First trimester: weeks 1 to 12

You're pregnant: congratulations! The first weeks of your pregnancy are a vital time as your body gets busy building a baby. How exciting!

Weeks 1-12 infographic

First trimester: key stages

The first trimester begins on the first day of your last period and lasts until the end of week 12. This means that by the time you know for sure you're pregnant, you might already be five or six weeks pregnant!

A lot happens during these first three months. The fertilised egg rapidly divides into layers of cells and implants in the wall of your womb where it carries on growing. These layers of cells become an embryo, which is what the baby is called at this stage.

During this trimester, your baby grows faster than at any other time. By six weeks, a heartbeat can usually be heard and by the end of week 12, your baby's bones, muscles and all the organs of the body have formed. At this point, your baby looks like a tiny human being and is now called a fetus. He or she will even be practising swallowing!

Lifestyle changes in the first trimester of pregnancy

You may need to make some lifestyle changes now that you are pregnant. Find out which foods and medicines you should avoid to keep your baby safe and healthy. You’ll also need to cut out alcohol and smoking, and reduce your caffeine intake.

You might be surprised to learn that caffeine is not just found in coffee, but also in tea, chocolate and energy drinks! Find out how much caffeine is in your daily diet.

Get your free guide to healthy eating straight to your inbox.

Try not to worry if you smoked or drank alcohol before you found out you were pregnant. Now that you know, you can take steps to looking after yourself and your baby.

Get help to stop smoking.

We also have lots of useful tips for coping with everyday pregnancy niggles. It’s common for women to experience symptoms such as morning sickness, cramp and indigestion during the first trimester. But try not to worry, these symptoms mean that your baby is growing strong and healthy!

Don't forget that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. It's normal to feel some anxiety and stress but it shouldn't be ongoing. If what you’re feeling isn’t normal for you, talk to your GP or midwife about it. They are there to help. 

Exercise, such as yoga, has been shown to reduce anxiety and is a great way to stay active during your pregnancy, too.

Read more about mental wellbeing in pregnancy.

Find the complete list of pregnancy dos and don'ts (and reasons why) here

Find out more about the first trimester


1. NHS Choices (2012). “Your pregnancy week by week”. National Health Services: Choices. Accessed online on 02.02.2015: Page last reviewed: 22/07/2014. Next review due: 22/07/2016

2. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J (2012) Mayes’ Midwifery, 14th edition, London, Ballière Tindall

3. NICE (2008). “Antenatal care: NICE clinical guideline 62”. National Institue for health and care excellence 2008; accessed online on 15.01.2015: (last review August 2014). 

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Last reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.

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  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 17 Dec 2017 - 11:51

    I haven't had my period since Nov 15 now it's dec 17 I've had 2 pregnancy test to confirm
    What should my next steps be
    I don't have a family doctor

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Dec 2017 - 12:40

    Hi. If you are in the UK then you should register with a GP near to where you live. You can also self refer to your local hospital but the maternity department will need you to be registered with a GP. If there is a reason why you can't do this please give us a call and we will try to help.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 15 Dec 2017 - 02:44

    Hi my last period was september 23 have not had one since. got pregnat around October 6 .I have took a pregnacy test couple days ago to question is how far along am I? Haven't been to my doctor yet .I have a appointment scheduled tho.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 15 Dec 2017 - 09:33

    According to your period dates and based on your having a regular 28 day cycle then you are about 11 weeks and 6 days pregnant and your due date would be 30th June 2018. If your cycle is different to 28 days then you can use our calculator to adjust for this:
    Once you have your first date this will give you your official due date and accurate date your pregnancy.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 11 Dec 2017 - 19:16

    i am roughly 2 weeks pregnant with my second baby, and i have random stomach pains, like sharp stabbing pains, is this normal?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 13 Dec 2017 - 14:31

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.

