From the first day of your period, right through to the end of week 12, you’re in what’s called the first trimester. There are some common body changes that happen around this time, but bear in mind that no two pregnancies are identical. In other words, don’t worry if your experiences differ from the ones mentioned here, or from the ones your friends are talking about.
If at any time you do feel something isn’t right, the best thing to do is see your GP or lead maternity carer. Try not to spend a lot of time dwelling on it, when there may be nothing to worry about.
Morning sickness always hits me in the afternoon
A big surge of pregnancy hormones arrives in your first trimester. Unfortunately this can trigger a feeling of nausea, commonly called morning sickness. It generally peaks around week 10, and it should settle down by weeks 12-13.
While it’s named ‘morning sickness’ it can actually hit you at any time of the day. You might find yours is more like ‘after lunch’ or ‘early evening sickness’. There are also some mums-to-be who experience morning sickness right through till the very end of their pregnancy. Try to remember that it’ll all pass.
Here are a few ways to reduce the nausea:
- Ginger is good for relieving nausea. Try ginger biscuits or ginger ale
- Have a milky drink before bed
- Try sniffing a fresh lemon. Citrus smells can help
- Avoid tight waistbands – pressure on your tummy can often make you feel worse
- Being tired can also add to feelings of nausea, make sure you get plenty of sleep
- East small meals and snacks, rather than big meals. Toast and salty crackers are good.
- Get out of bed slowly, so your body doesn’t change positions too quickly. You can also try a cuppa and a small, dry snack before you get up.
Today’s a good day to unwind
The first trimester means you’re in the most critical growth stage for your baby. It’s when all their tiny vital organs are forming. Your hormones will be going crazy, and it can take a toll on your energy levels. It’s perfectly normal to feel run down and emotional during the first trimester, so just relax and take it easy. Try catching up on some reading and DVDs – you’re more than entitled to some downtime!
Gentle exercise works wonders
You might find that light exercise actually increases your energy level. Sport and Recreation NZ (SPARC) recommend that pregnant women engage in some moderate physical activity at least three times a week. Walking, jogging and swimming are all good options. You can also try yoga and low impact aerobics. Avoid anything so strenuous that it gets your heart racing as this could deprive your baby of oxygen. If you’re measuring your heart rate, make 140 beats per minute your maximum. Now is not the time to start a strenuous exercise regime and always check with your GP or lead maternity carer before starting to exercise.
Ditching the lace for comfy cotton
During the first trimester your breasts may start to feel sore, swollen or tingly. Your body seems to act on its own as, even at this stage, it prepares for breastfeeding. Make sure you have some comfortable bras to get you through. If you were planning on buying new ones, just be aware that your breasts will continue to change so you may not want to splurge.
My mouth seems to be watering all the time
Excess saliva production can affect some mums-to-be. It’s basically a by-product of your changing hormone levels during pregnancy. It’s especially common in the first trimester, and when you have morning sickness. It won’t last forever, and in the meantime try sucking on a lolly to help you swallow.