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a couple preparing for a baby

what to expect during the first trimester of pregnancy.

1 minute


The first trimester of pregnancy can take many of us by surprise. This is the stage where your baby grows the most, so – while physically you might not look any different – a whole host of new things are going on inside.

The impact of hormones during the first trimester - inside and out

Healthcare professionals advise that most of the physical and psychological side-effects of early pregnancy are - you guessed it - down to hormonal changes, which can bring with them mood swings, constipation and ‘morning sickness’. (Which, if you ask us is a little misleading as it often lasts all day).

Many mums-to-be can feel low during this time, which then brings on the guilt. ‘I was so thrilled when I discovered I was pregnant, but just a week later I felt nauseous all the time and struggled to find anything I wanted to eat,’ says Helen, mum to one-year-old Noah.

‘I was tired and moody, but felt guilty too - pregnancy was something I wanted so much, so I’d expected to feel happier, particularly as my best friend at the time was going through IVF. I really didn’t realise how common this is.’

First trimester anxiety

There’s no ‘normal’ pregnancy but it is totally normal to feel all kinds of difficulties in the first trimester, not to mention anxiety. ‘My wife had had two miscarriages before her third pregnancy, so that first trimester was a lot of nervousness and tensions between us,’ says Paulo, father to twins Arthur and Will. ‘By about 14 weeks my wife was feeling a lot better, we’d started telling people and that’s when I really let myself get excited.’

The first trimester isn’t always fun but things do tend to settle down as your body gets into the swing of things so go easy on yourself, focus on the positives (you’re pregnant - woohoo!) and of course if there is anything you’re worried about, always contact a health care professional.

If you want to learn about what happens after this stage, then read our next article in this pregnancy series - what to expect during the second trimester.


1) NHS, Signs and symptoms of pregnancy,, last accessed 6 August 2020

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