While pregnancy is the most joyful event in the life of a mother, the first trimester can be overwhelming for first-time mothers. The first three months are marked by an invisible but amazing transformation in the mother as well as the baby.
trimester of pregnancy
The baby develops rapidly from a single cell to the embryo to 13 weeks when it has a fully developed heart with cardiac activity, brain, spinal cord and various other organs. Therefore it is essential to take the necessary medications like Folic acid and avoid unnecessary medications that you may already be on to avoid developmental anomalies in the baby.
The rapid hormonal changes with the onset of pregnancy bring about a lot of physiological and psychological changes in the mother’s body. Being aware of these changes and how to handle them makes you confident to face the first trimester
This is the most common problem faced by pregnant women and is also called as “Morning Sickness “, but it may happen at any time of the day. It happens because of the rising level of the hormone Progesterone during pregnancy, which slows down your digestive system leading to nausea.
To combat morning sickness, eat small frequent meals, avoid spicy food, drink plenty of fluids, and sip electrolyte drinks. Some home remedies can be to take dry toast, crackers, ginger or lemon ale.
Fatigue and Tiredness
Because of rising Progesterone levels, expectant mothers feel fatigued all the time. The nausea and vomiting, not being able to eat also depletes their energy reserves. To fight fatigue and tiredness, you need to take adequate rest and sleep well. Eating a nutritious diet and some form of exercise will also keep you energized.
Tender and Swollen Breast
Breast tenderness is the first sign of pregnancy, starting as early as 4-6 weeks of pregnancy and may last during the first trimester. It happens because of hormonal changes associated with pregnancy. As the hormones settle, breast tenderness also settles, however, changes in the size and structure of the breast keep happening in preparation for breastfeeding.
Food Craving and Aversions
It is fairly common to have cravings and aversions to specific food items. The hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) doubles every few days during your first trimester. The rapid increase of this hormone in the body causes food aversions. Plus, the digestion process slows down during pregnancy, so some formerly appealing foods become intolerable.
You can always consult your doctor for other alternatives for food aversions to make sure your body is getting all the necessary nutrients.
The increased production of progesterone, the hormone that relaxes muscles in preparation for labour and birth, is the main reason behind heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux. Progesterone causes the valve at the top of the stomach to relax and allows stomach acid to flow into your oesophagus, causing heartburn.
To prevent heartburn, eat small, frequent meals and avoid fried or spicy foods, citrus fruits and chocolate. Also, avoid lying down after eating and don’t eat too close to bedtime so that your body has time to digest the food.
A high level of progesterone in the body slows down digestion, less intake of fluids and inability to take a good diet because of nausea, vomiting leads to constipation. To combat this, take small frequent meals, a high-fibre diet and a lot of fluids.
Pregnant women need to use the washroom frequently and this is not limited to the first trimester only. This happens because of an increase in blood volume during pregnancy, causing the kidneys to filter more fluid. In the later half of pregnancy, it is because of the pressure on the bladder caused by the growing baby inside the uterus.
Dr Amita Shah is a leading gynaecologist in Gurgaon with vast experience in treating all major and minor female problems. She is the founder of ‘Global Women Clinic’ in Palam Vihar, Gurgaon. For more information or an appointment with Dr Amita Shah please call 9773975611