levels of progesterone

Physical changes that happen during the first trimester

The most noticeable, and often the first, symptom of pregnancy is nausea. The queasiness is referred to as morning sickness because the worst bout of that sick feeling usually occurs first thing in the morning. Most women can expect to struggle with this disheartening condition for a better part, if not all of, their first trimester.

Just as noticeable, but not nearly as uncomfortable, are swollen or sore breasts. Early on in pregnancy, a woman’s body begins preparing itself for the survival and arrival of her child. This includes changes to her breasts, which naturally prepare to one day feed the child after she delivers.


Along with swollen breasts and nausea, it’s not uncommon to become extremely fatigued throughout the first trimester. This is due to grossly exaggerated levels of progesterone. There’s really not a whole lot a woman can do to combat this constant state of weariness. Fortunately, energy levels return near the start of the second trimester.

Headaches are a common occurrence during the first trimester. Just as with the elevated levels of progesterone, a woman’s hormone levels are drastically increased as well. This increase causes heightened blood circulation that can lead to frequent headaches. The good thing is that acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol), is considered safe during pregnancy. Tylenol as well as any other medication should be taken under the supervision of a gynecologist or prenatal care provider.

Changes in hunger and smell during the first trimester

Food cravings are experienced by a large number of women. No matter what form they take (double fudge sundaes dripping with whipped cream and cherries or watermelon fruit shakes), be prepared to crave a variety of foods like you never have before.

Pregnancy brings with a heightened sense of smell. Because of this, you may find yourself experiencing aversion to certain smells. That cup of hazelnut java that used to perk you up each morning may now turn your stomach. Not to fear, you will undoubtedly return to wanting that coveted cup of coffee by the end of your first trimester (but remember that caffeine should be consumed only in moderate amounts, or even better, avoided all together during pregnancy).

Emotional changes during the first trimester

Another common expectation during the first trimester is sudden and frequent mood swings. One minute you can’t wait to get to the theater and the next your begging your partner to bring you home. This bi-polar like trait will decrease in intensity as the pregnancy progresses.

These are some of the most common symptoms a woman may or may not experience during her first trimester of pregnancy.


Pregnancy During the First Trimester: What to Expect


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