Have you just discovered a couple of weeks back that you are expecting a new baby? Are you going through the constantly wavering extremes of delight, anxiety, exhilaration and exhaustion of your new physical and emotional state of being? The initial excitement as well as the physical and emotional stress of discovering pregnancy, whether it is your first time or if you have already gone through it before, can be really overwhelming for new parents.
It is especially quite challenging to the new mother who is trying to cope with a number of factors – the unborn baby’s health, the physiological impact of pregnancy and motherhood, and the constant physical, emotional and financial demands of raising the new baby. These are a few factors that keep occurring to a new mother during the entire period of her pregnancy. The first trimester is one of the most trying times when her body, her hormones and her entire being is going through an amazing transformation that is going to shape up your life for a long time now.
In the first trimester, a woman just gets to discover that the journey towards attaining motherhood has just begun. It can be a long-awaited moment, or a complete surprise. It can be her first pregnancy, or her second or third. Whatever it is, each time the experiences will be unique and different.
What to Expect in Your Body in the First Trimester
The first 13 weeks comprise the first trimester of pregnancy. The first trimester can be a really turbulent time for expecting moms. During this period, they have to cope with a multitude of physical symptoms, including morning sickness, minor aches and cramps in the abdominal region, as well as unexpected transformations in the entire body.
While for new mothers, it is quite difficult to know and understand what to expect, it is not the same for those who have walked the road before. Nevertheless, for all expecting mothers, it is a challenging task to deal with the different physiological changes and discomforts caused by the increased levels of hormones in the body and by the fetus that starts its life cycle in the womb.
Vital Physiological Changes That Come With the First Trimester
While in the first few whirlwind weeks, a women suddenly discovers that she is expecting a little one, she is yet to experience a sea of changes inside her body within another few weeks.
For many women, tenderness and enlargement of the breasts due to increased hormone production is a common experience, while some may not feel it during the first trimester. However, another common physical symptom, frequency of urination is experienced by almost all expecting mothers in the first trimester. It is very natural to expect this change as the uterus is growing to create space for the growing fetus, and as a result is pressing on the bladder.
Frequent Urination and Vomiting/Nausea in the First Trimester
The discomfort of frequent urination eases out in many women in the second trimester, as the uterus rises out of the pelvis. While high levels of estrogen during this period can be instrumental to the growth and support of the growing embryo, it is also due to these high levels of estrogen production in the body that expecting mothers can experience increased vaginal secretion, and a few minor changes in their digestion and metabolism.
The feeling of nausea and vomiting during early pregnancy, which has been famously known as “morning sickness,” and which is a common experience for some expecting mothers, can also be attributed to these increased levels of hormone production to the body. Sometimes it is common to experience this morning sickness at any given time of the day, coupled with the discomforts of indigestion and heartburn. These discomforts are mainly due to the increased levels of the hormones relaxin and progesterone which control the intestine and slow down the process of digestion during this period.
It is important to remember here that the first trimester is a vital period of pregnancy when the growing fetus is developing almost all of his/her vital tissues and organs. By the end of this trimester, the little one, although still a tiny creature (two and a half to three inches long and weighing about an ounce by the 12th week), will be throbbing and pulsating with life. By this time, his heart, kidneys and liver already start to function. It is also important to remember that statistically, most of the miscarriages happen during the first trimester of the gestational period.
While the first trimester happens to be the most crucial and sensitive phase of pregnancy, it is most important to consult a certified gynecologist, health care practitioner or midwife every step of the way for proper prenatal care and guidance. It is pivotal to the health and overall wellness of the new mother and the unborn baby that the expecting mom follows a healthy diet rich in protein and vitamins, takes regular dose of prenatal supplements, follows a healthy exercise regimen and abstains from alcohol and recreational drugs to maintain a healthy pregnancy. After all, giving birth to a child is the most precious thing for the mother, and she must do her best to bring a healthy, happy baby to the light of this world!