Your First Month Pregnant: Stages, Symptoms + What to Do

Learn what happens the first month when you become pregnant the first time.

Congratulations on welcoming your little bundle of joy!

Finding out you are pregnant brings a whole host of feelings; anxiety, excitement, worry, love, the list goes on.

There is a lot that happens in your pregnancy and your planning within your first month.

While there are 40 weeks of waiting to meet your little one, there is a lot that you have to do leading up to your due date.

For me, even though I was going through IVF to get pregnant, it was still a surprise when I found out I was pregnant and then to find out I was having twins!

In this post, we are going to cover the stages of pregnancy within the first, second, and third trimesters, your fetal development (with some cute fruit comparisons), some useful pregnancy tracking apps, the symptoms you can expect within the first month, and what you should be including in your pregnancy to-do list.

The Stages of Pregnancy

Every month, week, and day your body and your baby are changing.

Growing, developing, and quickly changing from a tiny clump of cells into a living, breathing child. It really is an amazing process, and before you know it you will be in the delivery room holding your new little bundle of joy.

There are many different things that happen throughout your pregnancy and you will experience certain milestones over the next 9 months.

But first, here is a quick overview of what you can expect in your first, second, and third trimesters.

What to Expect in the First, Second, and Third Trimesters of Pregnancy

Generally, pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. This is calculated from the first day of your last period. You can easily track what week you are on using a tracking app (more on that in a bit).

Generally the first sign of pregnancy is a missed menstrual period. You can easily take an at home pregnancy test that will give you results within the first seven days of a missed period.

You might also experience bouts of morning sickness even before you get a positive test result.

Each of the pregnancy trimesters has some distinct milestones and symptoms that many women experience.

Next we’ll cover fetal development and pregnancy symptoms.

Fetal Development and Fruits

One of the ways that you can track your fetal development (and take some super cute pregnancy photos) is to compare your fetus to various fruits. Your baby grows so fast and develops at an incredible rate from conception to delivery.

At 4 Weeks Pregnancy

At 4 weeks of fetal development your baby already has a nervous system, their brain and spinal cord have begun to develop, their heart begins to form, tiny arm and leg buds start to develop, and your baby is about 1/25 of an inch long. Or about the size of a poppy seed! 

At 8 Weeks Pregnancy

At 8 weeks your baby has grown to the size of a raspberry! All of their major organs are now formed, and baby’s heart begins to beat.

Their arms grow from tiny nubs to something that more resembles arms and legs and they even will have fingers and toes. At this point the internal sex organs also begin to form.

The umbilical cord also becomes clearly visible and your baby’s adorable little face starts to form. That is a crazy amount of development within 8 weeks.

At 12 Weeks Pregnancy

Your baby’s muscles start to develop further and your baby can now make a fist.

The external sex organs are able to show whether you are having a boy or girl (although doctors will suggest to wait until 20 weeks to find out). Lastly, babies’ eyelids close to help protect their developing eyes.

At 16 Weeks Pregnancy

At 16 weeks you have yourself an avocado. At this point, your little avocado has very translucent skin and they begin to use those sucking motions. What will eventually be your baby’s first bowel movement starts to develop within their intestinal tract.

Their muscular and skeletal system also continues to form and develop. 

At 20 Weeks Pregnancy

You’re halfway there! At this point your baby is much more active, you should be feeling a lot of movement at this point. Your baby is also developing their vernix, or protective coating. Their eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails, ect. are all forming.

Grab out the headphones because your baby can hear now and are approximately the size of a banana at this point.

At 24 Weeks Pregnancy

At 24 weeks the baby is developing all those tiny details, taste buds, fingerprints, hair and so on and is about the size of an ear of corn. They also have a regular sleep cycle (hopefully this will continue outside of the womb).

Your baby starts to store fat at this point and their bone marrow begins to make blood cells. While their lungs are formed at this point, they don’t work, which is why babies can live outside of the womb but are on ventilators if they are born this premature.

