What to Expect During The First Trimester of Pregnancy?
By Dr. Akhila Sangeetha Bhat , Gynaecology
The first trimester of pregnancy starts from the last day of your periods and continues till the end of 12th week. Are you in the first trimester of your pregnancy? Are you observing that the body during this period goes through several physical and emotional changes in your body? These symptoms are likely during the first trimester of pregnancy, which is marked by several invisible transitions or changes. Lots of pregnancy hormones start flooding in the body to prepare it and start providing nourishment to the baby even before undergoing pregnancy tests. Pregnancy is generally divided into three trimesters.
Several physical and emotional changes are expected during the first trimester of pregnancy. They are as follows:
A. Physical changes
- Nausea – Morning sickness may be experienced by a pregnant woman, and it shows up to three weeks after conceiving. Nausea might occur because of the rapidly rising estrogen and progesterone levels in the body. Pregnant women become extra sensitive to smell and several odors like cigarette smoke, food being cooked or perfume may result in nausea.
- Tender and swollen breasts – During the first trimester of pregnancy, your breasts might become very tender, sore and sensitive because of hormonal changes.
- Increased urination – You may have an increased urge for urination than the usual. The enlarging uterus may put pressure on your bladder, which may cause leakage of urine while coughing, sneezing or laughing loudly. You must urinate whenever you feel the urge.
- Fatigue – Fatigue is common in pregnant women during the first trimester of pregnancy. Due to enhanced levels of progesterone hormone, you are likely to feel tired and sleepy. This fatigue cannot be eliminated, and you should rest adequately.
- Increased food craving or food aversion – During the first trimester of pregnancy, a woman may avert from certain food items. Increased food craving is also common, which results due to the intense hormonal changes within the body.
- Dizziness – A pregnant woman experiences dilated blood vessels and decreased blood pressure in the first trimester, which may leave her feeling dizzy or lightheaded. Sometimes the dizziness can be accompanied by vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain. Dizziness may indicate ectopic pregnancy in some pregnant women.
- Constipation and heartburn – The movement of food through the digestive system slows down during the first trimester of pregnancy, which may cause constipation. Pregnancy hormones, which relax the valve between the stomach and esophagus, may allow the leakage of stomach acid in the esophagus, thereby causing heartburn.
B. Emotional changes
Feeling anxious and worried is likely among pregnant women, which may result from different issues and thoughts regarding the to-be born child. Mood swings and feeling low are common emotional changes.
You must take proper care of yourself during the first trimester of pregnancy as your body becomes very delicate. The support from your partner and family members is important. You must also consult a doctor in order to cope with the changes you experience.