Dealing with body changes in the 1st trimester of pregnancy

Apr 29, 2013

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    Morning Sickness

    Morning sickness begins as early as three weeks after conception and can last through the entire first trimester. The rising levels of estrogen and progesterone cause the stomach to empty more slowly and this slow passage of food can make the pregnant women feel nauseous. The nausea is usually worse in the morning, hence the name ‘morning sickness'.

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    Tender and Swollen Breasts

    An increase in breast size is one of the first signs of pregnancy. Breasts usually become swollen and enlarged in the first trimester because of increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

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    About 20 to 30 percent of pregnant women experience slight bleeding. The bleeding can be slight staining due to implantation bleeding or can be a sign of serious problems such as ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

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    Frequent Urination

    Even though the baby is still small in the first trimester, the growing uterus puts pressure on the bladder, which causes one to want to frequent the washroom. Do not decrease the intake of fluids and cut down on caffeine. Answer the call of nature as soon as possible. Do not hold it in.

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    Pregnancy causes the blood vessels in your body to dilate, which in turn may cause the blood pressure to drop, leaving you lightheaded or dizzy. If dizziness is severe and is accompanied by abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding, prompt medical examination must be sought.

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    Heartburn and Constipation

    During the first trimester of pregnancy, the movements that push swallowed food from the esophagus into the stomach are slower. Your stomach also takes longer time to empty itself. This slowdown gives nutrients more time to be absorbed into the bloodstream and reach the baby. Unfortunately, it can also lead to heartburn and constipation. Avoid greasy and spicy food and try lying on a raised pillow when you sleep to reduce the acid reflux.

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    During pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar  and this can put you to sleep almost all day. At the same time, lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and increased blood production might lead to fatigue. To combat fatigue, rest as much as you can. Make sure you're getting enough iron and protein.