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First Trimester - What to expect?
July 10, 2012 by Dr. Mandar V. Bichu
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First Trimester - What to expect?

The first trimester (from 0-12 Weeks) will see your body undergoing many changes as it adjusts to your growing baby. It is important to understand that these are all normal events and that most of these discomforts will go away as your pregnancy progresses. Further, you may not even experience any of the symptoms listed below. Included here are some of the symptoms you may experience during your pregnancy and information on how best to deal with them.

 

Early Pregnancy Symptoms

The onset and degree of pregnancy symptoms will vary from woman to woman. Many women experience them within days of conception, others take a few weeks before pregnancy symptoms kick in and a lucky few feel no discomfort at all. The early pregnancy symptoms generally will lessen after the first trimester.


Nausea & Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting may come as early as a week into the pregnancy. Many women experience illness in the morning (morning sickness), some in the afternoon or evening, others feel feel nausea through the entire day. In addition to the increased levels of hCG and estrogen, the rapid stretching of the uterine muscles, the relaxation of muscles in the digestive tract, an increase in acid in the stomach and the enhanced sense of smell pregnant women develop can all contribute to morning sickness. Eating small frequent meals seems to give some kind of relief. Eating a protein/carboy hydrate at bedtime (try an apple and a glass of milk) tends to lessen the nausea that occurs in the morning. Drink lots of water and snack on some dry toast or cereal before getting out of bed in the morning.

 

Breast Tenderness

Breasts may be very tender, swollen and start to enlarge. Many times the veins within the breast will become more visible. Your nipples may start to darken in color, become more erect and be extremely sensitive. These symptoms are due to increasing amount of HCG hormone that begins at implantation. These changes are aimed at preparing you to feed your baby when she arrives. A supportive bra should be worn. This will minimize stretching and sagging of the breast tissue.

 

Frequent Urination

Pregnancy causes the uterus to swell and it will start to enlarge for the growing fetus immediately. The uterus puts pressure on your bladder making you feel the need for more frequent urination. Many women start to feel this symptom within a week or two after pregnancy has occurred.

 

 Feeling Tired / Sluggish

This one is pretty obvious. When pregnant, your body is going through some major hormonal changes. HCG levels alone go from 0 - 250,000 mIU/ml in just twelve weeks. Your temperature is also higher due to the amount of progesterone circulating through your body which will also make you feel a little sluggish.

 

Light Bleeding

Light bleeding (spotting) may occur approximately 8 - 10 days from ovulation. It usually happens around the same time you would have gotten your menstrual period. Some women assume they have started their period when in fact they are pregnant. The spotting is caused from implantation which is when the fertilized egg burrows into the lining of the uterus.

 

Dizziness and/or Fainting

When standing in one place you may feel dizzy or even faint. The growing uterus compresses major arteries in your legs which causes your blood pressure to drop making you extremely light headed. Skipping meals or going too long without eating may cause you to feel dizzy or faint. When not eating frequently enough it causes low blood sugar. Blood sugar is the primary source of food for your baby so it will be depleted much more quickly. This symptom could also be due to a more serious complication, namely an ectopic pregnancy. Dizziness/fainting coupled with pain in the lower abdomen and vaginal bleeding could very well indicate an ectopic pregnancy and you should seek expert advice at once.

 

Constipation

A pregnancy hormone called Progesterone will slow down bowel functions to give maximum a time for vitamins and nutrients to be absorbed. This may lead to constipation and unfortunately, this symptom usually gets worse as the pregnancy progresses.

 

Irritability

Raging hormones are the cause of this...along with having to put up with all the other symptoms. This symptom should decrease soon into the second trimester but until then, a healthy diet, moderate exercise and plenty of sleep should help the crabbiness somewhat.

 

Heartburn

The uterus is very swollen and starts to push upward as it grows. The increasing levels of HCG will also slow down digestion making your stomach not empty as fast. This may increases the stomach acid causing heartburn.

Uncomfortable - But Well Worth It! After your precious baby arrives, you will soon forget the bouts of nausea and the discomfort you are now experiencing.


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Right Parenting.Com is a site dedicated to offer compassionate scientific guidance on various parenting and child-health issues. It is managed by Dr. Mandar V. Bichu, a Sharjah-based paediatrician with the help of experts in various fields.
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