Facts on Early Pregnancyby Anna Ryan
A woman's body goes through many changes during early pregnancy. An increase in hormones can create a variety of symptoms, some very subtle and others that are hard to ignore.
Symptoms of Early Pregnancy
Every woman reacts to the hormonal changes of pregnancy differently. Some women may notice many symptoms very early on in their pregnancy while others may not notice any changes at all. Some common symptoms of early pregnancy include a missed period, breast tenderness, sensitive gums, mood swings, nausea, food aversions and fatigue.
When Do Pregnancy Symptoms Appear?
Early pregnancy symptoms are more noticeable as pregnancy hormones build up in the body. Some women begin to experience early pregnancy symptoms before they even know that they are pregnant. For many women, pregnancy symptoms generally begin to appear sometime between six to eight weeks of pregnancy, or four to six weeks after conception. Early pregnancy symptoms typically begin to dissipate as a woman enters the second trimester.
Bleeding During Early Pregnancy
Many women experience bleeding during early pregnancy and most go on to have a healthy baby. Spotting before a missed period is typical of implantation bleeding, slight spotting that occurs as the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. A woman may or may not notice implantation bleeding and by itself it is not an accurate diagnoses of pregnancy. Spotting can occur during the first few weeks of pregnancy as the body adjusts to pregnancy and builds hormone levels up high enough to maintain a pregnancy. A subchorionic hematoma is a pocket of blood that forms behind the placenta during the early weeks of pregnancy. Most hematomas reabsorb into the body by the 12th week of pregnancy and do not cause any problems. Mild to moderate bleeding can be a symptom of a subchorionic hematoma and it can be confirmed by ultrasound. Low levels of progesterone can cause spotting. After any episode of spotting, most OBGYNs will run a blood test that will determine if the mother needs progesterone supplements for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Dealing with Fatigue During Early Pregnancy
Fatigue during early pregnancy can be extreme but it does tend to get better during the second trimester, when most women experience a surge of energy. Staying hydrated, going to bed early and taking short naps during the day can help an expectant mother to get through the first few weeks of pregnancy. Natural highenergy foods such as fruit, whole grains and protein can help an expectant mother maintain energy and fight off morning sickness if eaten in small amounts throughout the day.
Dealing with Nausea During Early Pregnancy
Nausea during early pregnancy can be one of the most difficult symptoms to cope with. Most women notice that they experience more severe nausea on an empty stomach, so it can help to eat several small meals throughout the day to keep small amounts of food in the stomach. Carbohydrates tend to be easier to digest for women experiencing morning sickness. The most important thing to remember during early pregnancy is that staying hydrated is more important than eating extra nutrients through food. A baby needs very few extra calories during the first few months of pregnancy but hydration is essential for the health of both mother and baby. Doctors often recommend trying a combination of half a Unisom and vitamin B6 to alleviate morning sickness. If that does not work, there are several prescription medications that can be used to treat nausea during early pregnancy.