The first trimester is both mentally and physically exhausting. Your body is going through so many changes and it literally takes everything out of you. Who knew growing a tiny human could be so exhausting?! Making it through the work day was a daunting task. I would get home from work and crash on the couch. My husband would wake me up a few hours later to eat dinner and I would fall right back to sleep. He would then wake me up when it was time to go to bed and I would sleep all night. I was NOT prepared for how exhausted I was going to be. One suggestion I have is DEFINITELY try to get as much rest as possible. The first trimester is so critical with baby's growth and you need all the energy you have to grow that sweet baby!
Let's talk prenatal vitamins. They are crucial in keeping your health up and also providing baby with the nutrients needed to grow! It is always a good idea to start taking prenatal vitamins before you are actually pregnant, and you will want to make sure your vitamin has folic acid and iron (most do). Prenatal vitamins can be found over the counter at drug and grocery stores. Your OBGYN can also prescribe a prenatal vitamin for you.
I was super nauseous during the first trimester. When taking your prenatal vitamin, make sure you take it with food on your stomach. To help with this, I actually switched and took my prenatal vitamin in the evenings when I knew I had food in my stomach. It's crazy what can happen to your body throughout pregnancy even before you can feel anything. Keeping food on your stomach and drinking plenty of water will be a game changer for you!
Your First Prenatal Appointment
Your first appointment will happen around 8 weeks. At this point, the baby's heartbeat can be detected. Now, most offices will start you with an education course and will provide you with TONS of information regarding your pregnancy, what to expect at prenatal appointments, when to expect ultrasounds, an estimate of cost for labor and delivery, and a rotation of doctors you will see for each appointment. My office rotated physicians through each of my appointments so I had at least met all the doctors in the practice before delivery.
You will have your first ultrasound at your first appointment (YAY!) Be prepared that most offices will do your first ultrasound vaginally. When my husband saw it, his eyes almost popped out of his head LOL. It is not painful, just something to be aware of! I was actually happy about this because you definitely get a better picture of your sweet babe. During this ultrasound, the tech will check for baby's heartbeat and do some measurements to measure if baby is going on time, and will also check your ovaries. Honestly, that was the most painful part for me! You'll get a few pictures of your little one and then it will be time to see your doctor!
During this appointment, your doctor will talk about the ultrasound with you and ask if you have any questions. You will also have a pap smear. This will be the last time you have a pap smear during your pregnancy.
A Typical Prenatal Appointment
At every appointment, you will provide a urine sample upon arrival. So make sure you don't stop at the bathroom in the hallway before checking in :) I did that once and barely had anything to put in the cup after I checked in for my appointment, lesson learned! Once in the room, the nurse will check your blood pressure and ask if you have any questions for the doctor. Prenatal appointments are rather quick. Doctor will check your fundal height, which is a measurement from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus. This is measured in centimeters and should match up with how far along you are in pregnancy. For example, a fundal height of 8cm would mean you are around 8 weeks pregnant. Anything within 1-2 weeks is considered normal. The doctor will check baby's heartbeat and you'll get to hear it at every appointment! They will then ask if you have any questions, and that's it!
Certain appointments have a little bit more to them, but those don't happen until later on in pregnancy and I'll discuss those later.
You will have prenatal appointments every month through the first and second trimester. Once you hit the third trimester, you will be seen every two weeks, and finally you will go in every week at 36 weeks. My office had me fill out an availability form at my first appointment and they scheduled all my appointments for my entire pregnancy which is SUPER NICE. Be sure to ask your office if you have this option.
The biggest thing is to make sure you get PLENTY of rest during the first trimester. I know how exciting this time is, so after you've had that first ultrasound, it's typically safe to go ahead and share the great news with extended family and friends. Enjoy your first trimester!
xo-The Home Team Mama
Hi everyone! I am a working mama in Indianpolis, Indiana. I am a middle school special education teacher and basketball coach as well as wife to a social studies teacher/assistant athletic director and mama to our sweet baby girl, Mila! On this blog, I'll share helpful tips and tricks to navigate through pregnancy, labor and delivery, postpartum, newborn care, and balancing work and home life. Enjoy!