If you’ve just learned you’re pregnant, congratulations! The first trimester of pregnancy is an exciting time and an important development phase for your baby.
Start with scheduling your first obstetrics visit as soon as possible. During this visit you should undergo a full physical examination including Pap smear and blood and urine tests. An ultrasound may be done to determine the gestational age of your baby and any health risks or concerns you may have should be discussed. This is a good time to ask questions and to share important personal or family health information.
Pregnancy sets off a number of hormonal changes, which are responsible for various symptoms in the early months. During the first trimester of pregnancy you might experience:
- Tender, enlarged breasts – it’s common for your breasts to grow and become tender as they prepare to produce milk for nursing. Discomfort usually lessens after the first trimester. Meanwhile, look for a good support bra in a larger size if necessary
- Fatigue –with all the changes your body is experiencing, you may have less energy and require more rest. Naps and rest breaks are encouraged
- Nausea – thanks to hormonal changes, the majority of pregnant women experience some degree of nausea, which is usually worse in the morning. Some women find it helpful to eat a few dry crackers before getting out of bed. If you have vomiting or nausea that prevents you from eating – call your doctor.
- Mood fluctuations – Even women who are excited about their pregnancies often experience mood swings and feel weepy. This moodiness is perfectly normal and is another symptom that can be chalked up to hormones
- Frequent Urination – As the uterus grows, it puts pressure on the bladder, so you may find yourself making extra trips to the bathroom during this time. Holding your urine can lead to bladder infection, so go whenever you feel the urge
- Heartburn –pregnancy hormones weaken the band of muscle between the lower esophagus and stomach, leading to acid reflux. To reduce heartburn symptoms opt for smaller, more frequent meals and use an extra pillow at nighttime
During the first trimester and throughout your pregnancy, you should be taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid to promote healthy fetal development and help prevent birth defects. Your next prenatal visit will be scheduled approximately four weeks after the initial visit, until then, relax and enjoy this special time. Be sure to call to discuss any concerns report any unexpected symptoms.