Tips for Managing Symptoms in the First Trimester of Pregnancy

January 04, 2022

The excitement of pregnancy can sometimes be overshadowed by uncomfortable and inconvenient symptoms.

(Paducah, Ky.) Dec 31, 2021 – The excitement of pregnancy can sometimes be overshadowed by uncomfortable and inconvenient symptoms during the first trimester. Matthew Sublette, MD, of Baptist Health Medical Group OB/GYN, has some advice for those experiencing symptoms during their first trimester. “Fortunately, there are often simple things you can do to minimize or eliminate these symptoms. Many of these actions are related to changes you can make in your diet or activities. There are other strategies that can also help make your first trimester more enjoyable.”

Morning sickness is the most recognizable pregnancy symptom. Despite the name, it can occur at any time of the day. Dr. Sublette warns, “During the first trimester women frequently feel nausea and, in some instances, experience vomiting. Pregnancy related nausea tends to be relatively mild and passes around the end of the first trimester. However, in a small percentage of pregnancies, a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum develops. It causes severe nausea and vomiting, and may result in hospitalization. You should talk with your doctor if you feel like you have severe symptoms.”

Eating small meals more frequently is one of the best ways to manage your symptoms. It’s also best if you don’t skip meals. You should eat healthy foods that you enjoy, but bland foods rich in carbohydrates (potatoes, crackers, rice, etc.) may produce less nausea than spicy foods.

Morning sickness can also make you sensitive to certain food smells. If that’s the case for you, you should avoid those foods. Ginger tea, ginger candies or ginger ale may aid in lessening morning sickness. Consuming ginger in the form of ginger tea, ginger candies, or ginger ale may also help with morning sickness.

Another common symptom for many during pregnancy is increased fatigue. Energy levels may be helped by taking a doctor-recommended prenatal vitamin. These vitamins contain iron to help prevent anemia, which can be a cause of fatigue. They also contain a variety of nutrients that support your baby’s health — choline, folic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), for example.

Avoiding certain foods and beverages is also key during your pregnancy. One common item consumed to help with fatigue is caffeine. Caffeine isn’t a good choice for your baby in large quantities. If you drink coffee, you should limit yourself to one 12-ounce cup per day once you learn that you’re pregnant.

Finally, constipation is a common issue during pregnancy since pregnancy hormones slow your digestive system and because the iron in a prenatal vitamin can be constipating. To avoid constipation, you should try to get at least 25 grams of fiber daily. You can do that by eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables. In addition, some breakfast cereals can provide 5 grams of fiber or more per serving.

“Pregnancy can be a time of joy and celebration,” stated Dr. Sublette “If you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to talk to your physician.” Learn more about maintaining a healthy pregnancy and choose Baptist Health Paducah for your Maternity Care.