This chapter has information about your first trimester (months 1, 2 and 3 of your pregnancy). Congratulations on your pregnancy and the new beginnings that this brings! This is a time when you may feel tired or have morning sickness, although your pregnancy does not show yet. You may feel excited about the new life that is growing inside you. You may also have worries about the pregnancy and about becoming a parent. There are people who can help (see page 14).

Stages of Pregnancy

Pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks or about 9 months. Traditionally, we say 10 lunar months or moons. It takes this much time for a baby to grow and develop. A pregnancy is divided into 3 parts, or trimesters. Each trimester is about 3 months long.

First Trimester (months 1, 2 and 3): By the end of the 1st trimester, your baby begins to look like a human baby.
Second Trimester (months 4, 5 and 6): During the second trimester, your baby can open his/her eyes and can suck his/her thumb.
Third Trimester (months 7, 8 and 9): Your baby’s lungs and organs are finishing their development. Your baby continues to grow and gain weight.

First Trimester (1 to 3 months): Your Growing Baby

By the end of the first trimester:

  • Your baby will be about 7 to 10 cm long (3 to 4 inches) and weigh about 28 grams (1 ounce).
  • The heart is formed and beating.
  • The face is forming but the eyes are closed.
  • Bones, eyes, ears, and nose are forming.
  • Fingernails and toenails are developing.
  • Your baby’s arms and legs are moving, but you might not feel this.
  • The brain is developing.
  • The spine is forming.
  • The digestive tract is forming.
  • The sex of your baby is visible.

Getting Healthy for You and Your Baby

You may have different feelings as you get used to the idea of being pregnant and becoming a parent.

What you can do:

  • Make healthy changes as early as you can. Think of healthy things you can do for yourself and your growing baby, like taking a walk, eating healthy food, and resting.
  • Make an appointment with your health care provider as soon as you know you are pregnant. In some communities you may need to choose a new health care provider for your pregnancy (midwife, obstetrician etc.).
  • Ask your health care provider what you can do to have a healthy pregnancy.
  • Sign up for a prenatal program.
  • Learn more about pregnancy by reading this resource, or ask someone to read it to you. You may also be able to learn more from library books, or from the internet, if these are available.
  • Think about how you were raised and how you want to raise your baby. What would you want to do similarly and what would you do differently? How will you achieve this?
  • Talk to your partner, family or friends about your feelings.
  • Talk to your partner, family or friends about the kind of parent that you want to be.
  • Find out about supports and services in your community.

Cycle of Corn: A Mohawk Teaching

In our ceremonies we have a connectedness to Creation, a relationship with each other and Mother Earth. O:nenhste (corn) is the element of the spiritual, physical and emotional health of Onkwehónwe. There are similarities between the cycle of corn and the pregnancy cycle. Each requires ceremonies and nurturing by human beings. Women are special in the eyes of the Creator as they bring many seeds to the Earth.

For information and support:

Best Start Resource Centre
Online resources about prenatal and child health.

Public Health Agency of Canada
Information about pregnancy, and planning a pregnancy.

Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Information about pregnancy, birth control, and sexual health.

Your Local Public Health Department
Public health nurses provide information and support.
or Call Service Ontario: 1-800-267- 8097