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10 Common First Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms and How to Deal with Them
If you’re just finding out that you’re pregnant and unsure if what you’re feeling is normal; trust me, you’re not alone! First trimester pregnancy symptoms can start showing up before you even know you’re pregnant.
With all of the crazy hormones in our body at the onset of pregnancy; we can sometimes feel like we’re alone and that the pain in our stomach, or crying hysterically over almost nothing is something that NEEDS to worry us. And, it usually is simply, completely normal.
After being pregnant 4 times, I can tell you that not every pregnancy will start out the same. Symptoms will vary in which ones you have, if you have any at all, and the intensity may vary, too.
With one pregnancy, you may feel perfectly normal and gain all your weight in the front and be completely emotionally stable. And, with another pregnancy, you may gain weight all over, have horrible morning sickness the ENTIRE time, and be an emotional roller coaster!
Just know, that most symptoms you will experience in pregnancy are normal. But, if you ever need reassurance; don’t hesitate to get your OB, or the nurses line, on the phone and talk it out with them. They are there for you, and sometimes just hearing a reassuring voice is what you need.
Let’s get on with some of the crazy pregnancy symptoms you may have experienced since becoming pregnant.
Posts that Will Help You During Pregnancy:
What to Eat When You Have Morning Sickness All Day: 54 Ideas
5 Practical Ways for Dealing with Morning Sickness in Pregnancy
6 Super Healthy Pregnancy Recipes
Don’t forget to Pin this post to reference it when you most need it!
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptom #1:Cramps
If this is your second, or third or so on, pregnancy, then this is pretty normal. Your body is preparing for the pregnancy. It’s done this before and knows what’s to come. It’s hard for me to remember, but I’m pretty sure I had cramps in my first pregnancy in the beginning, as well; they were just more memorable (and painful) in the later pregnancies.
You can also get cramps during implantation. Your body needs to get ready to stretch, and unfortunately for us, that usually means some discomfort and cramping, or pains that feel like cramps, aka, round ligament pain.
How to Deal:
The best way to deal with pains during pregnancy is to drink water, and change activities. For example, if you’re sitting down, stand up and walk around, and vice-versa. This will hopefully relieve some of the pain and discomfort you’re feeling. It’s going to depend a lot on your pain tolerance, and if something feels wrong, don’t hesitate to call your OB, midwife, or the nurses line; they would be able to tell you if the specific pain you’re feeling is normal, or if you should go see them or go to the ER.
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptom #2: Morning Sickness
Oh, morning sickness…..it should be called ALL DAY SICKNESS, and nausea.
Honestly, I think the nausea is worse, it can literally last 24/7. Getting sick may take a few minutes, but then it’s gone!
This is probably one of the most common pregnancy symptom. However, some lucky moms get away with not having morning sickness at all! I’m slightly jealous of them, but then again, I didn’t have much morning sickness with my second pregnancy; that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 9 weeks. So, I would be very nervous if I was still in the first trimester and wasn’t nauseous; that’s just my own experience, though.
Morning sickness will ‘usually’ wear off by week 14 or 15, but it doesn’t mean it’s completely done. Some women have it their whole pregnancies, my heart goes out to them.
How to Deal:
For some, there are certain little tricks, or things you can do, to ease the nausea and morning sickness. However, not each idea will work for everyone, or even for every pregnancy! A few ideas to deal with morning sickness are:
- Suck on sour candies (you can try these preggie pops if you want, they never helped me, though)
- Sea Band bracelets – these are supposed to help by pressing on a pressure point on the wrist (again, didn’t work for me, but maybe it will for you)
- Ginger – even my own OB said to just become a ginger expert when you have bad morning sickness. You can get crystallized ginger candies, ginger candies to suck on, ginger ale, just get them in your diet. (These candies slightly helped me, and these ones my 3 year old loved!)
- Cran-apple Juice! This seemed to be the only thing that helped relieve some of my nausea with my current pregnancy.
- Add lemon to your water if you can’t stand drinking water, because you NEED to stay hydrated.
- Eat small, frequent meals – even if it’s just crackers and cheese, if you have to let go of your super healthy diet for your first trimester just to get some relief from the nausea, I’m here to stay that’s alright. It’s better you eat something than not eat anything because you can’t stand the thought of your favorite green smoothie or salad through out your whole first trimester. Don’t worry, the nausea will eventually pass and you’ll be able to get back to your regular eating habits soon enough, with maybe an extra meal sometime through out the day!
