The Tell-Tale Pregnancy Symptoms
Even before you get a positive pregnancy test, you may experience several symptoms that point to pregnancy. Your hormones soar during pregnancy, so your body will likely respond in some — or all — of these ways.
There is, of course, the classic wave of nausea that tips a woman off to the fact that she might be expecting. If you look at a slice of pizza (once your favorite food) and feel sick to your stomach, you may want to purchase a pregnancy test.
Fatigue, dizziness, and breast pain are also all very common symptoms in those first weeks.
High levels of estrogen and progesterone can also cause mood swings, so if you find yourself elated one moment and completely irritable the next, you may be pregnant.
Fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and breast pain are all very common symptoms.
There are some less common and less obvious symptoms such as a metallic taste in your mouth, a heightened sense of smell, and vivid dreams.
You may even experience some light spotting known as implantation bleeding, which occurs when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of your uterus. It will be much shorter and lighter than a typical period. While only about 25% of women experience this symptom, it’s almost always a sure sign that you have conceived!
To confirm that you are, in fact, pregnant, you should take a pregnancy test one week after your missed period. While many tests boast sooner results, waiting a week will ensure the most accurate results. If you see two lines, be sure to schedule your first prenatal appointment ASAP. Find a provider that you like and trust as you’ll be seeing them quite a bit throughout the next nine months.
You’re Pregnant! So, What Now?
If you suspect pregnancy, don’t wait until it’s confirmed to start acting like you have a little one on board.
Eat Right for You and Your Baby
There are many dietary changes to make in order to ensure the health of your growing baby. Avoid alcohol, high-mercury seafood (so long, spicy tuna roll), caffeine (in large quantities), raw eggs (looking at you, cookie dough), raw sprouts, hot dogs and deli meat, and unpasteurized products (i.e. green juices, goat cheese, raw milk).
There’s a big focus on what you need to cut out of your diet during pregnancy, but it’s just as important to add the right things into your diet. Nutrient-dense foods make for a happy and healthy mom and baby.
What you eat is what your baby is going to use for his or her growth!
Try incorporating healthy fats — important for your baby’s brain development — like whole milk yogurt, avocado, nuts, and wild salmon into your meal plan.
Amino acids in protein are the building blocks of cells, so be sure to include lean meats (which have the added benefit of iron) in your diet.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrients necessary for baby’s growth, so aim for several servings at every meal. Vitamins C and A are especially important, so red bell peppers, mangoes, and carrots are great options.
Other superfoods for you and baby include oatmeal, kale, bananas, sweet potatoes and eggs. Remember, what you eat is what your baby is going to use for his or her growth!
Vitamins and Medications
While a healthy diet provides the vast quantity of nutrition for you two, it’s important to cover all your bases with a prenatal vitamin. If you haven’t already done so, begin taking a prenatal vitamin once a day. Folic acid (found in all prenatal vitamins) prevents most brain and spinal cord defects and, since your baby’s spinal cord develops within the first 12 weeks, it’s crucial that you’re getting enough folic acid from the beginning. Ritual and Rainbow Light are great options (as are most prenatals out there). Just be sure the one you choose includes the four primary nutrients: folic acid, iron, calcium, and Vitamin D.
It’s also important to check your other vitamins, supplements, and medications to ensure that they’re pregnancy safe. Certain decongestants and pain medications, for example, are not safe. Be sure to check with your doctor if you have any uncertainty regarding a medication.
How and When To Exercise
Exercise is key throughout pregnancy (for both you and baby), although you may have to dial it back a bit. Consider skipping your high intensity spin class and replacing it with a long walk with your hubby. Avoid contact sports, any jarring exercises, and any movements that require you to lie flat on your back for extended periods of time. Low-impact aerobic exercise will be your safest bet throughout all three trimesters!
Low-impact aerobic exercise will be your safest bet throughout all three trimesters.
While exercise is important, so is rest. The first trimester can be absolutely exhausting. Growing another human being is tough work! Know when to slow down, say no, and take a nap. Listen to your body and respond accordingly.
And, finally, rejoice in the new life growing within you! You may decide to keep the big news a secret for now, but that doesn’t mean that you and your hubs can’t celebrate! Have a date night in (or out) to chat about all things baby and revel in the fact that you’re parents! No toasting with champagne, but a slice of cake is certainly allowed (and encouraged).
Pregnancy is a challenging, but wonderful and oh-so-rewarding nine-month adventure. Those first days and weeks can usher in a flood of different emotions, so take everything one day (or hour) at a time, ask for help when you need it, and focus on the beauty of this new chapter in your life!