Congratulations Mama! You are pregnant and have just started out on your incredible journey of motherhood. After you get confirmation you are indeed expecting, it is natural to crave information about all of the changes that are happening to you and your little one on the way. There is a lot of information out there, so we encourage you to use this post as a gentle introduction to common pregnancy symptoms attributed to each trimester. Let’s start at the beginning.
The first trimester may as well be synonymous with morning sickness or more accurately all day sickness. Though the cause is uncertain, we do know a few ways to ease your symptoms. First off, make sure you are eating a balanced diet of carbs, protein, and fat. Even if you can’t stomach much, ensure whatever you do eat is as nutritionally dense as possible. Next, stock up on peppermint and ginger which work wonders on an upset stomach. As aromatherapy or in tea, you can’t go wrong.
Fatigue is also a classic symptom of the first trimester. You and your body will be exhausted from expelling an incredible amount of energy to facilitate the growth of your baby. It may sound obvious, but taking a nap and relaxing as much as possible (as long as it doesn’t get in the way of your nutrition) is a must. Exercise, as well as eating every few hours, can help improve your mood and energy too! Stop eating and drinking 2 hours before bedtime to make sure your sleep isn’t interrupted because you need the restroom.
Weeks 13-26 of your pregnancy make up your second trimester. Many women report increased levels of energy and the disappearance of their pesky morning sickness which is a definite win. Increased hormone levels mean emotions are running high, and having to get up 10 times at night to pee doesn’t help the situation much either. Your second trimester is also when you may start to feel your baby kicking. For some, this is an incredible feeling. For others, it is more akin to an out of body experience.
Feeling and seeing movement in your body that is not your own may be overwhelming, strange, or even scary. But as the weeks go on and baby grows, you’ll find that these movements are not always random but a reaction to something in their environment. Perhaps even a reaction to you, Mom! Take heart, the little sweetie growing within you isn’t just pushing on your bladder, but she is stretching and tumbling in preparation for meeting you on the outside. And, another positive, is that once she is out your body will be yours again. Join a group for expecting mothers to share in your “Return of the Body Snatchers: Baby Edition,” stories. You’ll get the support you need from someone who is or has experienced it first hand. Rejoice, your Mom friends got you!
The third trimester is often characterized by a lack of sleep and developing a superhuman sense of smell to swollen ankles and going up a cup size. Difficulty breathing is another classic symptom welcomed during the third trimester. Your baby’s growth towards the end of your pregnancy can put added pressure on your ribs and lungs as they are running out of space. Forget exercising, just walking over to the kitchen for a glass of water may have you doubled over and panting.
The easiest way to combat the breathlessness is to slow down and relax. With nesting on your mind and a seemingly endless list of things to get done it is easy to get caught up in the moment. Remember to refocus on your breath and on yourself. Tart cherry juice, bananas, and chamomile tea can help ease you into a relaxed state, and if you are lucky a nap! Lying down on your side or adjusting your posture to allow yourself and baby more room can also temporarily relieve the pressure. Rest assured this is completely normal, though uncomfortable, and will pass once the baby is earthside.
Pregnancy is such a sacred and special time in a mother’s life, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t tough at times. Hopefully, this post has offered you a glimpse into what to expect each trimester. Keep on the lookout for more detailed posts on all things conception, pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond! As always, leave a comment and let us know about any other symptoms or pregnancy questions you’d like us to explore in future posts.