Many congratulations on your pregnancy-this is a start of the journey that takes you from a couple to family, and there will be many changes happening in the next few months, physiologically, psychologically and emotionally.
Most of the time, you might notice subtle changes in your body, in your appetite patterns, and your moods. Sometimes, these changes are not so subtle, and there might be signs of mild to moderate nausea; increased or decreased appetite; aversions and/or cravings for certain foods; changed sleep patterns; and increasing tiredness, as the body is working very hard growing your baby while managing all your other daily functions as you are carrying on with your normal daily life.
Pregnancy is a very exciting time in the life of any woman, especially if you have been trying to get pregnant for a while, and now, as it has really happened, you might find yourself worried, too, and read in too much into your symptoms, or their lack of.
Increased anxiety is understandable, and certainly manageable, provided you get all the information you need to understand what is happening and what you might expect during these early stages from your doctor, midwife and/or other care giver.
In my work with my mums-to-be, the first trimester is devoted to strengthening their energy reserves, physically, physiologically and psychologically and ensuring uterus is a nourishing, healthy and supporting first home of their growing embryo turning into a fully formed baby in a few months time.
Acupuncture smooths the blood flow in the whole of pelvic area, promotes oxygenation and calms sometimes unsettled minds, as it balances the hormones, thus promoting the endorphins and reducing the action of adrenalin and cortisol.
If there are signs of nausea and vomiting, regular acupuncture treatments help reduce these, which means that there are less chances of dehydration and poor digestion due to reduced appetite, sometimes induced by the nausea feeling and/or vomiting. Your energy levels will be better as you will hold on to your meals so that you can carry on with your daily activities.
As far as your lifestyle is concerned, there might be very little that you notice to start with in your first trimester. Some of us are lucky to have had no symptoms at all, or just have a few, and then just carry on with our lives. However, changes are major and are happening even if you cannot feel them, so some adjustments usually are needed to ensure safe growing of your baby.
If you experience increased tiredness, as you probably will at some stage, make sure that you have plenty of rest, go to bed early and have naps during the day if you are not at work.
Avoid carrying and lifting heavy shopping, sudden lifting of heavy objects, including weights in the gym if you have been doing this as a part of your exercise regime.
Maintain your regular exercise if you wish, but this is not the time to start a new regimen as the pregnancy is a new enough event for your body and mind.
Have a really good look at your diet, cutting down (at least!) refined sugar, processed foods and fat loaded take aways. Eat plenty of fresh, organic whenever you can, seasonal produce. Eat little and often, if you experience nausea, always have with you some nuts/seeds/plain biscuits and fresh water, which you should drink in small sips. Warm herbal teas are also helpful, such is ginger, honey and lemon, preferably freshly made, not in tea bags.
Stop drinking alcohol, reduce coffee intake and absolutely do not smoke, as this is detrimental to the health of your growing baby.
Learn to relax, if you haven’t already, and avoid people and situations that stress you out. Stress drives cortisol and adrenalin, hormones that are misaligned with your role of a calm, loving, healthy and nourishing home for your little one. Your motivation to change this aspect of your life may now be stronger than ever, and will do you so much good in the long run.
Finally, enjoy this first part of your life long journey of building a family. Yes, you might have some unpleasant symptoms, yes, might be more emotional-there is nothing wrong with that!-and yes, more tired and no late clubbing nights (hopefully!), but…
From the grain of sand you grow this incredible potential, this amazing, ever-so- encompassing happiness for you and your family, this miraculous person they will become. You are, just as they are becoming, an amazing creation, a gift for one another, and everlasting, pure love.