What to Expect Your First Trimester of Pregnancy
You’re pregnant – congratulations! Whether this is your first child, your third, or your fifth, you probably have a myriad of emotions and physical changes stirring in your body right now. Pregnancy may feel foreign and frightening, especially if it’s all new to you. We’ll examine some key changes to expect during your first trimester and guide you through handling them.
Some of the first changes you will notice are physical, and some can be quite scary. Be prepared for the following.
- Vaginal bleeding. Light spotting during the first trimester is normal, and does not always indicate a miscarriage. It’s probably your baby’s way of saying he or she has successfully implanted in the uterus. If you have sharp abdominal pain, cramping, or heavy bleeding, call your doctor. This can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy where the fetus implants outside the uterus. It can indicate a miscarriage, but not always.
- Constipation. As your progesterone levels increase, your body’s ability to move food through the intestines slows down. The iron in your prenatal vitamins may aggravate this problem. Ask your doctor about mild laxatives or stool softeners if your constipation is chronic.
- Sore breasts. These occur as your milk ducts prepare for nursing. Your doctor may recommend going up a bra size to increase comfort. Save lacy or silky bras for after nursing, as they don’t have much support.
Yes, you will experience pregnancy-related cravings – about 60% of women do. You can get cravings for anything from the stereotypical peanut butter and pickles to less common foods such as Ranch dressing, fried chicken, and of course, sweets. Keep your diet as healthy and low-calorie as possible so you can give in now and then.
You may experience heartburn during pregnancy because progesterone makes the muscles in your lower esophagus relax. This relaxation can cause acid to travel from the stomach to the chest. Avoid greasy and spicy foods during pregnancy, don’t lie down right after a meal, and eat smaller meals throughout the day.
Mood swings will hit, and that’s normal. In fact, some women cry and experience moodiness during an entire pregnancy. Vitamins, plenty of rest, and moderate exercise can help. Let your friends and family know what you’re going through and what you need to feel calm and in control. If your mood swings involve rage or extreme crying spells, consider speaking to a counselor.
To learn about pregnancy, schedule an appointment at Women’s Medical Associates of Nashville.