Pregnancy Facts #1 - Fatigue
Many women say the first symptom they noticed after getting pregnant was exhaustion. Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, including increased hormone production. One of these hormones, progesterone, acts as a depressant in the central nervous system, so you may experience fatigue more often during pregnancy.
Fatigue is most common and severe during the first trimester, so get some extra rest and pampering during the first few months of pregnancy.
Pregnancy Facts #2 - Bleeding
Many women experience some bleeding or spotting during the first trimester. Light bleeding, known as implantation bleeding, can occur within just 7-14 days of conception when the fertilized egg is becoming attached to the wall of the uterus. This is nothing to be concerned about, and it should pass in a couple of days. If you have heavy bleeding lasting more than a few days or severe cramps, it is a good idea to contact your doctor.
Pregnancy Facts #3 - Cravings and Aversions
One of the most familiar side effects of pregnancy is food cravings. Everyone has heard a tale about a husband running to the store in the middle of the night to buy ice cream and pickles for his pregnant wife. And, honestly, almost all pregnant women can relate.
Besides food cravings, there are also food aversions that crop up during pregnancy. It is not unusual, for example, for an avid coffee drinker to be sickened by just the thought of coffee once they become pregnant.
Pregnancy Facts #4 - Morning Sickness
Another well-known pregnancy symptom is morning sickness, which includes nausea and vomiting. Morning sickness is caused fluctuating estrogen levels, and it usually starts in the first trimester and lasts a month or so. Some women experience morning sickness for longer periods of time, however, and it can even last the entire pregnancy.
Morning sickness doesn't just happen in the morning, either. Nausea can strike a pregnant woman any time. Sometimes the nausea comes on for no apparent reason. Other times it can be triggered by something as simple as a smell, like cigarette smoke, coffee, perfume or certain foods.
Pregnancy Facts #5 - Increased need to urinate
As your pregnancy progresses, you will notice that you use the bathroom more often. This is caused by the enlargement of your uterus, and it is most obvious during the first and third trimesters.
Pregnancy Facts #6 - Changes to breasts
Other than the a bigger belly, one of the most obvious physical changes that happens during pregnancy is bigger breasts. This happens as your body prepares to nurse your newborn baby. It's a good idea to buy a few bras with excellent support that you can wear throughout your pregnancy. You may also want to plan ahead and get nursing bras as well, to ease the process of nursing once your baby is born.
Some women experience tenderness and heightened sensitivity in their breasts when they are pregnant. This is common, usually happens in the first trimester and should pass as your pregnancy continues.
Pregnancy Facts #7 - Headaches
Some women experience recurrent headaches when they are pregnant, usually during the first trimester. These headaches are caused by hormonal changes that affect blood circulation during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Facts #8 - Bloating, swelling and constipation
These are all common symptoms seen during pregnancy, mostly due to hormones. One of the best ways to counteract these effects is to drink a lot of water and always make sure you are well hydrated.
Pregnancy Facts #9 - Mood swings
The hormone fluctuations that happen during pregnancy can often cause mood swings that come from nowhere and have no obvious cause. This is completely normal, so don't be alarmed if you burst into tears for no apparent reason. Moodiness is most common during the first trimester, and usually subsides as the pregnancy continues.
Pregnancy Facts #10 - Feeling faint
Because of the multitude of changes going on in a pregnant woman's body, it is not uncommon to experience bouts of dizziness or feeling faint. It is important to make sure you eat properly during pregnancy, and always drink plenty of water. It's also a good idea to keep some crackers and healthy snacks close by at all times to help curb low blood sugar, which is a major cause of dizzy spells.
Pregnancy Facts #11 - Weight gain and discomfort
It's a plain and simple fact that pregnancy causes weight gain. Some moms put on 20 or 30 pounds, while others gain closer to 50 or 60 pounds. The additional weight can cause problems with balance because your center of gravity changes as your baby grows. It is also common to experience some back pain or soreness. Be smart about what shoes you wear during pregnancy and don't do any strenuous lifting. Do only approved exercise and activities, rest when you need to and avoid straining your back and knees whenever possible.