First trimester of pregnancy: symptoms and initial care

You did the tests and it was verified: you are pregnant. A mixture of emotion takes over this moment, but what to expect from now on?

Read more: How do I know if I’m pregnant? Pregnancy symptoms and diagnosis

Pregnancy is divided into trimesters and each is marked with very characteristic changes.

In the first trimester (from the 1st to the end of the 12th week), the body begins to prepare itself to be a complete ‘home’ until the baby is born, offering everything it needs.

It is common for the production of some hormones to change and, as a result, hunger increases due to metabolic changes.

At the beginning of the 1st trimester, some organs and tissues begin to develop, such as heart, lung, liver and medulla.

It is also in the 1st trimester that there is a greater chance of spontaneous abortion, malformations and disabilities. Therefore, great care is needed so that everything goes well for the development of the baby and the well-being of the future mother.


What to avoid so that a miscarriage does not occur

It is necessary that pregnant women avoid some activities and attitudes so that it does not compromise the embryo and a spontaneous abortion occurs.

Read more: Recurrent miscarriages may be linked to poor sperm quality

So, it is recommended to avoid:

  • High impact sports (swimming, climbing, etc.);
  • Alcohol consumption;
  • To smoke;
  • Use hair dyes;
  • Make chemical straightening;
  • Self-medication;
  • Maintain outdated vaccination portfolio.

Read more: Smoking in pregnancy increases the risk of sudden death of the baby

How many weeks is the first trimester of pregnancy?

In total, it is 13 weeks (since it ends at the end of the 12th), with the count starting on the date of the last menstruation. That is, the day of the last bleeding until the beginning of the 13th week comprises the 3 months or the 1st trimester.

Read more: Gestational Calculator (weeks, months): how to calculate, ultrasound

The characteristic symptoms of this period

It is likely that the first symptoms and signs of pregnancy will take some time to appear, approximately from the 3rd week.

From the menstrual delay, which is the most characteristic sign of pregnancy, other signs may manifest itself, such as an increased desire to go to the bathroom and greater sensitivity in the breasts.

Along with this, nausea and vomiting occur, due to the activities of the hormone beta-hCG, which begins to work on the development of the placenta.

In the 5th week, it is common to increase the production of saliva and intestinal gases . In the course of next week, the classic desire to eat different foods or drinks, popularly known as “pregnant desire”, appears.

Gradually, it is possible to notice that the belly start to swell. Arriving at the 7th week, show symptoms of gastrointestinal reflux and constipation at that stage the strain tends to increase and it may arise with peaks dizziness .

From the 8th week until the end of the 12th, the symptoms do not change much, but they occur in greater intensity.

At this point, the fetus is already formed and has the characteristics of a baby. As of now, the modifications are mainly in relation to the size.

Common exams performed in the first trimester

The obstetrician may order some tests to certify the mother’s health and the baby’s development. These procedures are very important so that it is possible to monitor the pregnancy and prevent risks. Among the exams are:

Blood type and Rh factor

It consists of the collection of blood that assesses the Rh factor of the mother and baby, aiming to prevent blood incompatibility and also to discover the baby’s blood type.

Blood count

Examination carried out by means of blood collection, in which a study of the amount and aspects of the blood is carried out to diagnose changes in the body, such as anemias.


It aims to study whether the pregnant woman has changes in blood glucose (pre- diabetes or diabetes). The test should be performed frequently to assess the risks of   gestational diabetes .

Read more: Gestational Diabetes: what it is, symptoms, treatment, diet and risks

Urine analysis

Performed through the collection of urine and sent for laboratory analysis, this test can identify diseases such as urinary tract infection .

Obstetric ultrasound

This test is performed from the 7th week of pregnancy and can detect malformations in the baby or the so-called chromosomal diseases (they occur due to changes in the number or structure of chromosomes).


Used to prevent and detect cancer uterine cervix in pregnant women. But it is worth remembering that it must be done by all women, even those who do not have children.

Other exams

Blood collection, performed in the laboratory, helps in the analysis of diseases such as hepatitis B , toxoplasmosis , HIV , syphilis , among other conditions.

Food care

We know that consuming fruits and vegetables is good for your health. During pregnancy, the rule is no different. In fact, this idea that the mother needs to eat for two needs caution, because, in fact, it is necessary to invest in nutrition and moderation.

In the 1st trimester of pregnancy it is necessary to consume foods that contain folic acid , a nutrient that helps in the formation of the fetus, mainly in the brain and spinal cord.

Foods rich in this nutrient and indicated are:

  • Dark vegetables, such as kale and spinach;
  • Citrus fruits;
  • Beans, peas, lentils;
  • Avocado;
  • Seeds and nuts;
  • Beetroot;
  • Corn;
  • Carrot.

Read more: What to eat during pregnancy?

Remembering that the diet of the pregnant woman should always be guided and monitored by health and nutrition professionals.

It is important to pay attention to the care in the 1st trimester of pregnancy, they are the ones that will guarantee a good development of the fetus.

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