First Trimester - Symptoms, Cramping and Morning Sickness
Pregnancy, that most amazing experience, brings along with it some changes and challenges that can leave a woman feeling more than a little drained and often exhausted. The first trimester of pregnancy is the time when the most unpleasant of the symptoms of pregnancy seem to occur.
Is My Period About to Start? First Trimester Cramping
First trimester pregnancy symptoms often start off with cramping. This can feel like premenstrual cramps and, unless you are sure you're pregnant, you may think your period is about to start. The cramping at this early stage is probably due to implantation of the blastocyst into the uterine wall. It can be accompanied by some light bleeding or spotting. Hormonal changes and the preparations of the body for the baby can all cause some cramping and discomfort. Normally, first trimester cramping is nothing to be concerned over, however, if there is severe pain on one side of the abdomen, bleeding, and dizziness, it is important to see a doctor. You may have an ectopic pregnancy (the embryo is in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus). Severe abdominal cramping with spotting or heavy bleeding may indicate a miscarriage and sometimes high blood pressure and stress can cause abdominal cramping in pregnancy.
Pass Me the Crackers, Please
Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) is another of those unpleasant first trimester symptoms that can show up. Usually called morning sickness, NVP is believed to occur as a reaction to the high levels of hormones in early pregnancy. It usually begins around the sixth week of pregnancy and is over by the beginning of the second trimester. Most women are on the other side of nausea and vomiting by the 12th week, but some experience it longer. There are women who have had NVP for the duration of their pregnancies - a tough way to go. This symptom can interfere with daily life and schedules may have to be changed in order to cope. The best and most natural way to deal with this symptom of pregnancy is to eat some soda crackers before you even get out of bed in the morning. Eating light and staying well hydrated can help keep NVP under control. In some cases, when morning sickness becomes extreme, the doctor may prescribe a specific medication for it. We know that certain medications are dangerous for a baby so it is imperative that if there are any drugs taken, they are proven safe during pregnancy.
Sore Breasts and Headaches
Breast tenderness and swelling, headaches, and fatigue are more first trimester symptoms. Migraines can appear during the early stages of pregnancy and continue through the third trimester, then disappear after the birth of the baby. Breast tenderness may subside, but your breasts will continue to swell as they prepare for providing milk for your baby. Fatigue, and the need to nap a lot is especially present during the first trimester and seems to abate somewhat during the second trimester when energy levels rise again.
Nearing the Finish Line
By the third trimester of your pregnancy, as you near your due date, fatigue comes back again. Your body is bigger - you're carrying a lot more weight around with a growing baby and increased weight to accommodate baby's needs. Your back may be hurting from the weight and need to balance yourself. Cramping in the hips and groin area can return as well as your bones and muscles begin to spread even more to allow for the birth of the baby. Since finding a place to lie comfortably in order to sleep may be a challenge, the fatigue can increase, adding some stress to the last weeks before delivery. As your due date comes into focus and Braxton-Hicks contractions begin, you may be able to hasten the process by encouraging the cervix to open and allow for birth. One way to do that is by pregnancy sex. The semen has a quality to it that softens the cervix so it will dilate.
Everything inside is moving to allow the baby to be born. The body is an amazing thing, particularly the female body. It's a masterful design that can change and grow to allow for the growth of another human life.