The first trimester of pregnancy is filled with many emotions, physical changes and discomforts for most pregnant women. Although some of your body’s changes are uncomfortable in the first trimester, you can do much to alleviate them. As the pregnancy progresses, most discomforts will often disappear or improve on their own.
Nausea and vomiting are universal pregnancy symptoms. Although some women never experience either symptom, others are sick the entire first trimester. No one knows exactly what causes morning sickness, but it is attributed mostly to elevated estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels. To quell the nausea, you can try eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of fewer, larger meals. Eat a well-balanced diet, take B6 vitamins and sip on small amounts of fluid to stay hydrated. If your nausea or vomiting becomes severe, call your health care provider.
Quite simply, your body is growing another human being and that takes a lot of energy from you. An extreme lack of energy is typical in the first trimester. Rest as often as you can, take small breaks and naps throughout the day. If you are having trouble staying awake after a full night’s rest, or you feel extreme fatigue that is interfering with your ability to function, get your iron checked. Low-iron levels in the blood can cause anemia. If anemia is present, your doctor will prescribe iron pills.
Although your baby is really tiny, your growing uterus is putting extra pressure on your bladder. This unfamiliar pressure makes you feel as though you have to urinate very frequently even when your bladder isn’t full. Make sure you urinate whenever you get the urge and don’t hold it as this can result in a bladder infection. Drink fewer fluids in the evening to avoid nightly bathroom trips.
Another universal pregnancy symptom for most women is sore breasts. This is also due to hormonal changes within breast tissue and the expansion of breast ducts to accommodate milk after delivery. You can apply heat to the breasts to reduce discomfort. If you notice your breasts are getting larger, and some do, you may also have to find a bra that offers better support.
During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone increases. This hormone is responsible for slowing down the rate at which food moves through your intestines so that more nutrition can be absorbed. This slowing moving process can result in constipation. In addition, the iron in your prenatal vitamins may also contribute to constipation. To decrease constipation, increase your fiber intake and your fluids. Make sure you eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
According to WebMD, more than one-half of all pregnant women experience food cravings and aversions. There is no particular reason why this happens. You can indulge a craving once in a while, but if it’s an unhealthy food, don’t make it a habit. Gaining too much weight in pregnancy can lead to medical conditions and make labor a harder task.
As your hormones shift rapidly during the first trimester and you are dealing with changes, it is common to have mood swings. Some women shift from laughing to crying in a matter of minutes for no particular reason. Talk with your partner or call a friend if you need additional support. Furthermore, if you have had problems with depression before becoming pregnant, talk with your health care provider.