The first trimester of pregnancy is a time of adjustment as your body begins to go though rapid changes. Pregnancy symptoms differ from woman to woman. Your symptoms may also differ from those of a subsequent pregnancy. Most first-trimester symptoms occur because of the rapid rise in hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Breast Pain and Tenderness
During the first trimester, increased hormone production may make your breasts unusually sensitive, fuller and heavier, reports the Mayo Clinic. They may feel similar to the way they feel just prior to your menstrual period. You may also notice visual changes to your breasts. The areola will grow larger and darker in color. The appearance of blue veins on breast tissue may become apparent in the first trimester. To alleviate breast pain and tenderness, use a warm compress. Wearing a supportive bra may also help minimize discomfort.
Nausea and Vomiting
You may experience nausea and vomiting in the first trimester. This is also known as morning sickness, although it may occur at any time throughout the day. You may also experience food aversions and cravings. To help relieve this first-trimester pregnancy symptom, eat small, frequent meals throughout the day while choosing foods that are low in fat and easy to digest, reports the Mayo Clinic. For most women, morning sickness usually diminishes by the beginning of the second trimester. Some women experience morning sickness throughout their entire pregnancy.
It is common to feel extreme fatigue during the first trimester. During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar; which in high enough doses, can put you to sleep, states Mayo Clinic. Make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep nightly and take a midday nap if possible to help you feel more refreshed. You may experience a decrease in fatigue and more energy as you enter your second trimester.
You may experience urinary frequency during the first trimester and throughout the remainder of your pregnancy. You may find yourself running to the bathroom more frequently than usual. As your baby grows, it places additional pressure on your bladder, which gives you the urge to void. This symptom will continue throughout your pregnancy as the baby continues to grow and gain weight. It is important not to hold your urine. It can predispose you to developing a urinary tract infection, which would need to be treated with an antibiotic.
About this Author
Laura Candelaria is a family nurse practitioner and assistant professor of nursing and nutritional science. Her experience includes neonatal and pediatric intensive-care, women’s oncology, gynecology, obstetrics, lactation, nutrition, and infertility. She has been published in “Nursing Spectrum,” “Newsday,” and LIVESTRONG Health.