All About the First Trimester
For most women, the first 12 or so weeks of pregnancy are the most consuming because everything is all so new, so exciting, even overwhelming. To satisfy the little voice inside your head that keeps asking questions, here's a primer. Keep it handy.
While some women feel sexy when they’re pregnant and enjoy not having to fuss with birth control, others don’t want to do anything in bed but sleep. If you’ve lost your libido, don’t fret; you’ll probably find it in the second trimester, which many women call the honeymoon period of pregnancy.
You probably won’t look pregnant until after your fourth month, when your uterus outgrows the pelvic cavity, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to wear your clothes comfortably until then. Increased estrogen levels promote fat storage in several places, including the waistline.
Deciding when and with whom to share your news is a very personal decision, but there are a few things to consider. Keeping your pregnancy a secret for a while will give you and your partner some time to absorb the idea privately. While some women wait until the risk of miscarriage drops markedly (at 14 weeks), others spill the beans right away because they’d tell their friends anyway if they miscarried. Telling co-workers is trickier. You may find that your employer expects the news to be followed by the details of your maternity leave, but you may not have decided yet when to return to work—if ever.
Most obstetricians will perform an ultrasound at your first prenatal visit to confirm your pregnancy and to date it if you don’t know when you conceived. Later on, you’ll probably have a transabdominal ultrasound (like the ones you see on TV), but the early exam may be performed by inserting a plastic wand into your vagina. (Don’t worry—it doesn’t hurt.)
While the average weight gain during the first trimester is about 5 pounds, some women actually lose weight because of morning sickness and food aversions. If it happens to you, don’t panic: You’ll soon see the numbers on the scale climb. Just remember that pregnancy is not the time to go on a diet, but rather to eat as healthfully as you can (some women prefer eating six small meals throughout the day). “Anytime you deprive your body of the nutrients it needs, it has to rob them from someplace else,” explains Low. That means invading emergency stores of calcium or iron, for example.