Pregnancy is a wild ride. And it’s even wilder for first-time moms. First, sickness can strike at any time, from morning to night. An acid reflux that feels almost constant. Finally, tiredness burrows into your bones. And that’s just the tip of the symptom iceberg.
Many women don’t even realize they’re pregnant straight away. And all these symptoms can be tough to handle. So whether you’re a first-timer or a dab hand, this guide will take you through the first trimester of your pregnancy.
The first trimester of pregnancy is full of physical changes. Changes that prepare your body for the growth and development of your baby. Your uterus starts to expand to accommodate the growing fetus. And then, the placenta forms to provide nutrients and oxygen.
These changes mean you’ll experience a wide variety of symptoms;
- Breast tenderness and swelling.
- Digestive upset like constipation, bloating, and acid reflux.
- Morning sickness can happen any time of day.
- Fatigue and needing more sleep.
- Skin changes such as acne or darkening.
Figuring out how to manage these symptoms goes hand in hand with a healthy pregnancy. Smaller, more frequent meals can help reduce your morning sickness. And avoiding spicy or greasy foods will settle most digestive issues. Over-the-counter meds like antacids can help if your reflux just won’t give up.
Make sure to get as much rest as you can. Introduce meditation to reduce stress and stay active in a low-impact way by walking or doing prenatal yoga. Take an extra time for yourself with a skincare routine that uses natural products. It’ll help with any skin problems you’re facing, plus it’s a great way to treat yourself when you don’t feel your best.
Prenatal care is essential for having a healthy pregnancy for both you and the baby. It can help identify any issues at the start so they can be monitored throughout. Start your prenatal care as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. You can begin the process with a visit to your healthcare provider.
Choosing A Healthcare Provider
Choosing a healthcare provider to support you through your pregnancy can be a big deal. And that’s because, for many women, it is. Some choose to work with an OB/GYN, but you can opt for a midwife or family practitioner. The choice is yours. Choose who you feel comfortable with and trust to provide the best care. If you’re unsure about the baby, you might be thinking about going to an abortion clinic? See us first before making a decision.
Your chosen healthcare provider will monitor the health of you and your growing baby, check for complications, and give guidance. Regular checkups and tests such as support this monitoring;
- Checkups to monitor the baby’s growth.
- Blood tests to check for infections or issues.
- Ultrasounds to monitor fetus development.
During the first trimester, you can do additional tests like chorionic villus sampling (CVS) to detect abnormalities further. Discuss all your options with your midwife or OB/GYN to find which tests are best for you and the baby.
The first trimester of pregnancy is teeming with changes. During this time, your baby grows from a fertilized egg into a fully-formed fetus. Here’s a rundown of the major developmental milestones;
- The fertilized egg becomes a blastocyst and implants into the uterus.
- Around six weeks, the heartbeat begins. The brain, spinal cord, and nervous system all start to form.
- At eight weeks, the fetus’s facial features, limbs, and internal organs are visible on ultrasound.
- By the end of their first trimester, babies can open and close their fists, wiggle their toes, and make facial expressions.
By the end of your first trimester, your baby will be around three inches long and weigh about half an ounce.
You guessed it, nutrition is essential during pregnancy. That’s because it’s the simplest way to ensure good health and proper development of your growing baby. A balanced and healthy diet is the best way to achieve this.
What To Eat And What To Avoid
During pregnancy, you should try your best to eat various foods from all the food groups. Here’s a simple guideline you can follow;
- Plenty of fruit and veg providing essential vitamins and minerals.
- Lean proteins like chicken, fish, and beans.
- Introduce whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice.
- Dairy products that provide calcium and other nutrients.
- Try to cut out or limit processed and high-fat foods.
While there are some foods you need during pregnancy, there are others you should avoid altogether, including;
- Raw, undercooked meat, eggs, and seafood.
- Unpasteurized dairy products.
- High mercury fish like swordfish and sharks.
- Alcohol and caffeine products.
Coping With Emotions
Pregnancy is a life-changing experience. Because of that, it brings up some powerful emotions. You could feel excited, anxious, fearful, and overwhelmed. All those emotions are completely normal as you adjust to the massive changes in your body and hormones.
Being aware of these feelings is the first step to managing them. Recognize and accept everything that you’re feeling. Anxiety and worry about the baby’s health are common. So are the changes in your mood and irritability levels. The tiredness, sickness, and discomfort you’re feeling all add to this, too, so give yourself a break.
Tips For Self-Care During Pregnancy
Looking after yourself and managing your stress levels is vital to managing your changing moods and emotions. Here are a few tips to help you prioritize your well-being;
- Take up relaxing hobbies like reading, bathing, or practicing yoga.
- Avoid stressful situations as much as possible.
- Communicate openly with your partner or support system.
- Journaling can help you sort through your emotions.
- Meditation is effective for managing stress levels.
- Talk to a therapist or counselor if you’re overwhelmed.
Remember, it is normal to experience a range of emotions during pregnancy. Reach out to healthcare providers, support groups, or loved ones for assistance during this exciting yet daunting time.
Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first trimester! And now, know what to expect during this exciting and sometimes challenging time.
Coping with the physical and emotional changes that pregnancy brings can be daunting. But with the right support system and self-care practices, you can confidently navigate this journey. Don’t forget to seek help from family, friends, and even professionals if needed; consider joining a support group or seeking counseling.
Remember to enjoy this particular time as you eagerly anticipate the arrival of your little one.