Is the first or the third trimester the hardest?

We weigh-in to share which trimester was the hardest during their pregnancies.

The first trimester seems to be the toughest trimester for many women. When your body is still adjusting to creating a human being, women are affected in a very dramatic way.

For many women, nothing makes their hearts jump for joy more than a positive pregnancy test. Some try for months and even years to conceive, and when it finally happens, their whole world is lightened up. The following weeks, however, may not be as joyful as the first day of receiving the news. Early pregnancy symptoms and the rollercoaster of carrying a child becomes quite overwhelming.

We asked some of our readers which trimester was more difficult for them, and the answer was very common:

Morning sickness

First-trimester nausea was experienced by most of the moms that shared their experience with us. Grace Tsodzo says “I could not keep anything down”. The same was experienced by Mokgaetji Kgapho. Some moms like Samantha Morison and Koketso Maseeme did not experience any morning sickness during their pregnancies, while others had it morning, day and night, and throughout their pregnancy.

Extreme tiredness

Maluntu Motau says she did not want to do anything during her pregnancy. She was constantly tired most of the time. Fatigue is a common symptom during the first weeks of pregnancy. According to Premier Health, “the pregnant body is working over time to maintain the pregnancy and develop milk-producing glands in the breast.”

Mental health

Neo Mokobedi notes that the first trimester took its toll both on her body and her mental health. The latter is not commonly spoken about. Some women do not plan their pregnancies, and this can become overwhelming. Financial concerns, the father’s absence or presence, and other social issues can contribute to how a woman processes this new reality. Children are permanent and require a mom’s full commitment, and concerns and fears about the future can affect women’s mental health.

Nesting syndrome

A known indicator of looming birth is that women will start frantically cleaning, arranging, and rearranging the house whenever they feel like it. This was frustrating for Michelle because her sudden burst of energy saw her cleaning all hours of the day. A lot of women cannot wait to evacuate the baby out of their bodies when the due date is nearer. The weather also dictates how one feels. The hotter it is, the more a woman is on edge with giving birth.

Niggles & aches

Some women experience more struggles during the third trimester. Michelle Coppoolse says you become “so big and uncomfortable”. Masete Matotoka also adds that the last two weeks of her fourth pregnancy was very difficult, and in her words “it showed her flames”. The wobbling and swollen feet women experience in their last few weeks can also make the experience a lot harder.