    Mild cramp and abdominal discomfort can be normal in early pregnancy as all the ligaments are stretching to accommodate the growing pregnancy. However, if these pains are severe, lasting for a long time, become one sided or you have any bleeding then we would recommend that you visit your local early pregnancy unit so that you can be checked over. It doesn't indicate that there is a problem but it is better to be checked over and feel reassured. Hope this helps, take care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 5 Dec 2017 - 05:21

    I am 1 month pregnant but suffering in likhoria a lot is it dangerous for baby?
    plzzz any advise

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 5 Dec 2017 - 14:08

    Hi Javeria,

    I'm not sure what this is please could you email back with your questions. I Looking forward to hearing from you
    Anna-Tommy's Midwives

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 1 Dec 2017 - 00:48

    I had sex on d 14 of Nov n I was suppose to see my period on d 23 Nov but now am a week I pregnant..cox my partner said he didn't ejaculate in me..

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 1 Dec 2017 - 11:31

    Hi, I am unable to tell you whether you are or are not pregnant, you would need to do a pregnancy test to confirm this. If you are having intercourse without contraception even if your partner did not ejaculate in you there is a chance of pregnancy. If you continue to be late on your period, do a pregnancy test and if this is negative then I would suggest to repeat the test in a week. In the meantime, if you think you could be pregnant or having intercourse without contraception then we would recommend that you are taking a folic acid supplement in case you do get pregnant.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 30 Nov 2017 - 04:24

    Hi there, I found out 11/14 I was pregnant.
    Last cycle 10/9 average cycle is 33-35 days
    11/15 I had blood test which was 54

    11/22 My HCG was 1174
    Yesterday 11/28 I thought I had a UTI so went to Dr. They said everything was fine, but because they though I should be around 7 weeks did an ultrasound. Couldn't find baby, sack measured at 5 weeks 2 days, my HCG levels were almost 8,000
    Is this normal? Is it okay to be 5 weeks 3 days now and around 8,000 HCG level?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 30 Nov 2017 - 14:45

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.

    Raising HCG levels are reassuring and this indicates that a pregnancy is progressing. Even woman's levels can be different. It sounds that at your scan you were less weeks then you thought your were and this can be normal. Your HCG levels are still increasing so the Dr may of booked you in for a repeat scan to check the progress of your pregnancy? If you are concerned then please contact your Dr who will be able to provide you with more information and reassurance. Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 30 Nov 2017 - 02:24

    I had my last period September 15th and it’s now November 29th still no period. I always get it every month and a half so and I’m about a month late. I took a few at home tests and they’re all negative. I looked up pregnancy symptoms and I have a few but not a lot I don’t have sore breasts and I haven’t had any nausea. What could it be?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 30 Nov 2017 - 14:22

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.
    If you have been having unprotected sex and you have missed a period then there may be a possibility that you are pregnant. As you are still getting negative tests, it would be advisable to go and see your GP. Explain what you have been experiencing and then they may do a blood test to check for the pregnancy hormone HCG, this is the same hormone that is picked up on a urine test but can be stronger in the blood. Hope this helps, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 30 Nov 2017 - 19:48

    The hormone levels may not be strong enough to detect on home pregnancy tests. You should go to your go where they can do a urine sample and send off bloods to know for certain. Could be due to stress also

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 30 Nov 2017 - 00:48

    I lost a baby september then i had my period on 29october we decided to try from then today i done pregnanvy test it came a cross but one of the line o could barely see it it it a positive or negative

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 30 Nov 2017 - 14:16

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.
    If you can see both lines even if it is faint then this could be a positive test. It may be worth doing another test to see what the result is. If you haven't missed a period yet, wait an see if you miss a period and then retest. Hope this helps, Take care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 27 Nov 2017 - 21:07

    Hi, am 7weeks pregnant, I had a scan yesterday but my baby was not seen, I was told to come back after 10 days,what will I do or eat to make things right.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 28 Nov 2017 - 15:27

    Thank you for your comment. This must be such a worrying time for you. Sometimes it is not possible to see the baby clearly at such an early scan but this does not necessarily mean you are not pregnant. You have been advised to have another scan in 10 days time-this will check if the baby can be seen. However if you start to have bleeding or abdominal pain before then, please seek advice from A+E or your Early Pregnancy unit
    Please continue with taking your pregnancy vitamins and having a healthy diet, also not smoking or drinking alcohol. Whilst there is nothing specific we can advise to make things right, as you say, it is important to keep healthy

    Please do not hesitate to contact us for further advice or call Tommy's PregnancyLIne 0800 0147 800
    Take care
    Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 26 Nov 2017 - 18:56

