The first 12 weeks


So much is happening in those early weeks of pregnancy: Hormones are surging, your breasts are changing, morning sickness is making your favorite foods look hideous, and work is a miserable game of pretending to be totally fine. (Or maybe you do feel fine—after all, everyone experiences early pregnancy differently.)

Meanwhile, your future baby is developing from a fertilized ovum to a fetus, growing to about 6cm in length. Their heart starts to form, followed by their brain and face. Their limbs are growing, too, and by week 12, they even have fingernails.

Of course, all of that is assuming a healthy, developing pregnancy. But as all of those changes are happening in the first 12 weeks, the risk of miscarriage is highest. It is estimated that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, and 80 percent of them occur in the first trimester.

Those might be scary statistics for excited, expecting parents to hear. But it's important to remember that 3 out of 4 pregnancies do not end in miscarriage. If you're in those early months, it's best to focus on that.

"I tell clients to focus on the facts you have today," said Elizabeth King, a certified fertility coach and doula. "If the test says you're pregnant, you're pregnant! Maybe you'll receive information next week that's not what you want to hear. But you can't do anything about that, so try to focus on staying in the moment." Otherwise, she said, people might obsessively check for symptoms and worry about worst-case scenarios.

Most people will have their first prenatal visit at around 8 weeks. At this point, your doctor runs tests to confirm your pregnancy, estimate your due date, screen for infection and assess the general health of the pregnancy. For some, waiting until they've had this appointment gives them more confidence in sharing their pregnancy with others.