8 Things They Don’t Tell You About The First Trimester of Pregnancy

by | Mar 10, 2021

Being pregnant isn’t all peaches and cream! When I was pregnant with our son all I could think about was when I was going to start noticing that pregnancy glow.

Well, it did eventually come- but so too did a bunch of other things!

Things that I had no idea were going to happen… 

So today’s post is a list of 8 things that no one told me I’d experience during the first trimester of pregnancy. 

Come to find out, these are all very common- meaning you’ll likely experience most of these yourself!

1.  First Trimester Morning Sickness Can Be ALL DAY Sickness

Morning sickness is something that most of us have heard about. So I wasn’t surprised when I started to experience it. 

But what did catch me by surprise is how often it happened…

Don’t let the name fool you!

“Morning” sickness happens more often throughout the day than just mornings.

I had it so bad I didn’t even want to get out of bed, or eat anything… 

But over time I learned how to cope with it and actually got through it pretty well!

I learned a couple of things along the way that I really think you’ll find useful!

I write about it in an earlier post-Surviving The First Trimester- 7 Tips Every New Mama Should Know.

Some are obvious, but there are a couple in there I bet you hadn’t thought of yet 🙂 

What causes First Trimester morning sickness?

So there are actually a couple of causes of morning sickness. The most obvious being… You guessed it..

Hormone changes…

Specifically the increased level of the Hcg hormone.

Hcg is produced in the body once an embryo implants itself on the uterus. The purpose of Hcg is that it signals to your body to continue producing progesterone. 

Progesterone is the hormone that turns menstruation on and off. By producing progesterone, the body stops menstruating. 

This stops your period, meaning the uterine wall stops shedding which protects the uterine wall during pregnancy.

Yay- no more periods! Who wouldn’t like that?!

Another thing that can cause morning sickness is the stretching of the uterine muscles. 

As those muscles begin to stretch it puts a strain on that area of the body which causes that sick feeling. 

Remember, just because I felt this really bad doesn’t mean that you will. 

Morning sickness and all aspects of pregnancy will be slightly different for each one of us mamas. 

But generally, we’ll all feel these things… sorry!


I’ve been told that the first pregnancy is often the worst in terms of morning sickness.

Meaning that the second time around won’t be as bad- so we’ll see!

2. You Don’t Instantly Glow… Many Mama’s Get Pregnancy Acne

After I found out I was pregnant I was eagerly waiting for that pregnancy glow to hit!

But what hit instead was pregnancy acne…

I felt like I was back in high school… seriously!

Waking up in the morning looking in the mirror and seeing those pimples was disheartening…

I mean, what woman wants acne… it’s embarrassing!

Luckily, I was able to get a handle on it, and it did eventually pass.. Whew!

What Causes Pregnancy Acne?

So you’re going to see a common theme here…


They seem to be at the root cause of a lot of these things on this list. 

During pregnancy, more progesterone is produced which causes the sebaceous glands within our skin to produce more oil.

Because more oil is being produced, this makes it easier to get clogged pores and have dirt trapped within the skin. 

But don’t worry- it’s not forever!

Oftentimes most mamas will see pregnancy acne go away in the 2nd or 3rd trimester. 

For others, it may not be until after your new addition to the family arrives. This is because your pregnancy hormones are balancing back out and returning to a normal level. 

Keep in mind, however, that eating poorly and living an unhealthy lifestyle will greatly contribute to how bad your pregnancy acne will be!

How To Help With Pregnancy Acne

To help with pregnancy acne there are several things you can do!

  • Clean your face often using a soap-free cleanser. The reason for this is because soap will actually dry out your skin! Which will then act as a signal to your body to produce even more oil. Which is not what you want!
  • Steer clear of sugar and junk food as best you can, and eat plenty of dark leafy greens. Remember- diet is usually key to everything.
  • Drink LOTS of water! You should be drinking half your body weight in fluid ounces per day of pure-clean water. This gives your body what it needs so you can properly detox. 
  • Lastly, try and get rest and reduce stress! Your body needs this time to heal and regenerate. This is especially important now that you’re growing a tiny human inside of you!


3. You Will Probably Have A Supersonic Nose

This is one that hit me suddenly and caught me by surprise!

I couldn’t be anywhere near the kitchen when my husband Greg was cooking with meat, eggs, or intense spices. 

One of my favorite foods- hamburgers I couldn’t eat anymore! 

During my pregnancy, I really leaned into a more vegetarian diet. Now that our son is born I’m able to eat more meat and protein-based meals.

But it’s still not like what it used to be.

What causes Mama’s nose to be supersonic?

You guess it!

Changing of hormones… more specifically an increase in hCG. 

An increase in the hCG hormone tightly correlates to a heightened sense of smell. 

How to cope with your new sense of smell

  • One of the best things you do is to start looking into different foods to eat. One’s that aren’t as smelly. I found that I was able to be around more vegetarian dishes than ones that had meat in them. 
  • Use unscented products. As a general rule, if it’s not a completely natural-based product- if there is a scent to it- a chemical was added to give it that scent. Think laundry detergent, hand soaps, candles, air fresheners- all toxic! 

An example of a great all-natural, unscented product that I love is Burt’s Bees Belly Butter.

4. Your First Ultrasound Probably Won’t Be Over The Tummy Like You See In Movies

After finding out I was pregnant- I was so excited to see my little guy with the ultrasound machine!

I had assumed that it was the over-the-tummy like what I had seen in movies and heard about from friends and family. 

