The first weeks of pregnancy can be a time of sheer exhaustion for some women. Your body undergoes an avalanche of change in a very short time. Each change supports the growth and development of the baby inside you, and eventually prepares you for labour and birth. This fatigue is your body’s way of saying, “I’m working bloody hard. I need more rest!” When you can, respond to this signal and take a rest. Cut back on non-essential activities and responsibilities. Regular mild to moderate exercise also can provide an energy boost. Take a walk in the fresh air, enjoy a bike ride or go for a swim.
Other ways to cope with fatigue in early pregnancy include taking a B-vitamin supplement (or a prenatal multivitamin), eating a variety of fresh foods and drinking plenty of water. Finally, know that this fatigue will end soon. For most women, it begins to go away by the second trimester. Until then, listen to your body and follow its lead. Other early pregnancy symptoms that women can experience include sensitive or swollen breasts, increased urination, nausea and vomiting, food cravings (and aversions!), heartburn and indigestion. Even when it’s not easy, appreciate all that your body is doing and trust in its wisdom.
What was your first clue that you were pregnant? Perhaps you missed a period, or you just had a hunch, or you felt a little queasy walking past the meat section at the supermarket. Maybe you sensed something different about your body, little changes you’d never noticed before. Or you found your emotions were strung a little tighter than usual.
Whether you confirmed your pregnancy with a home test or with your GP, you likely knew beforehand that something was different by observing your body closely. That’s just the first of many opportunities pregnancy offers you to be mindful—to pay close attention to your body, your baby, your environment and your instincts.
During your first trimester, what started out as a teeny ball of cells will quickly develop into a complete body with facial features, teeth, fingerprints, a full collection of body systems, and the ability to move, feel, urinate and swallow. By now, your baby is measuring approximately 0.6cm – about the size of a blueberry. Your baby’s heart has begun beating. The placenta—the organ that brings nourishment to your baby through his or her umbilical cord—has become established in your womb. Your baby’s brain is developing at an astonishing rate – 100 new cells a minute! In addition, your baby’s arm and leg buds begin to sprout and grow longer (and stronger), dividing into hand, arm and shoulder segments – and leg, knee and foot segments.
You may be deeply tired during this trimester. That feeling will be replaced with lots of energy in the second trimester. You may notice that you are more sensitive to stimuli, such as noises and touch, as well as smells. For some women, their emotions send them strong signals. You might find yourself snapping back in reply to a casual comment or ready to cry over some small matter. This sensitivity is a message to listen to your body and to follow its signals. These signals often help you take an active part in your pregnancy and in preparation for parenting. As you listen and respond to your baby’s messages, you begin a lifetime of conversation with and learning from each other.
Some great reading:
Learn more about your growing body and baby at Childbirth Connection.
Read the Give Birth With Confidence blog.
Weekly Birth Inspiration
“Just as a woman’s heart knows how and when to pump, her lungs to inhale, and her hand to pull back from fire, so she knows when and how to give birth.” ~ Virginia Di Orio
I am able to birth in harmony with nature, in the best possible way, for myself and my baby.
I release my birthing over to my body and my baby.
About Tanya Strusberg
Tanya Strusberg is the only Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) in Australia and teaches prenatal education to pregnant women and their partners in Melbourne.
She and her husband Doron have two beautiful children, Liev and Amalia.
To learn more visit www.birthwellbirthright.com
About Katrina Zaslavsky
Katrina Zaslavsky is the passionate founder of Birth Goddess, author of A Modern Woman’s Guide to A Natural Empowering Birth (featured nationally, paperback available in bookstores Australia-wide, direct via http://shop.inspiringbirthstories.com.au/shop-online/ or as a kindle e-book on Amazon) birth columnist, speaker and committee member for Natural Parenting Melbourne. Her calling is to awaken people to live a more conscious, natural lifestyle and especially to empower women to discover their inner birth goddess!
Profoundly impacted by her own personal journey into motherhood, Katrina provides an empowering birth community, resources, workshops and products including her book, Birth Goddess Cards and the newly launched Empowering Birth Magazine to support women to give birth the way nature intended- fear free, drug free and even pain free!
Join the empowering birth community: https://www.facebook.com/KatBirthGoddess
Browse the blog: http://www.birthgoddess.com.au/