First Trimester

May 26, 2009

In the earliest stages of your pregnancy, indeed, even within the first two weeks of getting pregnant, your body undergoes certain changes which other people probably won’t notice. You yourself, however, may experience symptoms of early pregnancy. Signs of pregnancy in the first trimester range from barely noticeable physical changes to obvious physical signs such as severe morning sickness. You may even be aware of changes in your emotional state.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Even before you have a missed period (the classic pregnancy symptom which all women know to look out for) your pregnant body is making changes to enable you to nourish your baby and complete your pregnancy successfully. Your body kick starts these changes by releasing certain hormones. These hormonal changes may manifest themselves in some of the following early pregnancy symptoms:

Painful breasts – soreness of the breasts is a classic first trimester symptom. You may find that your breasts feel bigger and heavier and you might have to change to a different bra in order to feel comfortable. As the first trimester progresses, you may also find that your nipples get slightly darker in color.

Morning sickness – morning sickness is the name given to bouts of nausea experienced by many women during the early stages of pregnancy. You may feel sick without actually vomiting. For some women, morning sickness occurs only in the morning; others find that the nausea can last all day. Not all pregnant women experience morning sickness, so it’s best not to worry about it unless it actually happens to you. Doctors recommend that you contact your health care provider if you don’t manage to keep down any food or liquids for a whole 24 hours.

Acne – some, but not all, pregnant women find that the hormonal changes of the first trimester trigger outbreaks of acne.

Tiredness – many women feel extra tired during the early stages of pregnancy. There are many things which can lead to increased fatigue in the first trimester (including the worries or stress you may have). A higher-than-usual heartbeat triggered by the hormones preparing your body for pregnancy is one reason why you might feel tired.

Urinating more often – you may find that you need to go to the bathroom to urinate more often, particularly in the later stages of the first trimester, as your uterus gets bigger and presses on your bladder.

Dizziness – changes in the circulation of your blood may cause you to feel dizzy in early pregnancy. Dizziness can also be caused by not eating and drinking enough, tiredness and stress. If you experience severe dizziness, with or without vaginal bleeding, you should contact your doctor immediately. Some women experience headaches alongside dizzy sensations.

Decreased sex drive – some women report a decrease in their desire for sex during the early stages of pregnancy; however, other women find that the hormonal changes they’re experiencing actually make them want sex more often!

Missed period – a missed period is usually the first confirmation of your suspicions that you are pregnant. If you miss a period you should take a pregnancy test and, if it’s positive, see your doctor as soon as possible.

The Next Stage of Pregnancy

As you move into the second trimester, you’ll find that your symptoms change. Read our section on second trimester pregnancy symptoms for more information.

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