First Trimester: Changes to Your Body

This is Part 1 of 3

That Special First Trimester – months 1, 2 & 3
You are on the journey to motherhood. This is the most exciting time in your life and from one day to the next, your baby is growing and growing. Pregnancy averages 40 weeks in length.

Due Date Calculation – Your due date is calculated by adding seven days and subtracting three months from the first day of your last period. At this time, you are in your first trimester and changes to your body start happening.

Your Body
What Actually Happens In Your Body When You get Pregnant

First Trimester pt 1Week 1 – The first week of your pregnancy is actually considered to be the week of your period.

Week 2 – The end of the second week marks when the egg is released and this is known as ovulation.

Week 3 – The third week is when the egg is fertilized and usually implants itself approximately 6-12 days after the egg ovulates.

If you figure your pregnancy in this manner, you actually get pregnant in the third or fourth week. During the time of implantation it is not unusual to have some light spotting.

After the fertilized egg implants itself, the pregnancy hormones start being released.

EPF – The first one is called the early pregnancy factor (EPF). The EPF keeps your body from rejecting the baby.

It is in the first trimester that you will start to experience many physical symptoms that will continue through your pregnancy.

hCG – Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is also another hormone that is released during the first 12 weeks that you are pregnant.

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Body Changes During the First Trimester

Although you may be excited, the changes in your body may be unexpected. Pregnancy is always different for every woman. Some women have a wonderful pregnancy with absolutely no problems while others feel absolutely miserable.

Very light bleeding
Very light bleeding at this point can be normal, but can also be a sign of something more serious. If you have significant bleeding along with cramping or abdominal pain, call your physician immediately. These symptoms can be signs of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.

Ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy in which the embryo implants in the fallopian tube and not in the uterus.

Sore breasts
Your breast becoming sore is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and a lot of women do not pay any attention to this. It is caused by the changing hormones in your body. Your breasts are actually starting to prepare themselves for feeding your baby. Your bra size may increase one or two sizes during this time.

Constipation
Due to the increased levels in progesterone with your pregnancy, in the first trimester you may experience constipation. This is caused by the intestines slowing down due to the high levels of these hormones.
The best thing to do, is to increase the fiber you eat and drink extra fluids to keep movements going better. If this does not help, talk with your physician about a mild stool softener or laxative.

Leukorrhea (milky white discharge)
It is perfectly normal early in your pregnancy to see a milky white discharge; this is called leukorrhea. Do not be concerned, this is normal. Your body at this time is working very hard to support your growing baby, so you may experience fatigue.

Get some rest
Pamper yourself especially during your first trimester. Get extra rest and take naps.

Healthy diet & Vitamins
Take your prenatal vitamins and eat a well- balanced diet. Do not try to lose weight at this time, but do try to eat a healthy balanced diet.

Food CravingsFood cravings
A lot of people consider the cravings for a certain food while pregnant to be an old wives tale, but more than 60% of pregnant women in their first trimester, experience food cravings. Along with these cravings, comes heartburn.

Heartburn
The heartburn during pregnancy is caused by the increased production of progesterone. This hormone relaxes the smooth muscles that include the ring of muscle in the lower part of the esophagus. This allows for the acids and food to come back up into your esophagus, causing the heartburn. It is best to eat smaller meals and don’t lie down right after eating.

Your emotions
The increase in the hormones can cause you to be very tired and cranky. Sometimes you feel like you are on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Being pregnant can be overwhelming for some women and it is good to be able to talk to your partner or a friend at these times.

Morning sickness
Morning sickness is considered a universal symptom of pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. This is different for different women:

  • some experience just morning sickness
  • some experience the nausea all day
  • and then there are about 15% who do not have morning sickness at all.

Weight gain
During the first trimester is when you should gain about 3 to 6 pounds. At this time in your pregnancy, your baby only needs about 150 extra calories. Eat a balanced healthy regimen, but don’t go by the old saying “eating for two”.

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