- Go for a walk, or do something that may distract you from the nausea
- Check out these 54 Ideas for what to eat when you have morning sickness
- Download this list of food to eat when you have morning sickness!
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptom #3: Exhaustion
Growing a baby is HARD WORK!!
It takes a lot for our bodies to grow another human being; do not underestimate the amount of energy it takes.
The first trimester, and the third, are the most exhausting (which is why I’m writing this post while I’m in the second trimester of my pregnancy).
Don’t feel bad if you need naps during the day, or can’t wake up as early as you could before. Maybe you’re even falling asleep around 7 or 8pm, and it’s strange to you. Well, that’s alright, you’re body is simply trying to tell you that you need to rest; LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!
If this is your first pregnancy, and you’re not very in tune with your body or know how to listen to it; just wait! I feel more in tune with my body after each pregnancy I’ve had. You kind of have to learn how to listen to the cues your body is telling you while pregnant. You need to listen to it for when you need to slow down a little, when you need to eat, when the pains you’re feeling need to be checked out or if they’re ‘normal’, etc.
For me, with having two kids already, I feel like I’m always exhausted, but boy was it a different type of exhaustion once I got pregnant. The type of tired where you just can’t keep your eyes open anymore, where you turn on a show and hope your kids will behave for a little bit just so you can dose off a little; that type of tired.
How to Deal:
- Put your feet up for at least 10 minutes for every hour you’re up standing, walking, or doing something else where you’re on your feet
- Incorporate a nap time during the day
- Lower your expectations for what you can accomplish, for now
- Let your husband know when, and what, you need a little extra help with around the house
- Get plenty of sleep
- Drink plenty of water
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptom #4: More Irritable than Usual
My husband and my kids can attest to this!
Everything, and anything, can make you irritable. You might as well have a sign on you that says ‘I’m pregnant, leave me alone’. But, really, little kids can’t read, and they need you, so they won’t leave you alone anyways…
Just try to apologize if you notice you’ve been a bit crankier than usual lately.
How to Deal:
- Try to exercise, or at least go for a walk, when you can – to get some endorphins and hopefully make you less irritable
- Warn others around you and apologize when need be
- Give yourself a time out if you need it, and try to relax or do something you enjoy doing (I know, easier said than done when you have other kids to care for, too)
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptom #5: Can’t stop Crying
This is COMPLETELY NORMAL.
Your hormones are going crazy and your life is about to change forever!
You have all the rights in the world to worry about the future, cry because you saw a moving video on Facebook, or because they’re out of what you wanted at the store.
I don’t know you personally, but maybe you’re like me and have miscarried before. This can bring on even more tears. You’re worried about whether this baby is going to make it or not. Go ahead, ball your eyes out; I have while pregnant. Just be sure to bring this worry up with your OB so they can monitor the pregnancy with more care.
If this goes on for weeks without a break or being able to laugh about it, too; make sure you talk about it with your OB. There may be an underlying issue and you could be at risk for postpartum depression. It’s best to seek help as early as possible.
How to Deal:
- Talk to those in your support system, like your husband, let them know how you’re feeling (this may bring on more tears in the moment, but it’ll help in the long run)
- Just cry it out
- Try to watch a funny movie
- Cuddle your husband, another one of your kids, or a pet – sometimes just having someone to hold close will help
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptom #6: Mood Swings
Mood swings can be rough for some women when they aren’t pregnant. Being pregnant and getting mood swings, though, is a whole other story.
You could be crying hysterically on your couch because the store didn’t have the ice cream you wanted. Then, the next minute you’re furious at the store because they should’ve known to restock the ice cream before you came in. Then you’re hysterically laughing at yourself for thinking such silly things; how were they supposed to know you were going to be at the store at the moment you were, looking for that specific ice cream?
Mood swings are going to be the most intense at the beginning of pregnancy, especially if this is your first. Your hormones are going crazy and changing quickly at the beginning; which is why you were able to get the positive on the pregnancy test, your hormones.
Older children may understand slightly what’s going on, if not and they catch you crying and are concerned you’re upset, simply let them know it’s a symptom of being pregnant. If younger kids look concerned, just grab them and hold them close, or tickle them depending on your mood!
How to Deal:
- Warn others
- Make sure you’re eating enough so you don’t get hangry, on top of having mood swings
- There’s not really much else you can do for this symptom
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptom #7: Swelling Feet
I have heard that this, and swelling hands are a pregnancy symptom.
