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What to Expect in Your First Trimester of Pregnancy

Posted by Johnson Memorial Health on Sep 8, 2015

The first trimester of pregnancy can be overwhelming, especially if you have never been pregnant before. Knowing what to expect during your pregnancy will help you deal with the physical and emotional roller coaster you will ride in the next few months. Your healthcare provider will be a great resource throughout your pregnancy.


Pregnancies are divided up into three trimesters which are each about the same length of time.  The trimesters are just  simple way of dividing the pregnancy into stages.

  • First trimester: weeks 0-12 (1-3 months)

  • Second trimester: weeks 13-27 (4-6 months)

  • Third trimester: weeks 28-40 (7-9 months)

During your first trimester of pregnancy, your body goes through many changes. Find out what to expect during this exciting time!

What is Happening to My Body?

For the first couple of weeks of your pregnancy, you won't even know you are pregnant. You may start to see signs or have symptoms that make you wonder. Most changes are invisible, but there are a lot going on inside your body. You're hormone levels are rapidly changing and wreaking all sorts of havoc on your body. Here are a few signs and symptoms you might experience during the first trimester.

  • nausea

  • breast tenderness

  • increased urination fatigue

  • food aversions or cravings

  • dizziness

  • heartburn

  • constipation

Finding out your pregnant can be an exciting and emotional time in your life. As you adjust to the idea, you might begin to worry about how your life or relationships are going to change or if you will be able to be productive at work. All of this is normal, but your mood changes are severe, talk to your doctor about your feelings and concerns.

Find a Healthcare Provider

Once you find out you are expecting, contact your doctor or ask about Johnson Memorial's maternity care specialists. Your healthcare provider is a valuable resource throughout your pregnancy. They will help you know how your body is changing and what to expect. Your provider will also guide you on which foods and medicines to avoid while you are pregnant. When looking for a provider, you will want to contact your insurance company. Usually an "in-network" provider will be less expensive than on that is not considered in-network. These providers have special discounts worked out with certain insurance carriers.

Your first appointment will focus on your health, pregnancy risk, and determining how far along you are. You might be asked to take a blood test. After your first appointment, you'll probably start scheduling checkups every four to six weeks. Early on, you'll have a trans-vaginal ultrasound. This can help determine the gestational age of the baby and check that everything is progressing normally. During your appointments, ask all the questions you can. There are no silly questions, and the answers will help you along your journey. Your healthcare provider is there to keep you and your baby healthy.

What is Happening to Your Baby?

During the first trimester, your baby goes from a tiny egg to a peach-sized little body with working parts! Hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time is something expectant mothers look forward to, but there is a lot more development and growing going on in there! Here are a few first trimester milestones.

  • Optic nerve and lenses forming

  • Heart is beating by week 5, and you might get to hear it by week 9

  • Skin is forming

  • Bones are developing

  • Inner ear

  • Hair and nails start developing

  • Digestive systems starts forming, specifically intestines and kidneys

  • Sense of touch

  • Eetina developing

  • Taste buds developing

  • Brain tells body to wiggle

  • Formation of muscles

  • White blood cells

  • Vocal cords

Topics: Maternity Care, Moms