The Complete Guide to the First Trimester of Pregnancy – Everything You Need to Know

Pregnancy is an incredible and life-changing experience. The initial stage, known as the first trimester, is a crucial period that spans the first three months of pregnancy. During this time, a woman’s body undergoes numerous changes as it prepares to support the growth and development of a new life.

The first trimester is a time of mixed emotions and physical adjustments. Many women experience a range of symptoms such as morning sickness, fatigue, and mood swings. It is important to seek medical care during this period to monitor the progress of the pregnancy and ensure both the mother and the baby are healthy.

With the first trimester being a critical time, it is essential to take extra care of oneself. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and taking prenatal vitamins. It is also crucial to avoid harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco, as they can have a detrimental effect on the developing baby.

What Happens During the First Trimester of Pregnancy

The first trimester of pregnancy is the initial stage that lasts for the first three months. This is an important period where numerous changes occur in a woman’s body as the baby develops.

During the first trimester, the woman may experience symptoms such as morning sickness, breast tenderness, fatigue, and frequent urination. These symptoms are a result of hormonal changes in the body.

One of the most crucial developments during the first trimester is the formation of the baby’s organs and body systems. The heart starts pumping blood, and the brain, spinal cord, muscles, and bones begin to form. The baby’s face and limbs also start to take shape.

At around week 6, the baby’s heartbeat can usually be heard through an ultrasound. This is an exciting milestone for many expectant parents as it reassures them that the baby is growing and developing properly.

The first trimester is also a time of rapid growth for the baby. During this stage, the baby’s size increases significantly, and by the end of the first trimester, they will be about the size of a plum.

It is essential for the expectant mother to take care of her health during the first trimester. This includes eating a balanced diet, taking prenatal vitamins, and avoiding harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco.

Overall, the first trimester of pregnancy is an exciting and transformative time. It is a period of significant growth and development for the baby, as well as a time of adjustment for the expectant mother.

Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

The initial period of pregnancy, also known as the first trimester, spans the first three months of pregnancy. This stage is crucial as the early signs and symptoms experienced during this time can indicate the beginning of pregnancy.

Missed Period

One of the most common early signs of pregnancy is a missed period. If you have a regular menstrual cycle and your period does not arrive on time, it could be an indication that you are pregnant.

Nausea and Morning Sickness

Nausea and morning sickness are often associated with pregnancy. During the first trimester, it is normal to experience feelings of nausea, and sometimes vomiting, especially in the mornings or after certain smells or foods.

Note: Not all women experience morning sickness, and some may experience it throughout the day rather than just in the morning.

Increased Fatigue

Feeling more tired than usual is a common early symptom of pregnancy. The hormonal changes occurring in your body can result in increased fatigue during the first trimester.

Breast Tenderness

Many women experience breast tenderness or sensitivity during early pregnancy. The hormonal changes can cause your breasts to feel sore, swollen, or tender to the touch.

Frequent Urination

During the early stages of pregnancy, you may find yourself needing to urinate more frequently. This is due to the increased blood flow to your pelvic area and the pressure being put on your bladder by the growing uterus.

Food Cravings and Aversions

Changes in food preferences and cravings are common during pregnancy. You may find yourself craving certain foods or having aversions to foods you previously enjoyed.

It is important to note that these early signs and symptoms can also be associated with other factors, and the only way to confirm pregnancy is through a pregnancy test or consultation with a healthcare professional.

Changes in the Body During the First Three Months

The first trimester of pregnancy is an initial period of three months. During this stage, the body undergoes numerous changes as it adapts to support the growing fetus.

Hormonal Changes

One of the major changes that occur during the first trimester is the hormonal shift in the body. The levels of progesterone and estrogen significantly increase to prepare the uterus for implantation and maintain the pregnancy. These hormonal changes can lead to various physical and emotional symptoms such as breast tenderness, mood swings, and fatigue.

