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The First Trimester: Navigating Pregnancy Symptoms

    The first trimester of pregnancy is a crucial one for many reasons. People always talk about pregnancies in trimesters, so I thought I’d give first-time moms a heads up about how pregnancy journeys usually are.

    What Is The First Trimester of Pregnancy?

    A trimester is a span of three months. All pregnancy journeys are divided into three trimesters; the first, the second, and the third. The first trimester is the first three months of your pregnancy journey. However, many people like to divide their pregnancy journey by weeks so the first trimester is the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy.

    Some people say that the first trimester is perhaps the easiest, solely because when a woman usually finds out that she is pregnant, she has already been a month into her pregnancy.

    What is first trimester in pregnancy

    Basically, what this means is that in usual cases, women only find out about their pregnancy when they miss their period. When that happens, you are already one month pregnant because your pregnancy is calculated by the LMP which is the Last Menstrual Period.

    So, for example, if you missed your period in the month of May, your pregnancy will be calculated from the last period you got which was in April. Thus, when you miss your period, you are already one month or 4-5 weeks pregnant! Yes, that is a lot to comprehend, but people get the gist of it in no time.

    So, the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy is your first trimester, and these 12 weeks are very critical and sensitive for most women.

    What Happens During The First Trimester?

    By the time you know you are pregnant, the first month will probably already have gone by so you would only have two more months until you reach the second trimester.

    In the first trimester, the first thing that will happen is that you will find out you are pregnant. Most women find out when they miss their period date, although some have other indicators too.

    The first trimester brings along with it quite a few common pregnancy effects. It is not necessary that you will have all or any of these, but a majority of women do face these side effects. Some of the most common ones are:

    Morning Sickness

    This is a very common term that is associated with pregnancy. You must’ve heard it somewhere or the other. Morning sickness basically means nausea and vomiting. During the initial days of your pregnancy, you may have a surge of hormonal changes that lead to a feeling of nauseousness, which is the urge to vomit.

    Morning Sickness During Pregnancy First Trimester

    However, what I fail to understand is, why this term is called morning sickness because all the women I’ve talked to, used to face it all day long.

    The reason why morning sickness is so talked about is because it is such an inconvenience. You will feel sick all the time, and tiny little things can trigger the feeling.

    Food & Smell Aversion

    Another common side-effect is smell and food aversion. Certain foods and smells will irk you out. They can be anything and everything. Sometimes, even the most mundane things like soap can make you feel sick and you will start hating those smells.

    Certain foods, that you would normally eat pre-pregnancy, will disgust you and even the mere sight of them will make you puke.

    On the contrary, there will be foods that will make you crave for them.


    Due to the lowered blood sugar levels and an increase in hormonal changes, it is common to feel tired, lazy, and lethargic throughout your first trimester. You could feel sleepy even after taking a long night’s sleep.

    Abdominal Cramping & Bloating

    Abdominal cramping is caused by the growing uterus inside of you. This will cause period-like pain in the first trimester. You will also feel bloated, and that is because the uterus is slowly growing inside and obviously you won’t have a significant bump all of a sudden, it will be a steady growth and the growth starts from a bloating-like feeling.

    The Significance of The First Trimester

    There is a huge significance of the first trimester. A lot of women don’t realize this but the first trimester, well the entire course of pregnancy, is a precarious one. You have to be very cautious because not only is it about you, it is also about a tiny human being growing inside of you. Do it for them, if not for yourself.

    The reason why people are asked to be very careful during their first trimester is that a lot of ob-gyms say that the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are the most crucial ones. It is during this time that the highest percentage of miscarriages happen. Around 80% of all miscarriages happen in the first trimester.

    Miscarriage means the loss of your pregnancy. It means that you did have fetal existence but it has, for some reason, ended. There are many reasons for miscarriage. Some of the most common ones are ectopic pregnancy, chemical pregnancy, Intrauterine growth restriction(IUGR), etc. and these could be due to a number of reasons.

    What My First Trimester Was Like

    My first trimester was the usual kind, with nearly all of the symptoms such as morning sickness, food aversion, cravings, cramping and whatnot.

    What My First Trimester Was Like

    It was a tiring time because morning sickness was just something that I had a hart time dealing with. Imagine going to work, and running to the bathroom every so often just to throw up. I felt a lingering smell of vomit always surrounded me and God knows how much perfume I used to put on myself just to feel better.

    I couldn’t eat a lot of things because I would just throw up but even with so many inconveniences, there was a little sliver of motherhood, that I have a baby inside of me that I will meet soon enough. That little feeling made me giddy with excitement and helped me go through this difficult time.

    My second pregnancy (yes, I’ve had two) was a tad bit more difficult than my first as there were a few complications, my baby’s heart beat could not be detected early on and that was heart-breaking because of I was put on complete bed rest as I could have had a miscarriage. But thankfully, nothing like that happened and after careful treatment by my Ob-gyn, everything went back to normal.


    The first trimester passes by relatively quicker than the other two trimesters, and once you are at the end of your first trimester, you will feel the morning sickness fading away as you move on to the second trimester.