Updated: Tuesday, 05 Feb 2013, 11:56 AM EST
Published : Thursday, 07 Feb 2013, 5:41 AM EST
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) - During the first trimester of pregnancy your body is going through many changes and it can seem overwhelming. It is a transformation that is both invisible and amazing. By knowing what physical and emotional changes to expect, the months ahead may be more predictable. Hormones trigger the body to begin nourishing the baby even before you realize you are pregnant. Understanding the changes and how to take care of yourself will build reassurance that all is well.
First Trimester of Pregnancy
During the first trimester of pregnancy, there are many common physical changes that occur. One of the most common is referred to as morning sickness, which can actually strike at any time of the day or night, this may begin as early as three weeks after conception. Nausea occurs at least in part from rapidly rising levels of estrogen and progesterone, which cause the stomach to empty more slowly.
Nausea- What to expect and how to deal
Pregnant women also have a heightened sense of smell, so various odors — such as foods cooking, perfume or cigarette smoke — might cause waves of nausea in early pregnancy. Often even the thoughts of certain foods will trigger nausea.
To help relieve nausea, eat small, frequent meals throughout the day. Choose foods that are low in fat and easy to digest. It's also helpful to drink plenty of fluids, however avoid drinking excessive amounts of fluids with your meals. Avoid foods or smells that make your nausea worse. Try drinking ginger ale. GINGER works for some women, motion sickness bands may also be helpful. Over the counter medications that may help are Vitamin B12, Unisom and Benadryl. Commonly used prescription medications are Phenergan and Zofran. Side effects are associated with these medications. Phenergan produces sedation and Zofran constipation.
It is time to contact your health care provider if the nausea is severe, you're passing only a small amount of urine or the urine is dark in color, you can't keep down liquids, you feel dizzy or faint when standing up, your heart is racing, or you vomit blood. When you're pregnant, you might find yourself turning up your nose at certain foods that when not pregnant are pleasing.
Food cravings are common as well. As with most other symptoms of pregnancy, these food preferences can be due to hormonal changes — especially in the first trimester, when hormonal changes are the highest.
Soon after conception, hormonal changes might make your breasts tender. Your breast may feel fuller and heavier. Wearing a more supportive bra or a sports bra might help. Where it often, even during sleep if you are comfortable enough.
The Increased Urge 'to go'
Increased urination is a very common symptom of pregnancy. The blood volume nearly doubles with pregnancy and the kidneys filter all this fluid, increasing the urine output. You might find yourself urinating more often than usual, especially at night. The enlarging uterus may cause pressure on your bladder causing you to leak urine when sneezing, coughing or laughing.
Whenever you feel the urge to urinate, you should empty your bladder. If you're losing sleep due to middle-of-the-night bathroom trips, drink less in the evening — especially fluids containing caffeine, which can make you urinate more. If you're worried about leaking urine, wearing a panty liner may provide a sense of security. Unless you have discomfort with urination these are normal symptoms.
The above are frequent concerns mothers have in the first trimester. At west Michigan OB/GYN we answer questions like this a lot for expecting mothers. If you have questions or would like to see one of our doctors check out our West Michigan OB/GYN website.