Physical Changes

Several physical changes take place during the first trimester. One of the most noticeable changes is the enlargement of the breasts. The increased blood flow and hormonal changes cause the breasts to become tender and swollen. Additionally, many women experience morning sickness, which can involve nausea and vomiting. The body also goes through changes in the digestive system, leading to constipation or changes in appetite.

Furthermore, the uterus starts to expand, although it may not be visibly noticeable at this early stage. Other physical changes may include weight gain, changes in skin pigmentation, and increased urination due to the increased blood flow and pressure on the bladder.

Emotional and Psychological Changes

The first trimester of pregnancy can bring a rollercoaster of emotions. The hormonal changes can cause mood swings, irritability, and increased sensitivity. Many women also experience heightened anxiety and worries about the health of the baby. It is essential to seek support and engage in self-care activities to cope with these emotional changes.

Overall, the first trimester is a period of significant changes in the body. Understanding these changes can help expectant mothers navigate through this early stage of pregnancy with more ease and confidence.

First Trimester Screening Tests and Procedures

During the first three months of pregnancy, also known as the first trimester, there are several screening tests and procedures that can be done to check the health of both the mother and the developing baby. These tests are often performed early in the pregnancy period to detect any potential issues or abnormalities.

One of the most common screening tests during the first trimester is the blood test, which can check the levels of certain hormones and proteins in the mother’s blood. This test can help determine the risk of chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome. Another common procedure is an ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create images of the baby and can help determine the age, growth, and overall health of the fetus.

In addition to these tests, there are also specific screenings that can be done based on the mother’s medical history and risk factors. For example, women who are at a higher risk for certain genetic conditions or birth defects may be offered additional tests, such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis, which can provide more detailed information about the baby’s genetic makeup.

It’s important to note that these screening tests and procedures are optional and can vary depending on the healthcare provider and the individual pregnancy. The decision to undergo these tests should be made in consultation with a healthcare professional, who can provide guidance based on the specific circumstances.

Overall, first trimester screening tests and procedures play an important role in assessing the health and development of the baby during the early stages of pregnancy. They provide valuable information that can help healthcare professionals determine the best course of care and support for both the mother and the baby throughout the pregnancy and beyond.

Nutrition and Diet Recommendations for Early Pregnancy

Proper nutrition is crucial during the early stages of pregnancy, also known as the first trimester. This initial period of three months is a critical time for the development of the baby and requires extra attention to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Here are some important nutrition and diet recommendations for early pregnancy:

  1. Consume a well-balanced diet: It is essential to eat a variety of foods from different food groups to obtain a wide range of nutrients. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your daily meals.
  2. Ensure adequate folate intake: Folate is a B-vitamin that plays a crucial role in the development of the baby’s neural tube. Include folate-rich foods in your diet, such as leafy green vegetables, legumes, citrus fruits, and fortified cereals.
  3. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay well-hydrated. Adequate hydration is important for the overall health and functioning of your body during pregnancy.
  4. Avoid harmful substances: It is crucial to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs during pregnancy, as they can harm the baby’s development. Limit caffeine intake to no more than 200 milligrams per day.
  5. Consume enough iron: Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells and preventing iron deficiency anemia. Include iron-rich foods in your diet, such as lean meats, poultry, fish, legumes, and fortified cereals.
  6. Include sources of omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for the baby’s brain and eye development. Include sources of omega-3s in your diet, such as fatty fish (e.g., salmon, sardines), walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.
  7. Avoid undercooked or raw foods: To prevent the risk of foodborne illnesses, avoid undercooked or raw meats, seafood, eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products.
  8. Take prenatal supplements: In addition to a healthy diet, taking prenatal supplements recommended by your healthcare provider can help meet the increased nutrient needs during pregnancy.
  9. Listen to your body: Pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re comfortably full. It is normal to experience changes in appetite during pregnancy.

Remember, consulting with a healthcare professional is essential for personalized nutrition recommendations during early pregnancy. They can provide guidance based on your specific needs and any underlying medical conditions.

