Changes in your partner’s body
During the first three months of pregnancy, or the first trimester, your spouse’s body undergoes many changes. As her body adjusts to the growing baby, she may have nausea, fatigue, backaches, mood swings, and stress. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, these things are all normal.
Most of these discomforts will go away as the pregnancy progresses. And some women might not feel any discomfort at all! If she has been pregnant before, she might feel differently this time around. Just as each woman is different, so is each pregnancy.
As her body changes, your spouse might need to make changes to her normal, everyday routine. Here are some of the most common changes or symptoms she might experience in the first trimester: Tiredness Many women find they’re exhausted in the first trimester. Don’t worry, this is normal!
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, this is your spouse’s body’s way of telling her that she needs more rest. After all, her body is working very hard to develop a whole new life. Try these tips to ease exhaustion:
- Make sure she gets at least eight hours of sleep every night, and a nap during the day when possible
- When she is tired, get her to rest or relax
- Ensure that starts sleeping on her left side. This will relieve pressure on major blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. If she has high blood pressure during pregnancy, it is even more important to be on her left side when she is lying down
- If she feels stressed, try to find her a way to relax.
Nausea and Vomiting
Usually called “morning sickness,” nausea and vomiting are common during early pregnancy. For many women, though, it isn’t limited to just the morning. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, although it can seem like it will last forever, nausea and vomiting usually go away after the first trimester.
Try these tips to help your spouse prevent and soothe nausea:
- Get her to eat frequent, small meals (6 to 8 small meals a day) rather than 3 large meals. Avoid fatty, fried, or spicy foods in her diet.
- Try getting her to eat starchy snacks, like toast, saltines, cheerios, or other dry cereals when she feels nauseated. Keep some by her bed and make sure she eats something before she gets out of bed in the morning. If she feel nauseous in the middle of the night, reach for these starchy foods. It’s also a good idea to keep these snacks with her at all times, in case of nausea.
- Try giving her carbonated drinks like ginger ale or seltzer water in between meals.
- Ask your doctor if she should change prenatal vitamins if it seems to be making her nausea worse. Sometimes taking her prenatal vitamin at a different time (e.g. at night not in the morning) can also help.
- Ask the doctor about taking vitamin B6 fo her nausea and vomiting that doesn’t get better with dietary changes.
If your spouse thinks she might be vomiting excessively, call the doctor. If she loses too much fluid she might become dehydrated. Dehydration can be dangerous for your partner and your baby.
For some women, the nausea of the first trimester is so severe that they become malnourished and dehydrated. These women may have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). HG refers to women who are constantly nauseated and/or vomit several times everyday for the first 3 or 4 months of pregnant.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, HG keeps pregnant women from drinking enough fluids and eating enough food to stay healthy. Many women with HG lose more than 5 percent of their pre-pregnancy weight, have nutritional problems, and have problems with the balance of electrolytes in their bodies. The persistent nausea and vomiting also makes going to work or doing other daily tasks very difficult.
Many women with HG have to be hospitalized so they can be fed fluids and nutrients through a tube in their veins. Usually, women with HG begin to feel better by the 20th week of pregnancy. But some women vomit and feel nauseated throughout all three trimesters.
Frequency of Urination
Is your partner running to the bathroom all the time? Early in pregnancy, the growing uterus presses on her bladder. This causes frequent urination.
See your doctor right away if she notices pain, burning, pus or blood in her urine. She might have a urinary tract infection that needs treatment.
During the first trimester, it is normal to gain only a small amount of weight, about one pound per month.