A Look at What to Expect During Early Pregnancy

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The First Trimester Changes

The first trimester of pregnancy is a time of great change and anticipation.  Many women experience a great deal of anxiety too, as they worry about their pregnancy and what to expect. The first trimester lasts from the first missed period until around 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Physical Changes

There are a lot of physical changes going on in mom’s body during the first trimester, even if nobody can tell.  The most obvious physical change is, of course, the growing uterus and developing fetus. You are probably experiencing some symptoms of the pregnancy as well.  Nausea, vomiting, constipation, breast tenderness and abdominal cramping are all signs of early pregnancy.

These symptoms are all a result of hormonal changes caused by the pregnancy.  Estrogen and progesterone levels rise, and the developing placenta secretes human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).  All of these hormones can cause the pregnancy symptoms and changes in mom.

Pregnancy symptoms vary in severity from woman to woman; some women are very sensitive to these hormonal changes and become very ill.  Others do not have any early pregnancy symptoms at all. Even the onset of pregnancy symptoms differs. Some women become sick immediately and others not until six or eight weeks of pregnancy.

The good news is that in most cases, morning sickness and fatigue usually fade by the end of the first trimester, at around twelve weeks.  There is a condition, called hyperemesis gravidarum, which causes a woman to experience severe morning sickness throughout her entire pregnancy.  Women with this condition require anti-nausea medication and hydration to ensure that they don’t become dehydrated and are able to consume adequate nutrition.

Emotional Changes

During the first trimester, mom can become very emotional as she tries to deal with her pregnancy and impending parenthood. Many women feel very irritable or have fluctuating mood swings, also the result of changing hormone levels.

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