Coping with Morning Sickness and Nausea

One of the most common symptoms of early pregnancy is morning sickness and nausea. This is a normal part of the first trimester and usually begins around the sixth week of pregnancy. It can last for a few weeks or the entire three-month period.

Morning sickness and nausea can be challenging to deal with, but there are some coping strategies that may help:

Eat small, frequent meals: Instead of having three large meals a day, try eating smaller, more frequent meals to avoid an empty stomach. This can help prevent nausea and keep your blood sugar levels stable.

Avoid triggers: Certain smells or foods may trigger your morning sickness. It’s a good idea to stay away from these triggers as much as possible. Keep track of what triggers your symptoms and try to avoid them.

Stay hydrated: Dehydration can worsen nausea, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids. Sipping on water, ginger ale, or herbal tea throughout the day can help keep you hydrated and reduce nausea.

Get plenty of rest: Fatigue can make morning sickness feel worse, so make sure you’re getting enough rest. Take naps when needed and try to prioritize sleep at night.

Try ginger: Ginger has been used for centuries to alleviate nausea. You can try drinking ginger tea, eating ginger candies, or taking ginger supplements to help reduce morning sickness.

Wear comfortable clothes: Tight clothing around the waistline can put pressure on your stomach and make nausea worse. Opt for loose-fitting, comfortable clothing to help ease symptoms.

Remember, every woman’s experience with morning sickness is different. What works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to listen to your body and do what feels right for you. If your morning sickness becomes severe and is affecting your daily life, it’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider.

Tips for Managing Fatigue and Sleep Changes

During the first trimester of pregnancy, which is the initial three months, you may experience fatigue and changes in your sleep patterns. These changes are normal and can be managed with a few simple tips.

1. Rest and take frequent breaks

Listen to your body and rest when you need to. Taking frequent breaks throughout the day can help alleviate fatigue and give you the energy you need to get through the day. Find a comfortable position and lie down for a few minutes, or simply sit and relax.

2. Maintain a regular sleep schedule

Establishing a regular sleep schedule can help regulate your sleep patterns. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help your body adjust to a consistent sleep routine and promote better quality sleep.

3. Create a relaxing bedtime routine

Developing a relaxing bedtime routine can signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Consider activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing gentle stretching or meditation. Avoid stimulating activities, screens, and heavy meals close to bedtime.

4. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows

A comfortable mattress and pillows can make a significant difference in the quality of your sleep. Consider investing in a supportive mattress that allows you to find a comfortable sleeping position. Experiment with different pillow arrangements to find the ones that provide optimal support for your changing body.

5. Seek support and delegate tasks

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Delegating tasks to your partner, family members, or friends can help reduce your workload and give you more time to rest. Surround yourself with a support system that understands and supports your needs during this period.

By implementing these tips, you can better manage fatigue and sleep changes during the first trimester of your pregnancy. Remember to listen to your body and prioritize self-care to ensure a healthy and positive pregnancy experience.

Exercise and Physical Activity During the Initial Stage of Pregnancy

During the first trimester of pregnancy, which consists of the initial three months, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes incorporating regular exercise and physical activity into your daily routine.

Engaging in low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga, can be beneficial during this stage. These activities can help improve circulation, promote muscle tone, and increase endurance. Additionally, they can help alleviate common discomforts, such as morning sickness and fatigue.

However, it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise regimen. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized recommendations based on your health status and any potential pregnancy complications.

When participating in physical activity, it is important to listen to your body and make modifications as needed. Avoid exercises that involve lying flat on your back, as this can restrict blood flow to the uterus. Instead, opt for exercises that keep you in an upright position.

Remember to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks during your workout. Pregnancy increases your body’s demand for fluids, so it is essential to drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.

It is also important to pay attention to your body temperature during exercise. Avoid activities that can cause excessive overheating, such as hot yoga or exercising in hot and humid environments. This can pose potential risks to the developing fetus.

