Congratulations, mom-to-be! Pregnancy is a blessed state for all women and a unique experience for every future mom. The first weeks of pregnancy bring tons of genuine happiness and joy for your body and the whole of your being prepared to nurture and grow a new life. This exciting process is quick and could be overwhelming, marked by various physical and emotional changes.
The first trimester starts with week 1 of pregnancy and lasts approximately the end of week 13. During this period, many changes occur within a woman's body, and many moms-to-be wonders: is it normal? Should I feel this way? No worries. Let us find out the most common symptoms of early pregnancy months and how to deal with them.
First Trimester: What to Expect?
In the first three months, you are likely not looking pregnant yet. However, your body already feels very different since a little one progresses very quickly – by the end of this period, your baby's limbs, organs, and body systems form and continue to grow. Hormonal changes strike, 'setting' your body for the baby's growth. These developments cause various symptoms in future moms:
- Tender breasts
- Increased urination
- Food cravings/aversion
- Digestion problems
- Mood swings and intense emotions
First Trimester Tips and Care
The first three months of pregnancy are the most dynamic ones. This trimester is a period of adaptation to an entirely new state of being, a time of raised alertness characterized by numerous tricky symptoms. The occurrence and intensity of those and the overall early pregnancy experience vary depending on individual conditions. Following first trimester tips could be of great help on your pregnancy journey.
Choose a health care provider that would best suit your needs, one you feel comfortable with, be it an OB/GYN, a nurse-midwife, or family doc. Discuss your health history in detail and honestly. Do not hesitate to ask questions that might appear silly – your and your baby's well-being needs to eliminate unnecessary doubts. Schedule regular check-ups and keep up with your plan.
You will likely be introduced into first-trimester screening, a test that includes blood sampling and an ultrasound examination; this screening determines risks for chromosomal abnormalities and congenital disabilities. Your overall health condition would determine the dynamics of visits and additional tests.
Break Bad Habits
Get rid of unhealthy habits, such as overuse of caffeine or eating foods that could be harmful, such as too salty ones or those loaded with sugar. Pregnancy is a reason number one to quit smoking if you fall into this category. During pregnancy, you should avoid alcoholic beverages. Think of other lifestyle changes that may be needed for you and your baby.
When it comes to emotions, pregnancy is challenging. Besides happy feelings, many women will experience anxiety, feel stressed, frustrated, and even depressed. Talking to your health provider if you feel unwell is very important. Share your concerns with your partner and your loved ones.
You've probably heard the phrase 'eating for two' concerning pregnancy and diet. You do not have to eat double portions, but aim for about 2000 kcal daily; it should meet your tiny baby's needs. Talk to your health care provider about calorie intake and prenatal vitamins. Ideally, you have started taking prenatal about a month before conception.
Food cravings and aversions toward certain foods are typical in this period and could change in hours! Nevertheless, choose your food with care and opt for high quality one, combining the taste and nutritional value. It is generally recommended to have three meals and two healthy snacks daily.
What are essential nutrients for the first-trimester diet? Folic acid, protein, iron, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and DHA should be on your menu. Some of the best foods for the first trimester are lean meats, beans, lentils, kale, yogurt, and bananas. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products, alcohol, and undercooked meat.
Morning Sickness Tips
Nausea is expected in early pregnancy. Although known as 'morning sickness, it could strike at any time. Some solutions are: choosing easily digestible foods, frequent light snacks, drinking a lot of fluids, spending time in the fresh air, and taking prenatal with food (talk to your doctor about it). Keep track of triggers that make you feel sick.
Should you exercise during the first trimester? Of course, you can, but with caution, care, and your doctor's approval. Staying in shape when pregnant could benefit moms' health and the baby's safety. Low-impact training, such as swimming, yoga, and walking, could be a perfect solution. Regular moderate exercise will boost energy levels and improve your overall health.
It's Napping Time!
Take daytime naps and make yourself comfortable. Nausea, body tenderness, general fatigue, anxiety, nervousness, and even positive excitement could affect your sleep patterns early in your pregnancy. If you suffer from headaches or insomnia, or both at the same time, talk with your provider about the use of medications that could bring you relief. Do not take any without consultation.