First Trimester Of Pregnancy: What to Expect, Do’s and Don’ts

Human fetus stays in mother’s womb for 9 months. For better clinical knowledge these 9 months are divided in the group of three months which is called trimesters. Thus the whole pregnancy is divided in three trimesters which have been named as first trimester, second trimester and third trimester. The first three months of pregnancy is called the first trimester. From 4th– 6th month, there is the second trimester and from 7th month to till the time of delivery, the period is known as the third trimester.

first trimester of pregnancy

Each trimester of pregnancy has specific features and clinical symptoms of healthy or unhealthy fetus and mother. For the clinical purpose, pregnancy trimesters are counted in weeks rather than months. 9 months of pregnancy is counted in weeks as 40 weeks pregnancy. The first trimester means first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the second trimester is 13th-28th weeks of pregnancy, Last and third trimester is 29th-40th week of pregnancy.

First trimester symptoms:

  • Amenorrhea:

Absence of menstrual bleeding in a healthy lady, where there is previous normal cyclic bleeding, is the first symptom of pregnancy unless proved otherwise. A pregnant lady can also have spotting bleeding or bloody discharge from vagina due to implantation. This implantation bleeding confuses with normal menstruation bleeding.

  • Nausea and vomiting:

Nausea and vomiting are assumed to be first symptoms of pregnancy. Although it is not 100% correct because these two can happen due to other health issues. About 50% of females suffer from nausea and vomiting in first trimester. Symptoms are more common in morning. That’s why it is also called morning sickness. Morning sickness is more common in the first trimester of pregnancy.

  • Increased frequency of urination:

The frequency of urination increases from 6 to 12 weeks. It is due to the pressure of expanding uterus on urinary bladder and due to changes in mother’s hormones level.

  • Breast discomfort:

Feeling of heaviness in breast and occasional pricking pain is common.

  • Cramps:

Cramps in the first trimester are due to spontaneous contraction of the uterus. These contractions are spontaneous, irregular and mild. Usually female can feel it as some kind of discomfort in the lower abdomen area.

  • Shortness of breath:

Shortness of breath in the first trimester is due to increased progesterone level. Organs of the body take some time to adjust with the increased level of hormones of the body. Shortness of breath of the first trimester usually disappears within 10th weeks and again appears in the last trimester.

Also Read: Vaginal Discharge: Meaning, Causes, Types, Symptoms and Treatment

What to expect in the first trimester:

First trimester causes invisible but effective changes in the body and mental status too. Knowing what may happen in first trimester of pregnancy will ease the anxiety and prepare you to tackle these problems more effectively. Here we are also providing you home remedies to cope up with these problems naturally.

  • Breast discomfort:

Increased female hormones cause tender and heaviness in the breast but you should not be worried about this as your body is preparing your breasts for baby feeding. Massage with sesame oil and hot water will improve blood circulation and also reduce tenderness.

  • Nausea or morning sickness:

Morning sickness is usually mild and gradually disappears. Place a jar of toast near your bed and have one bite of toast empty stomach. Toast will dissolve excessive secretion in the stomach and prevent vomiting.

  • Heartburn and chest pain:

Excessive stomach acid secretion causes heartburn and chest pain. Dry toast and lukewarm water on an empty stomach will ease this.

  • Pain and swelling in legs:

Expanding uterus causes mild obstruction in venous drainage from legs, which causes pain and swelling in legs. Massage with oil and hot water will improve blood circulation and effectively reduce pain and swelling. Placing a cushion under feet while sleeping or just ascend the little height of bed of leg region will produce positive gravity effect and reduce swelling.

  • Anorexia:

With unknown Pathophysiology, it is universal phenomena of pregnancy. During pregnancy, women are more sensitive to certain odor. Smell of food causes the feeling of nausea or excessive desire of it.

  • Weight gain:

Weight gain is necessary and essential phenomena of pregnancy. In first 5-8 weeks, there may be weight loss due to nausea and anorexia. But after that gradually, there should be weight gain. In the first trimester, there should be around 2-3 kg weight gain.

  • Emotional changes:

Pregnancy makes you more sensitive towards everything; you may feel sudden depression, anxiety or sudden happiness. Make yourself prepare for it. Also, it is the duty of husband and other family members to understand that these mood swings are because of ongoing hormonal and physiological changes in her body. So try to cooperate with woman.

Also Read: Pomegranate: Health Benefits in Diabetes, Hypertension, Pregnancy

First-trimester diet:

  • Calories:

Your daily requirement of calories in first trimester of pregnancy is 2500 kilocalories which are around 400 kilocalories more than non-pregnant women.

  • Protein:

The requirement of protein is 50-60 gm per day.

  • Minerals:

Diet of pregnant women should have all the minerals, especially zinc, iron and, calcium. A required amount of iron and calcium is not possible to get from the diet only so World Health Organization (WHO) have recommended the supplement of iron and calcium from the second trimester. Please do remember supplement of iron and calcium should not be taken in the first trimester.

  • Vitamins:

All the vitamins are essential for healthy pregnancy. So you should take a diet which is rich in vitamins. Fruits and salad are rich sources of all vitamins and minerals. Make sure to add 2-3 fruits in your diet. In all the Vitamins, Folic acid has very crucial role for a healthy fetus. It is advisable to start folic acid supplement before 3 months of conception and continue it till delivery.

What should you eat in first trimester?

First-trimester diet has specific term “rainbow” diet means, as the rainbow has all the colors, a pregnant lady should eat everything with different colors in sufficient manner.

First-trimester diet should be light, easily digestible and full of nutrient. It should contain good amount of protein, carbohydrate, amino acid, minerals, and vitamins. A pregnant woman should take at least half liter milk, 2 fruits, fresh vegetables, beans and dry fruits. Diet should always be in divided dose.

First-trimester exercise:

A very big no to almost all types of exercises during first trimester of pregnancy, except if it is advised by your doctor for specific health issues. First trimester of pregnancy is for the rest only. Minor and gentle walking and meditation is good and enough.

Major problems of the first trimester:

  • Nausea and vomiting:

Minor sickness does not require treatment but continuous and severe vomiting needs urgent medical care as it could be a sign of other health problem.

  • First trimester cramps:

Severe and continuous cramps in the first trimester could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy or blighted ovum.

  • First trimester bleeding:

Bleeding during the first trimester is a sign of early miscarriage.

  • Obesity:

There is a myth that during pregnancy you should eat for two but in reality, it is not required. Although you are pregnant but still till the time of delivery you are one body. You don’t need to be obsessed to full fill requirements of your baby. Pregnancy-induced obesity causes obesity in babies in the later age of their life.

  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension:

Increased blood pressure due to fetus is known as pregnancy-induced hypertension. This is a very serious condition as it can cause preterm delivery, stillbirth and seizure to mother.

Do’s and Don’ts in the first trimester of pregnancy:

first trimester of pregnancy

Disclaimer –

Above article is only for knowledge purpose. Please contact your healthcare provider before using any of above medicine or method. for any query or personal consultation according to your health condition Please Contact Us

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