Overall, engaging in regular exercise and physical activity during the initial stage of pregnancy can have numerous benefits for both you and your baby. It can help strengthen your body, alleviate pregnancy discomforts, and improve overall well-being. However, it is essential to prioritize your safety and consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine.

Common Emotions and Mood Swings During the Early Pregnancy Period

During the initial three months of pregnancy, also known as the first trimester, many women experience a range of emotions and mood swings. These emotional changes are a result of hormonal fluctuations and the body adjusting to the pregnancy.

It is important to acknowledge and understand these common emotions to provide support and empathy to pregnant women during this stage of their journey.

1. Excitement and Joy

For many women, discovering they are pregnant brings a sense of excitement and joy. It is a time of anticipation, as they begin to imagine how their lives will change with the arrival of a baby. This period is often filled with dreams and hopes for the future.

2. Anxiety and Fear

Alongside the excitement, it is also normal for women to experience anxiety and fear during the early pregnancy period. Concerns about the health and well-being of the baby, as well as worries about the physical and emotional changes they will undergo, can lead to moments of apprehension.

Additionally, the fear of miscarriage is common during the first trimester, as this is the stage when the risk is highest. Women may experience heightened anxiety until they reach the second trimester, when the risk decreases.

3. Mood Swings

One of the most common emotional changes during the early pregnancy period is mood swings. Hormonal fluctuations can cause women to experience extreme highs and lows, often without warning. These mood swings can range from feeling elated and happy to suddenly becoming tearful or irritable.

It is important for both the pregnant woman and her partner to understand that these mood swings are not within her control and to offer support and understanding during this time.

Common Emotions During Early Pregnancy Supportive Actions
Excitement and joy Encourage open communication and share in their excitement
Anxiety and fear Provide reassurance and offer emotional support
Mood swings Be patient, understanding, and willing to listen

Remember, every woman’s experience during the early pregnancy period is unique, and it is important to provide individualized support and understanding based on their specific emotions and needs.

Dealing with Hormonal Changes and Pregnancy Acne

During the early stages of pregnancy, hormonal changes can have a significant impact on a woman’s body. One common side effect of these hormonal changes is pregnancy acne, which can occur during the first trimester and throughout the entire pregnancy period.

The Role of Hormones in Pregnancy Acne

During the first three months of pregnancy, hormonal levels fluctuate dramatically. This is because the body is adjusting to the pregnancy and preparing for the development of the baby. One of the hormones responsible for these changes is progesterone, which increases oil production in the sebaceous glands.

As a result of the increased oil production, the pores of the skin can become clogged, leading to the development of acne. Pregnancy acne can appear as pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads, and it is most commonly found on the face, neck, chest, and back.

Tips for Dealing with Pregnancy Acne

While pregnancy acne can be frustrating, there are several tips that can help you manage it:

Cleanse your skin regularly Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser to remove excess oil and prevent clogged pores.
Avoid using harsh products Avoid using harsh exfoliants or acne treatments that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, as these can be harmful to the baby. Instead, opt for natural or pregnancy-safe skincare products.
Maintain a healthy diet Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to promote healthy skin and overall well-being.
Stay hydrated Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and flush out toxins.
Avoid touching your face Avoid touching or picking at your acne, as this can worsen inflammation and lead to scarring.
Consult with a dermatologist If your acne is severe or persistent, consult with a dermatologist who can recommend safe topical treatments or other alternatives.

Remember, pregnancy acne is a temporary condition that usually resolves itself after giving birth. Until then, it’s important to take care of your skin and prioritize your overall well-being.

Importance of Prenatal Vitamins and Supplements

During the first trimester of pregnancy, which is the initial stage of the pregnancy period and covers the first three months, it is crucial for expectant mothers to ensure they are taking adequate prenatal vitamins and supplements. These essential nutrients are specifically formulated to support the health and development of both the mother and the growing baby.

Ensuring Adequate Nutrition

Prenatal vitamins and supplements are designed to fill any nutritional gaps that may exist in a pregnant woman’s diet. The first trimester is a critical time for the baby’s development, as vital organs and systems begin to form. By providing essential vitamins and minerals, these supplements help support healthy growth and development.

