associated with pregnancy, and you probably imagine that you expect for the first trimester. Your body is undergoing many changes, and it’s normal for you to feel like your taste buds are also changing.

Some women experience cravings during pregnancy, and others have food aversions. If you share a passion, you must eat what you crave (even if it’s unhealthy).

Mood Swings

You might find that your moods are changing. Some women experience the opposite of what they had expected and feel sad or depressed during the first trimester instead of happy. You can expect to feel this way for 2-3 weeks at a time, but it should pass in a few days.

Hormones play a significant role in these changes, so you shouldn’t take them too seriously.


Congestion, or stuffiness in your nose, is a common problem during pregnancy. The nasal mucous membranes are swollen and inflamed, so they react to triggers (such as allergens) more quickly than usual.

The causes of congestion during pregnancy include allergies, colds, and sinus infections. Symptoms of congestion include a stuffy nose, sneezing, and nasal discharge (mucus).

You may also notice that foods bother your stomach even more than usual because the lining of your respiratory tract (the lungs) becomes very sensitive due to hormone changes during pregnancy.

Headaches or Dizziness

Most women will experience a headache or dizziness in the first trimester.

Headaches and dizziness are common during pregnancy. It’s not uncommon to wake up with a headache, especially if you aren’t sleeping well. This is usually due to an increase in blood volume that causes pressure on the veins in your head (and sometimes your neck).

The hormones estrogen and progesterone may also affect brain chemicals that cause headaches. These changes may make you more prone to dehydration or low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), which can lead to headaches before morning sickness begins.


Constipation isn’t just a symptom of pregnancy. It’s also one of the most common complaints during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester.

The leading cause of constipation is hormones. Progesterone and relaxin hormones can slow down your digestive system and make it harder to pass stool. Another cause? You may eat less because you don’t feel hungry or have an upset stomach (morning sickness).

Constipation symptoms include:

  • Passing hard stools (poop) that are difficult to pass
  • Pain in your lower belly when you go to the bathroom
  • Bloating from gas or having too much air trapped in your intestines

Heartburn, Indigestion, Bloating, or Flatulence

Heartburn, indigestion, bloating, or flatulence are all common during pregnancy. The rapid increase in estrogen levels causes relaxin to be released, which softens and stretches the ligaments in your pelvis to allow room for the baby to pass through. This causes gastrointestinal problems such as heartburn due to increased pressure on your stomach and intestines.

Heartburn can also be caused by reduced production of gastric juices needed for digestion when you have insufficient bile due to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).

Some people experience heartburn because they have low stomach acidity, which can cause them not to produce enough digestive enzymes to digest food properly.

how long first trimester pregnancy
There are many changes you may experience during the first trimester of pregnancy.

There are many changes you may experience during the first trimester of pregnancy.

The first trimester is the essential stage of pregnancy. During this time, your body will undergo many changes, some of which can be uncomfortable.

It might be tempting to stay home with a pillow and blanket and avoid going out in public because you don’t feel well. Getting out into the world can help you feel better because getting fresh air helps reduce nausea and motion sickness.

Here are some things that may happen during this period:

  • Nausea or morning sickness (about 70% of pregnant women experience nausea)
  • Fatigue (probably due to hormones)
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in your body shape
  • Changes in energy levels
  • Changes in appetite


I hope that you found this article helpful and informative. While there will be many changes during your initial trimester of pregnancy, it is essential to remember that they will pass.

It’s common for your body to adjust, but if any symptoms become severe or last more than a few weeks, consult your doctor immediately.

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