But that wasn’t the case for my first ultrasound at 6 weeks…

In most cases, mamas will have their first ultrasound vaginally. 

The reason for this is because at that 6-8 week stage of pregnancy, baby is so small that it can’t be easily picked up with an ultrasound over the belly. 

The purpose of this ultrasound is to confirm you’re in fact pregnant by checking for a heartbeat. 

Risks of ultrasounds

Now I don’t want to get too much into this- as this will be another post all by itself. But I do want to quickly mention a couple of things… 

There a potential risks with using ultrasounds… 

I was not aware of this at the time I was pregnant as I was seeing my local OB-GYN office and simply following their recommendations when it came to using ultrasounds. 

For my next baby though, I’ll probably skip this first ultrasound. As it’s not considered necessary by many medical professionals and midwives. 

The point I want to make is that we don’t know if ultrasounds are completely safe. Just because we don’t see or experience many problems as a result of using ultrasounds- doesn’t mean they’re safe. 

Much of the risk assessment done on ultrasound machines date back to the 1990s. Today’s machines emit 10-15 times as much energy! 

Now, are there benefits to having an ultrasound done? Sure! Being able to detect issues earlier is usually a good thing.

I tell you this not to scare you away from getting an ultrasound- but simply to bring awareness to the issue.

As I learn more about pregnancy, giving birth, and now raising our first child- the recurring theme of “less is more” keeps coming up.

Maybe that can be applied here to. Especially when looking at it through the lens of a natural-minded mama!  

5. Waking Up In The Middle Of The Night To Pee Isn’t Uncommon

Before I was pregnant I usually slept through the night like a baby (pun intended)!

But all that changed as I came closer to the second trimester.

I felt like I was running to the bathroom to pee every 20-30 minutes!

At night I was getting up at least twice…

Why the more frequent urges to Pee?

The answer again lies with an increased amount of hCG! Big surprise- I know…

hCG increases the blood flow to the kidneys which allows them to filter more efficiently. This is important because they’re now filtering for you and your baby.

With more filtration comes more urges to urinate!

Another reason is that the uterus is increasing in size which presses up against the bladder. Though this won’t really be a factor until the 2nd and 3rth trimester. 

6. You May Need To Purchase A Larger Bra Sooner Than Later

I’ve always thought I’ve had smaller boobs, so I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that they were starting to slowly get bigger! Whoohoo!

This is normal- they need to get bigger as they prepare to start lactating and producing milk for when baby arrives!

I recommend you purchase bigger bras early in pregnancy.

Have a comfy bra is so important! There are enough uncomfortable changes happening already- don’t let an uncomfortable bra be one of them.

I purchased wireless nursing bra’s and they work really well. 

Since you will need nursing bras anyway (if you are breastfeeding) this is a great option to go with because you’ll still be using them after baby arrives.

7. You May Notice Darker Veins All Over Your Body That You Didn’t Notice Before

Dark veins aren’t something that anyone wants, and it was something that caught me by surprise. 

But after a while, I learned to appreciate them because I knew they were important and benefitting my baby!

Why are the veins darker?

Darker veins are actually a good thing! It means…

  • More blood is being carried to the placenta. This is important for growth and development.
  • Increased blood volume throughout the body. Your body has to create more blood because you’re growing a little person inside of you!
  • More blood needed to carry nutrients to the fetus. Blood through the umbilical cord is how important nutrients are carried to your baby.

Even after delivery, I still have darker veins on my chest. This is common, as there is still increased blood flow while breastfeeding. 

Darker veins is very common- so don’t freak out if you happen to have them during your pregnancy. In fact, about 20% of women even get varicose veins. 

8. You May Also Notice Some Belly Hair Appear

I have a ton of hair on my head…

However, I wasn’t expecting it to come in on my belly during pregnancy!

It isn’t a ton, but it’s noticeable to me. 

Increased hair growth on your belly is totally normal and is a healthy indicator that your hormones are working as they should.

What causes belly hair to grow?

Hormone fluctuation- specifically estrogen while you’re pregnant is known to increase hair growth. 

And not just on your belly either…

It’s also common for the hair on your scalp and fingernails to grow thicker and quicker as well!

I was pleasantly surprised just how well my nails were growing!

See? It’s not all bad- there are plenty of positives when it comes to being pregnant.

So stay positive mama and enjoy this beautiful, natural process- you got this!

It’ll be over before you know it, and you’ll look back on these days with a smile!!

What are some other things you’ve noticed during your first trimester that you didn’t know about or prepare for?

Key Points

  • First Trimester Morning Sickness can be ALL DAY sickness

  • You don’t instantly glow… many mama’s get pregnancy acne

  • You will probably have a supersonic nose

  • Your first ultrasound probably won’t be over the tummy like you see in movies

  • Waking up in the middle of the night  to pee isn’t uncommon

  • You may need to purchase a larger bra sooner than later

  • You may notice darker veins all over your body that you didn’t notice before

  • You may also notice some belly hair appear

Hi there! We're Kelly and Greg!

Hi there! We’re new parents- who are learning as we go! Realizing what it takes to raise kids in today’s crazy world, we strive to live healthier lives while finding natural alternatives to solve everyday problems. The world is complicated! Raising Them Naturally doesn’t have to be.
About Greg & Kelly Quante

About Greg & Kelly Quante

Kelly & Greg Quante are new parents and the creaters of Raising Them Naturally– a blog about preparing for and raising kids naturally! They share their challenges of parenting- and the things they’ve done to overcome them. They created this blog as a way for them to help others along the way.