First Trimester

From the first positive signs to spreading the news, we're here to help you start your pregnancy journey.

Congratulations! You're in your first trimester, meaning you've been pregnant for one to 12 weeks. Whether you've been planning to get pregnant for months or were completely surprised, you most likely have a lot of questions.

It's normal to feel a range of emotions – from excited to nervous and everything in between. You may also be feeling exhausted, emotional and a bit sick to your stomach. Your first trimester can be physically and emotionally difficult, but that's because your body is working hard right now to make a new life.

Your Baby Right Now

By the end of your first trimester, you will be able to hear the first sounds of your baby's heartbeat through a doppler or ultrasound. Your baby starts as only a few cells, but will be about three inches long at the end of your first trimester. All of his organs have begun to develop and he has hands, the beginnings of tiny fingernails, and he can swallow and release fluids.

We're Here to Help

Woman's has everything you need to know to help you prepare for the rest of your pregnancy and childbirth, including:

Remember, being informed eases anxiety and prepares you for the journey ahead.

Pregnancy Concerns

It's not something any newly pregnant woman wants to think about, but miscarriages occur in approximately 15 percent of all pregnancies, usually during the first trimester.

Possible causes of miscarriage include:

  • Abnormal structure of the uterus
  • Genetic abnormality
  • Immune system or blood disorders
  • Incompetent cervix

Symptoms of miscarriage range and can include bleeding and cramping, or you may not have any symptoms at all. Call your doctor right away if you notice any abnormal bleeding during pregnancy.

If your miscarriage is caused by a genetic abnormality, your doctor may recommend genetic counseling to determine your future risk and options.

Complete the pre-registration form (also known as OB Express) online once you know you are pregnant. You won't have to think about this again until about 45 days before your due date, when you will come to Woman's to complete your OB Express registration and sign consent forms.

What you may be wondering:

Can I take cold medicine while I’m pregnant?

In general, try to avoid taking medications during the first trimester. However, if you need relief for pain or fever, acetaminophen is a safe choice. Most cold medicines containing antihistamines are also considered low risk during pregnancy. Always be sure to talk to your doctor before you take any medications during pregnancy.

What was that twinge in my abdomen?

It can be completely normal to feel twinges or mild cramping feelings during the first trimester, as your uterus begins to grow and stretch. Of course, always ask your doctor if you have any concerns or experience any vaginal bleeding or pain.

Is it safe to have sex now that I'm pregnant?

In a normal pregnancy, it is completely safe to have sex right up until you go into labor. Your doctor will let you know if you have a complication that makes it unsafe for you to have sex during pregnancy.

Is it okay for me to drink coffee and soda?

It is perfectly safe to keep having your morning cup of coffee, or other caffeinated drinks during pregnancy. Most doctors recommended limiting yourself to 200 milligrams or less of caffeine a day.

Why is it called morning sickness and when will it end?

The term "morning sickness" refers to the nausea many women experience beginning about six weeks after conception and lasting until about the fourth month of pregnancy. It is called morning sickness because most women experience the symptoms early in the day, however you can have symptoms any time of day. Your morning sickness will likely go away in your second trimester, however some women experience it the entire pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if morning sickness becomes severe or you are having trouble staying hydrated or keeping any food down. Your doctor may prescribe medication or intravenous fluids to help.