Abdominal Bloating • Abdominal bloating with tummy cramps is quite a common early pregnancy symptom along with nausea, constipation, food aversions and strange taste sensations in the mouth. • Bloating is often a sign that one’s diet needs to be adjusted to a more readily digestible one. • Pregnancy supplements can cause digestive discomfort like bloating. • Reduce or avoid grain products like cereals, pastries and bread. • Be cautious with dairy products and fermented foods like pickles which can sometimes trigger this or make it worse. Emotions • If feeling very emotional and in need of a little extra nurturing be careful not to turn to food for comfort as the foods one craves are likely to have high unhealthy fat and salt content! • It is very normal to feel more emotional during pregnancy. • Emotional ups and downs in pregnancy may well include irritability, anger, moodiness, anxiety, tearfulness and a feeling of needing one’s personal space back. • Sometimes emotions in first pregnancies seem worse because of the huge and unexpected adjustment. • At times second and subsequent pregnancies are emotionally more challenging because one already has a small child draining one’s resources and maybe even less understanding and support from those who think you have ‘been there, done it’! • Fluctuations in hormonal levels definitely contribute to emotional swings and if that is the only cause, these tend to settle at least somewhat by the end of the first trimester. • Pregnancy is an overwhelming experience in many ways and poses quite a challenge physically, mentally and emotionally. • Neither your body, mind nor emotions have even been anywhere like this before, and every facet of your life is affected by pregnancy. • This can lead to bucket loads of tears, anxiety and even depression in pregnancy. • Ask for extra tender loving care and nurturing from those close to you. • Be kind to yourself and take it a little easier. This is a more ‘feminine’ and sensitive phase in your life and you are supposed to be more emotional! 1st Visit to practitioner • In an uncomplicated pregnancy, one should first visit one’s practitioner sometime toward the end of the first trimester, preferably between 10 and 12 weeks. • Should there be reason for concern before this stage, make an earlier appointment. • Many women are nervous of the first visit to the obstetrician or midwife, not knowing what to expect, and this is quite normal but unnecessary. • No question in pregnancy is unimportant and one should make a list of any concerns or queries so that one does not forget to ask at a consultation. • At each visit a few standard checks will be done, like blood pressure, weight and urine testing, a check of baby’s heartbeat and growth. • In normal pregnancies, one should see the practitioner monthly until 28 weeks, then every 2 weeks until 36 weeks and thereafter every week until the due date. • Occasionally blood tests will need to be performed. • Vaginal examinations are very seldom done in pregnancy to reduce the possibility of infection or stimulating cramping of the womb, but sometimes on the first visit an internal examination is done, as well as at about 37 weeks again. This marks the end of your first trimester!
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