OB ABCs

Week 9

week_09Two-thirds of the way through your first trimester, you may start to feel your body changing. This time may be quite difficult dealing with food cravings and aversions, but the comparatively easier trimester is just a few weeks away.

Two-thirds of the way through your first trimester, you may start to feel your body changing. This time may be quite difficult dealing with food cravings and aversions, but the comparatively easier trimester is just a few weeks away.

Two-thirds of the way through your first trimester, you may start to feel your body changing. This time may be quite difficult dealing with food cravings and aversions, but the comparatively easier trimester is just a few weeks away.

As you gain weight over the course of your pregnancy, keep in mind your body is changing to support and give birth to a new life. Unlike over-indulging in high-fat or high-carbohydrate food, the weight you gain during pregnancy is associated with specific needs:

  • Amniotic fluid—2 pounds
  • Baby—7 to 8 pounds
  • Fluids in maternal tissue—4 pounds
  • Mother’s blood—4 pounds
  • Mother’s breast tissue—2 pounds
  • Mother’s fat and nutrient supply—7 pounds
  • Placenta—1 to 2 pounds
  • Uterus—2 pounds

Additional weight gain—more than 40 pounds if underweight, more than 35 pounds if at a healthful weight or more than 25 pounds if overweight before pregnancy—can be harmful to your child, increasing your risk for high blood pressure or gestational diabetes. Other difficulties include backache, increased fatigue, leg pain, varicose veins and an increased risk of caesarean birth.

A Whole New World

Finding clothes to fit your changing shape will be increasingly important, but, at this stage, many physical changes are subtle. During the first trimester, you may gain or lose a few pounds and your breasts may get larger and more tender.

Gastrointestinal changes during this time will be more pronounced. You may have intense cravings for certain foods or very little appetite. Typical discomforts include constipation, frequent urination, heartburn, indigestion, nausea and vomiting.

Feeling Better

To combat constipation without medication during pregnancy, add daily exercise to your routine, if cleared by your healthcare provider. Other baby-safe tips include drinking plenty of water and eating fiber-rich foods, such as beans, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. If your constipation continues, ask your healthcare provider which medications are safe during pregnancy.

Morning sickness—the nausea and vomiting some women experience due to hormonal fluctuation or low blood sugar—will likely end in a few weeks. You can keep nausea at bay by:

  • Choosing food with complex carbohydrates and protein, such as peanut butter with apples or celery, cottage cheese, yogurt or nuts
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Eating frequently throughout the day
  • Keeping crackers bedside to eat before getting out of bed

TIPS

  • Ginger is a proven fighter of morning sickness. Whenever you feel ill, try ginger candies, ginger tea or ginger ale to ease nausea.
  • Vomiting is a common symptom of pregnancy, but you should contact your healthcare provider if morning sickness does not respond to home remedies, you vomit more than three times daily, you can’t keep food or liquids down, you lose more than two pounds or the material you vomit looks like coffee grounds, which requires immediate medical attention.