3 Months Pregnant: What to Expect and What to Know

Medically Reviewed By Valinda Riggins Nwadike, MD, MPH

At 3 months pregnant, the first trimester is coming to a close. While some people might experience continued or worse symptoms than in the previous 2 months, others might experience improved symptoms toward the second trimester. Clinicians consider the first trimester of pregnancy to be 0–13 weeks pregnant. At exactly 3 months or 13 weeks pregnant, you are coming to the end of the first trimester.

You may still notice symptoms or health effects at this stage. Your doctor will provide information about supporting your health and the fetus’s development.

This article details what to expect at 3 months pregnant, including symptoms, development, and treatment.

Symptoms

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As the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) explains, pregnancy is divided into three trimesters:

  • first trimester: 0–13 weeks
  • second trimester: 14–27 weeks
  • third trimester: 28–40 weeks

Three months of pregnancy falls around the 13-week mark, so most pregnant people are finishing their first trimester. Many of the symptoms of pregnancy will only intensify into the second trimester. For some, some symptoms may improve.

Some of the symptoms from 3 months pregnant onward include:

  • sore and tender breasts
  • an increased appetite
  • a decrease in morning sickness and fatigue
  • a noticeable baby bump
  • aching or sharp pains under the abdomen
  • pain in the lower back or pelvis
  • the skin on the stomach feeling tight or itchy
  • stretch marks around the abdomen, hips, breast
  • darkened patches of skin on the face and darkened areolas, the area around the nipples
  • a discolored line running from your belly button to your pubic hairline
  • swollen feet and ankles
  • carpal tunnel syndrome, numbness or tingling in the hand or wrist

Not every person will experience pregnancy in the same way. Even the same person can have varying experiences with each pregnancy.

Belly size

All baby bumps vary in shape and size.

At 3 months pregnant, some people may not have a noticeable bump. However, you may notice more growth as time passes. Some people may have a more significant bump or need new clothing for belly growth.

A slightly smaller or larger belly size does not necessarily relate to the fetus’s health or growth. Belly size can depend on many factors, such as:

  • whether you’ve been pregnant before
  • your height
  • your weight
  • your ethnicity

Talk with a healthcare professional if you have questions about your belly size.

Your medical team will also regularly assess your health and the fetus’s growth. As long as the fetus grows appropriately, belly size may not matter as much.

Fetal development

Most major organ development occurs by the end of the first trimester, or around 3 months pregnant.

By 3 months, a fetus also typically has:

  • brain and spine development
  • cardiac or heart tissue development
  • eyes, nose, and mouth muscles that continue forming
  • formation of tubes in the lungs to help breathing after birth
  • inner ear development
  • fingers and toes that are no longer webbed
  • limb, hand, and feet cartilage, that will later harden into bones
  • closed eyelids
  • genital formation
  • a developing liver
  • kidneys that produce urine
  • a functioning pancreas
  • fingernails

The fetus will then continue to develop. Some other milestones that may happen after the end of the first trimester include:

  • hardening bones
  • thickening skin
  • toenail development
  • hearing development
  • lung tissue formation

For some people, the end of the first trimester is a milestone because the risk of miscarriage may decrease Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source after the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.

Twins or multiple fetuses

Symptoms of being pregnant with more than one fetus may include Trusted Source Office on Women's Health Governmental authority Go to source :

However, these symptoms do not always indicate twins or multiple fetuses.

An ultrasound scan can confirm the presence of more than one fetus. If the scan indicates twins or multiples, your doctors may update your pregnancy care to ensure that all the fetuses are healthy.

What to expect at the doctor’s

Many pregnant people have their first checkup during the first 3 months. Your doctor may recommend regular or semi-regular appointments from 3 months onward. However, this may depend on personal factors.

A doctor’s appointment during pregnancy can include:

  • blood pressure, weight, and height testing
  • blood and urine tests
  • physical exams, such as a pelvic exam
  • discussion about what to expect in the next several months
  • genetic testing
  • an ultrasound scan
  • a Doppler ultrasound assessment of the fetus’s heartbeat

Not all healthcare professionals will perform an early ultrasound scan, but some believe it may be beneficial for monitoring health.

Some people may also have genetic testing to screen for genetic differences or conditions. You can discuss this with a doctor based on your personal preference or risk, such as if there is a family history of certain medical conditions.

Near the end of the first trimester, a Doppler ultrasound can also detect the fetus’s heartbeat. The heartbeat may be more difficult to hear if there is excess tissue on the abdomen, if the uterus is tilted backward (some people naturally have this condition), or if the fetus is still too young.

The doctor will continue to assess the fetus’s heartbeat at every visit after this.

Preparation and self-care

At 3 months pregnant, preparation and self-care approaches to consider include:

  • preparing for your first medical checkup or following appointments by:
    • preparing a list of any questions
    • listing your medications and underlying conditions
    • asking your doctor about any symptoms or difficulties you may be having
  • asking a doctor or dietitian for nutrition and exercise advice
  • getting maternity clothes, if necessary

Your doctor may recommend prenatal supplements.

Regular physical activity that is manageable for you and a diet as recommended by your doctor or dietitian can be essential in the second trimester.

FAQ

Valinda Riggins Nwadike, M.D., M.P.H., has also reviewed the following frequently asked questions.

Can you feel a baby at 3 months?

Though fetuses may begin moving voluntarily around 12 weeks, you may not be able to feel this until later.

A 2022 systematic review suggests that, typically, people can feel the movement of the fetuses from 16 weeks Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source onward. However, this can vary per person.

What should I be feeling at 3 months pregnant?

What each person feels at 3 months pregnant varies.

Typical symptoms can include:

  • tender breasts
  • a more noticeable baby bump
  • increased appetite
  • possible easing of nausea or fatigue
  • skin itchiness
  • stretch marks
  • swelling in the feet or ankles

What happens in the womb at 3 months?

During pregnancy, the womb or uterus will expand. The uterus lining will also thicken, and the blood vessels may get bigger to help nourish the fetus.

From 3 months onward, the abdomen will expand more as the top of the uterus gets nearer to the rib cage.

Summary

Three months of pregnancy marks the end of the first trimester. Entering the second trimester is linked to a decreased risk of miscarriage, and significant growth milestones may develop.

Some people notice a decrease in nausea and fatigue from 3 months onward. However, others may continue to have symptoms. Other symptoms associated with 3 months of pregnancy include a growing baby bump, itchy skin, and discoloration.

Your doctor will recommend regular checkups. These can include physical exams, blood and urine tests, and answering your questions.

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Medical Reviewer: Valinda Riggins Nwadike, MD, MPH
Last Review Date: 2023 Jul 14
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