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Your body


During the nine months of pregnancy, you will be surprised by numerous small changes, especially during the first trimester as your body gradually adjusts and you experience many new sensations.
  • Sensitivity
  • Sleep-wake cycle
  • Nausea and constipation
  • Other frequent complaints
  • Smoking cessation.
Sensitivity
You will probably soon begin to feel nausea in reaction to strong odors such as coffee, pungent perfume, and cigarette smoke. As few as 10 to 15 days after your menstrual period stops, you will already be much more sensitive to odors, sounds and tastes.

Sleep-Wake Cycle
You may feel constantly drowsy all day and fall asleep easily at night, but then wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to sleep.
Try to listen to your body and schedule your activities around it. Whenever you can, give yourself breaks throughout the day. Don't toss and turn sleeplessly in bed all night. A calm, regular schedule will help, as will several small meals a day. In the evening, especially, try eating easily digestible foods, preferably those rich in calcium and mineral salts. All of these things, together with frequent walks in the fresh air, hopefully will help you to sleep better.
During the second trimester the sleep disturbances should improve noticeably, but you will probably have to deal with them again during the last months of pregnancy and while you are breastfeeding.

Nausea and Constipation
The most common complaints during early pregnancy are nausea and vomiting, heavy salivation and sometimes sensitive teeth, heartburn and mild stomachaches, and frequent constipation.Such symptoms, together with changes in taste and appetite, appear in the early weeks of pregnancy but then often subside in the third month. Your body is simply getting used to the changes and reacting to them. Nausea, vomiting, and excessive salivation are due mainly to the slowing of stomach and intestinal activity. While annoying, these complaints are harmless and usually do not affect your overall health. To avoid heartburn, try always to have snacks such as crackers or dry cookies on hand. Bananas and magnesium-rich foods are also recommended. Avoid drinking fluids on an empty stomach.
Constipation is another common complaint. Higher progesterone levels in the body during pregnancy cause intestinal activity to slow. One tried and true remedy for this is to drink plenty of water and eat many fruits and vegetables to promote digestion.

Other Frequent Complaints
Contractions are a physiological phenomenon that appears with varying intensity throughout the nine months of pregnancy. During the first trimester you may feel heaviness in your lower abdomen and mild cramps similar to menstrual cramps. It is also absolutely normal to feel the urge to urinate more frequently, since the enlarged uterus is pressing on the bladder. If you have heartburn, talk with your doctor about how to avoid nasty infections. During the entire nine months, and especially during the first trimester, you will notice increased vaginal discharge. This clinically irrelevant discharge is due to high estrogen activity, which stimulates cervical and vaginal secretions. However, if the discharge is constant, copious, and accompanied by severe itching, see your doctor.
Many women suffer during pregnancy from pain between the ribs or along the spinal column, which often can be attributed to physical strain, too much physical activity, or improper form. In contrast, the main reason for pain in the small of the back is the increased mobility of the pelvic and spinal joints caused by the hormonal changes of pregnancy and your increasing weight and size. If you experience serious pain that lasts a long time, tell your doctor so he can rule out the risk of a miscarriage or premature birth. Always try to maintain good posture, and do fitness exercises to strengthen your back muscles. This will help relieve your back. Some other helpful hints: do not wear stiletto heels, and sleep on a sufficiently firm mattress.

Smoking Cessation
The first trimester of pregnancy is critical for your baby's development. You should strictly avoid alcohol and certain medications. It is also imperative that you stop smoking and protect yourself from second-hand smoke.
For smokers, the risk of an ectopic pregnancy is twice as high as that for non-smokers. Smoking during pregnancy also increases the risk of premature birth and prenatal mortality. If both parents smoke, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) doubles. Smoking at any time during the nine months negatively affects the pregnancy. If you smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipe tobacco, you increase the risk of deformities and also of later problems with the child's psychomotor and cognitive development. If you are a long-term smoker, or you find quitting difficult, ask a specialist doctor for help.
Page created on: 03/09/2012
Last modified on: 03/09/2012
 
 
 
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