At 32 Weeks Pregnancy

At this point your baby is the size of a head of napa cabbage. Their bones are not fully formed, their eyes can open and close, lungs are not fully formed but they practice their breathing and they begin to store essential nutrients like iron and calcium.

At 36 Weeks Pregnancy

Baby will continue to rapidly put on weight that last month or so of your pregnancy.

Their protective coating thickens and they are getting chunky, and will have less room to move around.

At 37 Weeks + Pregnancy

At the 37 week mark, your baby is considered fully formed and their organs are able to function on their own.

At this point your baby should be head down and ready to make their entrance.

To review each trimester, check out these posts:

Tracking Apps for Pregnancy

There are a ton of different pregnancy tracking apps that you can download on your phone to keep track of your growing baby.

Pregnancy Week by Week

This is a super easy to use app that provides a lot of information and compares your baby to fruit. So if you wanna take those cute fruit pictures with your tummy, this is a great way to keep track of what you should be using.

It gives you a quick overview of your baby’s length, weight, size (compared to fruit), how far along you are, and how much longer you have to go.

There are sections that tell you about the changes you are experiencing, what changes your baby is going through, and other things like a kick and contraction tracker.

Sprout Pregnancy

Sprout pregnancy guides you through this magical time day by day. The really cool thing about the Sprout pregnancy app is the lifelike representation of what is actually happening inside of you with your growing baby. It even includes a pregnancy journal to record all of those special moments.

Symptoms in Your First Month…And Beyond

You’re gonna be hit with a lot of symptoms in your first month of pregnancy. Here are some of the symptoms that women experience in their first month (and first trimester) of pregnancy.

Morning Sickness isn’t Just for the Morning

  • Nausea with or without throwing up in the morning and throughout the day.
  • Higher levels of fatigue
  • Tender and swollen nipples and breasts
  • A change in nipple size and or color
  • Strong aversions or cravings to certain foods
  • Abnormal mood swings
  • Peeing A LOT (this only gets worse the bigger the baby gets)
  • Headaches and heartburn
  • A quick weight loss or weight gain

While everyone’s experiences will be different, just keep in mind that these symptoms are temporary and won’t last forever.

To-Do List for Your First Month Being Pregnant

When you find out that you’re pregnant, there are about a million and one things on your mind.

From setting up your nursery, picking names, and planning the perfect pregnancy photo shoot, be sure that you have everything covered. Two things that you should do right away are sign up for an online pregnancy class and get yourself a pregnancy journal to capture all of those precious moments.

Here are a few other items to add to your to-do list within the first month of your pregnancy:

  • Start taking prenatal vitamins.
  • Download (and use) a pregnancy tracker.
  • Quit smoking and drinking and take up healthy lifestyle habits.
  • Get your first prenatal appointment with your OBGYN on the books.

Sign Up for an Online Pregnancy Class

Especially if you are a new mom, you absolutely should sign up for an online pregnancy class.

An online pregnancy class teaches you everything you need to know about labor and delivery. Be confident going into your labor and delivery after choosing the right online birthing class for you.

One of my favorites is the KOPA Natural Hospital Birth classes. This course includes 8 video lessons, a mock labor experience, and the natural birth experience of the instructor (a super cool and unique aspect that other courses don’t offer.) 

Get Yourself a Pregnancy Journal

With all of the changes that take place in your pregnancy, keep track of them with a pregnancy journal.

Getting yourself a pregnancy journal will not only help you to keep track of things like your prenatal appointments but also gives you a place for cherished memories like the first kick and hiccups.

My top pick, the Belly Book, is a great one to start with.

It includes time lapse photos for your ultrasounds and belly photos and writing prompts to cover all of those fun pregnancy topics like morning sickness and food cravings.

Enjoy That First Month Being Pregnant

Oh the joys of being pregnant after trying for so long! It really is a blessing – even through the morning sickness!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Tell me in the comments how your first month being pregnant is going!

Please remember to pin me!

Elna is a mom to twins who blogs and writes for a living. She loves all things mom. While she's not blogging, you can find Elna meal planning, organizing and helping other moms in her Facebook group, Mom to Mompreneurs.

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