Although you will not look pregnant from the outside, your body is hard at work making significant changes. It's
These are natural changes and you can trust your body to know what to do. Listen to your body's needs and adjust your lifestyle when necessary.
It's common to feel very tired during the first trimester. Your body uses a lot of energy to grow a baby and has to adjust to being pregnant. To limit your exhaustion:
Reduce your commitments so you can go to bed early enough to get a good night's sleep. This tiredness usually lessens as pregnancy progresses. Many women feel much more energetic during their second and third trimesters.
It is thought that a hormone produced by the placenta and the increased level of estrogen causes the nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Low blood glucose, an empty stomach and an increased sensitivity to odors can make it worse.
Although it's often called "morning sickness," the nausea can happen at any time of the day or night. It usually starts between weeks four and six and decreases dramatically after weeks 13 and 14.
Morning sickness is not an illness or a sign of a problem with your pregnancy. However, it is important that you are able to keep liquids down. If you can't, call your health care provider.
Try these tips to deal with nausea:
Your breasts may become fuller and quite tender. Pregnancy brings changes that prepare your body for breastfeeding. The increased blood flow and growth of milk-producing cells are part of this change. Wearing a supportive bra with wide, nonelastic straps may help you feel more comfortable.
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Although breasts get bigger during pregnancy, milk production does not require large breasts. Women with small breasts can produce all the milk their babies need.
Increased hormone levels, more waste products to eliminate, and the pressure of your growing uterus on your bladder add up to more trips to the bathroom.
You can help improve bladder control by doing Kegel exercises. This will help prevent or decrease leaking a little urine when you laugh or sneeze.
The hormone progesterone causes blood vessels to relax. This makes it easier for blood to "pool" in your legs and feet.
Try these things to feel less lightheaded or dizzy:
Even with these physical changes you can still feel terrific. Many women feel healthy and invigorated during pregnancy.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, seventh edition, ob-ah-90026
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts