Starting a family is probably one of the most unique and exciting times of your life. There is also a host of changes going on in your body as you prepare yourself, your husband and your unborn child for the miracle of birth. The first trimester is a crucial time to ensure you are getting the nutrients and rest your body needs to help your baby grow and thrive.
Changes in Your Body
You may not have the telltale baby bump yet, but your body is changing rapidly, and you are probably noticing these changes. Not all of these changes are pleasant, but rest assured, most mean your baby is developing normally, and you’ve nothing to worry about. Common changes include:
During the first trimester, your baby changes from a single fertilized egg to a baseball-sized embryo with limbs and internal organs. By the eighth week, your baby is moving and developing everything from hair, to vocal cords. Your body is sending your growing bundle of joy nutrients and oxygen – and your body is producing increased amounts of hormones. No wonder you’re tired! Rest as much as you can, and make sure you’re taking in enough iron, protein and water. A brisk daily walk may help, too.
Morning sickness, which can happen any time of the day or night, can begin as early as conception. This may be exacerbated by a heightened sense of smell. A favorite dish that you’ve always enjoyed may make you nauseous at the first whiff. Avoid foods that bring about a wave of nausea; these usually include spicy or fatty foods. Eating smaller meals several times a day may also be helpful. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Some women find that ginger ale helps to settle their stomach. If you can’t keep anything down at all, then you should call us immediately. Getting dehydrated can harm you and your baby. We will work with you to find the right solution to keep you and your baby healthy.
Changes in your hormone balance after conception is to be expected and may make your breasts sensitive or sore. Your breasts may feel heavier and bigger. A bra with more support will probably help.
Food Cravings or Aversions, Heartburn and Constipation
Hormonal changes in your body are most dramatic in the first trimester. These changes can affect your appetite and digestion. Some women have cravings for specific foods. Others can’t stand the sight of some foods that they used to love. Many women experience heartburn or constipation. Because your body has slowed down the processing of food through your digestive system to give nutrients more time to be absorbed and reach your baby, you can experience constipation. Include plenty of fiber in your diet, exercise regularly and drink lots of water.
During pregnancy, your blood vessels dilate and as a result, your blood pressure may drop. You may feel lightheaded, especially if you stand for long periods. Rise slowly after lying or sitting down. If you feel dizzy, lie down on your left side and you should feel better quickly.
As you get ready for the arrival of your family’s little miracle, here is checklist of some of the things you need to do:
- Talk to your husband about parenting, naming the baby, planning the nursery
- Start a daily ritual to connect with your baby – talk or sing to your baby perhaps in the morning and when you retire at night
- Make a baby budget
- Decide on a birthing center
- If you smoke, quit. If you drink alcohol, stop.
- Make sure all activities are pregnancy-safe – ask us about physical activity and diet
- Take your vitamins
- Cut down on caffeine
- Walking or swimming is just about the best exercise there is for an expectant mom – take a stroll or a swim daily
- Get ready to see and hear your baby on a fetal monitor or ultrasound
At SouthLake OBGYN, we are here to help you. Our doctors and talented nursing staff will be glad to answer your questions and help you with any pregnancy issues you may have.