If you’re a first-time mom, pregnancy is a whole new world. Although the idea of a tiny baby growing your belly may seem surreal when you first see those two lines on a pregnancy test, as your first trimester progresses, the hormonal changes in your body will make it obvious that something big is happening. Read on to learn about what types of first trimester symptoms you can expect during a healthy pregnancy.
- Despite the name, it’s not just in the morning. Nausea can hit anytime of the day during the early weeks of pregnancy. For most moms, morning sickness sets in around week three or four and sticks around throughout the first trimester due to the rapidly rising levels of progesterone and estrogen in your body. To cope with morning sickness, keep some crackers nearby, eat small meals and stay hydrated.
- This symptom goes hand in hand with morning sickness. If you’re feeling ill, you may not feel like eating much of anything. Conversely, some women feel extra hungry during the first few months and have cravings for specific types of foods. Try to eat as healthy as possible; small, frequent meals can help stave off many of the digestive symptoms such as heartburn. Try to avoid fried foods and too many sweets.
- For many women, enlarged, sore breasts are the first tangible signs of pregnancy. They may be more sensitive than usual, feel tender to the touch, or get larger and feel full and heavy. If you’re bothered by this symptom, a more supportive bra can help you feel better.
- Feel like you can’t stay out of the bathroom? Increased urination is a common symptom during the first trimester as your uterus enlarges, although the growth isn’t yet visible on the outside. Limit caffeine, especially at night, to help you sleep more soundly despite the call of nature.
- You’re probably feeling the urge for a nap as your first trimester progresses. Rising progesterone are also to blame for the extreme fatigue you may be experiencing. Nap now, while you can! Many women also find that exercise helps them have more energy.
- You might feel lightheaded or dizzy, especially if you’ve been standing for awhile or get up quickly. That’s because your blood vessels are dilated, causing your blood pressure to drop. If you feel dizzy, lay down on your left side for a few minutes; however, if you have severe abdominal pain or experience bleeding in combination with the dizziness, call your doctor right away.
- Even if you’re excited about your pregnancy, it’s normal to feel conflicting emotions, especially during this time of extreme hormonal changes. You might have bouts of sadness, irritability or mood swings. These are all normal but talk with your doctor if you feel like your emotions are weighing you down.
Prenatal visits are an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Your first visit usually takes place when you are six to eight weeks along. At this appointment, the doctor will date your pregnancy based on your last menstrual period and give you information about nutrition, prenatal testing and other key topics. Most women see the doctor every month during the first and second trimester, with more frequent visits during the third.
Related Content: The Role of Protein During Pregnancy
Most women recognize that the foods they eat play a huge part in helping their child to grow in the uterus. The quality and composition of foods eaten during pregnancy is just as important as the amount of food eaten. Protein is particularly useful because it helps to form new cells and build the body of the fetus.