First trimester – What to expect
Getting pregnant is exciting, its the beginning of a magical adventure! But, I’ll be honest with you, being pregnant is not always exciting and magical… especially when common first trimester pregnancy symptoms start kicking in.
Most of us will experience some kind of discomfort beginning in the first trimester. Whether it’s a constant upset stomach, heartburn, hair breakage, regular headaches, or constipation, every woman has her own pregnancy woes to tell you about!
Below are the symptoms I faced during my first trimester and some tips on how I managed them.
Fatigue is usually caused by increased levels of progesterone during the first trimester. For the first six weeks, I couldn’t do much; I didn’t recognize myself, and I was only content doing the bare minimum.
SLEEP is the solution. Go to bed early and wake up slowly. If you can, take naps during the day, and adapt your work schedule. It will quickly settle down and you’ll soon get your energy back.
Early on in pregnancy, hormonal changes may make your breasts sensitive and sore. Even wearing a bra and standing under the strong water pressure in the shower hurt my nipples and made me cry a few times. To ease the discomfort and give my breasts some gentle support, I spent the first six weeks in a sports bra. The discomfort usually decreases progressively as our bodies adjust to hormonal changes.
Although the exact cause is unclear, experts believe that rising hormones and low blood sugar play a role in causing morning sickness. This was the most difficult pregnancy symptom for me to handle.
Its name is misleading! Morning sickness can strike at any time of the day or night! I tried out a few remedies, here are my favorites:
- Have a bowl of crackers on your nightstand and eat some before getting up in the morning
- If you wake up in the middle of the night and feel sick, chew ginger gummies
- Have a glass of pomegranate juice in the morning upon waking
- Eat snacks or small meals every two to three hours during the day
- Drink sparkling water
- Lie down and squeeze your abs.
Unlike what I read online, drinking plain water made my morning sickness worse. Also, keeping your stomach empty because you feel sick will not help and will actually make the nausea worse! Be strong and remember, morning sickness tends to ease up at the start of the second trimester.
Bloating and cramps
Hormonal changes during early pregnancy can cause you to feel bloated. At week nine, I sometimes looked around four months pregnant! My advice: drink less sparkling water (I didn’t because this helped my morning sickness) and eat slowly. Walking and light exercise can also aid with digestion.
Cramping typically occurs when the uterus expands, causing the ligaments and muscles that support it to stretch. My cramps could typically be described as a pulling sensation on one or both sides of my abdomen, or worse, sometimes it would feel as though a knife was stabbing me in my uterus. To relieve the pain, I would lie down and breathe in and out for five minutes with a cold towel on my stomach.
You might find yourself urinating more often. The amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy, causing your kidneys to process extra fluid. My advice: go and pee, there is nothing you can do about it. Holding it will actually give you cramps which are worse that the umpteenth trip to the bathroom.
Food and smell aversions
When you’re pregnant, you might become more sensitive to certain odors and your sense of taste might change. Like most other pregnancy symptoms, these can be chalked up to hormonal changes. Surprisingly overnight, I couldn’t stand the smell or taste of bananas and coffee – which was good for me as I was stressed about my ability to cut caffeine – and I was grossed out by the smell of cooked eggs, any candles, and my husband’s sweat and deodorant (I gave him no chance there).
Greasy hair and acne
During my first trimester, I didn’t feel the sexiest, especially with greasy bangs and disgusting breakouts on my face and neck. I tried to use facemasks every week to dry and cleanse my skin. My breakouts started to slowly disappear at week 12, but I still maintained a good beauty routine.
As you can see Mama, you are not alone if you are feeling weird and lonely this trimester. If you want to have an idea of what physical changes you may experience soon, go and read our very honest blog “Weird pregnancy body changes no one tells you about”.
Which discomforts did you have during your first trimester? Let’s share our tips with one another in solidarity!