First Trimester: What’s Happening in Your Body

By OBOS Pregnancy & Birth Contributors | April 7, 2014

Your body has begun to nurture a new life. During the coming nine months, you will experience enormous physical changes as the embryo grows from a single fertilized cell into a fully developed baby.

I loved, loved being pregnant. I was taking the best care of myself in all my thirty years, in terms of food, lifestyle, sleep, exercise, and alone time. I felt as if my intuition and all my senses were heightened.

Despite the excitement of being pregnant, the first trimester can be particularly challenging. You may experience fatigue, constipation, decreased sex drive, increased urge to urinate, tender or sore breasts, increased vaginal secretion, and nausea or increased appetite.

Moreover, the nausea or vomiting commonly referred to as “morning sickness” is clearly misnamed because women who have nausea often feel sick throughout the day.

My morning sickness seemed to increase as the day went on. I was unable to eat much and unable to stomach certain foods. I am vegetarian and used to eat soy products, but my body wouldn’t have anything to do with that. I craved fruit and liked everything cold!

You may experience moments when you need to eat something immediately but, for the life of you, cannot figure out what.

I remember sitting cooling my cheek on the bathroom floor with my partner standing over me telling me to eat the crackers he was handing me, which I did not want to do, and then feeling immediately better once I did. I also remember standing in the kitchen with a lost look on my face saying, “You need to put some food in front of me right now.”

During the first trimester, your breasts may become larger, full and tender, and your areolae, the area around your nipples, may begin to darken. Exhaustion is also common during the first trimester.

I didn’t realize how all-encompassing the lack of energy could be. I used to take catnaps in an empty patient room during my twelve-hour shift. My charge nurse for the shift would call them “smoke breaks,” since all the nurses who were smokers were allowed to relinquish care of their patients for 15 minutes to go smoke. I would do the same to sleep.

Not all women experience all of these changes. The absence of any of these first trimester experiences is not an indication that something is wrong with your pregnancy.