WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR FIRST TRIMESTER
Are you a first-time mom-to-be? That infamous pregnancy fatigue is probably making you eager to cozy up to the couch right now so you can read up on all that you’re experiencing. To the rescue: This quick list of exactly what you can expect in your first trimester as an expecting mom.
1. YOU MAY NOT GAIN TOO MUCH WEIGHT
As soon as you spotted the positive sign on your pregnancy test, you probably envisioned yourself with a pleasant, round bump — but chances are you’ll only gain a few pounds during the first 12 weeks. Morning sickness is mostly to blame: It will be hard to up your calorie intake when you’re having trouble keeping food down. Not feeling nauseous? Certain smells and foods might bother you, or you’ll lose your appetite. Add that to the fact that you’re skipping high-calorie items like alcohol and soft cheeses, and it could be tough to maintain your calorie intake.
2. IT MAY SEEM SHORT
For a lot of moms-to-be, time flies during pregnancy. And although your first trimester is technically 13 weeks long, it will feel like way less time has passed. Here’s why: The pregnancy calendar counts your first week of pregnancy as the last day of your period (even though the egg and sperm haven’t met yet). But there’s actually no way to know you’re pregnant for sure until week 5, when your hcG hormone level (which turns your pregnancy test positive) is finally high enough to confirm you’re really expecting (and that’s assuming you take the test the second you miss your period). That knocks you down to nine weeks to get through the first trimester, at most.
3. SOME FOODS ARE OFF THE MENU
It’s probably safe to say you know to avoid alcohol during pregnancy, but there are some off-limits foods that may surprise you. For instance, while it’s important to bone up on calcium, be cautious that you’re not eating products made with unpasteurized dairy products, which can contain pregnancy-unfriendly bacteria like Listeria. That includes soft cheeses like feta, Brie, and goat cheese. Same goes for unpasteurized juices, so check the label before you chug OJ. More to avoid: hot dogs and deli meat, which can also contain Listeria, as well as nitrates and nitrites (in processed meats like hot dogs). Raw sprouts can also contain E. coli and Salmonella, so opt for spinach or arugula instead. In fact, pass on almost anything with the word “raw” — raw eggs (including Caesar dressings and hollandaise sauce), undercooked meat, sashimi and raw sushi. Speaking of fish, be cautious of sea foods with a high mercury content, like mackerel and tilefish.
4. YOUR BABY IS STILL TINY
Another reason you likely won’t gain much weight in trimester one: Your little one is very little. When you’re able to confirm your pregnancy in week 5, your sweetie will be as small as an orange seed. And while your baby will be hard at work developing his brain and growing itty-bitty bones, he’ll only measure up to the size of a peach by the time your first trimester is through. Chances are your breasts will be growing faster than your belly at this point!
5. THE WORLD HAS A LOT OF SMELLS
Since when did your mother-in-law wear such strong perfume, and did your hubby’s aftershave always reek? In your first trimester, you may begin to notice you have a super sense of smell — and that could even start to rub you the wrong way. Some moms-to-be may not be able to stomach their favorite foods, just based on smell, while others may start resenting that co-worker who insists on eating garlicky pizzas and pastas (and doesn’t even sit too close to you!).