Before you were pregnant, you probably heard people refer to the parts of pregnancy as “trimesters.” Just like the typical school year is divided into two segments, called semesters, the three trimesters of pregnancy have fairly distinct characteristics—but no grading periods! Whether you find yourself anticipating the end of symptoms you’re experiencing or the next milestone in your pregnancy, knowing what to expect during each of the three trimesters can help baby-step you to your seemingly far-away due date.
First Trimester Symptoms
Weeks 1-12 are considered your first trimester. The countdown actually starts before conception, the first day of your last menstrual cycle. If you’re like most women who ovulate approximately half way between periods, you probably didn’t know that you were expecting until the 4-week point, when you would have otherwise begun menstruating. (Although rare, some women do menstruate or at least spot throughout their pregnancies.) In addition to the “I’m late, I wonder if . . .” scenario that had you purchasing an at-home pregnancy test, you have been clued in to your expectant state by any of the following common symptoms of early pregnancy:
- Hunger, Exhaustion and Dizziness
- Mood Swings and Weepiness
- Food Aversions and Cravings
- Increased Sense of Smell and Nausea
First Trimester Recommendations
Reading up on how to handle these symptoms can be helpful. While online information is often questionable, at best, sources such as well-known clinics can provide reliable, physician-sourced recommendations to help get you through these first few months when your body is supporting the beginning of a new life growing within it.
Even though you’ll probably be toward the end of this trimester for your first regularly scheduled prenatal appointment, you’ll want to contact your OB, early on. Your physician will likely recommend some prescription prenatal vitamins to help your body adjust to its new responsibilities as well as to support your baby’s early growth and healthy development.
First Trimester Concerns
Even though dizziness is normal, fainting is not. Nausea and some vomiting can be expected, but continual vomiting can be dangerous for both you and your baby—especially if you can’t keep anything down or there is blood involved. While mild spotting can occur throughout your pregnancy, excessive vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain can be signs of a serious condition. If you’re unsure whether your symptoms are normal or worthy of concern, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
When you contact your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms, they’ll likely schedule an early prenatal exam just to be sure everything is fine. If nothing else, this will help alleviate some of the stress you’re under, but be warned: The worrying part of motherhood is likely here to stay.
Womens Center East in Dayton, Ohio
Women’s Center-East Dayton is located at 4787 Burkhardt Avenue not far from Woodman Drive in Dayton, Ohio. We offer free pregnancy testing and free pregnancy ultrasounds to Dayton women. Women can make a free initial appointment online by going to www.womenscenterohio.com and going to the East Dayton location page. To schedule an appointment over the phone or to learn more about the services we provide, call 937-610-7777. We can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All Women’s Center-East’s pregnancy services are free and confidential.