While pregnancy news is received with mixed feelings of joy and apprehension, the woman undergoing pregnancy experiences various types of changes in the body. Each woman has a different experience and each pregnancy is different for the same woman. The first trimester of pregnancy is the time when most changes are expected.
Some women may glow with good health (or happiness) during the first trimester while others may look tired and dull. Some may feel miserable even if all their requirements are taken care of.
Slight bleeding is experienced by about 25% of women and some may experience light spotting. If the bleeding is severe accompanied with cramping, sharp pain in the abdomen, etc it is important to call the doctor. Pain and cramps may be a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (embryo implants outside the uterus).
Hormonal changes occur to get the breasts ready for lactating after child birth. This may result in sore breasts or swelling in the breasts. Wearing a supportive brassiere can help feel more comfortable.
High levels of progesterone hormone during pregnancy can cause slowing down of movements of the muscles of the digestive system and the pushing of the food down the GI tract is slowed down. Intake of iron supplements also add to the discomfort of constipation. Gas and bloating may occur. Eating more fiber and consuming fluids, especially water, can help relieve the symptoms. Appropriate exercises or physical activity also help in overcoming constipation.
A thin, milky white discharge is usually seen during early days of pregnancy. However, if the discharge is clear, yellow or green, it is better to call the doctor for help. Wearing a panty liner can help increase comfort.
The body facilitates the growth of the baby in the womb by using up the energies and calories of the mother. This means that a pregnant woman can get tired easily. Taking short breaks or naps can help overcoming the tiredness. Further, iron deficiency can set it as the blood is supplied to the baby too. Taking iron supplements can prevent anemia and the fatigue.
Food likes and dislikes:
The tastes change as the hormones change. Some food items can cause nausea and upset the stomach. Food cravings can set in and some foods may seem repulsive. Smells and allergies may occur. Craving to eat items that are not foods like clay, chalk, dust or laundry starch are dangerous for the mother and the baby. Giving in to food cravings is okay on some occasions, but focusing on eating healthy food is good for the mother and the baby.
Growth of the uterus may take up space of the bladder, which means the bladder, being smaller in size, is able to hold lesser amount of urine. This increases the frequency of the urge to urinate. Cutting down on caffeine can help as it stimulates the bladder.
Increase in progesterone during pregnancy can relax the foodpipe, increasing the possibility of acid reflux, leading to heartburn. Eating smaller meals, more number of times, during the day can help reduce heartburn. Avoiding fatty and spicy foods can also prevent acid reflux. Lying down right after eating can also cause reflux, and can be avoided by relaxing in inclined position.
Fatigue and hormones put together can cause emotional roller coaster rides. Take the help of a family member or friend to talk about the emotions.
This is the most commonly experienced difficulties of pregnancy, again due to hormonal changes. Since nausea is worse in the morning, the name has stuck on.
While it is good to gain weight as long as it corresponds to the weight of the growing baby in the womb, exceptional increase in weight can lead to problems during birth of the baby.
A woman can undergo many more changes while pregnant than mentioned above. It is advisable to maintain a healthy weight by being active and consuming healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, milk, whole-grains and lean meat.