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11 Changes to Expect in the First Trimester of Your Pregnancy

27 Nov 2020
11 Changes to Expect in the First Trimester of Your Pregnancy

The First Trimester

The first trimester of your pregnancy involves weeks 1-13, meaning, this encompases the first three months. In these first three months you will experience a variety of body changes. For your first trimester, most of these changes manifest themselves internally. This means a baby bump won’t be in sight yet. You won’t be looking pregnant but you will definitely start experiencing the symptoms of being pregnant.

As your baby begins to develop, pregnancy hormones begin to take over to prepare your body as the development nook of your baby. These hormones cause you to feel a little more tired than usual. 

Your Baby’s Milestones in the First Trimester

In the first trimester, your baby transforms from a zygote, a single fertilized cell, to an embryo that is implanted in your uterine wall, to a bundle of growing limbs and different body systems that’s the size of a peach. Organs finally start to take shape and the baby is able to exhibit a few movements. Here are a few mini milestones in development that take place: 

1. Baby’s Bones

Approximately, at week 6, your baby begins to sprout his/her arms, legs, hands, and feet! Fingers and toes come next at around week 10.

2. Hair and Nails 

At weeks 5 and 8, skin begins to form. Hair follicles and nail beds start to form around week 11. 

3. Digestive System 

At week 8, your baby’s intestines begin to form.

4. Sense of Touch 

Your baby starts to develop touch receptors on his face, primarily his lips and nose at week 8. At week 12, receptors on his genitals, palms, and the soles of his/her feet begin to develop as well. 

5. Eyesight

The optic nerves, nerves responsible for passing information from the eyes to the brain and vise versa, begin to form in week 4. The retina soon follows at week 8. 

6. Heart

One of the exciting milestones in your baby’s development is hearing his/her heartbeat for the very first time! At week 5, the tube that will become your baby’s heart begins to beat spontaneously. It gradually becomes more regular at weeks 9-10. 

7. Brain 

By week 8 of your pregnancy, your baby will be able to wiggle his developing limbs because his/her brain is already being developed as well.

8. Sense of taste 

Your little one would have already developed taste buds that connect to his brain by week 8. No taste pores yet, so he won’t be able to taste the amniotic fluid he’s surrounded by. (Fun fact: the amniotic fluid tastes like your most recent meal!)

Apart from these detailed developments, other milestones your baby will experience in the first trimester will include the formation of muscles, their ability to produce white blood cells (an important aid in fighting off germs) and the development of their vocal cords. 

Changes in Your Body 

While your baby undergoes different developments in his/her first trimester, simultaneously, you will also experience your own set of changes. With your first trimester, this is where your early pregnancy symptoms also begin to show. 

9. Morning Sickness 

Your morning sickness will usually take place around week 6 of your pregnancy and unfortunately, it tends to not just act up in the morning. We recommend consulting your doctor to help relieve pregnancy-related nausea when it gets a bit too severe. 

10. Tender Breasts 

In the same week, you will begin to notice changes in your breasts. They will start to feel tender and even bigger. 

11. Mood Swings 

One minute you’re down the next, you’re in a good mood again. You won’t be able to explain your mood swings even to yourself but rest assured that these are normal. 


Important Changes to Take Note of

With the variety of changes going on in your body, it may be tempting to brush off some as normal and not needing any special attention. However, you must also be aware that in your first trimester, you are at the highest risk to experience a miscarriage. This is why expecting moms try to wait out the first trimester first before announcing anything. Here is a list of symptoms to watch out for that you cannot as easily brush off as a common symptom and would require you to check in with your doctor: 

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Painful urination
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Fever over 38 C and/or chills
  • Experiencing back pains
  • Sudden thirst
  • Severe puffiness in your hands and/or face 
  • Vision disturbances 

When you experience any of the symptoms above, it’s important to give your doctor a call right away. If your doctor isn’t able to pick up, it’s best to rush to the nearest Emergency Room that can accommodate you. Remember: it’s better to be safe than sorry.  


 A healthy first trimester is crucial, as it dictates the starting stages of your baby’s development. As your body undergoes major changes, this is where you also begin to experience different pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and nausea. Synchronous with your changes are the beginning stages of your baby as well, pregnancy becomes even more real as your baby begins to form and you get your first ultrasound!



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