Congratulations! You are pregnant for the first time and about to begin a new chapter in your life. Being a parent can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. It will give you the opportunity to teach and learn at the same time.
Your body is about to go through a series of changes as your baby grows and develops. While every woman can be different, understanding what to expect can help you along the way. Pregnancy is divided into three time periods called trimesters, the first of which has some unique characteristics. The first trimester lasts for the first 14 weeks of your pregnancy.
Nausea: This is one of the most commonly known side effects of pregnancy. Many moms-to-be begin to feel nauseous on a regular basis at about week six of your pregnancy. It is often called morning sickness, but be ready because the upset stomach is not just limited to the morning. Many women will have no desire for some of their once favorite foods, in fact smelling them may make them feel sick.
- Tips: Stick to a healthy diet. Don’t eat greasy or fatty foods. Lean meats along with fruits and vegetables will be easy to digest and make life simpler for your stomach. It’s OK to treat yourself and curb some cravings that develop, but otherwise, be a healthy eater for you and the baby. Eat several small meals a day, between six and eight, as opposed to taking in large amounts of food at one time that may upset your stomach. Also, take a prenatal vitamin to replace vitamins you may lose.
Feeling Tired: Your body will have extra strain put on it during pregnancy. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself tired in the middle of the day. It is normal even if you got a full eight hours of sleep the night before. Your energy level may be lower, but usually it is just a part of being pregnant.
- Tips: Make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep a night. If possible, take a nap during the day. Also, exercise moderately. It will help keep you healthier and give you some natural energy.
Emotional Changes: The chemicals in your body are being produced at different levels than before you were pregnant. This could eventually cause you to be emotional, even in a situation in which you would not usually be. It is normal, and typically a cause for concern.
- Tips: Have an emotional support group. Friends and family can be a huge help emotionally when you are pregnant. Also, prenatal classes can also be a great place to find support, not only from other expecting parents, but from experienced nurses.
Physical Side Effects: Your body will be changing inside and out. With this will come some side effects to be aware of and expect. These are not all but some of the most noticed effects.
- Swollen Breasts: Your breasts will become swollen and tender in the first trimester. Do not be concerned, this is a result of the chemical changes within your body
- Tip: Be sure to wear a comfortable bra that is supportive and big enough.
- Increased Urination: Your internal organs will be moving around and your bladder will have pressure placed on it. This will naturally cause you to have to visit the restroom more frequently.
- Tip: Plan to be able to take regular bathroom breaks in your schedule.
- Leg Cramps: Due to your body potentially processing less calcium and the way your body processes fluids, you will likely experience leg cramps.
- Tips: Take a calcium supplement if your prenatal vitamin does not have an adequate supply. If you do get a cramp, stretch your legs moderately. A good exercise is to slowly lift your toes upward stretching your calves and upper legs.
If you think that you may be pregnant or are pregnant, you should see a physician immediately if you haven’t already. St. Petersburg General Hospital’s Women’s Services offers high-quality prenatal care along with innovative, family-oriented childbirth programs.
For more information log onto www.StPeteGeneral.com or call 888-741-5122 to register for prenatal classes.