Congratulations and best wishes for being pregnant! To begin with, normal pregnancy lasts for about forty weeks and is divided into three trimesters. The first trimester spanning the first twelve weeks is when you will pass through the early stages of pregnancy. So let us take a detailed look into what you might experience physically and emotionally in the early stages of your pregnancy. We can also take a fair look at the development of your baby in your womb during these first twelve weeks of its life.
Early Stages of Pregnancy
Pregnancy is no doubt a period of joy, hope and pride but it comes with a number of bodily discomfitures, especially in the early stages, which are a part and parcel of the period. There is no need for you to worry about them though as your doctor or pregnancy counselor are going to equip you adequately to face difficulties.
This is one of the most prominent discomfitures that you are going to experience as early as about three weeks of your pregnancy. This occurs due to hormonal action during the period. The levels of progesterone and estrogen increase rapidly in your body.
You will be more sensitive to smells and some odors may offend you. This is the reason you should have small, light and easily digestible meals frequently rather than big meals at a time. Avoid foods and drinks that nauseate you. Eat plenty of fresh fruits. Lemon, ginger, oranges and mint are anti-nausea foods which you can try. Milk and spicy and hot edibles can aggravate nausea.
Feeling tired often is one of the most prominent symptoms of the first trimester of pregnancy. Though increased levels of progesterone makes you feel sleepy, certain bodily conditions like a lower blood pressure and sugar levels and enhanced production of blood can drain you of your energy giving rise to a feeling of exhaustion. Physical fatigue can be combated with good food and exercising. The best foods to pep up your energy levels are those containing a good amount of iron and protein. Light exercises, such as taking a moderately paced walk in the mornings and evenings for about half an hour should also work well to counter act your fatigue.
Your tendency to urinate increases in the early stages of your pregnancy. You may also have the tendency to leak when pressure is exerted on the bladder, like when you laugh, cough, sneeze or squat down. This happens because the larger uterus exerts greater pressure on your bladder than before. You could wear a panty lined with leak-proof material to prevent leaked urine from causing you embarrassment. If you notice that you have a tendency to urinate more during the night then prevent from taking certain items that increase your tendency to urinate before you go to bed. For example items containing caffeine, alcohol, and soda are said to promote frequent urination. These could be avoided in the evening and before you go to bed.
This is the consequence of fatigue, low blood pressure and stress during pregnancy. When severe and accompanied by vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain, you should rush to your doctor to check if it is due to ectopic pregnancy (a life threatening condition in which the fetus is implanted outside the uterus) and get the condition rectified.
When the dizziness is moderate or slight you can control it. Do not remain standing for long durations of time. Sit or lie down slowly while feeling dizzy. Sit up gradually from a resting position. Avoid driving during pregnancy as you may feel dizzy.
You may feel symptoms of heartburn during pregnancy as the efficiency of digestion is reduced by retardation in the rate of transfer of the food down the esophagus to the stomach. It is better to avoids foods that are deep-fried, spicy, and sour. Carbonated drinks can also be avoided. Constipation is another common complaint during pregnancy. Drink plenty of water, add a lot of fiber to your diet, and drink fruit juices.
On the emotional front pregnancy is a period of mixed emotions. You are exhilarated and proud to realize that you will be a mother in a few months. With a mix of positive emotions, you can experience negative emotions too. You might probably feel anxious about the ordeal that women undergo at the time of childbirth or any other fear around potential risk factors of pregnancy.
Hormonal changes in your body will bring about mood changes. In this phase you should consult your doctor, psychological counselors, family and friends regarding any of your apprehensions and clarify them so that you remain calm. Read good books, do relaxation videos and pursue a hobby for keeping yourself busy. Sound emotional health is very important for delivering an emotionally sound baby.
The first trimester lays the foundation of life and form in your body. The embryo is implanted in your uterus and the different parts of the human body develop at a week-by-week pace. You can visit your gynecologist or use an online pregnancy calendar from an authentic source to follow the fetal development closely so that you are aware of all that is happening within your body with you and your fetus at every stage of your pregnancy. This will help you to also bond better with your baby.
Early Stages of Pregnancy Checklist
Make sure that you have taken the medications necessary to keep yourself healthy during pregnancy. You need to consult your gynecologist for that. Also any habitual medication done prior to pregnancy should now be continued under medical supervision. Tannin, caffeine, tobacco and contaminated dairy foods are best avoided during pregnancy.
Traveling by itself is not hazardous, but you may be vulnerable to motion sickness which is aggravated during this period. You need to restrain yourself from hot spas and sauna as heat can cause fetal abnormalities. If you are a professional and want to work during pregnancy then do so only under medical advice.