However I have never experienced this one myself. With my third pregnancy my feet actually got smaller, not sure how, but I wore a size 9 before being pregnant, and I ended up having to buy a new pair of shoes size 8.5 while I was pregnant. I still wear around a size 8.5.
My tiny hands never swelled either. I’ve heard stories where other pregnant women got their wedding rings stuck on their finger to the point they couldn’t take it off. My size 4.5 ring never got stuck on my finger. So, I guess I should consider myself lucky for not having to deal with swelling!
How to Deal:
Sometimes this can be caused by water retention, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. The more water you drink, the more your body knows that it doesn’t have to try to hold onto every drop it gets.
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptom #8: Headaches
Or, should I say migraines!
These are horrible, worse during pregnancy than when not pregnant, at least in my pregnancy. With my first daughter and the miscarriage I didn’t get headaches. But, for my second daughter and my current pregnancy I’ve had some pretty bad migraines.
Unfortunately, these horrible migraines are normal through out pregnancy, some even last for a few days (I know from experience).
How to Deal:
There’s not much you can do about them either, especially if you’re like me and refuse to take medicine for them. The best thing you can do is lay down with the lights off and in the quiet, keep very hydrated, and try to rest. Easier said than done when you have other kids to care for, too.
*Oh, and if it gets later in the pregnancy and you experience migraines, swelling, and protein in your urine when you go to the doctors; make sure you tell your doctor about all your symptoms. I did a bit of research to see if migraines are normal in pregnancy, and alone they are, but with the other symptoms it could be a sign of a serious condition called preeclampsia. You can find out more about the symptoms for this here: https://www.preeclampsia.org/health-information/sign-symptoms
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptom #9: Peeing A LOT
This symptom is luckily just annoying at it’s worse.
You may start experiencing this symptom in your first trimester, or not til later in your pregnancy when your baby is big enough to put a bit of pressure on your bladder. It usually gets worse the further into your pregnancy because of that reason. It’s a small price to pay for growing another human being!
How to Deal:
There’s not really much you can do about this one, just prepare yourself for it to get worse further along in pregnancy.
And, as you’ll see in the next symptom, you should also be drinking more water, which will contribute to the extra trips to the bathroom.
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptom #10: Thirstier than usual
I drink a lot of water, and I mean A LOT!
But, I still seem to be even thirstier whenever I’m pregnant or breastfeeding….or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been either pregnant or breastfeeding for the past 7 years, and that’s why I’ve been drinking A LOT of water. If you’d like to know, I aim for about a gallon a day. YES, a WHOLE GALLON of water!
Drinking so much water is what I believe helped me have such a quick recovery with my second daughter. I can’t remember exactly how long the ‘recovery’ was, but I know it was a whole lot quicker than with my first! Water also has soo many benefits, apart from feeling great during pregnancy and postpartum.
How to Deal:
Drink more water! And, always have something to drink with you at all times.
If you can’t stand the taste of plain water, like say when you have all day nausea and morning sickness, try adding some lemon to it. It’ll make it a little sour, which can help with morning sickness, plus lemon helps boost the immune system; so it’s a win-win!
Or, if you can’t stand water, even flavored water, because of your morning sickness; I’d recommend cranberry juice. More specifically, cran-apple juice helped me get through my first trimester when the nausea and morning sickness were almost unbearable.
Not feeling nauseous? Check out this smoothie recipe that has plenty of nutrients that you and your growing baby needs!
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms, Oh Boy! Aren’t they ‘FUN”?
For your sake, I hope you don’t experience too many of these symptoms!
But, know if you do, you are not alone; you’re in good company with many other women who have gone through this before, or are currently going through it, too.
From the annoyance of having to run to the bathroom every 5 minutes to the horrible migraines and morning sickness; don’t worry, these are super common and will all be worth it once you have your little baby in your arms after 9 months of carrying them around!
If you’re a first time mom, you’ll have a lot of firsts in your life, and being a good mom isn’t all the difficult with a newborn; all they want is to be fed, changed, and loved 24/7.
Time passes quickly, so make sure you treasure being pregnant, and take way too many pictures of your baby when born; the sleepless nights and 2am feedings will soon be a part of the past, and you’ll be missing those days when you’re being challenged with a child who wants to stay home from school for no reason, or throws full blown tantrums in the middle of a crowded store.
The pregnancy symptoms above will pass, and the first trimester pregnancy symptoms usually last the shortest time; seeing as how they don’t tend to start until you actually find out your pregnant. (Unless or course, if you’re like me and gain 10 pounds before even finding out that your pregnant!)