    I had a period on Oct 25 and it lasted four days and my period was suppose to come on nov23 28day cycle and wen I have a 30day cycle it was suppose to come on Nov 25 and my breast have been sore does that mean I'm pregnant

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 28 Nov 2017 - 09:59

    Thank you for your comment
    I would suggest that you do a pregnancy test-sore breasts can be a sign of early pregnancy. You can do the test even if your period is only a few days late
    I have attached 2 links that you may find helpful:

    Take care
    Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 23 Nov 2017 - 13:00

    Hi - I need some advise. I had a period on 8th October, then tried to conceive the week I was ovulating around the 21st October. By end of October I felt pregnant, achy breasts, extreme fatigue along with some other symptoms that I felt with my first. I was then 6 days late on my period so was assuming that I was pregnant. Did a test, it was either negative or a very very faint line. The next day I bled. So I assumed that I was not pregnant or perhaps had a chemical. I did not experience any cramps with the bleed or my usual craving for chocolate. A few days after the bleed I felt the pregnancy symptoms again. I was driving myself mad so took another test to put my mind at rest and it said that I was 2-3 pregnant (which should be 5 weeks if you were to factor in the usual first day of last period). But this makes no sense as the last bleed I had was only 2 weeks ago and we didn't have sex as I was bleeding, also, I wouldn't be due to ovulate until this weekend but I am already 2-3 weeks pregnant. Could that have been an implantation bleed from me falling pregnant in October? Meaning I am 6 weeks pregnant? I am so confused.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 23 Nov 2017 - 15:06

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.

    It could be that the bleed you had was an implantation bleed, if this wasn't a normal bleed for you. You could therefore be, like you say, 6 weeks pregnant. It would be advisable that you go and see your GP who can refer you for an early scan so that they can see how many weeks pregnant you are. If you are in fact 6 weeks, then the scan will be able to confirm this. Make sure you are taking pregnancy vitamins and eating and drinking well. Hope this helps, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 23 Nov 2017 - 01:03

    Hi im 23 and I first got pregnant when I was 19 and by then I had an abortion, since last year 2016 I felt I was ready to have a baby with my boyfriend and we've been trying with no luck until now, I found out last week that I was pregnant, first by doing a home pregnancy test and also went to the clinic to get tested again and both were positive, im 6 weeks nw, so I would like to ask if my previous abortion will harm this pregnancy, I am always worried because I read somewhere on the internet where they said a previous abortion can result on a damaged cervix and it increases the chance of having a miscarrige, please help

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 23 Nov 2017 - 14:37

    Hi, Thank you for your comment and congratulations on your pregnancy.

    Depending on the method of termination, this should not be a danger to this pregnancy. Some terminations may effect the cervix but the majority are fine. Please try not to worry, if you are concerned then it would be advisable to speak to your GP about this, they may have the details of what procedure you had in your notes and can advice you further and hopefully relieve some of your worries. Hope this helps, take care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 20 Nov 2017 - 12:31

    hi, am currently about three months pregnant and am experiencing some difficulties in eating. I vomit a lot that it makes me weak and afraid to eat. please what should I do and is it normal? thank you.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Nov 2017 - 15:42

    Hi Hellen,
    I am so sorry to hear that you are vomiting a lot and that it is making you afraid to eat.
    Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy affects 85% of pregnant women so it is a normal part of pregnancy but it is a miserable, isolating experience.
    Many women do find that it resolves by around 16 weeks but for some it continues.
    I imagine you have tried lots of different things but I am listing them just in case. Eating little and often is key to maintaining your blood sugar levels as hunger and dehydration makes the condition worse - so sips of fluid, sucking ice or ice lollies, anything at all you can tolerate to eat will be better than nothing (yogurt drinks, dry biscuits, any ginger-based products or drinks, fizzy mineral water).

    If you feel you can manage your symptoms yourself then the best things to do is to eat what you like, when you like. Don’t worry too much about eating healthily for the time being, it will do no harm to your baby. Try not to let your stomach get too empty so eat little and often and try to sip fluids regularly. Many people find cold foods better as they don’t smell and often prefer carbohydrates such as bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. It is also important to make sure you are getting as much rest as you can as this can aggravate the symptoms.

    Some people find acupressure e.g. applying pressure to the inside of the wrists - as in wearing travel sickness wrist bands available from chemists can help.

