Becoming a mother is bliss. Every would-be mother out there, Congratulations!
The very first few weeks of pregnancy are vital for the mother-to-be. Her body starts changing to make a comfortable home for her baby for the next 9 months!
Due to the immense excitement of experiencing something new, it can be a little consuming for the mother in her first trimester of pregnancy. But don’t worry, you’ll get to know all about it so that you buckle up your shoes and get going on this new journey!
How does biology explain the first trimester?
Usually, by the time a woman comes to know about her pregnancy, she is already more than 1 month pregnant. The first trimester of pregnancy starts from the first day of a woman’s last period. It lasts until the start of the 13th week.
A woman’s body undergoes a lot of changes during this time.
- Fertilized egg starts dividing to form cell layers.
- It attaches itself to the womb wall.
- The cell layers keep growing to become embryo (which is the physical entity of the baby).
Cell division is at its highest during this period. It takes just 6 weeks to gel the heartbeat of the life inside you. By the end of 12th week, the bones, organs and muscles have already formed. So, the foetus is a miniature human body already in the first trimester.
A few lifestyle changes can ensure your well-being:
Ladies, it is time now to make some tweaks in your habits. Ask your doctor to make a list of foods you should stay away from. It is most important to reduce the following drastically or else, these will largely impact your baby’s health:
- Alcohol consumption
- Caffeine intake
It is always better to visit a dietician to know more about the food habits a woman should follow during pregnancy.
How to cope with the symptoms and changes?
It is advisable to seek help if you are an avid smoker or drinker. Coping with the first trimester of pregnancy is the toughest. It is very common to experience the following:
- Morning sickness can occur throughout the day. It is usually the worst during the first trimester.
- Extreme fatigue is a regular thing throughout pregnancy.
- Frequent urge to urinate starts off during early pregnancy and becomes worse later.
- Breast pain is also common during this time.
Pregnancy symptoms can be exhausting and stressful. To cope with these changes, you can start mild yoga or stay active in any way possible. Doctors advise the mothers-to-be to sleep early, eat nutritious foods in smaller and frequent meal portions.
How is mental well-being the most important?
Onset of pregnancy can be overwhelmingly exhausting for a woman. With all the hormonal ups and downs, the worries and stresses tend to increase. Many women experience the following during their first trimester of pregnancy:
- Anxiety and depression occur in at least 8 among 10 women in their early pregnancies.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder is rare but observed.
- Social phobia is another disorder that requires treatment during the early stages itself.
- Bipolar disorder is by far the rarest.
In such conditions, it is very important to get support from either your partner or someone trustworthy. It is of utmost importance that the woman helps herself. So, you might wonder how to ensure your mental peace!
Following are adequate for that –
- Don’t try to do anything too much. Be practical and rest as required.
- It is better not to make massive changes in things around you, like a new job, a new house, etc.
- Stay physically active
- Eat healthy and timely
- Join classes where you meet other expectant mothers like you.
- Don’t shy away from help if you feel you need it.
How do you react to food and smell?
According to Lisa Kane, one of the faculties in University of Michigan School of medicine, the digestion process slows down manifold during the first trimester. According to her, aversion towards some specific food items is the way of the body to let you know that it can’t process it. Pregnancy symptoms also include cravings. The certified midwife nurse explained that the reason behind cravings is unknown. However, it is always better to listen to your body and eat when you like good about it.
How does your breast signal that you are pregnant?
We all tend to think of a huge belly while looking at someone who has conceived. But the breasts are the first body parts to show that there is some change inside a woman. If you observe that your bra is being too tight and your breasts have become tender with slight sensations of pain, it is likely that you are pregnant.
Is it essential to go for chromosomal checks?
Chorionic Villus Sampling is a diagnostic test that is advised by the doctors during the first trimester. It helps to diagnose if there are any chromosomal abnormalities and the test needs to be done within the first trimester of pregnancy. The test often helps detect Downs syndrome in the child.
During this period, it is good to opt for genetic counselling as well. If there are any inherited genetic issues, the mother can check if it has affected the foetus or not. Those who have medical history of being carriers of genetic disorders should go for it.
How to prepare yourself career-wise?
If you are working, it’s better to sort out your maternity leave plans with the human resource department. It is likely that many pregnant women fail to go to regular jobs even during the first trimester. In that case, learn more about the tenure of your maternity leave, unpaid and paid leave plans, etc. According to experts, it is always better not to expose yourself to pollution, chemicals and work-related stress during the initial months. Gruelling hours in the office can affect you and your baby physically and mentally.
Hence, with all these information, hope you’ll be experiencing some wonderful days ahead!