Femme's guide to - The first trimester

Discussion in 'Pregnancy - First Trimester' started by FemmeEnceinte, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. There are so many things nobody ever tells you about pregnancy. Whether you're a first timer or a repeat offender with symptoms you've never experienced before... we're all guilty of worrying and stressing ourselves out. Hopefully, this thread will answer a few questions some of you may have and may even alleviate some of your worries.


    Cramping pains/stabbing pains/achey pains:

    These are all par for the course. In fact, many doctors regard these symptoms as a good sign. It shows that your womb is growing and stretching nicely to accommodate your growing baby. It can be on one side, the middle, all around the edges... anywhere. Pain is never a worrying symptom unless it is severe or accompanied by heavy bleeding.

    Bleeding:

    Bleeding is actually very common. The vast majority of the time, it is nothing at all. If it gets to be heavy, like a period or worse then it is important to act upon it as it could be a hematoma (blood between the placenta and wall of the womb) and this requires bed rest and monitoring. It is not dangerous and poses no greater risk for miscarriage than any other pregnancy. Of course, sometimes, bleeding can be an indication of miscarriage but it is not an automatic reason to worry. Most women with bleeding go on to have happy, healthy pregnancies and babies.

    Losing symptoms:

    You may have had strong, medium or mild symptoms from the beginning, for a month or for a day. If you lose them at any point, consider yourself lucky! It is definitely not an indicator of anything bad. It's only ever an indicator of your body's capacity to distribute the correct level of hormones or how early the placenta forms and takes over. Sometimes people who have had missed miscarriages do report losing symptoms around the time they are reported to have miscarried. This is purely coincidental and very rare.

    What can I eat?

    Pretty much anything, in moderation. So long as it does not contain raw meat, raw eggs or the following types of cheeses: soft, mould-ripened cheeses, such as Brie or Camembert and blue-veined cheeses, such as Danish Blue and Stilton. All of this is simply because these provide environments for bacteria to thrive which may cause you to become ill. Should you eat any of the above, accidentally. Don't worry. It's a one off and unlikely to cause you any harm whatsoever. Remember, it's no more likely to make you ill now than it did before you became pregnant.

    Lots of people will tell you no liver or no tuna throughout pregnancy, the truth is... you're allowed pretty much anything so long as it's in moderation. The only problem posed to you is a build up of certain vitamins/chemicals if you have too much in a certain period of time. If you know your limit and manage it well, nothing has to change in your life.

    There is no scientific evidence to suggest that nut allergies or other allergies in the family mean you should avoid these while baby is in the womb. However there is plenty to suggest that protecting babies/children from certain things can lead to over-sensitivity and an inability to handle/tolerate certain products/bacteria which is detrimental to their health in the long run. In the end, it all comes down to personal choice. But do not take well meaning advice and old wives tales as fact. Look at the facts and make your own mind up.

    Increased vaginal discharge:

    This is perfectly normal. It may be thick, thin, coloured or clear so long as it doesn't smell and isn't any other colour than clear/white/yellow/pale grey and isn't itchy it's just another joyous by-product of pregnancy. There is an awful lot of blood flowing around your womb/genitals and this increase in vascular activity is what causes the discharge. If you notice an excessive and relentless flow of clear discharge, do not worry that it is amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid has a very distinctive smell, many have reported that it is a lot like pond water. It may be a common infection called Bacterial Vaginosis which is easily treated and diagnosed via swabbing. If you are concerned, see your GP but rest assured you're probably just like the other 99% of us reaching for the tena lady.

    Tinged CM:

    This is, although alarming to find, very very normal. There are a lot of new blood vessels forming and engorging in the cervix and some are more delicate than others. When the cervical mucus is forming up around the cervix, tiny bits of blood getting mixed in is extremely common. Whether it comes out brown or red simply indicates how quickly the mucus discharge has moved from the cervix to the opening of the vagina. If you find that it is red when you "go looking", you would undoubtedly find that it was actually brown if you had waited for it to leave itself.

    Urine samples and UTIs:

    At every MW/obstetrician appointment you will be expected to bring a fresh urine sample. It isn't first morning urine they're looking for but a sample that is taken within an hour before the appointment. They will test for infections, protein and sugar. An infection usually carries symptoms such as cloudy urine, itching/burning sensations while urinating and occasionally stomach pains and bleeding (either apparent in the urine itself or on the toilet paper). Sometimes, however, they can be symptomless. They are easily treated with antibiotics, however only certain antibiotics are suitable during pregnancy so always double check with your doctor/pharmacist. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

    Protein can be an indicator of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy, however it is extremely rare in first trimester and very unusual before the third trimester at all. It is diagnosed after a sudden and sustained increase in blood pressure accompanied by several urine tests indicating the presence of protein.

    Sugar can be an indicator of Gestational Diabetes and will often require a Glucose Tolerance Test to diagnose.

    Itchy/leaky/cracked nipples:

    In pregnancy your nipples secrete tiny amount of lubricant to keep your nipples nice and moist, but sometimes it's just not enough. It's not uncommon for nipples to itch, crack or even bleed during pregnancy. If you and your OH are feeling particularly amorous, the lightest of nipple play can also lead to blood blisters. Don't be alarmed if you notice these at all.

    Leaking isn't common in first trimester, but if your hormones dictate that it's time to leak... then I'm afraid it's time to leak. It gets us all in the end. Most people will only notice little bits of dried colostrum sitting in/on/around their nipples in the first two trimesters.

