The first trimester of pregnancy can be overwhelming to say the least. For first-time mothers, the worries of the unknown and new experiences that your body is undergoing is enough to make anyone stressed.
When morning (afternoon, evening – all hours of the day really!) sickness is involved, the joy of this new being can be slightly shortsighted. With these pieces in mind, it is still very incredible what our bodies can do within this short window. Before the pregnancy test is even able to confirm with a small pink positive, our bodies have already started prepping for motherhood. In fact, hormones are already starting to be released to help nourish the baby even in the first week!
During the first trimester, there are typically some tell-tale signs that your body is prepping for this next phase. For some women, these signs may hit even before the confirmed test – everyone is different!
- Tender, swollen breasts – Following conception, hormonal changes might make your breasts sore or sensitive. This will typically go away after a few weeks, as your body gets used to the hormonal changes.
- Nausea and/or vomiting – Morning sickness, though the name is deceiving, can occur any time of the day. To help relieve nausea, avoid having an empty stomach. Eat slowly and in small amounts every 1-2 hours. Choose foods that are low in fat. Avoid foods or smells that make your nausea worse. Drink plenty of fluids. Foods containing ginger might help. Motion sickness bands, acupuncture or hypnosis might offer relief — but be sure to chat with your health care provider first and reach out if your nausea and vomiting is severe.
- Increased trips to the restroom – You might find yourself urinating more often than usual. The amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy, causing your kidneys to process extra fluid which is then pushed towards your bladder.
- Need to nap – During the first trimester, levels of the hormone progesterone soar — which can put you to sleep. Rest as much as you can. Also, be sure to continue a healthy diet and exercise routine; this will help ease the fatigue.
- Food aversions – When you’re pregnant, you might become more sensitive to certain odors and your sense of taste may change. Like most other symptoms of pregnancy, food preferences can be chalked up to hormonal changes.
- Heartburn – Pregnancy hormones relaxing the valve between your stomach and esophagus can allow stomach acid to leak into your esophagus, causing heartburn. To prevent heartburn, eat small, frequent meals and avoid fried foods, citrus fruits, chocolate, and spicy or fried foods.
- Constipation – High levels of the hormone progesterone can slow the movement of food through your digestive system, causing constipation. To help combat this issue, be sure to include plenty of fiber in your diet and drink lots of fluids; water, prune or other fruit juices are great to drink daily. Regular physical activity also helps ease this symptom.