First Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms and Relief
All pregnancies are different, but here are some common symptoms many women will have during the first trimester, or first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Simple comfort measures are included with each of the symptoms.
Morning Sickness - It's the mother of all stereotypical pregnancy symptoms. However, not all women suffer from nausea. Those who do commonly experience it during early pregnancy, and unfortunately it can happen at any time of day. The queasiness often happens on an empty stomach, which may be how it got its nickname - because by morning most women haven't eaten for several hours. The bad news is there's not much you can do about it. The good news is it usually goes away by the second trimester.
Keep bland snacks on hand at all times. Many women even keep some saltines on the nightstand to have before getting up. Try not to let yourself go too long between meals. Eating often throughout the day will keep your blood sugar constant and your energy up while warding off a queasy stomach. Nausea usually subsides after the first trimester.
Frequent Urination - Increased fluids in the body and a swelling uterus makes the expectant mother need to use the bathroom much more often than usual. If you know any relief for this one, let us know in the comments below!
Constipation - The hormone progesterone, which increases during pregnancy, has a relaxing effect on the bowel. This slows digestion and can lead to constipation. This is just one of those annoying discomforts of pregnancy, but you combat the effects of progesterone by increasing your fiber intake.
Hair and nail growth - Here's a happy symptom! Increased hormones and blood flow during pregnancy can cause fingernails and toenails to become longer and stronger than ever. Hair may grow quickly and thicker than usual. That's the fun part. The other side of the coin is that hair may also sprout up in unexpected places such as the face and abdomen.
Heartburn - Slower digestion can lead to increased stomach acid. To make matters worse, the muscle that usually keeps this acid safely in the stomach is also more relaxed during pregnancy and it can let this acid into the esophagus where it causes a burning sensation. Eat small meals frequently and make friends with your antacid.
Headaches - Mild headaches are a common nuisance for many women throughout pregnancy. You may have them in one or all of the trimesters. Keeping hydrated can decrease the chances of getting headaches.
Dizziness - Feeling faint or dizzy is common as your blood flow increases early in pregnancy. Later, the uterus may put pressure on large blood vessels. Low blood sugar, low blood pressure, or getting up too quickly can also make you dizzy.
Weight gain - Your goal during pregnancy should be to eat in a way that helps your body grow a healthy baby while maintaining your own energy. There is no need to become obsessed with your nutrition or weight gain. If you eat a balanced diet and give in to a few cravings, you should have no trouble shedding unwanted weight after you have the baby. There's no need in making yourself miserable trying to maintain the perfect weight throughout the long weeks of pregnancy.
Irritability, mood swings - All throughout your pregnancy, hormone levels will be fluctuating. This will at times affect your emotions. Try to relax and ride it out. Expect to laugh, cry, and shout - sometimes all in the same breath!
Breast Tenderness - This is common, annoying, and very normal!
For more information on very early signs of pregnancy, read Am I Pregnant? Signs of Pregnancy
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