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First Trimester Pregnancy


The first trimester of pregnancy lasts from your last period through the 13th week of pregnancy. Follow up with your healthcare provider for prenatal care. Regular prenatal care can help to keep you and your baby healthy.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have pain or cramping in your abdomen or low back.
  • You have severe vaginal bleeding or clotting.

Contact your healthcare provider or obstetrician if:

  • You have light bleeding.
  • You have chills or a fever.
  • You have vaginal itching, burning, or pain.
  • You have yellow, green, white, or foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
  • You have pain or burning when you urinate, less urine than usual, or pink or bloody urine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or obstetrician as directed:

Go to all of your prenatal visits during your pregnancy. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Stay healthy during pregnancy:

  • Take prenatal vitamins as directed. Prenatal vitamins can help you get the amount of vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins may also decrease the risk of certain birth defects.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, turkey and chicken, and lean red meat. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about foods that are healthy and safe to eat during pregnancy.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Some healthy liquids include milk, water, and juice. It is not clear how caffeine affects pregnancy. Limit your intake of caffeine to less than 200 mg each day to avoid possible health problems. Caffeine may be found in coffee, tea, cola, sports drinks, and chocolate. Do not drink alcohol.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider before you take medicines. Many medicines can harm your baby, especially during early pregnancy. Ask your healthcare provider before you take any medicines, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, or food supplements. Never use illegal or street drugs while you are pregnant. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are having trouble quitting street drugs.
  • Exercise. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise may help you feel better and make your labor and delivery easier.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking can cause problems during pregnancy. It can also cause your baby to weigh less at birth. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask for information if you need help quitting.

Safety tips:

  • Do not use a hot tub or sauna while you are pregnant, especially during your first trimester. Hot tubs and saunas may raise your baby's temperature and increase the risk of birth defects. It also increases your risk of miscarriage.
  • Protect yourself from illness. Toxoplasmosis is a disease that can cause birth defects. To protect yourself from this disease, do not clean your cat's litter box yourself. Ask someone else to clean your cat's litter box while you are pregnant. Also, do not eat raw meat or unwashed fruits and vegetables. Wash your hands after you touch raw meat, and eat only well-cooked meat. Wash fruits and vegetables well before you eat them.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.