Making the most of the First Trimester of Pregnancy: Here’s How!

May 15, 2019

You're pregnant! At least you might be pregnant, or maybe you are trying to get pregnant, and you are a go-getter who wants to know all there is about the first trimester of pregnancy. However, you landed here, STAY with us and stick around to comment with your story.

Why I am here and who I am:

Hey mama, I am Trish— AKA Labor Nurse Mama. I am a labor and delivery nurse with over 15 years of high-risk OB experience. I am also a mama to 7 kids and have given birth to 6. This means I am quite familiar with the postpartum period and how to navigate it. I am the online birth class educator for Calm Labor Confident Birth and The VBAC Lab birth classes and the mama expert inside our Calm Mama Society, a pregnancy & postpartum membership community! I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey! You can find me over on IG teaching over 230k mamas daily. I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey!

We make a small commission from some of the links (you don’t pay any more for using our links); however some of the recommendations, we do not earn anything; we love ’em and want you to know about them. Click here for our full disclosure. Thank you!

We've got the lowdown on the first trimester of pregnancy. Every little thing you will love, every little thing you might hate, and all the fears in between. The first trimester of pregnancy is a major learning curve for most of us. If it's your first pregnancy, then you may be in for a big surprise. Talk about lack of control over your own body, well this is the captain of control loss.

That little speck of a person is taking over your life. Let go. You are not in control. The baby owns you now! (most likely until they are 18, maybe 26) Let's get to the nitty-gritty of this thing called the first trimester, which is part of the beast known as pregnancy. So that you know, I've been pregnant many times. A Lot! I have birthed six children into my arms and three into Jesus's. So being pregnant is pretty normal to me.

Ok, so pregnancy is confusing. Well, at least the dates of the pregnancy. Technically you are not pregnant for the first two weeks of your pregnancy. This is day 0 starting at your Last Menstrual Period or LMP until that magical thing called conception. Conception is when daddy's little sperm meets mommy's little egg, and your little junior has begun.

So week one-two is pregnancy but not pregnant, technically. Weeks two to thirteen are the remaining weeks of your first trimester of pregnancy. First trimester: weeks 1-13 Are You a First-time Pregnant Mom? Read our Tips

What can you expect from your body?

There are many signs and symptoms that you may or may not experience.

    • You will miss that beautiful period. Boo, right? Heck, No…this is the best part.
    • A curtain of fatigue will descend on you and not lighten until the second trimester.
    • Your boobs may feel electrified. Seriously, tingly boobs are an early sign. Think middle school growth spurts.
    • Did I mention BIG BOOBS?
    • Expect to urinate often.
    • Oh those boobs, now they are sore!
    • Buy lots of toilet paper and a softer seat, cause you will pee a lot.
    • That heart will be falling in love and burning, all at once…lots of heartburn.
    • Peeing. (Did I say this already?)
    • If you are shy, then be prepared for the gas. Oh, the gas.
    • Your skin may change. Acne. Dryness. Oiliness. You never know. Again, middle school hormones rule.
    • Suddenly, at 1 am you want In n Out burger NOW, but you live in Nashville, and you are MAD. Those cravings in the first trimester of pregnancy are a beast.
    • You hate foods you usually love. It's a game-changer. My beloved coffee became unappealing during pregnancy.
    • RADAR NOSE. This one always surprises me. I don't know why. But your nose is on overdrive. I think it's because once upon a time we had to live in the wild, and we needed that sense of smell to hunt down food. I don't know, but it sounds good. When I was pregnant with Grey, If a patient came into the hospital thinking that their water broke, I could confirm or deny it as soon as they walked into triage. I was like a walking Nitrazene paper. (That's what we use to see if your water is broken when you come into the hospital.)
    • I saved this one for last because I hate it for you. Many women are sicker than sick during the first trimester of pregnancy, and it feels like it won't end. If you are experiencing morning sickness, I am so sorry and want to say; it will stop. I promise.
Tips to manage some of the symptoms

A good bra is key for those boob problems. Invest in one now, but not a pricey one, because your size will increase. I suggest a good sports bra for now.