During early pregnancy, the mother’s body requires increased amounts of certain nutrients, such as folate, iron, and calcium. These nutrients play key roles in the development of the baby’s neural tube, red blood cells, and skeletal system, respectively. Prenatal vitamins and supplements help ensure that these important nutrients are readily available to support the baby’s growth during this crucial period.

Reducing the Risk of Birth Defects

Prenatal vitamins, particularly those containing folic acid, have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of certain birth defects during the first trimester. The neural tube, which eventually develops into the baby’s brain and spinal cord, forms within the first few weeks of pregnancy. Adequate intake of folic acid before and during early pregnancy can help prevent serious neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

By diligently taking prenatal vitamins and supplements as recommended by healthcare providers, expectant mothers can further reduce the risk of other congenital disabilities and ensure the healthiest possible start for their baby.

In conclusion, the first trimester of pregnancy is a critical period, and taking prenatal vitamins and supplements is of utmost importance. These supplements help ensure adequate nutrition for both the mother and the baby, support the baby’s healthy development, and reduce the risk of birth defects. It is essential for expectant mothers to consult with their healthcare providers about the appropriate prenatal vitamins and supplements to take during this crucial stage.

Understanding the Development of the Embryo and Fetus

Early Stages

During the first trimester of pregnancy, which spans the initial three months, incredible growth and development occur within the mother’s womb. Within the first few weeks after conception, the embryo begins to form from a single fertilized egg. This early period is crucial for the embryo’s development, as the major organs and systems start to take shape.

The Three-Month Stage

As the first trimester progresses, the embryo develops into a fetus. By the end of the third month, the fetus is approximately three inches long and weighs about an ounce. At this stage, the fetus has already formed most of its major organs and structures, including the nervous system, heart, limbs, and facial features.

Developmental Milestones

Throughout the first trimester, the embryo and fetus go through several developmental milestones. By around six weeks, the embryo’s heart begins to beat, and it starts to develop a primitive circulatory system. By the end of the eighth week, the embryo’s external genitalia start to differentiate, although it might be too early to determine the baby’s sex during an ultrasound.

Importance of Prenatal Care

During the first trimester, it is crucial for the expectant mother to receive regular prenatal care. This ensures that any potential issues or complications are identified early on, allowing for timely intervention and appropriate management. Prenatal care involves regular check-ups, ultrasound scans, and various tests to monitor the health and development of both the mother and the growing embryo or fetus.


The first trimester of pregnancy is a critical period for the early development of the embryo and fetus. Understanding the various stages and milestones can help expectant parents appreciate the remarkable journey their little one is embarking on. By embracing prenatal care, parents can ensure the well-being of both the mother and the growing baby throughout this crucial period.

Potential Risks and Complications in the First Trimester

The first trimester of pregnancy is a crucial stage that occurs within the first three months after conception. This initial period is filled with numerous changes and developments that are essential for the growth and well-being of the embryo. However, it is important to be aware of potential risks and complications that can arise during this time.

One common complication during the first trimester is morning sickness, which refers to the nausea and vomiting that many women experience. Although it is generally considered to be a normal part of pregnancy, severe and persistent morning sickness can lead to dehydration and weight loss, requiring medical intervention.

An ectopic pregnancy is another potential risk during the first trimester. This occurs when the fertilized egg implants itself outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies can be dangerous and may require immediate medical attention as they can cause severe bleeding and abdominal pain.

Miscarriage is a concern for many women during the first trimester. It is defined as the loss of pregnancy before the 20th week. Miscarriages often occur due to chromosomal abnormalities, and while they cannot be prevented, certain factors such as smoking, drug use, and advanced maternal age can increase the risk.

Infections can also pose a threat during the first trimester. Certain bacterial and viral infections, such as rubella, can cause birth defects or miscarriage if contracted during early pregnancy. It is important for pregnant women to take necessary precautions and seek medical care if they suspect an infection.

