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The First Few Months of Pregnancy Explained | Affinity Health

Affinity Health is a leading provider of high-quality healthcare. Here are their tips on managing the first few months of your pregnancy.


Once you discover you’re pregnant, you experience a rush of emotions. You probably have a myriad of questions at the start of your pregnancy. Learn how you can adapt to this new and exciting time in your life.

What Happens in the First Trimester?

The best things in life come in threes, and trimesters make pregnancy an adventure. The changes that occur to you and your baby fall into three main categories:

  • Early-stage – this is the first trimester.
  • Middle stage – this is the second trimester.
  • Late-stage – this is the third trimester.

A full-term pregnancy lasts approximately nine months. Nine months may sound like a long time to wait for your baby to arrive. But you can relax knowing that African bush elephants are pregnant for 22 months!

How Does Pregnancy Affect a Woman’s Body?

The first trimester starts on the first day of your last period. It lasts until the end of the 13th week from your last period.

Early signs of pregnancy are unique to each woman. Some women may show initial symptoms within a week or two of conception. Other women might not experience symptoms for the first few months.

Here are a few of the most common early signs of pregnancy:

Morning sickness or Nausea:

No one knows the exact cause of morning sickness. The predominant indicator of pregnancy is the presence of the HCG hormone in the blood. HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin. A high level of (HCG) or oestrogen may be to blame for the onset of morning sickness.

The following lifestyle factors can also trigger morning sickness:

  • Stress
  • Exhaustion
  • Certain foods
  • Odour or aroma sensitivity
  • Motion sensitivity

Pregnant can try eating small, bland, high-protein snacks. Snacks can include crackers, cold meat, or cheese. Sipping water, clear fruit juice (apple juice), or ginger tea can calm morning sickness.

Sore breasts:

Another early indicator of pregnancy is sore breasts. Wearing a support bra or a larger bra size will relieve discomfort.


Your body is putting in more effort to keep up with the demands of a growing baby. Thus, you’ll get tired faster than usual.


Take naps or rest during the day when necessary. Iron deficiency can lead to a variety of health problems. Anaemia might make you feel even more exhausted if you eat too little.

Learn More: The Best Sleeping Positions for Pregnancy
Frequent trips to the toilet:

Your bladder may feel the strain of your expanding uterus. As a result, you may frequent the restroom more than you expect.


Indigestion, often known as heartburn or acid reflux, is frequent during pregnancy.

Hormone fluctuations and the growing baby pressing against your tummy can cause indigestion. You can help ease indigestion and heartburn by making lifestyle and dietary adjustments.

  • Eat several small meals during the day.
  • Don’t go to sleep straight after eating.
  • Avoid fatty, spicy, or acidic foods (like citrus fruits).

How Much Weight Will You Gain During Pregnancy?

If you gain weight during pregnancy, this is normal. Most women gain one to three kilograms in the first trimester. But the extra person you’re carrying doesn’t mean that you’re eating for two.

During the first trimester, you need an extra 150 calories each day. Adding the following food to your diet will help you meet your calorie needs:

  • More fruits and vegetables
  • Milk
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Lean meat

Emotional Changes

Throughout your first trimester, you may experience a range of emotions. Hormone fluctuations might make you cranky or irritated. Mood swings are prevalent during pregnancy.

Affinity Health’s Maternity Programme

Affinity Health ensures members have comprehensive maternity and post-natal benefits. This benefit includes:

  • A network of Affinity Health GPs.
  • GP referral for scans and blood tests.
  • Support is available 24/7 through the contact number 0861 11 00 33.
  • Health information via the Affinity Telehealth Call Centre, the Affinity App and the website.

For more information on Affinity Health’s Maternity Programme, click here.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of affordable medical insurance. Members enjoy access to a network of healthcare providers. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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