Pregnancy is the start of an incredible journey for both the expecting mother and her family. We understand that there are many questions surrounding this topic. To help you along, we have put together some key information to help address some of your concerns.
What are early pregnancy symptoms?
Many people notice symptoms early in their pregnancy, but others may not have any symptoms at all. Common signs and symptoms of pregnancy can include:
- Missed period
- Swollen or tender breasts
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Feeling tired
- Peeing more often than usual
Some early pregnancy symptoms can sometimes feel like other common conditions (like PMS). So the only way to know for sure if you’re pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. You can either take a home pregnancy test (the kind you buy at the drug store or grocery store), or see a doctor to get tested. To help you plan ahead, here are the things you need to know for each pregnancy trimester.
Pregnant people will experience a lot of symptoms during the first trimester as the body adjust to the hormonal hangs in pregnancy. One of the first changes is the production of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone, which shows up in the blood right after conception occurs. Levels of hCG can be detected in a pregnancy person’s urine about a week after a missed period. Human Chorionic gonadotropin is what’s detected in a positive home pregnancy test.
Rising levels of hCG and other hormones, such as oestrogen, may be responsible for the waves of nausea and vomiting known as morning sickness that’s most common during the first few months of pregnancy. Despite its name, morning sickness can occur anytime of the day.A pregnant person may also feel more tired than usual during the first trimester, a symptom that’s linked with rising levels of the hormone progesterone, which increases sleepiness.
Early in pregnancy, breasts may feel more tender and swollen, another side effect of rising levels of pregnancy hormones. The areolas, the skin around each nipple, will darken and enlarge. A pregnant person’s digestive system may slow down to increase the absorption of beneficial nutrients. But reduces mobility of the digestive system might also trigger such common complaints as heartburn, constipation, bloating and gas.
Many parts of the body will work harder during pregnancy, including the heart. Heart rate will increase to pump more blood tot he uterus, which supplies to the fetus. Beside the physical changes, expecting mothers may also experience emotional highs and lows in the early months of her pregnancy and throughout it. These emotions may range from weepiness, mood swings and forgetfulness, fear, anxiety and excitement.
By the second trimester, some of the unpleasant effects of early pregnancy may lessen or disappear as the body adjust to its changing hormone levels. Sleeping may be easier and energy levels may increase. Nausea and vomiting usually gets better and go away. But other symptoms may crop up as the fetus continues its growth and development. Pregnant people will start to feel more pelvic pressure.
A more visible baby bump appears as the uterus grows beyond the pelvis, and the skin over the expanding belly may itch as it stretches. As the fetus grows and the mother is gaining more pregnancy weight in the front of the body, she may also experience more back pain. Sometimes between the 16th and 18th week in pregnancy, a first-time mother may feel the first fluttering movements of the fetus, known as quickening.
The 20th week usually makes the halfway point of pregnancy. From about 20 weeks, it is possible to develop preeclampsia. A condition characterised by high-blood pressure. If left untreated, the condition can lead to serious, even fatal, complications for mother and baby. Other symptoms include rapid weight gain and swelling.
During the third trimester, the mother’s enlarged uterus pushes against the diaphragm, a major muscles involves breathing. Because of this, she may feel short of breath because the lungs have less room to expand. A pregnant person’s ankles, hands, feet and face may swell due to fluid retention and slower blood circulation.
A mother to be will beed to urinate more frequently because of the pressure on her bladder. She may also have more backaches and more pain in the hips and pelvis as these joints expand in preparation for delivery. Changes in body shape can also make a pregnant person more unstable on their feet and more likely to fall according to a 2006 study published int he American Journal of Obstetrics and Gyneacology. Her face may develop dark patches of skin, stretch marks may appear on her belly, thighs, breasts and backside. She may also notice varicose veins on her legs.
In the third trimester, the breasts may start to leak colostrum a yellow liquid, as they get ready for breastfeeding. The baby will start to drop lower in the mothers abdomen. False labor, known as Braxton-Hicks contractions, may begin to occur as the due date gets closer. A “nesting instinct” behaviour exhibited in many mammals may kick in as expecting parents work on baby-proofing their home, shop for baby items, prepare the nursery and await their new arrival.
Finally childbirth is a wonderful experience like no other for you and your family. As you step into this journey of parenthood, Timothy Lim Clinic has a team of healthcare professionals, services and facilities to give you support, knowledge and peace of mind.