Pregnancy & Postpartum, Symptoms, The First Trimester

First Trimester Of Pregnancy Symptoms – What To Expect

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Congratulations, You’re Pregnant! Here is what you need to know about the first trimester of your pregnancy. A lot happens during your first trimester, and it is better to be prepared for the changes you would get or can expect in the coming few months.

The first trimester is about 13 weeks long, and it starts before you even come to know that you are pregnant. A full-term pregnancy is roughly 40 weeks long, so your healthcare provider will calculate 40 weeks from the start of your last period to give you an estimated due date.

Getting pregnant is exciting but also scary, and you should be very careful during the first trimester of your pregnancy because a study says about 80 percent of miscarriages happen in the first trimester, so be careful of Do and Don’ts throughout your Pregnancy. 

Pregnancy is like going on a roller-coaster ride. With all those hormonal changes that your body is going through and working hard to make a baby, you might be filled with ups and downs of emotions. You might be feeling morning or night time or probably all-time sickness, tender breasts, and feeling tired along with frequent urination and constipation.

Your Baby’s Development In The First Trimester

A healthy first trimester is crucial to the normal development of the baby. During the first trimester, both the mother’s body and the fetus are changing rapidly. A mother may not be showing much on the outside, but inside her body, a lot is happening as all the major body organs and systems of the fetus are forming.

As the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall, your body gets busy making a home for the baby, including Amniotic Sac, Placenta formation, and umbilical cord.

During the first trimester, your baby grows from the size of 1/6-inch to about 31/2-inches from head to rump and weighs about 1½ ounces by week 12.

Till eight weeks, a fetus is called an embryo, and by the end of 8 weeks, the embryo is now a little over half an inch in size. Their significant organs start developing—heart, brain, liver, stomach, and kidneys—at five weeks, and by the end of 8 weeks, you should be able to hear their heartbeat at your prenatal appointment. The embryo is taking on a human shape, although the head is more significant in proportion to the rest of the body. The eyes, nose, mouth, and ears are becoming more distinct, the arms and legs can be easily seen, but the fingers and toes are still webbed, but can be distinguished.

At ten weeks, your baby is now a fetus and no longer called an embryo. This means all critical body structure is formed and your baby will keep getting bigger and bigger. By now, Fingers and toes are distinct and have nails. The baby’s face now has a human profile, and the fetus begins small, random movements, but they are too slight to be felt. Also, the fetus’s heartbeat can be detected electronically now.

By the end of the first trimester (that is 14 weeks after the first day of the last normal menstrual period)

The fetus can swallow, the kidneys make urine, and blood begins to form in the bone marrow. Their intestines are fully developed, and their face is more babylike—just in time for your first ultrasound photos.

First Trimester Symptoms

MORNING SICKNESS

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, often known as morning sickness, is very common in early pregnancy. However, morning sickness does not limit to only mornings and can affect any time of the day and sometimes all day. It’s a sign that you are truly pregnant, and it normally begins around the Sixth or Seventh week of pregnancy and peaks around the ninth week. It’s typically said to be gone by your second trimester but not for everyone, and some mothers continue to feel the same for a longer period.

“Like my sickness started around the seventh week, feeling more nausea at nights, and got worse around week 9. However, it got suppressed a little by week 15 but continued till week 20. Also, I was less hungry during my first trimester, and my appetite decreased in the first trimester and lost a little weight because of morning sickness and food aversions.”

Morning sickness is considered a healthy sign of pregnancy. Studies have shown that women with nausea and vomiting during the first trimester have a lower risk of miscarriage, So one should look at it as a positive thing. However, you do not feel particularly good about it. Scientists believe that morning sickness evolved as a natural way of protecting women against foods whose chemical compositions might prove harmful to a developing fetus. Further, increasing levels of the hormone beta-HCG have been linked to nausea, which tends to protect against miscarriage.

Come on! Look on the bright side.

FATIGUE

Fortunately, feeling tired and sleepy during the first trimester is quite normal. Since your entire system is fully engaged in creating a healthy environment for your fetus, producing the placenta, and providing sufficient nutrition. Your body is pumping out more hormone progesterone, which plays a big role in making you feel tired and sleepy.

Your body is going through incredible changes from inside, so it’s a signal that your body wants you to slow down and give it time to adjust to the changes.

This fatigue can make it hard to complete your daily functions, so try to get good sleep whenever possible, although it is a little difficult for working moms to sleep during the day time, you can try to go to bed early at night.

