It can be both exciting and frightening to enter the first trimester. The body experiences many changes. These changes can begin before you even know you are pregnant. Knowing what to expect and how to prepare can help you identify the signs.
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by Dr Karlynn Sievers
Path to well-being
How can I tell if I’m pregnant?
Missing periods are often the first sign that you may be pregnant. Other physical signs may also be present. You may experience mild cramping or bleeding when the fertilized eggs implant themselves in your uterus.
A home pregnancy test can be done if you have missed your period or think you might be pregnant. If you wait until your period is due, these tests can be very accurate. If the test comes back positive, call your doctor.
What’s the matter with me feeling so tired?
Another sign of early pregnancy is feeling tired. Your body is trying to adapt to all of the physical changes. Extreme fatigue can result. This could mean that you may need to go to bed earlier than normal at night. You can try to take short naps throughout the day if you are able. You will feel more energetic in the second trimester.
What’s morning sickness?
Morning sickness is characterized by nausea and vomiting. Pregnancy hormones can cause it. It affects many pregnant women in the first trimester. Morning sickness can happen at any hour of the day, despite how it sounds. Some foods and smells can make you sick or cause vomiting. People feel more sick when their stomachs empty. Morning sickness is usually gone by the end of the second trimester.
Morning sickness can be treated with over-the-counter vitamins or herbal supplements. Vitamin B6 can help with nausea but not to prevent vomiting. Supplements with ginger may also help to relieve nausea.
What are the other changes I can expect in my first trimester?
Frequent urination. This is common towards the end of the first trimester. Your bladder is being pushed on by your growing uterus. Sometimes, you may also leak urine when you cough and sneeze.
You may feel lightheaded. This is because your body is trying to pump more blood to help your baby. This can make you feel dizzy and lightheaded. These symptoms can also be caused by stress, hunger, weakness, and stress.
Heartburn. Pregnancy can cause more tension in the muscles responsible for breaking down food. This process is also slowed down by hormone changes. Your body also has more time to absorb nutrients if food stays longer in your stomach. These things can all cause or worsen heartburn.
Constipation. Prenatal vitamins that contain iron should be taken daily. Constipation can be caused by iron in the vitamin. Constipation can also be caused by the slow breakdown of food. To relieve constipation, your doctor might recommend fiber supplements or stool softeners. Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses per day. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, speak to your doctor. You may be able to switch to another prenatal vitamin.
Visible veins. Pregnancy causes your body to make more blood and your heart pump faster. The blue veins that run down your legs, breasts, belly and breasts can become more obvious. Spider veins can develop on your arms, neck, and face. These tiny blood vessels are like spider legs and branch from the central area.
Your skin may appear more radiant and glowing. This is known as a “pregnancy glow” and it is due to increased blood circulation. Extra oil can be caused by pregnancy hormones. You may experience flares of acne.
Breast changes. Many women notice breast changes early in their pregnancy. Your body’s hormones change in preparation for breastfeeding. Your breasts might feel tender and swollen as a result. Small bumps may appear around your nipples. Throughout your pregnancy, your breasts will grow and change. Later on, they may feel larger and more full.
Vaginal changes. Your vaginal lining will become thicker, and more sensitive. A thin, white fluid may appear. This is normal in pregnancy. Mild vaginal bleeding, also known as spotting, is normal and quite common during pregnancy. If you experience vaginal bleeding, however, you should contact your doctor immediately. You should call your doctor if the bleeding is severe or persistent.
Growing belly. As your baby and uterus get larger, your waistline will expand. You may not notice the change until the second trimester, depending on how large you were before becoming pregnant. You may gain little or no weight during your first trimester.
You might experience emotional symptoms. Your hormones can be on overdrive during pregnancy. It is possible to feel depressed, moody, forgetful or unable focus. These symptoms can be exacerbated by stress and fatigue.
Things to Consider
Remember that every pregnancy is different. Different pregnancies can lead to different symptoms. Your symptoms could be mild or severe depending on whether you are experiencing them. Don’t worry if you don’t notice any changes at once. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor.
When should you see your doctor
If you suspect or know that you are pregnant, contact your doctor. Your doctor will confirm your pregnancy and discuss prenatal care.
If you experience severe morning sickness or vomiting, it is important to consult your doctor.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- Am I pregnant?
- How far along in my pregnancy am I?
- What kind of changes can I expect in my physical and emotional health?
- Are my symptoms normal?
- What are the risks?
- What prenatal vitamin should I take?