By the second month, most moms-to-be know they’re expecting. This stage may seem a bit surreal in your mind, while your body faces reality head-on. Many experience fatigue, breast tenderness, digestive upsets and “morning sickness,” which can honestly be “all day sickness.”
Nausea and throwing up lie on a spectrum of never to all the time for some women. According to Janice Marsh-Prelesnik (2005)*, a midwife, massage therapist, and herbalist; if queasiness bothers you, try drinking ginger or peppermint tea, and never let your stomach get empty. Some women swear by eating in bed, before getting up in the morning. Others suggest using essential oils and taking magnesium to help with nausea. It’s normal to feel queasy, (many say it’s a good sign that the pregnancy is progressing), but if you can’t stop vomiting, you need to seek the help of a professional to avoid dehydration and nutritional deficiencies. You may notice a little weight gain if you’re feeling hungry and eating a lot, or you may notice weight loss if you’re turned-off to food. Either direction is typical, but if your weight varies more than you feel is normal, be sure to mention it to your care provider.
Some friends may tell you not to sleep on your back because the weight can press on a nerve that regulates your blood flow. However, at this time, your baby is probably smaller than an apricot and still low in your pelvis. This is why you need to urinate frequently, as it’s pushing on your bladder. If you’re a back sleeper, though, now is the time to start training yourself to sleeping on your side. Try out some various body pillows and see what feels best, so you’re prepared.
Getting used to all the temporary and permanent changes can be overwhelming. An expecting mama may feel overjoyed one moment and sad or fearful the next. This natural phenomenon is due to a mix of rocketing hormones and real-life concerns. If it gets overwhelming, talk to a friend who’s been through it and can encourage you during this time, or seek the advice of a professional therapist.
Your First Prenatal Exam
Around the 7th week of pregnancy, the baby’s heart beats for the first time. You may get a chance to hear it at your first or second prenatal appointment. Some mainstream providers encourage lots of tests, while midwives may take a more conservative approach. There are risks inherent in any type of testing, so don’t hesitate to ask before submitting yourself to something you don’t understand.
Typically offered during this month are: Blood tests for hormone levels such as hCG, blood-typing and Rh factor, sickle cell anemia, and STD’s, genetic testing for Ray-Sachs amongst others, urine tests for kidney infections, amniocentesis to test for serious health problems (usually offered to moms 35+), and more.
Bleeding and Miscarriage
Some bleeding in early pregnancy is normal, and some is not. According to StillBirthday, up to 30% of expectant mothers experience bleeding in pregnancy. However, as someone who experienced that “not good” type of bleeding, I would suggest calling your care provider about any bleeding or spotting, especially if you have never experienced this with a healthy pregnancy.
What are other signs of miscarriage? Cramping and/or back pain, discolored cervical mucus, passing tissue or clots, and dropping of pregnancy symptoms. Remember, just one of these symptoms alone may not mean impending loss, but if you’re concerned, ask your provider to see you.
If you have lost, I’m very sorry. Please click here to find support and learn more about your loss.
Relax and Enjoy
These early weeks of being pregnant are full of ups and downs, and moments of overwhelm at the reality of what you have signed up for. And if nausea does set in for you, it is true, it just isn’t that fun. But for the most part, it is a special, happy time, overfilling with curiosity of what the not so distant future will bring. You will no doubt begin to think about planning for the baby’s homecoming and find yourself looking at baby gear and websites like ours! Before you jump into the hustle and bustle of “planning” for being a family (and we highly recommend that you do just that), let yourself enjoy this special quiet time of knowing that you are pregnant. These first discomforts on the physical plane of being pregnant are temporary. Try cuddling close to your mate and giggle at the fun that is in store.
Marsh-Prelesnik, J. (2005). The Roots of Natural Mothering. Mother Muse Publishing. Galesburg, Michigan.
Rose Hollo lives in the Midwest where she is a freelance writer, has a degree in Holistic Health and her Masters in Digital and Social Media Marketing. She runs her business Everything’s Rosy Digital Marketing, http://www.everythingrosy.com and cares for her family including a husband, toddler daughter, and Thai exchange student.
*Thank you again to Ingrid Franz Moriarty for the AMAZING photography!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by Rose Hollo and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) or any employee thereof. PAM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Rose Hollo. Consult with your own medical provider regarding your individual health questions or concerns.