How did you feel the first time you knew you were pregnant? For some women, it’s mere excitement. Some feel worried, and some can’t wait until they see their baby for the first time.
You can expect your body and mind to go through a lot of changes when you find out that you’re pregnant, and being ready for them will help you cope better with the upcoming challenges. Keep on reading to learn more about what to expect with your new pregnancy.
New Pregnancy: What to Expect
As your body gets ready to welcome a new guest, everything changes to prepare you for the upcoming journey with your little one.
A woman’s body goes through multiple changes throughout the journey of pregnancy. Some of them are visible like the expanding belly and the increase in your breast’s size, while others aren’t.
- Morning sickness is common in the first trimester and can happen at any time of the day.
- Pregnant women usually suffer from fatigue, especially during the early months because of hormonal changes. As the blood carries more nutrients to your baby, you will feel more tired than usual.
- Oral infections are common among pregnant women because the immune system weakens to help the body cope with the baby’s presence.
- The breasts start to swell and might be tender. The areolas enlarge and darken.
- As the level of estrogen increases, you’re expected to enjoy better hair and nails. Women usually have luscious hair during pregnancy, and might even grow hair in some unwanted areas. However, the hair starts to shed after birth.
- Due to the improved blood circulation, most women enjoy better-looking skin known as the pregnancy glow.
- The skin on the body stretches due to the increase in weight, and you’re likely to see red stretch marks that turn white by time.
- Some women can suffer from acne or melisma.
- Pregnancy hormones also affect the brain. This is why pregnant women usually report that they’ve become more clumsy or forgetful.
Food Aversions and Cravings
Pregnancy hormones cause both. As the level of your hCG increases, you’re likely to experience a lot of symptoms like nausea, vomiting, in addition to food cravings and aversions.
Your morning sickness can also trigger food aversions, so you might feel that you prefer different types of food than the ones that you’ve always liked. The hormones change the way the food smells and tastes, so you need to pay attention to your diet to make sure that you’re eating healthily.
In some cases, women can develop cravings for non-food items. This condition is called pica and can indicate a mineral deficiency or anemia.
Change in Nutritional Habits
When you’re pregnant, you need to pay special attention to everything you eat. Your body should provide your baby with all the necessary nutrients. If you’re not getting enough nutrients, you must consult your doctor and ask if you should take prenatal supplements.
Eliminate Certain Habits
Your pregnancy will change your life, and some of the previous bad habits must go. You need to make sure that you’re getting enough rest, especially at night, to help your body cope with the new change. If you’re not sleeping well, you can practice meditation or try herbal tea to help you sleep better.
Although you can drink coffee, you might want to limit your consumption. The caffeine can cross the placenta and stay in your baby’s system. Smoking and drinking should be avoided during pregnancy. They can increase the risk of preterm babies, congenital disabilities, and low birth weight.
During pregnancy, the growing uterus puts so much pressure on the body that the fluids start to collect in the feet. This is why pregnant women usually have swollen feet and ankles that worsen as the due date approaches. You can help reduce the swelling using the following tips.
- Stay hydrated.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid standing for long periods.
- Try to keep your legs up on a stool or a chair when you’re sitting.
- Wear comfy footwear
It’s common to feel too anxious or worried as your due date approaches. Most women experience anxiety when they’re pregnant as they wonder about the upcoming changes. It’s important to talk about your feelings with family and friends, relax, and ask for guidance to enjoy the whole experience.
As you’re getting ready for your baby, you should be able to set aside enough money for the new expenses that will arise. You will be buying several baby and breastfeeding equipment that you’re likely to use for the first years of your baby’s life. You can also expect your spending pattern to change since the baby’s needs will always come first.
What Can You Do When You First Find Out You're Pregnant
Now that you’re aware of all the changes that are coming your way, you need to know what can be done to help you get ready for the miracle of pregnancy and birth.
- See a doctor or a midwife to teach you about the changes that your body is going through. They will also help prepare you for the new symptoms and can answer any questions.
- Start taking prenatal vitamins to help you cover your baby’s nutritional needs. These should include folic acids, iron, vitamin D, and omega 3 DHA.
Folic acid prevents birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine. Iron carries more oxygen to your baby’s body, and vitamin D reduces the risk of preterm birth. DHA helps build your baby’s nervous system, retina, and brain.
- You should start reading books about pregnancy, birth, and parenting. These books are written by doctors and mothers who experienced pregnancy and childbirth before.
- Start a pregnancy journal to record your ideas and thoughts. It will help you feel more focused and grounded as your body and brain change.
- Sign up for a baby registry where you can list all the items that you expect to need. You can also sign up for a baby subscription box that delivers monthly hand-picked items that suit your baby during different life stages.
- The most important thing to do is to relax and enjoy the journey. Your body will know what to do, and you will learn everything about motherhood when you give birth to your baby. It’s normal to feel anxious, especially if it’s your first time. But you and your child will travel on this magical journey together.
A mother’s body goes through a lot of changes from the minute she conceives the baby. Even before you know it, your body will start to work to accommodate the new guest.
You can expect yourself to feel a bit stressed or scared, but it will go away the minute you meet your child for the first time. Just embrace this journey, and enjoy how it unfolds for you and your child.