Congratulations!! You are pregnant. The first trimester of your pregnancy is very important as your body is busy helping the pregnancy get stabilized inside you. The first trimester is the first three months of pregnancy which starts on the first day of your last period and continues till around 12th to 14th week of pregnancy.
During this trimester, the baby grows at a fast pace and after around 6 weeks of your pregnancy you may hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. By the end of your first trimester, almost all the bones, muscles and the major organs are formed. Now, your baby would actually look like a tiny human being.
As an expecting mother, there will be certain bodily changes that you may experience. These changes help your body protect and nourish the baby during the pregnancy.
Changes you may expect during your first trimester:
1. White discharge: It’s normal to have milky white thin discharge through the vagina during your early pregnancy. You may consult your doctor if the discharge is foul smelling, green or yellow in colour, or if you have bleeding, cramps and severe pain in lower abdomen.
2. Morning sickness: Nausea and vomiting are among the most common pregnancy symptoms. Some females just can’t start their day without vomiting and some are just lucky enough to have mild nausea. To control your nausea, you may keep a few high protein snacks or simply some biscuits along your bedside for nibbling first thing in the morning. Consult your doctor if you are unable to eat or drink comfortably.
3. Tender and sore breasts: Usually, sore breasts are among the first signs of pregnancy. Your breasts become enlarged due to hormonal changes preparing the milk ducts for breastfeeding. The tenderness usually disappears with the end of the first trimester. You may try investing in larger-sized bras for better support.
4. Unpredictable mood swings and food cravings: These are very common among expecting mothers. Pregnant women show almost 60% greater fluctuations in mood compared to women who are not pregnant. Proper food and diet along with adequate rest and exercise help curb the intensity of your mood swings. Be prepared for sudden food cravings and food aversions. You may feel free to give in to your food cravings but you should visit your doctor if you have non-food cravings such as for chalk, soil etc.
5. Weight gain: It is natural to gain some weight once you get pregnant. A pregnant female’s weight gain usually reflects the health of the baby. A healthy weight gain during the first trimester of pregnancy is around 1-2 kg. One may go underweight or may not gain any weight in case of severe nausea and vomiting which is normal. However, an unusual weight loss of more than 5 kg should be reported to the consulting doctor.
Other frequent problems experienced during the first trimester of pregnancy may include heartburn, fatigue, constipation and an increased urge to urinate. You should be able to ward off most of the unpleasantness during pregnancy through proper rest, a healthy diet and a good support system.