By Neucrad Health News Desk March 25, 2019
Congratulation! You are pregnant. The moment women get this excellent news from their gynaecologist their life takes an entirely new turn. Motherhood is one of the most incredible experiences, and the way a few microscopic cells transforms into a fully formed entity inside the uterus is magical. Forty weeks of gestation passes by the wink of an eye with the love and pampering of near ones. However, one must also remember that pregnancy is not an easy and straightforward phase; it has its share of ups and downs. Each trimester of pregnancy is significant as women undergo magnitude of emotional and physical reactions within the body. Here is a guide for all super anxious would-be mothers especially focusing on the first trimester.
What is the First Trimester of Pregnancy?
The first trimester of pregnancy starts from the day of the last menstrual period (LMP) and last until the completion of 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is a vital phase in terms of the development of the mother as well as the foetus. Pregnant women experience many bodily changes like stoppage of the menstrual cycle, fatigue and tiredness, mood swings, hormonal changes, increased urination, heartburn, and food aversions.
The first trimester is also the stage when the ovum gets released from the ovary, it combines with sperm and forms a zygote usually in the ampulla of the fallopian tube, the embryo then implants in the uterine wall, and starts developing the brain and spinal cord. The heart of the foetus also starts beating during this stage, and it transforms from a single-celled entity to a peach-sized bundle of cells called blastula or blastocyst.
Symptoms Experienced by Women during the First Trimester
Would-be mother goes through an immense physical and psychological transformation during the first trimester. Detailed below are some of the significant changes noticed during this period.
· Stoppage of Menstrual Cycle
The first symptom of pregnancy is the stoppage of the menstrual cycle. The ovary produces an increased level of progesterone after the fertilisation of the ovum. It helps in maintaining the uterine lining throughout the gestation phase and also stops the menstruation in pregnant women. However, some women may experience spotting in pregnancy when the egg implants on the uterine wall.
· Nausea with or without Vomiting
Another prominent bodily change in would-be mothers is experiencing morning sickness. Women experience nausea which may accompany vomiting especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. Increase in pregnancy hormones including estrogen, progesterone, cholecystokinin or human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) are the main culprits behind this symptom. Reduction in blood sugar may also be a probable cause of morning sickness. Drinking plenty of fluid and ginger based food may help in improving the condition.
· Increased Urination
Women also feel a greater urge to urinate during pregnancy. The blood inside the body increases during this phase. As a result, kidney needs to process more fluid which ends up in the bladder. It increases the frequency of urination.
Increase in pregnancy hormones often relaxes the lower oesophageal sphincter valve (LES) present between the stomach and oesophagus of human beings. It causes reflux of stomach acid to the food pipe and leads to heartburn. Gynaecologists recommend consumption of small frequent meals and avoiding specific foods like spicy and fried items to get relief from this digestive disorder during pregnancy.
What type of Food is Best during the First Trimester of Pregnancy?
Since morning sickness is at its peak during the first trimester, Gynaecologists advises being extra cautious about food during this period. Moreover, the body also requires some time to adjust itself with the increased level of pregnancy hormones, so taking small portions of frequent meals is beneficial to keep heartburn and nausea at bay. Specific food products like dairy products (milk, curd, cheese, and yoghurt), legumes (lentils, peas, beans, and soybeans), eggs, leafy green vegetables, and lean mean are beneficial in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Additionally, doctors may also prescribe calcium, iron, and prenatal vitamin supplements to would-be mothers.
Is Exercise Beneficial during the First Trimester of Pregnancy?
Exercising during pregnancy is highly beneficial as it helps to maintain energy level, improves body balance, builds stamina, and prevents the occurrence of many pregnancy-related symptoms. Best exercises during the first trimester include walking either on the treadmill or at a park to avoid nausea while working out in a closed space, prenatal yoga, and breathing exercises.
This was a brief overview of the things to expect in the first trimester of pregnancy. However, above everything else is essential to lead a stress-free life for the growth and development of both the mother and baby.