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1st Trimester

The Beginning of Your Pregnancy Journey

Congratulations! Your obstetrician has confirmed you are expecting a little bundle of joy. Your first trimester is calculated from the first day of your last period and lasts till the end of Week 12. Most women will discover their pregnancy around 5 -6 weeks into the first trimester.

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What’s Happening in the First Trimester?

  • The fertilised egg implants in your uterine lining, which may cause some spotting known as implantation bleeding.
  • Development takes place most rapidly during these 3 months, as the cell layers continue developing into an embryo, then into a foetus.
  • By 11 weeks, your little one has developed 90 percent of his or her anatomical structure.

Starting On Antenatal Care

Antenatal care refers to the care pregnant mothers receive from an obstetrician throughout the course of their pregnancy.

Once your pregnancy is confirmed, see an obstetrician as soon as you can. One of the first tests in your first trimester is a dating and viability ultrasound scan to:

  • Ensure that your baby is in the right place and position i.e. not an ectopic pregnancy, which can be life-threatening
  • Determine your estimated due date (EDD)
  • Check for number of babies
  • Baby’s growth and development

At this stage, you will be able to hear your baby’s very first sign of life – their heartbeat.

In addition, your obstetrician will counsel you on the risk of genetic problems such as Down’s syndrome, Edwards syndrome or Patau syndrome, all of which increases dramatically if the mother’s age is above 35. These genetic conditions can be screened for using some non-invasive tests.

We recommend bringing your spouse along with you for these sessions, as antenatal care can also help educate expectant fathers on how they can assist their partners in navigating the pregnancy period seamlessly.

What are Some of the Non-Invasive Blood Tests that can be Performed During Pregnancy?

  • OSCAR test – taking the mother’s blood to assess the baby’s enzymes or hormones to calculate the risk of getting Down’s Syndrome
  • Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT), which detects placental cells from the mother’s blood to assess the baby’s DNA to check for chromosomal abnormalities and even the gender of the baby. The blood samples will then be sent to laboratories in the US and results will be available in approximately 7- 10 days
  • If the above screening test results are positive, a Chorionic Villus Sampling (an invasive test to sample the placenta) or amniocentesis (sampling of the amniotic fluid) will be performed to analyse and determine the baby’s chromosomes in detail


What Can I Expect in My First Trimester?

As your body releases pregnancy hormones, you may notice several physical changes and symptoms in your first trimester, such as:

  • Constant tiredness
  • Nausea, with or without vomiting, either throughout the day or when triggered by certain smells
  • Swollen and tender breasts
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Unpredictable mood swings

These symptoms vary between individuals; some women experience severe forms of sickness while others do not get any at all.

What Can I Do in My First Trimester?

These changes may seem overwhelming, especially if you are a first-time mother. To overcome morning sickness, eat slowly and in small amounts throughout the day, and avoid going on an empty stomach. Pinpoint and avoid the foods and smells which trigger your sickness. Drink plenty of fluids and consume fiber in your diet to manage constipation. It is important to avoid exerting yourself and get plenty of rest during this period to boost your energy levels.

When is the First Trimester?

Your first trimester is calculated from the first day of your last period and lasts till the end of Week 12.

How Do I Take Care of Myself in the First Trimester of Pregnancy?

Maintaining your overall health is essential throughout all three trimesters of your pregnancy. Nevertheless, here are six helpful tips you can follow to stay healthy during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy:

  • Try to remain active as much as you can. However, listen to your body and stop for rest if you feel any discomfort while exercising.
  • Remember to take your folic acid.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods, including eggs, fruits, lean meat, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Ensure you get plenty of rest.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Sign up for antenatal care and attend all your appointments.

What is Antenatal Care?

Antenatal care refers to the care pregnant mothers receive from an obstetrician throughout the course of their pregnancy.

When Should I Make My First Antenatal Appointment?

Ideally, antenatal care should begin when you are about 6 to 8 weeks pregnant. This will give you a headstart on learning how to take care of your pregnant body. Also, some tests are recommended early in your pregnancy.

Pre-conception Health Screening

  • Detailed Consultation and Review of Medical History
  • Basic Gynaecological Examination (Ultrasound Scan)
  • Blood Grouping
  • Diabetes Screening

  • Full Blood Count
  • Hepatitis B Screening
  • Rubella IgG Antibody
  • HIV & STD Screening
  • Medical Report

Understand why pre-pregnancy care is important for a healthy pregnancy.


Antenatal Scans & Tests

  • Amniocentesis
  • Chronic Villus Sampling
  • Dating Scan
  • Doppler Ultrasound Scan for Foetal Surveillance
  • Foetal Anomaly Screening Scan
  • Growth Scan
  • Viability Scan

  • 3D & 4D Ultrasound Scans
  • OSCAR (First Trimester Screening for Down’s Syndrome)
  • Non-invasive Prenatal Tests (NIPT)
  • Pre-eclampsia Assessment in Mothers
  • Routine Antenatal Blood Tests
  • Screening for Gestational Diabetes

Find out about the different antenatal checks in your first trimestersecond trimester and third trimester.



  • Vaginal Delivery
  • Assisted Vaginal Delivery (Forceps or Vacuum)
  • Caesarean Section
  • Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC)

Find out more about the various Delivery Methods.

Postpartum Check-up

  • Review of Mother’s Physical and Mental Well-being
  • Pelvic Examination
  • Wound Inspection
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Health Education (Breastfeeding, Birth Control, Weight Reduction)

Learn more about Postpartum Recovery.

Mommy Makeover (Post-pregnancy)*

  • Treatments for stretch-marks, loose skin and excess body fat
  • Managing post-partum hair loss and facial skin changes
  • Improving sagging and deflated breasts
  • Post-pregnancy tummy concerns

Find out more about mommy makeover services atSW1 Clinic in Singapore (an SMG clinic)

Need to consult an O&G specialist?

The male and female O&G specialists in our clinic network are located at multiple locations in Singapore for easy and quick access.

Incorporated in 2005, Singapore Medical Group (SMG) is a healthcare organisation with a network of private specialist providers across four established pillars - Aesthetics, Diagnostic Imaging & Screening, Oncology and Women's & Children's Health. Within Singapore, SMG has more than 40 clinics strategically located in central Singapore and heartland estates. Beyond Singapore, SMG also has an established presence in Indonesia, Vietnam and Australia. Learn about our privacy policy here.

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