If congratulations are on the way, then this blog is for you.
The first trimester during pregnancy is all about subtle but amazing transformations. Your body undergoes major changes to accommodate and make space for a new life. These changes become noticeable only after a considerable amount of time. Sometimes, you start feeling it before it even starts to show.
A lot happens during the first three months. The baby grows faster in the first trimester than at any other time. A heartbeat can usually be heard by six weeks, and by the end of twelfth week, the baby's bones, muscles, and all the organs of the body have formed. At this point, the baby may start looking like a tiny human being which is called a fetus.
However, it is not just your baby, you will feel things around and inside you change. Here is what no one talks about the earliest stage in pregnancy – the First Step To Motherhood – the First Trimester during pregnancy.
- Fatigue: Since your body is changing slowly & steadily to make space for a new life, it can cause you extreme fatigue in your earliest days. Daily activities may tire you out easily. Since your body is adjusting to support a growing life within you, you are likely to feel run down easily. Even the most active women may find themselves napping during the day or oversleeping throughout the night. Hence, it is okay to relax and take it easy for the first few weeks. Know it is normal to feel easily tired out or run down.
- Constipation: High quantities of the hormone progesterone during pregnancy cause the muscular contractions that typically transport food through your system to slow down. Constipation and gas might cause you to feel bloated the entire time you're pregnant due to the additional iron your prenatal vitamin provides along with the other factors. Increase your fiber intake and stay hydrated to keep things moving more easily. Exercise is beneficial as well. Ask your doctor what mild laxatives or stool softeners are safe to use during pregnancy if your constipation is hurting you.
- Physical & Hormonal Changes: Sore breasts are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. They're triggered by hormonal changes. These changes involve getting your milk ducts ready to feed your baby. You may experience sore breasts throughout the first trimester. Going up a bra size or two is common and you may want to switch to support bras for better comfort.
- Cravings: More than 60% of pregnant women experience cravings for food. More than half of people have eating preferences. It's acceptable to give in to cravings occasionally as long as you eat wholesome, low-calorie items most of the time.
- Frequent Bathroom Breaks: During your first trimester your baby is still small, but your uterus is growing which puts pressure on your bladder. As a result, you may have to make frequent visits to the bathroom. When nature calls, you should answer it as soon as you can. Do not try and hold it in. We understand how inconvenient this can be. The solution lies in Dignity Lady Light Inco Pads, specially designed to counter light urinary incontinence among women. Also, keep consuming plenty of fluids since your body needs them. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages actively.
- Crazy Mood Swings Check: First trimester puts a toll on your body. Changing hormones and an increase in fatigue can put you through several emotions in a matter of seconds. Do not try to keep your emotions in check and fault yourself for feeling this way. Expect crazy mood swings during your early weeks of pregnancy. Communicate your feelings. Turn towards your near and dear ones for comfort and support.
- Morning Sickness, A Myth?: Another common pregnancy symptom is Nausea. Almost every pregnant woman experiences nausea during the early pregnancy. It results from the hormonal changes that your body undergoes and can last through the entire first trimester and sometimes even throughout the pregnancy. Nausea can be mild for some pregnant women while others may have to suffer throughout the day. Nausea is usually worse in the morning, hence the name, "morning sickness". However, it is important to note that one can experience nausea at any point of the day. To keep your nausea under check, try consuming food in small portions and drink plenty of fluids. Eat bland, or high-protein snacks and keep sipping water or coconut water. Steer clear from food that may make you sick. Nausea itself is not something you should worry about. But if it gets severe you may want to contact your doctor and take some medicines that may help.
- Weight Changes: Pregnancy is a time in a woman's life when weight gain is considered a good thing. During the first few weeks (i.e., first trimester), you should gain about 3-6 pounds. Although you're carrying an extra person, you aren’t eating for two. What you need is to consume about an extra 150 calories a day during the first trimester. Consume these calories in a healthy way, by adding extra fruits and vegetables, milk, and whole-grain bread to your diet. Many women experience severe weight loss during their first trimester, but that can be taken care of in the next trimester.
- Loss Of Appetite: Similar to weight gain, experiencing a loss in your appetite is also very common during your first trimester. It is usually linked to your nausea. Again you should consult your physician, in case you see a considerable decrease in your appetite.
- Prenatal Depression: Depression during pregnancy is more common than you think. What’s worse is that there is no way to tell – no specific symptoms to detect, especially in the early month of pregnancy. Usually referred to as “prenatal depression”, it is the most common mood disorder that pregnant women may experience. Some of the symptoms include changes in sleep pattern, loss of appetite, and changes in energy levels which can all be mistaken for pregnancy symptoms, hence prenatal depression is challenging to diagnose. Optimal prenatal care is necessary for both the mother and the baby. The father and other family members need to look out for the mother-to-be.
- Edema: Another change you may experience is swelling of the legs, face, hands, ankle, and feet, also known as edema. To meet the needs of the growing baby, your body produces twice the amount of blood and bodily fluids. These extra fluids are the main cause of edema. During any activity that requires you to be seated for long, we suggest you sit with your legs elevated above your heart level. Soaking your feet in like warm water with rock salt for about 20 minutes a few times a week also helps with the swelling.
- Nuchal Translucency Scan: One of the lesser talked about things during the first trimester is the Nuchal Translucency Scan. This scan is like your regular ultrasound scan recommended by the doctors by the end of 12 weeks. It is done by the doctors to measure the folded thickness (//fluid-filled space behind your baby’s neck//) and estimate the risk of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome and other congenital heart defects in the baby. You must know that this scan is extremely harmless for both the mother and the baby should you decide to take the screening. It is not mandatory but is definitely recommended!
The first trimester in short is never easy. It comes with a multitude of changes within and around you and not all changes will be pleasant. Some of these symptoms may however improve as you move further along with your pregnancy. We strongly suggest you keep close to loved ones especially the father and your immediate family. Seek out all the help, support and comfort you need from your family and friends.
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