Most pregnancy information focuses on the growth and development of the fetus, and what you need to do to help that process along. But there are many pregnancy symptoms and changes that you yourself will experience during pregnancy that may or may not have any bearing on the infant itself. It is important to understand what pregnancy symptoms to expect, and how to take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of your baby when it arrives.
Pregnancy Symptoms During First Trimester (Week 1 – Week 14)
The first few weeks of pregnancy is often the most difficult for the mother. It starts with morning sickness, which can actually come on throughout the day, at any time. This nausea is rarely beaten by anything you do. It is important to keep your strength up, and to nourish your body. Even if you don’t feel like eating, remember that your baby is taking most of the nutrients your body has stored, and it is important to get something down. Eating small meals can help, but if solid food doesn’t work you should take in plenty of fluids, as well as chicken, beef, or vegetable broth.
The first trimester can also bring fatigue, so make sure you are getting plenty of rest. If you don’t work, taking naps during the day can be a huge help. You may also experience some tenderness in your breasts, which can usually be relieved by wearing an extra-supportive bra that limits movement. You will also have increased urination, so be sure to drink lots of water. Drinking water and juices will also help you avoid the issue of constipation that will generally arise in the first trimester, and last throughout the pregnancy.
Pregnancy Symptoms During Second Trimester (Week 15 – Week 27)
This is the easiest trimester of pregnancy for the mother. Most of the pregnancy symptoms from the first trimester, such as fatigue and nausea, will begin to fade and eventually disappear. You will still have frequent urination, and you may still experience constipation. Keep up a high fiber diet with lots of fluids to avoid this. Your spouse will enjoy this phase of the pregnancy as well, as your breasts begin to become enlarged. Do not be surprised if you have some seepage from your breasts, particularly after a warm shower. Lotion on your nipples and breast area can help prevent dryness caused by the seepage.
Due to hormones released during this trimester, your blood tends to circulate faster. This is what gives your skin the pregnancy glow, but it can also cause bleeding gums, nasal congestion, or leg cramps. Make sure to address any concerns with your doctor, and rest frequently whenever needed.
Pregnancy Symptoms During Third Trimester (Week 28 onwards)
This final trimester of pregnancy can be rather uncomfortable, and most women are happy to go into labor to end it. As your baby continues to grow, he will begin kicking you in the ribs. You will also have some shortness of breath, heartburn, and back pain due to the baby pushing on your lungs and stomach, and the sheer weight of the baby on your body. Circulation is still increased, so you may experience some spider veins, especially in the legs. If the uterus presses on veins near the legs, you may also experience some swelling of the ankles and feet. Fear not, the discomfort will be over soon!