The Whole 9 Months: A Handy Guide To Every Trimester Of Pregnancy

Everything changes the moment you learn you’re expecting. Your focus immediately shifts from you to your growing baby, and it can be overwhelming. That’s why we spoke with five of our favorite pregnancy experts to get their insider tips for every trimester.

First Trimester

Nitzia Logothetis, Founder & Executive Chairwoman, the Seleni Institute: From the moment of the first positive pregnancy test, we start looking ahead to the tell date—the date when we feel comfortable sharing the exciting news. We don’t want to jinx our good fortune, and secrecy seems protective for the pregnancy and for our emotions. Consider telling early and often to a trusted few; it won’t harm your pregnancy, and you’ll have a team of loving support surrounding you regardless of what may come.

Renee Sullivan, Founder & Director, The Moms Groups: Each family unit is unique, so for some, sharing the good news with the extended family at the very next family gathering is the perfect choice.

Iffath Hoskins, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, NYU Langone Medical Center: Focus on your diet and weight gain. Ingesting adequate calories is more important than focusing on eating healthy nutrients, because the growing baby needs large amounts of calories for its cell function and growth.

Jill Simonian, TV Personality & Author, The FAB Mom’s Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby: Being appropriately active from the very start of pregnancy benefits every expecting mom mentally and physically. Yes, exercise releases those happy endorphins, but moderate exercise is also now widely recommended by OB-GYNs for the purpose of having an easier birth experience.

Kira Kohrherr, CEO & Founder, FitBump: As you begin your pregnancy fitness journey, start with a quick self-assessment. Do you have any past or present injuries? What motivates you? Assess how you feel during and after and adjust your new routine. Whatever method of training you choose—add in squats! The mother of modern midwifery, Ina May Gaskin, has been quoted saying: “Squat 300 times a day, you’re going to give birth quickly.”

Second Trimester

NL: The second trimester is a great opportunity to set aside time to talk to your partner about expectations for family life, child care, and even household tasks. The transition won’t be seamless, but our hardest moments as a new parent often happen when reality doesn’t match expectation.

RS: Begin making lists of names early that you like. Pregnancy gives us the wonderful exercise to practice patience—we have about 37 weeks to discover the next Gemma, Charlie, or Ella. It may be the month before, it may be the week before, or it may be when you see your little one’s face.

IH: This is the best/easiest trimester because the baby is now growing on track. Keep up the good work of maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet, adequate and appropriate weight gain, good physical activity, and good rest and sleep patterns.

JS: Opting out of learning the gender for both of my babies kept me rational throughout pregnancy and wickedly excited for the big reveal with birth. Not knowing the sex helped me positively cope with my extreme fear of delivery—the thrill of knowing I’d soon find out whether baby was a boy or girl kept me distracted from the reality about the process to birth a baby.

KK: Early on in my pregnancy, I began experiencing rib pain that didn’t go away until two minutes after my son was born. Daily stretching, foam rolling, and prenatal yoga really helped alleviate the soreness. A few easy moves that are great for any trimester are cat-cow and bird-dog, and they do wonders for lengthening the body and releasing tension.

Third Trimester

NL: You have permission to do what feels right day by day—cancel that evening out if you’re feeling like a homebody or leave those dishes until morning if you’re exhausted. Try to structure your obligations with flexibility and not get into situations where you’ll feel resentful or disappointed.

RS: Sometimes the excitement of expecting a baby can get the best of our in-laws and what they deem as helping is actually quite stressful for the expecting mom. Things can often get a bit haywire with everyone wanting to give their opinions, desires, and wants—often unsolicited. It’s important to communicate with your partner to have a common front of what you both agree is acceptable and unacceptable behavior for your loved ones.

IH: You will feel that you are bigger, heavier, less balanced, and clumsier due to changes in your posture and also due to relaxation of your joints caused by the hormones of pregnancy. Keep track of fetal movements every day. Create a birth plan with your provider with focus on pain management and breast feeding.

JS: Load up that freezer! The first month with a new baby rarely allots time to think about what you and your spouse are going to eat for dinner. Take advantage of your nesting phase towards the end of pregnancy and pack your home with non-perishables that will last you at least 30 days, like pasta, rice, quinoa, canned beans, oatmeal, and toilet paper and paper towels, too!

KK: Squats. Have I mentioned squats? Make sure to focus on breathing out with the pelvic release movement when you are in the down motion. This is key in fully prepping for labor and delivery. Mental training is equally as important as physical training. Whether you repeat daily mantras, learn hypnobirthing, or meditate on your ideal birth situation, mental training should be a high priority as delivery day gets closer.

Bonus: “Fourth Trimester” (AKA Your First Three Months Of Motherhood)

NL: Don’t be surprised if after delivery you experience a one to two-week period of weepiness, quickly changing emotions, and a general feeling of being overwhelmed. Over 80 percent of new mothers experience these symptoms. If your symptoms last longer than two to three weeks and you feel them constantly, you may be experiencing common, treatable postpartum depression or anxiety. It’s not your fault and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother—surround yourself with positive friends and family and talk with your healthcare provider so you can get the care you need to feel better.

JS: The first three months of baby’s life outside the womb is a tender time for adjustment—for both baby and mom. A postpartum tummy wrap made me feel more comfortable and supported in a way I didn’t know possible.

Meet Our Experts:
  • Nitzia Logothetis, MSc, MA, is the founder and executive chairwoman of the Seleni Institute, a nonprofit organization in New York City dedicated to addressing real-life issues that challenge the emotional health of women, men, and their families. seleni.org
  • Renee Sullivan is a parent coach, childbirth educator, former doula, and founder of The Moms Groups. themomsgroups.com
  • Iffath Hoskins, MD, is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center. nyulangone.org
  • Jill Simonian is a mom-of-two, TV personality, and author of the new book, The FAB Mom’s Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby. thefabmom.com
  • FitBump founder Kira Kohrherr is an AFAA certified and ACE pre- and post-natal certified personal trainer. fitbump.com