Other 1st Trimester Symptoms

Cramps

It’s not unusual to have cramps early in pregnancy. Some women experience mild, menstrual-like cramps. If they become severe or persist, notify your healthcare team.

Faintness/Dizziness

Feeling faint or dizzy when you’re pregnant is often caused by changes in your blood pressure. This happens because more blood is going to your uterus and because the smooth muscles of your veins are relaxed, causing pooling of blood in your legs. You can avoid this by changing your body position slowly when moving from lying to sitting, or sitting to standing. It’s also recommended that you not stand in one position for long periods.

Low blood sugar can also contribute to faintness or dizziness. Eating frequent, small meals should help. If you do feel faint, sit down immediately.

Hair/Nail Growth Changes

A women’s hair often becomes thicker and grows faster as a result of pregnancy hormones. Normally, you lose 15 to 20 percent of your hair at any one time. During pregnancy, you lose only about half as much hair as usual. Because every woman is different, you may also react to hair color or dyes differently. You should avoid the fumes and unpredictability of metallic dyes. Ask your hairdresser to use natural vegetable hair products. Permanents are also unpredictable while you’re pregnant.

Also, your nails will probably grow faster during pregnancy, although they may be more likely to split and break. Keep your nails short and use plenty of hand lotion.

Hemorrhoids

As your uterus grows, it presses on nearby veins. This slows the return of blood to your heart and causes the veins near your rectum to dilate, which in turn, can cause hemorrhoids. It helps to eat more fiber and drink more water.

Do not strain during a bowel movement. If you are having difficulties moving your bowels, talk to your provider about a stool softener. Most hemorrhoids that are caused by pregnancy will disappear after your baby is born.

Nosebleeds

Even if you’ve never had a nosebleed, when you’re pregnant you may get them. Hormonal changes and lack of humidity can both play roles in nosebleeds. Possible remedies include using a humidifier to increase moisture or applying a small amount of petroleum jelly inside each nostril. To stop a nosebleed, sit up straight, look straight ahead, and gently pinch your nostrils until the bleeding stops. If the bleeding does not stop, call your provider.

Skin Changes

Skin changes can occur anytime during pregnancy. These include acne, dryness, pigmentation changes, spider veins, blotchy skin, and increased sensitivity to cosmetics. The increased levels of hormones in your body can also cause increased oiliness or dryness of your skin. Every woman is different and there’s no way to predict how the hormone changes will affect you.

Vaginal Discharge

Increased vaginal discharge is normal when you’re pregnant. This should be white, odorless, and non-irritating. You may be more comfortable wearing a panty liner if your discharge is heavy. If the discharge becomes very thick, cottage cheese-like, feels itchy, or has an unusual odor, call your healthcare team.

Vaginitis, or vaginal irritation, is very common during pregnancy. Always check with your healthcare team if you think you may have a vaginal infection, before you decide to use an over-the-counter medication to treat it.

Vision Changes

Your eyes may be affected by your pregnancy. The cornea of your eye will get thicker as you retain water. If you wear contact lenses, they may not feel as comfortable, especially as you get further along in your pregnancy. If this happens, you may need to wear your glasses. Your eyes will probably return to normal after you have your baby. Considering this, you may want to hold off on buying new prescription glasses until after your baby is born.