The 3rd month of Pregnancy – the end of the 1st trimester. You may be going from nausea, to unusual aches and pains, to a feeling of “wow, this is really happening!” By the end of this month, your uterus will begin to rise out of your pelvis and will be about the size of a ripe grapefruit while your baby is the size of an apricot. You may notice this removes the need to pee constantly. However, you may begin to notice more frequent back pains, as the rising uterus pushes on nerves. This is the time to begin sleeping on your side.* Not only will this help take pressure off those nerves, but it will help keep your blood flowing well throughout your body.
You may also notice an increase of mucus…. Everywhere! Mucus is one of those things no one tells you about, but is a real fact of the joys of growing a human being. Mucus is a good thing. It helps rid the body of microbes that threaten your health. It’s important to stay illness-free during pregnancy, so welcome all this sticky stuff with the thought that even though it may seem disgusting, it’s doing you a huge favor.*
Although many of these changes may be unwelcome, here is some good news: While a small percentage of women stay nauseous throughout their whole pregnancy, most expectant moms experience a lessening of these symptoms around the twelve-week mark. If you’ve noticed an increased sense of smell, this is totally normal.* Some moms find this adds to their queasiness, and things like dirty diapers, food, and even driving in the car are unbearable. Keeping a little peppermint essential oil nearby can help disguise odors and quell that all-to-sensitive sniffer.
In last month’s article, we discussed some of the tests that may be recommended by your care provider. It’s important to research these things and talk with your provider about the risks versus the benefits. The most exciting part of these tests may be hearing your baby’s heart beat for the first time. Mainstream providers use a Doppler while midwives are known to employ a fetascope (looks very similar to a stethoscope), or a pinnard horn which is a straight tube with a bell on one end and a horn on the other. *
What can you do to make this pregnancy better for you and your baby? When you’re able to eat normally again, consider a nutritious pregnancy diet full of whole foods, protein, and iron, avoid antimicrobial products, and get plenty of safe exercise like yoga. Yoga during pregnancy can be practiced by anyone, at any time, but if you’ve never practiced yoga before, there are some things you should know. Prone positions (lying on the back) should never be done. Also, squatting positions, (or any position where the knees are higher than the hips), while recommended by some prenatal teachers, are contraindicated for any mom with a loose pelvis or history of a loose pelvis, as it can complicate vaginal birth and postpartum recovery (I learned this from experience). As always, consult with your medical provider BEFORE embarking on ANY exercise program while you are pregnant or otherwise.
This is the month when many moms-to-be choose to announce their pregnancy, as at 12 weeks, the risk of miscarriage goes down. We encourage you to celebrate everyday that you are pregnant in some way, and for many the end of the 1st trimester is a time to come out so to speak and share the news.