Navigating Your Pregnancy
It’s right there on the test; there’s no denying it, you’re pregnant—congratulations! For the next nine months (or less, depending on how far along you are) your body will be responsible for the growth of another human being. It’s truly a miracle. For most women, pregnancy marks the beginning of the most profound life change they’ll ever experience. So sit back, relax and get ready for the ride of your life!
Not only does pregnancy affect you physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Your body is going through a huge transformation as your child grows, and your identity as a woman is also taking a turn. There are approximately 6 million pregnancies in the U.S. each year, according to the American Pregnancy Association, and each one of them starts with some anxiety and fear of the unknown—and there is a new worry around every corner.
Early in your pregnancy you may not feel your best, but taking good care of yourself and working through your feelings and worries in these first 30 days, can set you on the way to a happy, healthy and enjoyable pregnancy.
No One Said Being Pregnant is Easy
Depending on how far along you are, you may not have experienced some of the more commonly-known pregnancy symptoms, such as heartburn or swollen ankles, just yet. But it’s likely you feel exhausted—sometimes so tired you can barely keep your eyes open; and hormone fluctuations may be causing you to feel irritable or weepy. During the first trimester (the first 12 weeks), you can also expect breast tenderness and/or pregnancy nausea. Though it’s commonly called “morning” sickness, in reality, it can strike any time of day or night; and it affects more than half of pregnant women—some estimates say up to 80%.
Eating well, taking good care of your body and using other various remedies will stave off some fatigue and stomach upset, but many pregnant women find that they just have to live with the symptoms. The good news is that most nausea subsides in the second trimester, and many women experience a boost in energy around four months. First-time mom, Andrea Stockton of Grand Rapids, MI, was exhausted, irritable and nauseous right up through her 15th week. “Like clockwork, at the beginning of the 16th week I suddenly felt a boost,” she explains. “I felt just awful through the first trimester, but in the second, I was really feeling great.”
If your fatigue doesn’t lessen during the second trimester, talk to your care provider. It’s possible that an iron deficiency or some other condition could be making you feel tired. And if your nausea gets so bad that you can’t keep anything down, be sure to seek help from your doctor or midwife. Severe, debilitating nausea isn’t uncommon in pregnant women, and it can be treated.