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!

When am I due?

Find out your due date using our due date calculator!

When will I see a midwife?

Your first midwife appointment (also known as antenatal appointment) is the 'booking' appointment. This usually happens between week 8 and 10 of your pregnancy. Find out how to register with a midwife and when your appointments will be here.

Keeping your baby safe

There are some things that you can do during pregnancy that have an effect on your baby. Find out about them by clicking the link below.

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

Not sure whether you are pregnant?

Find out about the symptoms that mean you may be pregnant here.

Your physical and mental health in pregnancy

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. 

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

Read more about diabetes and pregnancy

Read more about pregnancy with a high BMI

Read more about exercise and pregnancy

Read about the symptoms to look out for in pregnancy

Track your baby's development

Sign up to a free pregnancy email from our midwives to track your baby's development and give you reminders of all you need to know through the nine months of pregnancy. Click here to sign up.

 

Find out more about the first trimester

Sources

NHS Choices. Your pregnancy week by week http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-week-by-week.aspx#close (Page last reviewed: 28/02/2017 Next review due: 28/02/2020)

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

NICE (2008) Antenatal care for uncomplicated pregnancies, NICE Clinical Guidelines 62. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence http://publications.nice.org.uk/antenatal-care-cg62

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Last reviewed on June 28th, 2018. Next review date June 28th, 2021.

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Comments

Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
  • By Violetfire8 (not verified) on 30 Dec 2017 - 05:31

    I was spotting 2 weeks ago, and found out I am pregnant, doc said I am on my 6 weeks based on LMP.
    I had an ultrasound but shows its only 5 weeks, but I am spotting everyday.
    I am worried because I am spotting everyday for two weeks now. Doc advised to take medicine called DUPHASTON 10mg 3x a day for two weeks, I have consumed it for week now, but the spotting continues, sometimes its dark blood, or black (it's like the blood on the last day of menstruation) with foul odor, but despite that I am spotting everyday I don't feel anything, no cramps, no vomiting, nothing at all.
    Should I be worried?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Jan 2018 - 10:38

    Hi Violetfire8
    Spotting in early pregnancy can be normal, but the "foul odour" to your loss is what concerns me the most. I am worried that you may have an infection and this can put you and your pregnancy at risk, so please go to get check over urgently if you have not already done so! Take care of yourself, Sophie Tommy's Midwife

  • By Harmony (not verified) on 28 Dec 2017 - 10:20

    Hi, I had my period on the 17th of November, 2017. I was supposed to get it on the 17th of this month (December ) but I haven't got it. My menstrual cycle is always between 30-31 days, today is the 42nd day (11 days late ). My breast have been achy and my nipples painful, plus I have been spotting (sometimes I notice it when I wipe after I pee). I did a blood pregnancy test today but it came out negative. What could be the problem? Am I pregnant?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Jan 2018 - 10:34

    Hi Harmony
    Using your last menstrual period date of the 17th nov 2017, you could be as far as 6-7 weeks pregnant. However, if you wait another week and repeat a test and this is negative, then you really should be sure that you are certainly not pregnant. Sometimes, our menstrual cycle can be disrupted for many different and random reasons. But if your spotting and long cycles persist and this is not normal for you, then it might be sensible to visit your GP soon to get a gynae referral if you or they are concerned.
    Please take good care of yourself
    Sophie,Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 28 Dec 2017 - 04:18

    Me and my partner have been trying to conceive for 3 months now, I though I was I have a regular 28 cycle ,I was suppose to start 12/8 but it was late it came 12/8 I have been trying on my ovulation days but I missed the official ovulation day also im.not sure how to track my ovulation correctly I try different calculators n they say different days now I have been having cramps n pain n some nausea in my lower left side am i.pregnant??

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Jan 2018 - 10:31

    It is really difficult to say.
    Try using our ovulation calculator to help you and perhaps do a pregnancy test if you have not already done so.

    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/getting-pregnant/ovulation-calculator
    Please take good care of yourself.
    Sophie, Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 26 Dec 2017 - 03:41

    I had the IUD but it fell out. I took a pregnancy test it came back positive so I went to the doctors and they said it was negative. I took the test a couple weeks ago and went to the doctors the next day. For the past week I have been emotional about everything. Anything that happens can set me off and so will start crying. I’m on birth control pills now but I didn’t get my period on the period pills. Could I be pregnant?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Jan 2018 - 10:28

    Hi there. It sounds as if you are very worried and anxious about everything. Both the IUD and contraceptive pill are hormonal contraceptives and can cause such emotions. Equally, so can pregnancy. I expect you are doing regular pregnancy tests, but i am sure that the possibility of you having conceived is quite small if you have had the IUD and are now straight back on the pill. Give it another week, repeat a pregnancy test. I am sure it will be negative. Your period is likely to have been disrupted by the change in contraception so it is likely to take a little while to settle back to normal again. Please take good care of yourself! Sophie,Tommy's Midwife

  • By Elizabeth (not verified) on 24 Dec 2017 - 05:54

    Well Hello i am so confused right now cause its Been mine years thats how old my baby girl Is. But any way i am trying figure out Why am i having heartburn so badly And i feeling so bloated like when u need to have a bowelmovement so can u tell me like when Will my Due date be And how many weeks am i Last period nov17 and went off nov21 havent seen my period for the month of december

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Jan 2018 - 10:23

    Hi Elizabeth, if you have had unprotected sex, and your last period was on the 17th Nov 2017, then it is possible that you could be as much as 6-7 weeks pregnant. It would be sensible for you to visit your GP to confirm this, with both a urine and potentially a blood test. If you are pregnant, they will arrange for an Ultrasound scan for you and get your referral for a midwife sent off too.
    Bloating and heartburn are quite common in pregnancy, try Gaviscon which you can buy at the chemist over the counter.
    Good luck with everything. Sophie, Tommy's Midwife

  • 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 Iesha (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 confirm.my 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

    Hi,
    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: https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/use-our-pregnancy-calculator-find-out-your-due-date
    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 Javeria (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 blessing (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 late.......am 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 Jade (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

    Hi
    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 chi (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 Lulu (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:

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/signs-and-symptoms-pregnancy.aspx
    https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-test.aspx

    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 hellen (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; https://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk/

    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 Chraru (not verified) on 17 Nov 2017 - 12:20

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

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

    Hi,
    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 Festus Chidinma (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 Krithika (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 Krithiks (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 Meg (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 Meg (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

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