So now that we’ve moved through the joys of fatigue, food aversions, scent sensitivities, and nausea and vomiting, let’s consider some other symptoms that many pregnant patients experience in the first trimester (and in some cases beyond):
Breast swelling and tenderness. Many women enjoy experiencing a new size or the anticipation of nursing, but others find the changes in their breasts can lead to discomfort and /or chafing.
Our advice: If changes to your breasts are making you wince, invest in a good maternity bra or bras. And remember, for better or worse, this too shall pass.
Frequent urination. In early pregnancy, the uterus grows and pushes on the bladder, triggering the urge to run straight to the ladies room. Thankfully, this sensation usually goes away by the second trimester; unfortunately it does not stay away for long. In your third trimester, the need to urinate frequently recurs because of your enlarged uterus and the pressure of the fetus’s head on your bladder.
Our advice: There is no way to avoid this altogether, but some steps can help:
First Bathroom then bed time: Using the bathroom right before bed may allow you to get a little more sleep. You will probably still have to get up at least once in the night to use the bathroom, but that’s still better than twice or even three times.
Avoid caffeine: There are lots of reasons to limit or eliminate caffeine during pregnancy; the fact that it increases the frequency of urination is just another reason to avoid it.
Shortness of breath. Some women feel short of breath when they first become pregnant. This is because you need extra oxygen due to the growing fetus. The further along you are, the worse this gets. Sorry.
Our advice: Take it easy and use caution. If you know you’re pregnant, tell your doctor if you:
- Experience a sudden onset of shortness of breath that is not associated with exercise
- Have pain that is related to shortness of breath
- The shortness of breath / pain is worse when you are lying down
These can be signs of something more serious
While all of the above are early signs of pregnancy, you will likely not experience all or even most of them. What’s more, some of these symptoms can indicate conditions other than pregnancy, including premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
The bottom line? If you think you are pregnant, call us. We’re here to listen and to help you have the safest, most comfortable pregnancy possible.