    Pregnancy Sickness Support is an excellent website offering support, advice and information on coping mechanisms and survival tips when experiencing severe nausea and hyperemesis - and will also make you realise you are not alone and that this will pass;

    I would advise that if you are unable to keep fluid and food down for a prolonged period there is a risk that you can be dehydrated. If you are feeling dizzy please contact your Doctor. I hope this helps a little and that your symptoms start to settle in the coming weeks.
    Please keep in touch and let us know how you're doing
    Anna-Tommy's Midwives

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 17 Nov 2017 - 12:20

    Im 4 week pregnant.. im working 24km away from my house and im riding bike it safe?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 17 Nov 2017 - 16:31

    Absolutely it is safe if you are used to cycling that distance regularly then it is safe to continue to do so. Do be aware that as your bump grows then your centre of balance changes so it is important to be careful regarding this. Generally listen to your body and if you feel it maybe becoming too much for you then you may need to stop and do some gentler exercise but as a general rule it is absolutely safe to exercise in pregnancy. Best wishes, Tommy's midwives

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 17 Nov 2017 - 09:50

    i want to know really if am pregnant, i usually have 28 days cycle but on sept it was 30 days cycle and october i missed my period for 5 days counting on my 28 days cycle making 33 days, on d day that made it 5 days i mensturated for 2 days and d remaining days were spotting for 4 days but before dis happens i was having backache, abdomminal pain, stomachache not feeling comfortable with my stomach esp. in d night, sleeplessness, tiredness and my stomach was like increasing in size and dis has not happened to me before, i want to know if am pregnant or not

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 17 Nov 2017 - 11:23

    Hi, it is very difficult to be able to tell you whether you are pregnant or not. The best thing, would be to take a pregnancy test. It sounds like you are having irregular periods at the moment with some spotting which could possibly be an implantation bleed but the only way to know if you are pregnant is to take a test. If you are getting negative pregnancy tests then do see your GP for a review if your symptoms continue. If you are having intercourse and not using contraception then do take a folic acid supplement in case you do get pregnant. Take care, Tommy's midwives

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 17 Nov 2017 - 05:54

    Hi, got my last period on sept 22, lasted til 4 days. I have pcod but I have been getting period regularly at least for past 4 months , since may. I didn’t get period after sept. Did Multiple home test and one blood test. All were negative. Hcg < 1 on October mid. I have nausea, motion sickness, cramp in lower abdomen, frequent urination, lower back pain, tiredness. Had spotted twice , two week before , just two drops. After that had intercourse, followed by white discharge for two continuous days. It’s been 56 days I didn get my period yet. Could I b pregnant , with hcg < 1 ? I heard hcg may not b present in every pregnant lady. Is that true.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 17 Nov 2017 - 11:53

    Hi, HCG is a pregnancy hormone which rises quickly during pregnancy, and happens for every pregnant woman. A level of less than 5 is negative for a pregnancy, a level above 5 shows a pregnancy. If you are continuing to have negative pregnancy tests but still having the symptoms you describe then do go see your GP to be reviewed. Take care, Tommy's midwives

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 17 Nov 2017 - 11:55

    Hi, HCG is a pregnancy hormone which rises quickly during pregnancy, and happens for every pregnant woman. A level of less than 5 is negative for a pregnancy, a level above 5 shows a pregnancy. If you are continuing to have negative pregnancy tests but still having the symptoms you describe then do go see your GP to be reviewed. Take care, Tommy's midwives

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 17 Nov 2017 - 18:20

    Thank u for the quick reply. This site is one of the few sites where ladies like me get very quick supportive reply. Thank u

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Nov 2017 - 09:13

    Hi Krithiks, you're very welcome! We are always happy to help! :)

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 30 Nov 2017 - 02:30

    I am in the same boat as you! I haven’t gotten my period since September 15th and all my tests are negative. Did you find out if you were pregnant or not?