    If none of this has happened to you, count yourself lucky. It will get you soon :D

    Previous miscarriages/ectopic pregnancies:

    Nobody should have to go through the pain of losing a child. However, if you're lucky enough to call yourself an angel mummy you may find yourself worrying a lot more about your pregnancy and the symptoms you're experiencing. You may also worry that one or more previous miscarriages could mean that there is a problem. Statistically, you are just as likely as anyone else to go on to have a perfectly normal and healthy pregnancy. Though the statistics are different for those with previous ectopic pregnancies, the odds are still very much in your favour. Try not to overanalyse your symptoms or worry that it may happen again. Instead think to yourself "I've been through hardship already, it's my turn to be happy" because statistically it is far FAR more likely.

    Worrying/stress and it's effects on the baby:

    I like to think of a good example somebody once gave me when I asked if my stressing about the baby was actually harming the baby. Several pregnant women lost their husbands in the 9/11 attacks and all went on to have perfectly healthy babies after unbelievable amounts of stress. It will not harm your baby, it will not cause long term damage. The only person affected by your stress is you. If you suffer with non pregnancy related anxiety/panic attacks, you should see your GP to look into ways of making your life more comfortable and happier. Not for your baby but for your own sake and so that you can enjoy your pregnancy LO to the fullest once he or she arrives.

    Palpitations:

    Perfectly normal. Whether you have had them before and are experiencing them still/more frequently or you are new to them I can assure you that they are completely harmless and just a by-product of increased blood volume and your heart working harder to pump blood around your body. If you notice that you are feeling pain/dizziness/breathlessness when you have them then definitely go and see your GP. Palpitations alone are almost never a symptom of anything bad and those requiring treatment are more for your own comfort than safety.

    If they're upsetting you, then try cutting out the following things: Caffeine, alcohol and refined sugars. All of these have been linked to causing palpitations.

    You may notice your heart racing of it's own accord while simply sitting or taking longer to settle after periods of activity. Don't worry, this is caused by the same thing as palpitations... increased blood volume and your heart working harder to pump it all around your body. Rest, breathe and relax. Perhaps even lean forward a little. It will settle. Again, if it's accompanied by pain/dizziness/breathlessness then it's worth having your GP check you over.



    Remember everyone, the vast majority of us will be holding our LOs in the not too distant future, and the ones we have lost and sadly will lose along the way will join us again soon on the journey, no matter what symptoms we may or may not have experienced. The number of women on here is staggering and the many different stories they have just goes to show... it truly is different for everyone. Worrying is perfectly normal, embrace it... it's going to be your new best friend for the next... oh... 18, 30, 40 years? Maybe even longer :D
     
  2. EternalRose

    EternalRose Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this great post hun, Ive been looking at all your baby stuff in 2nd Trimester :blush:xxx
     
  3. sabriena

    sabriena Well-Known Member

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    This is a really good post. Thank you for it.

    I have a question, the yellow discharge, is it also sort of like a beige looking yellow?
     
  4. It can be. I've been known to have orange discharge and that was fine!
     
  5. sabriena

    sabriena Well-Known Member

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    Ok good! I was getting a little worried and didn't really know what type of yellow I was getting. This really puts my mind at ease.Thank you very very much!
     
  6. muddles

    muddles Mummy of 2.

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    Thank you! It is lovely to read your story about the first trimetster and it has certainly put my mind at ease on a couple of things!
     
  7. urchin

    urchin Brand New Mummy

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    thank you so much for you post femme ..... good stuff to know for us worrywarts xxx
     
  8. Fluxuspoem

    Fluxuspoem Mama

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    I repeat, you should go to Med School my friend!!!

    :hugs: good on you for putting such a bril post together for 1st trimester :hugs:
     
  9. saffy1978

    saffy1978 Mummy to 5!

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    Thankyou very much for this! :)
     
  10. Embovstar

    Embovstar Mummy to Isaac 23.04.10

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    Thank you v. much for this post...quick q though re discharge. In the last couple of days I have had teeny bits of pale pale brown tinged cm...I was under the impression that this too is normal and nothing to worry about so long as it a) doesn't last for too long and b) isn't followed by massive cramps and blood red discharge / bleeds...

    If so, I've seen many posts about this, perhaps it could be added to the list??

    Nicola xx
     
  11. Helabela

    Helabela Mum to Sophie and ttc

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    thats really usefull, thanks :)
     
  12. Romybug

    Romybug Me, hubby and baby....

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    Great post! :)
     
  13. BabyDancer34

    BabyDancer34 Preggers with #2!!!

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    Thank you so much. I feel much calmer today having read this. I could kiss you!
     
  14. That's a very good point. I've been thinking about things I may have missed.

    Tinged CM is very very normal, there are a lot of new blood vessels forming and engorging in the cervix and some are more delicate than others. When the cervical mucus is forming up around the cervix, tiny bits of blood getting mixed in is extremely common. Whether it comes out brown or red simply indicates how quickly the mucus discharge has moved from the cervix to the opening of the vagina. If you find that it is red when you "go looking", you would undoubtedly find that it was actually brown if you had waited for it to leave itself.

    Will update! :D
     
  15. eeyore83

    eeyore83 Well-Known Member

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    What a great post. Thank you so much for sharing! :)
     
  16. Glad I've been able to help, really.
     
  17. kristen77

    kristen77 Well-Known Member

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    thank you so much for this post. it is very calming! i will reread whenever i start to get worried/uptight!!!! thanks again!x


    [​IMG]
     
  18. Embovstar

    Embovstar Mummy to Isaac 23.04.10

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    This really has been so useful, and you def. put my mind at rest so thank you :)

    Nicola xx
     
  19. shaunanicole

    shaunanicole Guest

    Awesome post hun. I wish this had been around when I was in first tri! :D
     

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