Pregnancy is a joyous time for a woman, but if it is a first time pregnancy, it can present a lot of challenges. Some women are fearful because they have never experienced certain pregnancy symptoms before, and don’t know what to expect.
How long is the first trimester of pregnancy?
Here is a quick outline to take you through the milestones you can expect during your first trimester, which is the first three months of your pregnancy, up to when you are 12 weeks pregnant.
What to expect in the first trimester?
Your baby will be forming in your belly, and you will notice certain changes in your body. Your breasts start to increase in size and feel tender, vaginal secretions increase, and you may feel faint and dizzy at certain times. You may feel like you are constantly tired - do not be alarmed as these are normal manifestations in the first month.
This will be swiftly followed by bouts of morning sickness that contrary to the name, can hit you at any time of the day or night. This is due to the hormonal changes. In addition, you will develop a heightened sense of smell so that some odors and smells will cause you to feel nauseated and even vomit sometimes. Expect to get some strange food cravings or aversions along with some heartburn and constipation.
You will feel like you want to urinate more frequently than usual due to pressure exerted on your bladder by the growing uterus. Don’t be surprised if you have embarrassing urinal leakage when you laugh or sneeze, it is all part of the pregnancy experience.
All these manifestations are due to the hormonal changes involved in pregnancy, as the body adjusts to holding a growing fetus within it and nurturing it as it grows.
What you can do to deal with changes in the first trimester
- You can get motion sickness bands for your morning sickness; also eat small frequent meals and lots of fluids. Some people take toast, or crackers or ginger ale to deal with the nausea; find out the available remedies for morning sickness and use the one that works for you. Otherwise, just grit your teeth and power your way through it as it is a necessary part of pregnancy.
- Buy supportive bras to help you deal with the increase in breast size.
- There is a chance of getting a urinary tract infection if you do not empty your bladder regularly so ensure that you go to the toilet whenever you feel the urge. Get panty liners to deal with any leakage.
- The bouts of fatigue are normal. They are caused by hormonal changes and the body working overtime to support the healthy growth of your baby. Take time to rest and have a healthy diet to help your body fulfill its obligations. Take a lot of fruits and vegetables to provide you with necessary prenatal vitamins and minerals, as well as, protein rich foods.
- To deal with heartburn avoid getting excessively full on food. It is advisable to take small frequent meals. Avoid spicy, fatty foods and citric or carbonated drinks. Drink a lot of water but minimize your drinking after six in the evening to avoid sleepless nights occasioned by frequent trips to the bathroom. Make a point of taking lots of fruits and veggies, and doing some mild exercises such as walking.
- Expect a lot of mood swings due to the hormonal changes, ensure that you have supportive people around you who are aware of your current condition and are ready to support and understand you. It’s good if you seek the counsel of someone who has been through pregnancy before and can warn you of what to expect.
Warning signs to watch out for in the first trimester
Passing small amounts of dark urine even when you drink lots of water is not a good sign. In addition if you are vomiting blood or experiencing vaginal bleeding accompanied with severe dizziness, and an unusually rapid heartbeat, see your doctor for a check up to ensure that everything is okay with your pregnancy.