Pregnancy can be a new and exciting experience, and for some mothers, a pleasant experience as well. But for many others, the strain on their bodies and their expanding bellies cause many uncomfortable and unwanted symptoms, some that can be helped and prevented, and unfortunately, some that you just have to deal with. If this is your first pregnancy, it will be helpful for you to know what to expect, so that you know what symptoms are normal, and which ones could be signs of trouble, as well as how to manage those bothersome symptoms, so that you can enjoy being pregnant.
Almost every woman will experience bouts of fatigue at some point in her pregnancy. Often, some women report that they have no energy right from the start, and for others, it doesn’t set in until the middle of the second or third trimester, it varies greatly from person to person and pregnancy to pregnancy. Don’t be upset with yourself for not having the energy you usually do, remember that your body is working hard to nurture and develop a new life, which is sure to be taxing at best. Try to go to bed a little earlier at night, or sleep a little later in the mornings if you can. If you get the chance to nap during the day, take it and don’t feel guilty about it. If your mom or your husband offers to do the dishes or the laundry, let them. The more rest you get, the better you will feel, and the healthier you will be for it during your pregnancy. If you are concerned about the fatigue you are feeling, don’t forget to mention it to your OB, as in some cases, it could be the start of other problems, such as anemia.
Every pregnancy book you get will tell you that any bleeding or spotting is a major warning sign, and that you should call your OB right away, or go to the ER. That information is true, but some women do experience light bleeding early in their pregnancies, usually mistaken for a period, as it occurs within the first two weeks of conception. You may also feel some cramping along with this. It is a good idea to let your OB know of any bleeding that you experience, as well as cramping, but in most cases, it doesn’t signal a problem with either mother or baby, not early on.
Chances are you have already heard all the horror stories about nausea and morning sickness, and if you are lucky, maybe you won’t experience either during your pregnancy, but it is rare. You may not be able to eat your favorite foods, or may not be able to handle certain smells, particularly in early pregnancy. Unfortunately, some women don’t just experience morning sickness in the mornings; they have it all day, all the time. You should report it to your doctor, but unless you start showing signs of dehydration, or aren’t gaining sufficient weight, the doctor won’t likely be too concerned.
There are many other common pregnancy symptoms that can occur at any time during the pregnancy, such as breast tenderness, an increased need to urinate, constipation, headaches, mood imbalances (caused by hormonal changes), weight gain, and dizziness, just to name a few. The best advice is that if any symptom is particularly troublesome, or if you are concerned, call and report it to your OB. In most cases, symptoms calm down during the second trimester, and then come back towards the end of the pregnancy, so you should get a break in between, which gives you some hope at least!