How to Manage the First Trimester of Your Pregnancy

July 04, 2008

The most common way of depicting signs of early pregnancy in movies, television and even in commercials is to show the lady puking or fainting. This had such a great impact on my mind that when I conceived, I was very conscious of the fact that I don’t have these normal symptoms and was hence concerned if everything was alright. Yes, the underlying statement is that most of us are carried away by things which may not be true and hence we perceive wrongly about the condition of pregnancy. This write up would help every lady who is pregnant or wishes to conceive to understand what she can expect during this critical time and how she can best manage it.

The first trimester in pregnancy would be the first three months and typically most women realize or detect their pregnancy only by the end of the second month, so they spend not more than a month of their first trimester consciously. However there are some cases who recognize the changes in the body more rapidly or who suffer from more severe physical symptoms, these ladies have a more difficult time managing this trimester where in the fertilized ovum attaches itself onto the lining of the uterus. The outer layer of the ovum forms the placenta and the inner layers form the umbilical chord and other tissues helpful in the development of the baby. These changes in the body are governed by the simultaneous rise in the levels of estrogen and progesterone. It is this hormonal change which causes many changes in the body including the characteristic symptoms of mood swings, morning sickness, weight gain, enlargement of breasts and their tenderness. Another recognizable change could be the enlargement of the abdomen on account of the uterus expansion

Apart from these simple symptoms, certain other complications like bleeding, lower back pain and abdominal cramps can further add to the turmoil of the lady. This could even add stress on other family members. At this stage it is ideal to discuss the pros and cons of these more serious complications to avoid commonly known myths to affect our well being.

Most common myth

Bleeding during the first trimester indicates miscarriage.

This is not really true. On account of the implantation of the fertilized egg on the uterine wall, there could be an erosion of some blood vessels and this in turn could lead to spotting or bleeding which would be less intense than normal bleeding. Another reason for this type of bleeding could be the extra blood flowing to the cerix which makes it prone to bleed when the slightest pressure is on the cervix. Hence there are certain conditions normal in pregnancy which cause bleeding

These are normal processes and hence avoid panic. However doctor’s advice should always be taken to avoid confusion and further risk. Still, there could be cases of ectopic pregnancy where the egg is unable to reach the uterus lining and hence starts growing on itself. Some forms of miscarriage also could be signaled by pregnancy. But there is always a lighter side to the story. Awareness only helps in better management.

Lower back pain

The tendons and the muscles supporting the uterus and the lower abdomen soften on account of the action of progesterone. This results in lower back pain in some cases. However walking, bridging, pelvic crunches seem to benefit the patient by reducing the intensity of pain. Also in this case one needs to avoid bending on the back while lifting objects from the floor.

Morning sickness

At times, even morning sickness can become horrifying specially if it is a continuous process for several weeks. The risk of dehydration should be avoided by taking in fluids and non spicy food in addition to fruits should be consumed when the lady feels better. Mouth fresheners and flavored candies can make her feel better throughout the day. Tulsi, fennel and cardamom are some commonly known herbal mouth fresheners.

Yoga in first trimester

1. Half butterfly position Sit with legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your right leg and place the right foot as far up on the left thigh as possible. Place the right hand on top of the bent right knee. Hold the toes of the right foot with the left hand. Gently pull your right knee toward your chest while inhaling. And while exhaling, push your knee down gently as far as it will go.

2. Full butterfly position

Sit with legs outstretched. Bend your knees and bring together the soles of your feet keeping heels as close to your body as possible. Completely relax your inner thighs and clasp both feet with your hands. Then, gently bounce your knees up and down using your elbows like levers to push the legs down.   This has to be done in a very gentle manner without using any force.  Repeat this 20 to 30 times and then stretch out your legs and relax.

So be cheerful, and healthy because this is just the beginning of a long journey with your baby.

Additional Reading:

Ayurvedic Care During Pregnancy

A Healthy Pregnancy with the Help of Ayurveda!

Stages of Pregnancy

All Natural Products for Women's Health