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There are three trimesters that pregnancy has been divided into- The first trimester: From conception to 12 weeks, the Second trimester: 12-24 weeks, and the Third trimester: 24-40 weeks. The first trimester of pregnancy is filled with various changes for a woman and the baby growing in her. A full-term pregnancy is of 9 months which is broken up into three trimesters. Even though pregnancy starts from the moment of conception i.e., when a male sperm fertilizes the ovum (egg), the duration of the pregnancy is counted from the first day of your last period, which is when the first trimester starts. The first trimester can be categorized as the early pregnancy stage wherein the woman can notice changes in her body such as nausea, food cravings or aversions, and many more. Since the uterus is growing it puts more pressure on the bladder due to which women urinate more often. The breasts become larger, heavier, and tender. A pregnant woman undergoes various hormonal changes where HCG (Human Chorionic Somatomammotropin) hormone levels in the mother’s urine and blood rise, especially during the first trimester. This rise in HCG may be the reason for nausea and vomiting often linked to pregnancy.
Due to so many hormonal changes in a woman’s body during pregnancy, causes intense emotional fluctuations, heightened sensitivity, nausea, and fatigue. The estrogen and progesterone levels are also extraordinarily high which causes various other changes.
During pregnancy, a woman goes through tremendous hormonal changes, and since the woman’s body is supporting another life it may get highly exhausting on some or most days. During this time the body needs an ample amount of rest and sleep. Taking naps during the day between activities, scheduling specific rest times during lunch hours, and getting good sleep at night will help your body with the rest it needs.
Regular exercise is just as necessary. It need not be something too extensive that might put a strain on the body. simple and light exercises are good enough to help you combat fatigue and the mood and hormonal changes you experience. It also helps with unhealthy weight gain and battle insomnia. Regular exercise need not be the conventional workouts you see around, there could be other ways in which you can have an active lifestyle during pregnancy. Before beginning with any exercise or routine it is advised you consult your OB provider. They would be able to provide you with suggestions that are specific to your needs and according to your current state of health and what is best for your baby.
Drinking enough water is a must. Staying hydrated helps prevent unwanted headaches and the possibility of developing kidney stones and dizziness. It also helps prevent preterm labor. In case you are already having issues with constipation and hemorrhoids, staying hydrated can also help prevent these conditions.
Be extra cautious with your medication. Common medications for headaches, stomach, or fever such as aspirin may not be safe to use during pregnancy. It is always better to consult your doctor before taking any medication. Be mindful of your allergies too, and be careful about your allergy triggers to avoid taking any unnecessary medication.
Asking for help is always better than taking up extra work around the house. It is okay to take advantage of the support system you have. You must ensure that you are getting enough rest for your health and growing baby.
Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol in any amount during pregnancy is not safe. Not only during the first trimester but at any stage of the pregnancy alcohol is a major risk factor. Drinking alcohol during the first trimester could lead to central nervous system problems and abnormal facial features and growth. It can also lead to FASDs (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders).
Children with FASDs may have
– Poor coordination with memory
– Difficulty with attention
– Learning disabilities and difficulties in school
– Speech and language delays
– Lower IQ
– Poor reasoning and judgment skills
– Sleep and sucking problems as infants
– Vision and hearing problems
– Problems with the heart, kidney, or bones.
– Abnormal facial feature
Do not drink too much caffeine. Too much caffeine can cause heart problems for the baby. Research suggests that little amounts of caffeine are okay in the first trimester but some studies suggest that too much caffeine intake might be associated with miscarriage.