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First Trimester

Month One

A missed menstrual cycle may be the only sign to alert a woman that she is pregnant. However, physical symptoms can soon follow which may include fatigue, an inability to sleep, frequent urination, nausea, food aversions and tender breasts. A woman may feel that her emotions are swinging from one extreme to another, and this is often mistaken for premenstrual syndrome.

Upon learning that she is pregnant, a woman may feel elation, joy, fear, anger, or even melancholy. Some women feel all of these emotions.

It is important that women schedule their first prenatal visit upon learning they are pregnant. This first doctor visit will entail a complete physical examination and several tests. These tests will include blood and urine screens, as well as a pap smear. Women are usually given a prescription for prenatal vitamins at this time.

Month Two

While many women “know” they are pregnant, they may not physically feel pregnant. Other women may feel bombarded physically and mentally with the changes that pregnancy is bringing to their lives. Physical symptoms may include fatigue, frequent urination, nausea, heartburn, flatulence, constipation, food cravings or aversions, headaches, dizziness, and breast changes.

Some women feel overwhelmed with their pending motherhood. It is during this time that a woman may decide to share the fact of her pregnancy with family and friends to get the support that she needs. Other women choose to keep their pregnancies a secret a while longer.

By the end of the second month many women may notice that their clothes are becoming tighter. Many times a larger bra will need to be purchased to accommodate breast growth. Some women welcome these physical changes, while other women may be uncomfortable by the changes and the knowledge that their appearance is changing.

During this month’s prenatal visit a woman can expect to have her weight, blood pressure, urine and blood checked. Hands and feet may also be examined for signs of swelling. Women should feel comfortable with their doctor and tell him or her any symptoms they may be experiencing, as well as ask any questions they may have.

Month Three

The third month is when most women notice that a few of their early pregnancy symptoms are decreasing. Morning sickness may subside and energy levels may increase. However, women may notice they have an increase of vaginal discharge and/or bouts of constipation.

Most women have come to terms with their pregnancy by this time. Expectant mothers may start to educate themselves on pregnancy and childbirth. Many women start to read literature. Women may also start to ask female friends and family members questions about pregnancy, labor and delivery.

At this prenatal visit, expect weight, blood pressure, urine and blood to be checked. Feet and hands may also be examined for signs of swelling. The height of the uterus will be measured, and the size of your uterus will also be examined through external palpation.

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