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The First Trimester
Congratulations! Your journey to motherhood is underway.

Changes in Your Body

During the first three months of pregnancy, or the first trimester, your body undergoes many changes. As your body adjusts to the growing baby, you may have nausea, fatigue, backaches, mood swings, and stress. These things are all normal.

Most of these discomforts will go away as your pregnancy progresses. And some women might not feel any discomfort at all! If you have been pregnant before, you might feel differently this time around. Just as each woman is different, so is each pregnancy.

As your body changes, you might need to make changes to your normal, everyday routine. Here are some of the most common changes or symptoms you might experience in the first trimester:


Many women find they're exhausted in the first trimester. Don't worry, this is normal! This is your body's way of telling you that you need more rest. After all, your body is working very hard to develop a whole new life.

Try these tips to ease exhaustion:

  • Get at least eight hours of sleep every night, and a nap during the day when possible.
  • When you are tired, rest or relax.
  • Start sleeping on your left side. This will relieve pressure on major blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. If you have high blood pressure during pregnancy, it is even more important to be on your left side when you are lying down.
  • If you feel stressed, try to find a way to relax.

Nausea and Vomiting

Usually called "morning sickness," nausea and vomiting are common during early pregnancy. For many women, though, it isn't limited to just the morning. Although it can seem like it will last forever, nausea and vomiting usually go away after the first trimester.

Try these tips to help prevent and soothe nausea:

  • Eat frequent, small meals (6 to 8 small meals a day) rather than 3 large meals. Avoid fatty, fried, or spicy foods.
  • Try eating starchy snacks, like toast, saltines, cheerios, or other dry cereals when you feel nauseated. Keep some by your bed and eat something before you get out of bed in the morning. If you feel nauseous in the middle of the night, reach for these starchy foods. It's also a good idea to keep these snacks with you at all times, in case of nausea.
  • Try drinking carbonated drinks like ginger ale or seltzer water in between meals.
  • Ask your doctor if you should change prenatal vitamins if it seems to be making your nausea worse. Sometimes taking your prenatal vitamin at a different time (e.g. at night not in the morning) can also help.
  • Ask your doctor about taking vitamin B6 for nausea and vomiting that doesn't get better with dietary changes.

If you think you might be vomiting excessively, call your doctor. Constant nausea and/or frequent vomiting may mean you have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. If you lose too much fluid you might become dehydrated. Dehydration can be dangerous for you and your baby.


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