Updated on 24 May 2023
As the little miracle of life develops in your womb, you are about to experience different symptoms and changes in each stage of your pregnancy. There are three stages of pregnancy: first trimester, second trimester and third trimester. Understanding each trimester of pregnancy can help you navigate the challenges and changes that come along with each pregnancy trimester. Let us understand in depth the first trimester of pregnancy along with its symptoms, precautions and baby growth.
The first trimester of pregnancy is the earliest of the stages of pregnancy. The first trimester of pregnancy starts on the first day of your last period (yes, even before you’re pregnant) and lasts for 13 weeks. Your and your baby’s body’s structure and organs undergo various rapid changes in the first trimester of pregnancy. Some of the changes you will experience are nausea, breast tenderness, frequent urination and fatigue.
Every woman is unique and so is her pregnancy. While some women glow during their first trimester of pregnancy, others are exhausted with morning sickness. Here are some common first trimester of pregnancy symptoms most women experience.
About one-fourth of women experience bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy. Bleeding or light spotting early in the pregnancy are signs of implantation i.e., the fertilised embryo has attached itself to the uterine wall. This is also called implantation bleeding. However, if you notice severe bleeding along with cramping and sharp pain in the belly, you should immediately call the doctor. These could indicate a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
Swollen and sore breasts are one of the earliest first trimester of pregnancy symptoms. Breast tenderness is caused by increased hormonal changes in the body in preparation for breastfeeding. Your breasts will remain tender throughout the first trimester of pregnancy. It’s best to push those padded bras to the back of your drawer and wear comfy, support bras.
Over 60% of women experience food cravings throughout the different stages of pregnancy. More than half of pregnant women begin to eat foods they didn’t like previously. Additionally, these cravings are not just limited to taste but also smell. So, don’t be surprised if the crackling of asafoetida and cumin seeds makes you crave a certain dish. Just try not to give in to these cravings all the time.
Although your baby is too tiny to exert pressure on your bladder, your uterus is constantly growing and putting pressure on the bladder. Consequently, you may be making more trips to the washroom during the different stages of pregnancy. While it can be irritating, don’t limit your fluid intake as your body needs to stay hydrated. Remember not to hold the pee in and answer as soon as nature calls.
Nausea is one of the most common first trimester of pregnancy symptoms. Nearly 85% of women experience nausea and vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy. This is due to the hormonal changes taking inside your body and can last throughout the first pregnancy trimester. Some women may experience mild nausea while others severe, especially in the morning. Try eating small, high-protein meals and fresh fruit juices to keep nausea at bay.
The body begins to produce more of the hormone progesterone during the stages of pregnancy. Progesterone relaxes smooth muscles like the tube that connects your mouth and stomach. When relaxed and loosened up, these muscles fail to keep food and acids down in your stomach. As a result, you may experience acid reflux or heartburn. Try eating small meals throughout the day and avoid lying down right after eating. Additionally, you should keep greasy, spicy and acidic foods off your plate.
Another victim of the high levels of progesterone in your body is your intestines. Progesterone slows down muscular contractions that help in moving the food through your digestive tract, causing constipation. Additionally, the extra iron from your prenatal vitamins further contributes to constipation and gas throughout the stages of pregnancy. Try to increase your fiber and fluid intake and physical activity to counter constipation during pregnancy.
Throughout the different stages of pregnancy, your body will undergo several changes to prepare, nourish and protect your baby. Besides the first trimester of pregnancy symptoms, you can expect to notice the following changes in your body during the first trimester of pregnancy:
During the first trimester of pregnancy, your baby goes from being a fertilised egg to a fully-formed foetus. All the major organs and systems of your baby begin to take shape. So, anything you are exposed to, be it drugs, alcohol or radiation, will affect your baby. Let's understand more about baby growth in the first trimester of pregnancy.
The baby is most vulnerable during the first trimester of pregnancy. As a result, a pregnant woman must ensure that she stays healthy in the first pregnancy trimester. By including certain things in your diet and routine, you can take good care of yourself and your growing baby.
Here are some good health measures to follow during the first trimester of pregnancy:
Exercising caution during the first trimester of pregnancy and the subsequent stages of pregnancy will ensure safe health for you and your baby. By avoiding certain activities and foods, you can hope for a complication-free pregnancy trimester.
Here are some things to avoid during the first trimester of pregnancy:
First trimester of pregnancy is considered to be the most delicate of all three as the pregnancy is still new and your baby has only started developing. An awareness of the symptoms you're likely to experience, changes that will take place in your body, your baby's development and precautions to follow for a healthy pregnancy can help you glide through the first trimester and into the next one.
Pregnancy Trimester | Baby Development | Second Trimester of Pregnancy | Third Trimester of Pregnancy
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