Life and Change in Progress: Your First Trimester
You wait with bated breath for a few minutes as you stare at the pregnancy test kit. A few seconds more and you see two lines appear. It’s confirmed, you’re expecting! Congratulations, mommy!
It’s all quite exciting, but there’s a good chance that your enthusiasm will equal or outweigh your anxiety. It’s going to be an interesting next few months. From here on everything is new and can get overwhelming. Here’s what you need to know to prepare for your first trimester.
Changes in You
There will be countless changes in your body during this time. Some of them may seem alarming, but sometimes even the most upsetting symptoms are actually just normal. Here are some of them:
In an article on Parents.com, Dr. Stephenson-Famy, M.D., Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist of the University of Washington says that 24 to 40% of women experience bleeding or spotting. This means that the fertilized embryo has been implanted in the uterus. However, if you experience abdominal cramping or should light spotting turn into significant bleeding, immediately call your doctor.
Some white discharge or leucorrhea is rather common and normal early on in your pregnancy. However, inform your doctor if the discharge is green or yellow, comes in an alarming amount, or smells suspicious.
- Frequent Urination
Your bladder is subjected to increasing pressure as your baby grows. Do not make holding it in a habit! Doing so can cause urinary tract infection, not to mention make you feel uncomfortable! Also, as you’ll be going to the bathroom more frequently, remember to stay hydrated.
Morning sickness is experienced by 85% of pregnant women, and it typically lasts throughout the entire first trimester. The intensity of morning sickness affects women differently, as some experience mild variations while others suffer debilitating forms of it. To reduce morning sickness, try eating high-protein food like nuts (such as almonds and pistachios) or meat, and drink lots of water and fruit juices without pulp such as apple, cranberry, or grape.
- Breast Tenderness
Breast soreness is triggered by hormonal changes as your body prepares for breastfeeding. Most women go up one bra size during this period.
Your body produces higher levels of the hormone progesterone, which causes food to travel slower through your intestines. For this, you’ll want to eat foods that are rich in fiber like corn, beans, whole wheat bread, and brown rice, and drink plenty of fluids like pear and prune juice besides water to relieve constipation.
Your body supports two lives now, so it will be working twice as hard. This will take its toll on you, so make sure to get plenty of rest and enough iron in your system. Low levels can lead to anemia, resulting in pallor and excess fatigue.
The progesterone influx will cause the muscles in your lower esophagus that keep food and acids down, To avoid it, eat more frequent meals in smaller portions throughout the day. However, avoid greasy, spicy, or acidic foods. Lying down right after meals should also be avoided.
- Weight Gain
Expect to gain anywhere from 3-6 pounds during your first trimester. Depending on whether you started the pregnancy under or overweight, your doctor may recommend adjusting your weight up or down.
- Food Cravings and Aversions
Pregnancy can make you crave certain foods and be repelled by others. Satisfying your craving is generally fine, as long as you’re eating healthy. By this, you have to watch out for pica, an eating disorder that causes you to gain an appetite for non-food items such as clay, drywall, paint, and metal, among others. If you have a sudden craving for non-food items, immediately talk to your doctor.
- Mood Swings
With ever-changing hormones and increased fatigue, there’s no avoiding becoming too emotional. Happy, depressed, irritable, anxious – you’ll experience all these and more. Not to worry, everyone around you will be very understanding, as pregnancy tends to wreak havoc on a woman’s mental state.
Having enumerated the most common changes in your first trimester, here are more tips to consider so you can have a healthy pregnancy.
|Say Yes To||Say No To|
|Alcoholic beverages and nicotine|
|Fruits, vegetables, low-fat forms of protein, and fiber||
Raw and smoked seafood
|Lots of water||Unpasteurized milk and dairy products|
It’s hard to truly prepare for things you’ve never experienced before, but know that most of these discomforts will go away as your pregnancy progresses and knowing what to expect can and will go a long way.
So what do we take away from this, mommies-to-be? Your first three months may prove to be difficult, but don’t worry, things will get better. Don’t forget that your EQ family is here for you.
For more information and EQ support, feel free to ask our experts here.