Changes in Your Body During Pregnancy: First Trimester
You have been planning to get pregnant and dreaming to have a baby. You missed your monthly cycle and did overshoot your expected date of menstruation. Congratulations! You may be pregnant. You may try a home pregnancy test or go in for a confirmation test after consulting your doctor. You are delighted to be pregnant but anxious at the same time, as to what changes will occur in your body and how you can help your baby to grow well.
First sign of pregnancy
The first sign of pregnancy is usually a missed period. When a sexually active woman does not get the period around the expected date, she is most probably pregnant. It is correct the other way too: Pregnancy is the commonest cause of a missed period. Pregnancy should be confirmed if a period has been missed or delayed. This is done by testing for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) in urine. Some women, however, may experience spotting or little bleeding in the early months of pregnancy. This is not the usual bleeding. Some bleeding may be noticed even if pregnancy has been confirmed. This is called ‘implantation bleeding’ and may occur few days after conception. This occurs because the fertilized egg implants in the womb.
Feeling tired is usual in the early weeks of pregnancy. This happens as the body prepares to adapt to the requirements of supporting a growing baby. The heart beat may increase. You may feel constantly drained of energy. You may feel like sleeping. You should take ample rest and not tire yourself unnecessarily. You may also feel exhausted if you have repeated vomiting or you have not been able to eat due to the persistent feeling of vomiting.
Morning sickness is vomiting or a feeling of vomiting experienced by pregnant women in the morning hours early in pregnancy. It may last all throughout the day. This is due to the changes in blood hormones seen in pregnancy. The feeling may go away after the 12th week of pregnancy but it may be felt even later by some women. It can be helped by eating light and easy digestible food that is not fried or spicy, having plenty of fluids in small sips, eating small frequent meals, and avoiding odors that can trigger the feeling.
Other changes in the first trimester
Your breasts may enlarge, become sensitive, feel full and slightly painful, and the area around the nipple may get darker. You should wear comfortable supports to help this.
If you have been charting your body temperature during the previous cycle, a persistent rise in temperature for more than 15 days may mean that you are pregnant. The hormonal changes prevent the temperature from dipping towards the end of the menstrual cycle.
You may have urge to pass urine frequently. This is because the growing womb presses upon the urinary bladder in the vicinity. Empty your bladder whenever you have an urge, and keep clean to avoid any infections.
You may experience constipation. This is because the rising levels of the hormone progesterone slow the movements of the gut. The stomach may take longer to empty. The intestines move slow and do not empty at the usual frequency. Having fruits, fiber, and fluids can help to overcome this. Getting active helps too. A walk or some exercises can be useful. You may even experience heartburn and fullness after meals. Eat small frequent meals, and avoid the fried stuff and fizzy carbonated drinks.
You may feel dizzy. This is because the hormones affect circulation and act on the blood vessels in the body and cause them to dilate. To prevent this, you should avoid prolonged standing. Always be slow to get up from sitting position or rising from lying down. Take rest during the day. Stress, tiredness, and hunger can also lead to dizziness.
You may experience mood changes. This is again the interplay of hormones. You may feel happy one moment and sad and weepy in another. Do not panic. Try some relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga. You can join a club and keep yourself busy in some activities. Seek help of your partner and family. Engaging in a regular walk or some fun activity can help you to beat the blues. If you work, avoid stress by planning your schedules.
Take adequate rest. Try moderate exercise like a relaxing walk. Exercise can help you to overcome many complaints like constipation, sick feeling, and the pregnancy blues.
Week by week your baby grows. It is miraculous! The baby will slowly gain length and develop some vital organs like the brain, heart, and limbs. Your womb grows inside the pelvis and may not really give an evident bulge in tummy.
Enjoy your pregnancy
This is your early pregnancy. Until you complete 12 weeks, you are in the first trimester of pregnancy. A normal pregnancy of 9 months is divided into 3 trimesters of 3 months each. Your body will undergo unique changes in each phase as your pregnancy advances. The first trimester is most crucial. Your body adapts to receive and support the growing baby. The baby’s organs begin to form in this trimester. You should take care to make this period easier for both yourself and your baby. Getting pregnant is indeed the most wonderful feeling. Enjoy your pregnancy!