First Signs of Pregnancy: A Challenging but Beautiful Time in Your Life
03/27/2012 | 02:26 PM
First Signs of Pregnancy: Changes in your Lifestyle
If you think you might be pregnant, or are hoping to in the future, this is an excellent place to start. Whatever shape you are in or whatever your lifestyle, being pregnant will necessitate some important changes. You are going to have quit smoking and drinking, eat more and healthily, and may need to take it easy, at least for the first three months. Here’s what else is in store.
First Signs of Pregnancy: What To Expect
Some women have a hunch they are pregnant even before they’ve missed their period or done a home pregnancy test. The First Signs of Pregnancy are sleep disturbances, increased appetite and the appearance of cravings, painful and sore breasts, breast augmentation after the occurrence of nausea and vomiting at any time during the day or night, digestive problems, intestinal bloating, heartburn, pronounced sensitivity, changes in behavior, changes in anxiety and depression that alternates with euphoria, feeling tired for no reason, daytime drowsiness, lack of menstruation or abnormal vaginal bleeding, lower abdominal pain in the ovaries, weight gain, headaches, back and spine pain, decreased endurance, increased basal body temperature, sensitivity to certain tastes or smells, certain favorite foods may become undesirable.
Of course, not all of these symptoms are present at once, and some are more common than others. For example, abdominal pain occurs in 90-100% of women, and unexpected bleeding through the vagina (50-80%), whereas dizziness and fainting occurs in about one third of women.
The easiest way to verify whether you are pregnant is with a home pregnancy test which can be found in any pharmacy.
First Signs of Pregnancy: Preparing a healthy pregnancy
The first step is to find an obstetrician and go to your appointments! The specialist will monitor your baby’s growth and development to try to prevent any complications that might occur during your pregnancy. The regular examinations consist in blood and urine tests, ultrasounds and other specific investigations depending on each woman’s case.
Anything harmful for you will be harmful to your baby as well, so avoid drinking alcohol, stop smoking both actively and passively, be careful around chemicals (e.g. pesticides, volatile organic compounds) and stay away from persons who are sick and infectious.
You must be careful for your body temperature to stay constant and not to exceed 100 Fahrenheit degrees (38 Celsius degrees). Also, try to avoid activities that may cause the overheating of your body such as very hot baths and saunas.
If you have a fever, it’s always best to talk to your doctor before taking any medication. If you can’t reach your doctor, acetaminophen is thought to be fine, although try not to take it too often, especially in the final trimester.
First Signs of Pregnancy: Examinations and tests during pregnancy
During the first prenatal exam your obstetrician will monitor your blood pressure, weight, blood and urine samples and do a gynecological exam to help him establish that your pregnancy is progressing normally. During the second trimester, new tests will be made to ensure your baby will not have birth defects or genetic problems.
Let your obstetrician know if you experience any of these symptoms during your pregnancy: bleeding or other discharge from your vagina, abdominal pain, persistent back pain, discomfort or pain during urination, acute headaches, blurred vision, fever and sudden appearance of edema (accumulation of fluid in tissues) in feet, ankles or hands.
First Signs of Pregnancy: Changes in nutrition
As a pregnant woman, you must have an adequate nutrition plan and gain as much weight as needed during your gestation period of time. You’ll need to eat an extra 300 calories daily during your first trimester, or twice that if you have twins (and triple with triplets, etc.) It’s important to make sure that you are getting enough folic acid, iron and calcium that are vital in your baby’s development. If you are a vegetarian you need to talk to your doctor about the acquisition of additional amounts of protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, along with folic acid, iron and calcium required by all mothers. These nutrients are vital for the cell growth of your baby, brain and organ development, as well as his or her weight gain. Calcium is very important, especially during pregnancy. If you don’t eat dairy, it can be found in broccoli, orange juice, soymilk, vegetables and almonds. Prenatal vitamins are specially formulated to address a pregnant woman’s additional nutritional needs. For more details, see Veria’s guide to a healthy pregnancy diet.
First Signs of Pregnancy: Changes in your lifestyle
- Social life. Being pregnant can put a damper on your social life. You may find that you are tired all the time, and want avoid parties because of the drinking and smoking, loud noises and crowded places. Or you may want to jazz it up. Bringing a nonalcoholic drink to the party that you really like can help with avoiding alcohol.
- Sexual life. Your libido will go through ups and downs depending on your hormones. Sex is absolutely fine during pregnancy. As long as you and your partner are free from sexually transmitted diseases, neither of you need to wear protection during pregnancy sex. However, during the last two months of pregnancy, it’s a good idea to wear a condom, because his semen contains prostaglandins, which can stimulate the uterine contractions and provoke premature birth.
- Professional life. Try to take it easy and avoid needless stress during the first 3 months of pregnancy when the risk of miscarriage is at its highest.
- Weight Gain. You will gain weight and you might become frustrated about the new size of your body, especially if your bum seems to be growing faster than your belly. Expect to gain about 25-35 pounds over the course of the pregnancy. On the flip side, you may notice a healthy pregnancy glow that gives you great skin.
- Working out. You may not be able to work out as intensively as before conception but there are many things that its fine to do, including going for long walks, stretching, practice prenatal yoga, swimming and to practice moderate gymnastics. Moving is good for your body, blood flow and it works against water retention. If you exercised before you became pregnant, continue with your program, although modify if its causing any pain or if you have pregnancy-induced high blood pressure or vaginal bleeding. If your pregnancy is complicated, you should talk to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician’s approval first. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes (that's 2½ hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week for healthy women.
- Learn about pregnancy. Now that you are pregnant it does not mean that you have to give up your old life and dedicate the next 9 months exclusively to your baby, but between your activities try to make some time for reading about pregnancy, childbirth and childcare. Knowledge is power.
First Signs of Pregnancy: Conclusion
From the First Signs of Pregnancy to birth can be a challenging but also beautiful time in your life. With a little research, you will be able to deepen and widen your knowledge about the prenatal and postnatal life. Take things step by step and try not to worry – let the pregnancy take care of itself.