Run to the store and buy some natural Vaporub to put under your nose. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE! A bad smell will set off nausea for the entire day. Stay ahead of the morning sickness by preventing the smells from triggering a reaction. The increased need to pee during the first trimester of pregnancy is just life. But I want to encourage you not to limit water thinking that will help. It's not a good idea. Increase your water intake. Pregnancy fitness is super important and can alleviate many of the negative symptoms of pregnancy. Start a fitness routine now! Talk to your provider about the heartburn, but in the meantime don't eat near bedtime. Challenges of being a First Time mom Over Forty Check out these tips for enjoying a summer pregnancy!

Your Mind

Girl, fear like you've never known can overtake your mind during your pregnancy. Especially the first trimester. You are exhausted, and you feel like poop. This is a bad combo for increasing emotional responses to the many changes. We already talked about the middle school hormone being amped up. Fear of miscarriage is probably the primary fear. Fear of constant life change is another. Life will change, but you got this. Fear that you might not love the baby. Fear that you and your honey may not be as close after the birth. It changes but there are ways to help keep it alive. Anxiety about your vagina tearing. It's for real. Fear the vomiting phase never-ending. It will! Don't let the fear and anxiety overtake you. If you are a Christian, then I suggest finding a verse to meditate on and to let that truth fill you.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

You will also be feeling extreme protectiveness and feelings of joy like never before. The love we have for our little ones is truly overwhelming. Join our email list, and you get a direct link to me, your labor nurse, and a wealth of information! 

Choose your Provider

If you don't already have a GYN who is also an obstetrics provider, then you need to find one now. You should contact the doctor asap and make the first appointment. Most likely you will see your provider somewhere after four weeks and before 10.

Testing in the First Trimester of Pregnancy
    • A complete pregnancy prenatal panel of Blood work will be drawn on the first visit. This includes your blood type, HIV, STD's, Hep B surface antigen, and an antibody screen.
    • Urine culture. You will give a urine sample at each visit. We assess for diabetes, dehydration, and preeclampsia by screening for higher levels of sugars, proteins, ketones, and bacteria.
    • Pap Smear (fun)
    • Genetic testing.
    • Screenings: Blood screening and nuchal translucency ultrasound (usually around 10-13 weeks)
    • Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) (10-12 weeks)
The Baby

The baby starts as a speck and ends the first trimester of pregnancy around 2.5-3 inches long and weighing around an ounce.

Fourth week

The baby's little head begins to form and then the eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. The cardiovascular system develops into what will soon become the heart and starts to pulse.

Fifth week

Tiny little arms and leg buds start to appear.

Sixth week

The brain is continuing to form. Little webs that will become fingers and toes are appearing. The nose, lungs, jaw, and palate are starting to develop.

Seventh week

Tiny little hair follicles have started to appear.

Eighth week

By the end of this week, the tiny little person inside you has every organ developed (except the sex organs) and is a little miniature you.

Ninth week

Around this time in fetal development, your little one may start sucking his thumb.

Tenth week

Around this time in fetal development, your little one may start sucking his thumb.

Eleventh week

Oh me, Oh my, your little one is almost half head and half body. And guess what? The external sex genitalia is almost done forming. It won't be long now that ultrasound can identify if you are having a boy or a girl and you can pick a name.

Twelveth week

Twelveth Week Those little kidneys are making urine, and little you are looking more like a human with its eyes moving closer together. Alright mama, you now know what to expect. Do you feel a little more prepared? Nope, haha I didn't think so. You should most definitely join my email group and become part of the house. You will have a direct line to me, your labor nurse, and get all those crazy middle of the night questions answered. What I don't know, I can phone a friend.

trish's signature from habibi house

Just a little Disclaimer: As always, I am just writing my thoughts and what I’ve learned along the way. Although I am in fact a labor and delivery RN, This is not medical advice. You should always seek and follow the advice of your care provider.

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