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Challenges of Pregnancy in the First Trimester: Things You Need to Know 

The first trimester is the most important period of pregnancy, although no one obviously sees it yet. During the first 13 weeks, the baby is completely formed, and during the next two trimesters, it will continue to grow and prepare for coming into this world. Keeping that in mind, we will explore the challenges that women face in the first trimester and know more tips on how to take care of yourself and the baby in this precious and sensitive pregnancy period.

couple holding baby ultrasound photosPin

Calculate your pregnancy duration at home

Are you predicting when the baby will be born? It is known that women can calculate their own pregnancy duration. In one study, all women who participated in the study were given calendars and worksheets for counting. About 9 out of 10 individuals were able to estimate the length of their pregnancy with reasonable accuracy. Most results had a difference of 1 week between actual and calculated pregnancy duration.

Tips and tricks: You can use a pregnancy due date calculator and calculate how long you have been pregnant from the first day of your last period (LMP) to today. 

Morning sickness during pregnancy

Symptoms of nausea and vomiting usually appear at 4-7 weeks, intensify around 9 weeks and end by 12-16 weeks of pregnancy. The reasons are still not exactly clear. Morning sickness and vomiting can be caused by an increased concentration of hormones in the blood and slowed down movements of the digestive tract. Nausea and vomiting are common in young women during their first or unplanned pregnancy, as well as multiple pregnancies. It is also related to increased body mass index or eating disorders.

Tips and tricks: To ease this unpleasant sensation, eat small portions of high-protein food (e.g., meat, cheese), and drink water and fruit (e.g., apple) juice. Avoid any food that increases nausea.

Breast tenderness: What to do about it?

It is characterized by hormonal changes that lead to increased blood flow, as the breast tissue begins to prepare for feeding.

Tips and tricks: Breast tenderness usually lasts throughout the first trimester. You can wear a one size larger bra, a less restrictive bra, or no bra at all.

4 ways to fight with rapid fatigue

These sensations can be linked to increased progesterone levels, sleep disturbances, and lower sugar levels in the blood. The greatest fatigue is felt during the first trimester.

Tips and tricks: Eat healthily. Listen to your body and take a rest. Limit caffeine and drink more water. Get a proper amount of minerals and vitamins.

Secretions are normal during pregnancy

At the beginning of pregnancy, it is normal to notice some changes in vaginal secretions. They are called leucorrhea. They resemble milk in color and are slightly thick. Leukorrhea can appear as early as the 4th week of pregnancy. Later, these secretions increase.

Tips and tricks: For your comfort, wear loose cotton panties with disposable pads. Do not use tampons – this can cause an infection. However, if you see color (greenish, yellowish) or consistency changes in secretions, consult a doctor immediately.

How to manage rapid mood changes?

Rapid mood changes occur due to drastic changes in hormones, characterized by mood swings.

Tips and tricks: It is normal to feel both joy and sadness during pregnancy. Feel free to cry, but if you feel very bad, do not be afraid to talk to loved ones – a partner, family members, or friends.

Mild exercise: Perfect solution

pregnant woman doing mild exercisesPin

The first trimester of pregnancy is the time when the fetus takes root in the uterus, so you need to be extremely responsible during this period. During the first three months of pregnancy, it is recommended to reduce the intensity of physical activity. Also, during this period, it is not advisable to start intensive sports for those mothers who were not physically active before pregnancy.

Tips and tricks: Mild exercises are definitely suitable for the first trimester. Breathing and Kegel exercises will not hurt the baby either in the first or later trimesters of pregnancy.

Frequent urination and pregnancy

This symptom occurs due to natural changes in the body related to the effects of hormones, the increase in blood volume and the uterus, and the growth of the fetus.

Tips and tricks: Do not reduce your fluid intake in any way – you and your unborn baby need it. But avoid caffeine, which stimulates the bladder — especially before bed. And don’t hold your urine – as soon as you feel you need to urinate, rush to the toilet.

Constipation: What you need to know

It is a symptom of pregnancy, related to a decrease in the body’s muscle tone, and changes in the circulatory system.

Tips and tricks: You can help yourself by drinking more fluids and eating foods rich in fiber. Physical activity also helps. If constipation becomes unbearable, talk to your doctor about the use of harmless, mild laxatives.

Common tests during the first trimester

At 11-13 weeks of pregnancy, a detailed ultrasound examination is performed. The main parts of the body and the structure of the brain are examined, and markers characteristic of chromosomal genetic diseases are searched. Perhaps the most important measurement is the so-called nuchal fold thickness. Based on the amount of fluid accumulated in the neck area, it is determined whether there is a risk that the child will have Down syndrome or other genetic disorders. Also, doctors determine the risk of Edwards’ syndrome and Patau’s syndrome.

Tips and tricks: Do not be afraid to visit a doctor. All common tests must be done to make sure that baby and you are healthy and safe.

pregnant woman having an ultrasound Pin

Time to take care of yourself and your baby

As you can see, you will experience a lot of feelings, emotions, and physical sensations while expecting a baby. Maybe your pregnancy is unplanned, or maybe it’s the first child you’re expecting. This is a great time to start thinking about what you will eat and start eating healthily and thinking about your health, the health of your child, and communication with the unborn child.

Tips and tricks: This is the perfect time for you to start building a connection between you and your baby. Take good care of yourself and your unborn child. Do not forget to relax and have a talk with your loved ones and your baby.

The Bottom Line

When you realize that you have become pregnant, you will be overwhelmed with both joy and sadness. Pregnancy is a physical and psychological journey. During the first trimester, it is very important to take care of yourself, your body, and your soul. Don’t forget, you are already making contact with the unborn child and, of course, the child’s development and well-being depend on your physical and mental health.

Lyne Proulx
Lyne Proulxhttps://ottawamommyclub.ca/
Lyne Proulx is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), Certified Professional Wedding Consultant, and an Event Planner. It has always been her dream to create a website dedicated just for Moms since her children were young. Thus, after 10 years, she finally accomplished it, and the Ottawa Mommy Club was born in May 2011. She loves all things Disney and is an avid chocoholic. She was also the Queen B of the BConnected Conference, Canada's Digital Influencer and social media Conference in Ottawa and Toronto. She coordinated the Annual Infant Information Day/Early Years Expo for the City of Ottawa for 8 years. She was also the co-chair of the Navan for Kraft Hockeyville 2009-2011 committee that organized five community events within 6 months, and helped Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. In April 2011, she received the City of Ottawa Mayor's City Builder Award.

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