Lastly, complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia can arise during the first trimester. Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels that develop during pregnancy, while preeclampsia is a disorder that affects blood pressure and can lead to organ damage if left untreated. Both conditions require careful monitoring and management.

In conclusion, while the first trimester of pregnancy is a period of excitement and anticipation, it is vital to be aware of potential risks and complications. By staying informed, seeking regular prenatal care, and adopting a healthy lifestyle, women can increase their chances of a successful and healthy pregnancy.

Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety During Early Pregnancy

The first trimester of pregnancy, which is the initial period of three months, can be a stressful and anxious time for many women. The early stage of pregnancy brings about various physical and emotional changes, making it important to prioritize self-care and stress management. Here are some helpful tips for managing stress and anxiety during this crucial time:

1. Prioritize rest and relaxation

Make sure to get enough sleep and rest as your body undergoes significant changes during this early stage of pregnancy. Allow yourself time to relax and engage in activities that help you unwind, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath.

2. Practice stress-reducing techniques

Explore different stress-reducing techniques that work for you, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. These practices can help calm your mind, reduce anxiety, and improve your overall well-being.

3. Seek support

Reach out to your partner, friends, or family members for emotional support. Talking about your feelings and concerns can provide a sense of relief and help you feel less overwhelmed during this early pregnancy stage.

4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and engaging in gentle exercises, with your doctor’s approval, can contribute to your overall well-being and help manage stress and anxiety. Avoiding excessive caffeine and processed foods can also be beneficial.

5. Educate yourself

Understanding the changes happening in your body and the development of your baby can alleviate anxiety. Educate yourself by reading reliable pregnancy resources or attending prenatal classes. Knowledge can empower you and help you make informed decisions.

6. Practice self-care

Make time for self-care activities that bring you joy and relaxation. This could include taking walks in nature, indulging in a hobby, or pampering yourself with a prenatal massage. Taking care of yourself is essential for managing stress and anxiety.

7. Communicate with your healthcare provider

If you are experiencing excessive stress or anxiety during the first trimester, don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance, support, and resources to help you navigate this early stage of pregnancy.

Remember, stress and anxiety are common during pregnancy, but implementing these tips can help you manage and reduce your overall levels of stress, allowing for a healthier and more enjoyable pregnancy journey.

Preparing for the Second Trimester: What to Expect

Once the initial stage of the first trimester is over, you will enter the second trimester, which spans from the 13th to the 27th week of your pregnancy. The second trimester is often referred to as the “honeymoon period” of pregnancy because many women experience a decrease in the early pregnancy symptoms they may have had during the first trimester.

During the second trimester, you can expect your baby to grow significantly. By the end of this period, your baby will be about 14 inches long and weigh around 2 pounds. You may start to feel the baby’s movements, which can be an exciting and reassuring experience for many expectant mothers.

Your body will also undergo various changes during this trimester. You may notice your belly starting to round out, as the baby continues to grow. You may also experience some common pregnancy discomforts such as backaches, abdominal pain, and varicose veins. However, many women find the second trimester to be a relatively comfortable and enjoyable period of their pregnancy.

In terms of prenatal care, you will continue to have regular check-ups with your healthcare provider. These appointments will typically include physical exams, blood tests, and ultrasounds to monitor your baby’s growth and development. Your healthcare provider may also discuss any necessary screenings or tests that may be recommended during this period.

It is important to continue following a healthy lifestyle during the second trimester. This includes eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting regular exercise. You may also want to consider taking prenatal vitamins or supplements, as recommended by your healthcare provider.

As you prepare for the second trimester, it can be helpful to start thinking about your birth plan and considering any childbirth classes or education you may want to participate in. This period of your pregnancy is a good time to gather information and make decisions about your preferences for labor and delivery.

Overall, the second trimester is an exciting and rewarding period of pregnancy. It is a time of growth and development for both you and your baby, and with proper care and preparation, you can have a healthy and enjoyable experience during these three months.