BREASTS TENDERNESS

Breast tenderness is often the first symptom of pregnancy, occurring as early as two weeks after conception. That sore boob sensation peaks in the first trimester because your body is flooding with hormones like estrogen and progesterone, and the glands in the breasts start growing; women may have sore, bulky, or tingly breasts. The nipples may also feel sensitive or even painful to touch.

Also, this is the right time to invest in a comfortable bra. A nursing bra would be a good bet, buy ones that are bigger or have extra hook-and-eye closures so you can continue wearing them throughout your pregnancy and postpartum.

Besides this, it is Ok if your breasts are not sore or you do not have this breast tenderness symptom, and you should not worry about it. Like every pregnancy is different, so are the symptoms with every pregnant woman. For some, the soreness starts early and stays late. For others, it starts late and doesn’t last very long at all.

HEADACHES

A lot of women’s experience headaches during pregnancy and may occur at any time during your pregnancy, but they are most common during the first and third trimesters.

They may be caused by the surge of hormonal changes that begin soon after conception. Or they may be sinus headaches brought on by nasal congestion, which may also be a symptom of early pregnancy.

How Does Pregnancy Headaches feel like? Then they can be extremely painful, throbbing headaches and are usually felt on one side of the head and result from expansion of the blood vessels in the brain. The misery is sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light.

Some of the other causes of headaches during pregnancy may involve one or more of the following:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Low blood sugar
  • Dehydration
  • Caffeine withdrawal
  • Stress 

You can also try some home remedies for pregnancy headaches, but If you do not experience any relief from the remedies and your headaches get worse or more persistent, then it is important to talk to your health care provider about any medications that you may be taking for headaches.

CONSTIPATION

Like many other pregnancy symptoms, pregnancy hormones progesterone are the culprit behind constipation. Constipation is really common during the first trimester of pregnancy. Changing hormone levels in early pregnancy cause the intestines to slow down the movement of stool through your system.

Few Tips To Prevent Constipation During Pregnancy

  • Eat more fiber in your diet.
  • Drink more water
  • Resist refined food like pasta, white bread, white rice.
  • Try probiotic yogurts or supplements.
  • Try eating 5 to 6 mini-meals rather than three large meals.
  • Take 15-minutes walk every day and do Kegels.
  • Ask your health care provider about Medication.

FREQUENT URINATION

Your fetus is pretty small, but your uterus is growing, and it’s putting pressure on your bladder. As a result, you may feel the urge to go to the bathroom more than normal. Despite that, don’t stop drinking fluids — your body needs them, though you might want to limit them before bedtime to avoid getting up more at night.

nausea in first trimester

SKIN CHANGES

Some women’s skin gets rosy and glowy, which we also call pregnancy glow; caused by a combination of hormones, oil, and increased blood circulation. 

On the other hand, some might experience breakouts due to increased levels of the hormone progesterone, which also triggers more oil production, causing acne.

NASAL CONGESTION

During pregnancy, our hormones levels are going up and increasing blood production can cause the mucous membranes in your nose to swell, which can lead to runny, itchy or congested nose, sneezing. 

This is also one of the early sign of pregnancy which is quite often-overlooked.

Personally, I got nasal congestion during first trimester which lasted for few weeks and it started even before I realized I was pregnant.

EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS

Like all the hormonal changes that your body is going through, the same way you might be filled with emotion and lots of frequent mood swings. It might leave you feeling sometimes excited and sometimes anxious, getting moody and even crying, but don’t worry, it is quite normal during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester as hormones are stepping up.

Even though you’re thrilled about being pregnant, yet it’s going to add emotional stress to your life. So, take a deep breath, give yourself some time to absorb the emotions of having a child.

A GROWING BELLY

If it’s your first pregnancy and if you are a person with lower weight and small waist, then you might start to show between weeks 12 and 16; and closer to week 16 if you are a person of more weight. But you might experience stiff muscles that will make your uterus compact. Also, the muscles of your stomach that were not stretched will pull now, especially if it is your first pregnancy. Furthermore it is normal to gain no or little weight in your first trimester.

Like no size fits all, so it is essential to keep in mind that each pregnancy experience is unique. Even the same woman may experience different changes in her multiple pregnancies. Your symptoms may be mild or severe. Do not worry if the changes do not happen at a particular time. Talk to your healthcare provider or midwife if you have any concerns.

Did you experience all of the above symptoms or only a few? Was any of the symptoms more prominent than the other? Or did you feel a completely new symptom? Would love your hear from you, comment below…

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