There is no joy like the thrill of a positive pregnancy test. Feelings of happiness and excitement dominate you as a baby continues to grow and dominates your uterus one day after the other. This outstanding pleasure doesn’t mean that pregnancy is not an overwhelming experience that changes your body, emotions, and lifestyle.
If this is your first pregnancy, you will find many people to guide you about the best stores to buy baby clothes and the most durable breast pump. However, we forget to consider the physical and psychological changes that will take place during pregnancy.
In this article, we included most of the changes that take place during the first trimester so you know what to expect when you’re expecting and try to enjoy it and make your pregnancy memorable.
It’s also very important to choose an accessible gynecologist who you can feel comfortable with instead of a commercial one. Remember that this will be your medical advisor for nine months and will accompany you in labor.
The physical changes
Morning sickness, nausea, or vomiting
Morning sickness is a very common symptom during the first trimester. It affects 80% of pregnant women after the first month and ends by week 13 to 16. Some women just suffer from mild morning sickness, while others experience nausea and vomiting throughout the day.
You can ease your symptoms by eating a cracker or dry toast before leaving bed in the morning, avoiding spicy and fatty foods, and taking small frequent meals. If vomiting lasts for more than 24 hours, consult your gynecologist.
Food and odor aversions
While this might sound like a cinematic myth, about half of pregnant women have food and odor aversions during the first trimester including perfumes, smoke, melted butter, and meat.
It’s normal to feel a frequent urge to urinate more than usual during the first trimester of pregnancy. This is due to the increase in blood amount causing kidneys to process extra fluid that ends up in the bladder.
Pregnancy hormones relax the valve between the stomach and the esophagus allowing the stomach acid to leak into the esophagus causing heartburn. Spicy food, fried food, and chocolates can make it worse.
High levels of progesterone during pregnancy can slow down the movement of food through the digestive system causing constipation. Iron supplements might also cause constipation. To relieve your symptoms, drink 2-3 liters of water and fluids daily and include lots of fibers in your diet like whole grains, chickpeas, pears, chia seeds, and avocados.
It’s very common to find thin milky vaginal discharges during the first trimester. However, you need to contact your gynecologist if the discharges become yellow, green, or have an unpleasant smell.
The increase of the estrogen and progesterone hormones enlarges the mammary glands causing the breasts to swell. You might also notice a change in the size and color of the areas around the nipples.
Fatigue and need to sleep
It’s very normal during the early days of pregnancy to feel tired and sleep more. This is due to the rise of progesterone levels.
While it’s not very common, some women have acne during the first trimester because of the increase in oil production triggered by hormones during pregnancy.
The emotional changes
No rule applies to all women especially when it comes to sexual desire during pregnancy. Some women experience a decrease in libido during the first trimester. It’s mainly because of other irritable factors that affect you emotionally, like nausea, tiredness, and breast tenderness, thus reduce your libido.
It’s important to know that sexual drive passes through many changes during pregnancy trimesters. Always remember not to compare yourself to others, know that it’s a temporary phase, and be open with your partner about your emotions, needs, and convenient positions for you.
Roller coaster of emotions
You’re pregnant and you’re over the moon. Then you start feeling endless negative emotions and you don’t know why. You’re not alone and this doesn’t express how you really feel about your pregnancy. The surge of estrogen and progesterone hormones during pregnancy not only affects you physically but also causes mood swings.
- Extreme excitement, followed by depression
- Short-temperament and sensitivity to any word or action
- Frequent crying, even when watching movies or news
- Fear of losing the baby
This is a phase that will pass. It’s recommended to talk openly to your partner, friends, and family and seek their support. Occupy yourself with a nice activity and try to meditate or do some prenatal yoga.
The rewarding changes
Your baby’s heartbeats
By week 12, you can hear your baby’s heartbeats by a Doppler ultrasound. I bet this is something that can make you forget all about the nausea and hormonal changes you’re going through.
The increased amount of blood and pregnancy hormones make your skin rosier and shinier during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Low weight gain
The good news for every woman that during the first trimester, a woman usually gains 0.5-1.8 kgs. This way you won’t feel heavy and can enjoy many activities. You can still wear your regular clothes, just a larger jeans due to the change in waist size.
Always remember that every pregnancy is different. Embrace your body, you’re expecting the love of your life.
Further reading: Protein-Rich Recipes for the First Trimester of Pregnancy