June 21, 2018

A Quick Guide to your First Trimester

The first trimester of your pregnancy is likely to be an exciting and overwhelming time. It begins on the first day of your last period and lasts until week 12. For many women, this can mean that they don’t find out they are pregnant until they are already five or six weeks along.

We’ve put together a quick guide to your first trimester, including any symptoms you may notice, advice and general tips.

Feelings

You may notice many physical and emotional changes throughout your first trimester. It is important to know that this is normal. Some women do not experience any changes within the first one to four weeks, but by seven to eight weeks, a lot of women experience feelings of tiredness and exhaustion. This is due to increased levels of progesterone.

Some women also experience sore and enlarged breasts, the need to urinate more frequently and nausea, often referred to as morning sickness. This is all down to fluctuating hormones, which can also trigger heartburn and food cravings.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is a common symptom of pregnancy, specifically in the first trimester. Despite the name, the sickness can occur at any time. You can minimise the risk of morning sickness by keeping hydrated, eating regularly and choosing plain, cold foods.

Morning sickness can be unpleasant, but it is normal to experience and in most cases, it will stop by the time you reach 16-20 weeks. If you are experiencing severe sickness, your doctor may be able to prescribe you anti-sickness medicine. Adding ginger to your meals can also help to soothe feelings of sickness.

Food

Even if you are already enjoying a balanced diet, the first trimester of pregnancy is an important time to think about how you are fuelling your body. Consuming a variety of healthy foods is the best way to ensure you give birth to a happy and healthy baby.

You’ll want to ensure that you increase your intake of calcium, fruits and vegetables. Be aware that some foods contain bacteria that could harm your unborn baby. These can include soft cheese, shellfish and cured meats. Coffee and alcohol should also be limited.

Preparation 

As soon as you have found out that you are pregnant, you should book to see your doctor regarding prenatal care. You should expect to have your first scan between 6 and 7 weeks. The sonographer will estimate your due date based on the baby’s measurements. Remember that this due date may not be precise; you’ll get a more accurate due date around the 21-22-week mark.

You should also start to consider the different birthing options available to you. Some women prefer to give birth at home whilst others prefer to be at a hospital. Ensuring you are prepared and explore all your options will help you to relax and enjoy this exciting time in your life.

If you would like more information regarding your first trimester or would like to speak to someone about your fertility, we can help. Simply contact a member of the Nurture Fertility team by visiting our contact page, or by calling us on 0115 896 1900.