ALL the first trimester of pregnancy feelings and why it is ALL ok

Those two pink lines. It means your life is changing in such a beautiful, chaotic, and unpredictable way - forever. You’re now in your first trimester of pregnancy and SO many things are about to happen. From experience, the changes feel just as mental as they are physical. 

The first thing to keep in mind for the entirety of your pregnancy is that everyone’s experience will be different. With that said, let us walk you through some common changes and we’ll also sprinkle in our experiences.

Your headspace

The initial revelation that you are pregnant takes some time to sink in. For most, it is a feeling of pure joy. I vividly remember just staring at the PREGNANT on my digital pregnancy test. There was so much relief, excitement, and anticipation. But that feeling of exuberance faded quickly into worry for me.

I had all the thoughts. 

  • The future I wanted with this baby in my life
  • Worry and anxiety over everything. Miscarriage, bleeding, cramping, food I ate or didn’t eat, morning sickness, sore boobs, sleep…..the list seemed endless.

I was hypersensitive about everything in my first trimester of pregnancy. I googled a billion different things. If this sounds like you, take a breath. 

As a newly pregnant mama you’re in a completely foreign territory, so naturally there are a lot of thoughts, questions and worries.

If you’re having some questions, here are our answers from experience:

Will I have a miscarriage?

9.4% chance at 6 weeks
4.6 % chance at 7 weeks
1.5% chance at 8 weeks
.5% chance at 9 weeks
.7% chance at 10 weeks

Is cramping bad? Because I am cramping...

You can cramp because of implantation or your uterus and ligaments stretching. It is not abnormal. That answer might not make your stress go away, but we hope it helps.

Is bleeding bad?

It is scary. It happened to me and I freaked out. There are reasons for bleeding/spotting. It can be from implantation. That is usually a brownish-red color. A period like bleeding can also be normal (which is extremely stressful, we understand). But, if you are soaking a pad with blood within an hour - call your doctor, or if you aren’t bleeding like that, but reading this didn’t help ease your worry, call your doctor. 

I have a weird discharge, is this a miscarriage?

It is normal to have discharge. It is even normal to have a lot of weird discharges. Discharge is probably not a miscarriage. But, I am not a medical expert, so a doctor or nurse will know best.

I am stressed, is this going to be bad for the baby?

It is highly unlikely that it would cause a miscarriage. Stress isn’t great for you, so try to decompress from what is stressing you. If de-stressing seems impossible, address it with your doctor.

    It can be painstakingly hard to wait for that 6-8 week ultrasound where they check for a heartbeat. I GET IT. But if I could speak to my first-trimester self, I would tell her this is the first lesson of many on relinquishing control. It is hard to wait, but we have no other option. If you find yourself slipping into worry, redirect to something more positive like pinning your dream nursery items or find something that completely takes your mind off baby. 

    first trimester physical changes


    Your physical body

    The first trimester of pregnancy is known for morning sickness, big emotions, insane sleepiness, peeing every 10 minutes, stopped up bowels, and the formation of cravings. Fun!

    This little list doesn’t even mention the actual act of your body creating another human. Those internal changes are pretty wild too.

    Here are some thoughts on what to expect….

    Morning sickness

    This little gem usually starts around 6 weeks. The good news is for most mamas it does leave around week 14. The 8-11 week mark is when the sickness peaks. What you may not know is that morning sickness is not just nausea or vomiting. There are other elements that also classify as morning sickness. So, you may have the classic morning sickness or you may not. Both are normal and your baby is fine. 

    You may be spared from puking all day, but you will probably feel at least one of the below symptoms. 

    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Headaches
    • Dry heaving
    • Sudden appetite changes
    • Aversions to specific foods
    • Dehydration
    • Rapid heartbeat

    I was one of the lucky ones. I did not experience bouts of nausea or vomiting. I was able to eat without aversion or appetite change. But, I did have a headache every day for weeks. Doctors don’t advise acetaminophen use at this stage, so a headache was just something I came to expect everyday. It started to fade around week 12. 

    If you do experience morning sickness, keep this handy little infographic around with some ways in which other soon-to-be mamas have reduced their nausea and/or vomiting. 

    morning sickness remedies
    Credit: The Crazy Outdoor Mama

    Your emotions

    Why am I so emotional in my first trimester of pregnancy? Great question. You are going to be a tangled ball of emotions. Sorry. These emotions can and will be anything from joy, happy or sad tears or full rage. Your body is ramping up its hormone use with big boosts of both estrogen and progesterone. It’s great for your baby, not great for your emotions. 

    The most common emotions during this stage are: 

    • Irritability
    • Sadness
    • Anxiety 

    All of these wild emotions are understandable, but that doesn’t make them any easier to deal with. There are a lot of things to be anxious about in this stage, we talked about a few of them in the last section. You are going through a huge life change so irritability and sadness/tears are legit.

    How to deal

    To be honest, I didn’t deal that well. I was IRRITABLE. Almost anything people said set off a small rage inside me. That isn’t really the person I normally am, so I had to find some ways to deal with the strange new emotions I was having.

    I tried many things, but I found that these worked well: 

    Getting enough sleep: I know you feel you’re sleeping a lot - but listen to your body

    Take a walk each day: Inside or outside. Just a little activity, even if it is around your house, goes a long way.

    Accept help, don’t overwhelm yourself: People WANT to help a pregnant woman. If you’re a person who normally does things themselves, like I am, now is a good time to start learning to accept help when offered.

    Talk to other pregnant moms or current moms: This can be online or your inner circle. It was hugely helpful for me. They have been through it. They WILL understand even if they didn’t have your specific symptoms. 

    Pregnancy can make you an emotional wreck, but put a priority on care for yourself. YOU deserve it and need it right now. 

    Your energy level

    Every woman will be different during this stage. Most are stupidly tired. Some feel like they can maintain their normal energy level. 

    If you are the most tired you’ve ever been in your entire life, listen to your body. 

    • Prioritize sleep whenever you can get it 
    • Food is important. You do need to eat and drink water, even if it sounds repulsive 
    • A little tiny walk can do wonders

    If you feel like you are tired, but not the most tired you’ve ever been in your life, still listen to your body. 

    • It is still very helpful to prioritize sleep. Your body's working overtime and does need it. 
    • Keep getting a little exercise 
    • Feed your body good food

    Also, you will have more energy to look forward to in your second trimester. Yay! 

    pregnancy foods to eat and avoid

    Credit: John Hopkins Medicine 

    Your cravings or aversions in pregnancy

    Pregnancy is so weird in this way. I have always found it fascinating as to why our bodies would choose to love or hate a food while growing another human. But, just go with it.

    Cravings usually center around sweet, salty, spicy, or sour. Around 50-90% of women will have some form of cravings during their pregnancy. 

    I didn’t even know I was craving peanut butter until one day I realized I was putting peanut butter on just about anything that it may potentially be good on. I also started craving cereal. I normally despise cereal. 

    Pregnancy cravings can seem a bit odd, but rarely would they be a real threat to you or the baby. It is ok to indulge in those cravings. If you feel it is excessive, work on ways to keep it in moderation. Or ask your doctor.

    Rest assured mama, that all your body is going through and will go through is worth it. That everything you are feeling is valid, and that so many people are willing and wanting to support you along the way. 

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