Monday, April 4, 2016

16 first trimester symptoms, that you should know about:

If you are a first time mom you should definitely know what to expect, and below are some very common first trimester symptoms that you may not be aware of until you experience them.

However, if you are a second time, third or even tenth time mom, you should still know about these, because you (like me), have likely forgotten what it felt like until you were in it all over again (thank you, pregnancy brain, because if you hadn't wiped my memory clean I wouldn't have signed up for this again so agreeably).

16 First trimester symptoms that every expecting mom should know about: 

1. Nausea and how: I know a few lucky people who skip this stage, but for more than 60% of us, "morning sickness" kicks in around 6 weeks, tends to occur at all times of day, and leaves at the end of the first trimester. For a lucky few, it stays until the end. Diclegis (also called doxinate or doxylamine, which is made from vitamins and an antihistamine and is a blessing for morning sickness), while totally safe for you and baby, can also put you to sleep, so keep that in mind while using.
Interesting tidbit:  80% of people who are vomiting until the baby comes out, tend to give birth to a girl.
I'm choosing to be grateful that I will have less to lose at the end this time thanks to my violent vomiting that just won't leave.

2. Fatigue: I've felt exhausted before I even found out I was pregnant for sure (both times!). Since we are diverting energy to taking care of a little blueberry sized baby (oftentimes smaller at this stage), while simultaneously making a placenta, bone-crushing fatigue is more than common - it's the norm.

3. Literally, narcolepsy: Pregnant women can fall asleep anywhere - even while playing with a noisy and energetic toddler. Not that we can sleep for long since bathroom breaks will be required but this amazing ability to pass out in cars and waiting rooms is just our body's way of making sure we get some much needed rest.

4. Gas: Burp (or worse) in anyone's face lately? Unfortunately, thanks to those rocking hormones, it happens. Just apologize and tryy to move past it (or physically move away).

5. Early pregnancy brain: It's not that we're forgetting things exactly, it's more like we just don't remember what day it is, or where the hell we knew that person from.. unfortunately, a completely normal (and progressive part of being pregnant) is this forgetfulness so make sure to jot down appointments and keep a diary close by at work to note important to-dos.

6. Introvertedness: It's not that we don't have fun when we go out, it's more that the effort it takes to get ready is alot more than it was before - even when you have flawless skin, shining pregnancy glow and don't need to bother with make-up. Plus, having to sit down often, (or be sober), does kind of damper the "party all night" spirit you may once have sported.

7. Acid re-flux: Progesterone is responsible here, it tends to relax all your muscles including your esophagus. If you have acid reflux through the day, talk to your provider. You don't have to suffer in silence and there are tons of antacids (even nice strong prescription ones) that are completely safe for you and your baby, and will help you keep the acid and even some food down.

Another interesting tidbit: Women who have severe acid reflux, tend to have hairier babies. (While this used to be considered a myth, it has now been well documented and studied; it turns out the same hormone is responsible for stimulating baby hair and acid reflux).

8. Loss of appetite:  Try not to worry if you have don't have the munchies, it's healthier to graze and have small meals than large ones anyway. Also keep in mind that babies are little parasites - sorry, it's true -  they will get the nutrition they need from your body, however, you will be left depleted, so if you can't get any spinach or milk down your gullet - make sure you are regimented with all your supplements and vitamins.

9. Flushed cheeks and/or itchy palms:  These symptoms while not common can be confusing as hell - specially since they strike early and sometimes before you know you're pregnant! I've been a victim to each of these in different pregnancies and both times before I knew I was pregnant (I only had the red face and not the itchy palms the second time, just for confusion). Thank you estrogen, for the pregnancy sunburn that had me lathering my cheeks in calamine and aloe.

10. Insomnia: Even if you're not highly anxious (which many first trimester moms are), or riddled with morning sickness at night, it's often hard to get comfortable due to early backaches, the incessant need to pee, or worries about sleeping on your baby. However, in the first trimester, most positions are totally safe. If you are still worried, invest (as many are an investment) in a good pregnancy pillow the supports your back, keeps your belly off the bed, and even keeps any handsy husbands at bay - you will be grateful for it every morning

11. Congestion: Unusual ear pain, runny noses, itchy throats and snoring are all very attractive signs of your rising hormone levels. Vaporubs, are safer than decongestant, and using a thicker pillow may help you sleep at night without coughing or snoring too loudy.

12. Bladder issues: Even before your baby's heart is pumping, your blood volume is on the rise so that your kidneys are actually working for two (not two of you necessarily, but two regardless). The increased blood volume along with the pressure of your growing uterus on your bladder makes your bathroom trips really frequent. Carry along feminine wipes in your bag, they will definitely come in handy, and look forward to the second trimester, when this symptom tends to easy off temporarily.

13. Soreness: Often a pregnancy give-away (to you mom, not to everyone else), as breast soreness tends to kick in early and in some cases stay long past it's first trimester expiry date.

14. Libido much?: Yes, for some (or so I hear) it is common to want to be more active sexually, and in most cases is completely safe, but for most - with everything going on in your body, it's no surprise that you want your significant other to stay far, far away. (Do make sure to talk to them, however, and let them know what's going on, also keep in mind that many husbands get afflicted with dampened libido by the time we look full term and are in our third trimesters.)

15. Mood swings: I didn't have much of these the last time - I was actually pretty annoyingly (in hindsight) chirpy the whole 9 months, but I wouldn't say I have mood swings this time either since I have a new permanent and stable state: "bitchy and annoyed". It's amazing how much of our state of mind these hormones can control.

16. Complete fascination: While there is a lot going on in our minds and bodies, there is also nothing more fascinating than trying to find your baby on ultrasound or then finally being able to see them move or hear their heartbeat. Let those moments be the rewards for your journey, no matter how hard or easy, and focus on the end: the adorable little bundle that will be in your arms before you know it.

More to come!

P.S. For those not yet following along on instagram, don't miss @mommydiaries.

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