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 16 Nov 2017 - 07:02

    Hello, this is my 3rd pregnancy. My last ended in a miscarriage at 7 weeks. I am currently just 5 weeks pregnant. Early this morning whilst lying in bed I coughed and this sent a shooting pain in my lower abdomen. Is this muscular? It lasted a new seconds, but still feels a bit sensitive hours later. Thanks

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 16 Nov 2017 - 09:25

    Hi Meg
    If the pain was very severe and you have been left with that sensation still, then it might be worth contacting your local early pregnancy assessment unit or GP for assessment. If you have any bleeding or cramps/abdominal pain in pregnancy, at any gestation, then we would always suggest that you are reviewed by a doctor/GP. Please take good care of yourself.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 16 Nov 2017 - 13:58

    Thank you for your response. I spoke to my doctor and she thinks it sounds muscular as it was a reaction to the cough. Fingers crossed x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 14 Nov 2017 - 19:50

    Please help.
    I home pregnancy test four times and it all show positive.
    But my doc said that I need to do blood test to confirm, please will the result be positive again, because am so happy.
    Pls reply me

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 15 Nov 2017 - 12:39

    Hi, Thank You for your comment.

    If you have done 4 pregnancy tests and they have all come back positive then this is a positive sign that you are pregnant. The blood test done by the GP will test for the HCG pregnancy hormone in the blood which is also picked up on a urine pregnancy test. It would be highly unlikely that this test would come back negative as this test is more sensitive on a blood test then in the urine. As you have had 4 positive pregnancy tests then your GP would expect to see a positive blood test, however, this can only be confirmed 100% by getting a positive result from this test. Hope this helps, take care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 12 Nov 2017 - 07:40

    Hi, I am 12 weeks 3 days pregnant and have my first scan on Tuesday. I have had no symptoms during the first trimester except for being a little more tired and hungry than usual (no nausea, sickness, sore breasts etc). Is this normal?? I have had no severe cramps or bleeding, although I did have one tiny pink spot when wiping at 6 weeks 1 day. I am so nervous that something will be wrong at my scan as I just don't feel pregnant! Is this normal?? Thankyou.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 13 Nov 2017 - 14:35

    Hello. This is a very common concern from women before they have their first scan. While I cannot guarantee that all is well, there is no reason to be concerned. Early pregnancy symptoms vary from one woman to the next and an absence of pregnancy ailments is nothing to worry about. For you, being tired and hungry is your pregnancy symptom. I hope all goes well tomorrow, Let us know x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 11 Nov 2017 - 05:31

    Hi i had my periods 9th October . We had intercouse on 22nd . How far along am i. Between then i had used drugs to hasten my periods as i had exams and i didn't want period stress, can my baby be affected by the drugs i used?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 13 Nov 2017 - 14:23

    You would be approx. 5 weeks today. If you have a positive pregnancy test you should stop taking the medication that you have and arrange to see your doctor as soon as you can.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 9 Nov 2017 - 16:50

    Hi im 9weeka pregnant on 3days ago i felt the pain on bottom of my right stomach it's killing me, what can i do to save my pregnancy?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 10 Nov 2017 - 09:52

    Sorry to hear that you are experiencing pain, from your description it is difficult to say exactly what is causing this pain and if it is still on going. If the pain has stopped and you have no other concerns then just monitor how you are feeling. If the pain is on going or returns then you may need to be reviewed. If you have not yet had a scan and you have on going pain on one side of your stomach low down then you need to see your GP or midwife to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. Otherwise it can be the start of some ligament pain as the baby is growing, or sometimes trapped wind, which is very common in pregnancy. If you also have any bleeding or any other concerns then you will need to see your GP or midwife.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 9 Nov 2017 - 14:03

    Hi! I am 13wks pregnant and this is my first pregnancy but sometimes do mistakenly sleep on my tummy and sometime on my back so am afriad if this is not going to have a physical or health challenge on my baby. Pls am curious to hear from you. Tanx

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 9 Nov 2017 - 14:46

    Thank you for your comment & congratulations on your pregnancy. I hope by now you have had your 1st scan, midwife booking appointment and started your antenatal care.
    Research has shown that it is better for the baby if you go to sleep lying on your side. This is especially important after 28 weeks of pregnancy-I have attached a link that you may find helpful-
    At your early stage of pregnancy, try to go to sleep lying on your side and then if you wake up and find you have moved onto your back or stomach then just turn onto your side to go back to sleep. (Whilst you are asleep your body will naturally move into different positions which you cannot control while asleep. This is not harmful to your baby)
    Hope this helps

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