From ever-shifting emotions to the introduction of medical jargon that makes you feel like you’ve landed on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, the first trimester of pregnancy can be as confusing as it is exciting.
Starting on the first day of your last period and continuing through the end of the thirteenth week of pregnancy, the first trimester is full of rapid changes for both you and your baby. According to Johns Hopkins, it’s during this timeframe that your baby’s organs and major systems develop, their eyes and ears become more distinct, and their heart begins to beat. It’s also during these first few months that you may experience the dreaded morning sickness, your breasts may grow, and you come to the realization that you need to pee far more often than before you were pregnant.
But outside of the development and medical benchmarks, what are the things you should know about the first trimester? What about the things that no one tells you about?
Here are five insights on the first trimester that no one really talks about but new moms wish they’d known.
1. Your experience will be different than your friend’s/sister’s/cousin’s/mother’s.
Each pregnancy is beautifully unique Comparing your first trimester to someone else’s (even if that person shares your DNA) may not be as helpful as you think! While one woman could experience morning sickness first thing in the day, another may experience it in the afternoon or not at all. There can certainly be similarities between pregnancies, but it’s best to let your body take its own course rather than become anxious when that path doesn’t align with someone else’s. If you have questions or concerns about what is normal or expected during the first trimester, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor.
2. You’re going to experience a lot of emotions—and they’re all valid.
Finding out you’re pregnant innatelmes with a multitude of feelings—awe, anxiety, happiness, fear, and countless others. Add in the fact that your hormones are ramping up and you’ve got the perfect storm for an onslaught of emotions.
It’s important to remember, whether it’s your first pregnancy or your fifth, to have grace, compassion, and forgiveness for yourself in whatever you’re experiencing. It’s okay to struggle with being cautiously optimistic and also be head over heels in love with your baby. It’s okay to feel frustrated that your body is changing and also be in awe of the fact that it’s doing an incredible thing by creating and nurturing a life. It’s okay if you have an emotional outburst or tantrum from time to time. Don’t beat yourself up. Extend yourself the kindness you would give to another woman in your shoes.
3. Your extensive Googling is normal
“Can I eat cream cheese when pregnant?” “Epidural not that bad?” “When will I feel my baby kick?” “Cute maternity clothes …”
Listen, you’re compulsive Google searches are not out of the ordinary. If anything, this is the parental instinct kicking in. You want to be prepared, knowledgeable, and ready to tackle whatever comes. So, you search—constantly. From the trivial to the imperative, remember that there’s no shame in curiosity or the pursuit of information! And you’re not alone in this search for preparedness. Other soon-to-be mothers do it too! Just make sure what you’re reading is from a reputable source. We’d recommend coming in for a free appointment. Click here to book a 30 minute in-person or virtual appointment today!
4. Deciding when to tell people can be stressful.
Like pregnancy itself, the process of determining when to tell others you’re expecting is unique for each mother. For some, because they’re not showing yet, the whole thing doesn’t feel real and so they refrain from sharing the news. For others, concern over miscarriage or complications causes them to hold off on telling people until they feel like they’re “out of the woods.” And some mothers share the news the moment they discover they’re pregnant. When considering all the factors at play, deciding when to tell people you’re expecting can be overwhelming. But it’s important to remember that there’s no right or wrong timeline to announce your pregnancy. If you’re comfortable, discuss how you’re feeling, what you’re processing, and what next step you think would be best with your partner, trusted friends, or family.
5. It’s okay to feel like you’re losing a piece of yourself.
purposeful—especially when you’re not showing and the whole scenario just doesn’t feel real. It’s okay to mourn the aspects of yourself that may slip away during pregnancy. It’s okay to feel like you’re losing a piece of yourself. There’s absolutely no shame in that feeling. Have compassion for yourself as you enter this season of change. Yes, it may be difficult, but it’s also worth it because of what you’ll gain. You’re doing miraculous things. Remember that!