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What Should I Expect During a First Pregnancy?

Expectant mothers are more prone to develop varicose veins.
An obstetrician provides medical care for pregnant women until delivery and the postpartum checkup.
A first pregnancy can bring many physical and emtional changes.
Article Details
  • Written By: Lindsay Kahl
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 14 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Throughout the course of your first pregnancy, your mind, body and emotions will go through intense and sometimes overwhelming changes from week to week. During the first trimester, your hormones will lead to emotional and physical changes, sometimes including nausea. The second trimester of your first pregnancy will bring even greater physical changes as your body adapts in order to accommodate your baby. Your third trimester can bring increased discomfort, pain and swelling.

During the first trimester of your first pregnancy, your changing hormones might leave you anxious and sometimes weepy. You might even experience intense mood swings. Physically, you most likely will feel unusual fatigue because your body is preparing for the toll of sustaining a pregnancy.

Changing hormones during the first trimester will lead to other physical changes. Your breasts might feel unusually tender, swollen or sore, and you might experience bouts of nausea. For some women, nausea is not limited to morning sickness and can occur at any time of day. Other bodily changes might lead to heartburn, constipation, dizziness or frequent urination.

The second trimester of your first pregnancy will bring even more changes. You will begin to gain weight more quickly, and your breasts will get larger. With your newly expanding skin, you might notice stretch marks.

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Your circulation will begin to change to support the growing baby. This can cause areas of your skin to become darker, and it also can lead to issues with your nasal passages or gums. Other possible inconveniences during the second trimester include leg cramping and feeling short of breath. You also might notice a light vaginal discharge, which likely does not indicate a problem. During the second trimester, it is not uncommon for a woman to experience Braxton Hicks contractions, which are weak and usually not a cause for alarm.

During the third trimester, your discomfort could increase with your size. The added weight from the baby can cause backaches, and you might continue to experience heartburn, frequent urination and shortness of breath. Your breasts will continue to get larger, and you could develop varicose veins or hemorrhoids.

Swelling could become more of an issue during the third trimester. You might experience uncomfortable swollen extremities, particularly your feet and ankles. Occasionally, you could notice puffiness in your face and eyelids.

Your first pregnancy can be exhilarating and nerve-wracking. Some mothers assert that you cannot truly prepare for all that pregnancy does to you, but you can do your best to understand the coming changes and have appropriate expectations. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about the changes you are experiencing.

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