Pregnancy means that a baby is growing inside of your uterus (womb). A normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks from your last menstrual period. Caregivers divide pregnancy into three blocks of time called trimesters. The first trimester lasts from your last menstrual period through your 13th week of pregnancy. The second trimester lasts from the 14th week of your pregnancy through your 26th week. The third trimester lasts from your 27th week of pregnancy until your baby is born. Your caregiver can estimate (guess) when you may have your baby. This can be done using the start (first day) of your last menstrual period. It can also be done if you know the date that you became pregnant. This estimate is called your due date. Your due date may change later in your pregnancy, based on certain tests. You may give birth to your baby any time from two weeks before your due date, to two weeks after your due date.
Morning sickness is common during the first few months of pregnancy. You might feel nauseated (sick to your stomach) or you could vomit (throw up) many times a day. To improve symptoms of morning sickness, eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals. Foods high in carbohydrate such as crackers, dry toast, and pasta may be easier to eat for some women. Drink liquids between meals rather than with meals. Avoid foods that have a strong smell and foods that make you feel sick. Avoid having an empty stomach. Call your caregiver if you have very bad nausea and vomiting with other symptoms. These symptoms may include constant nausea and vomiting, not eating or drinking, weight loss, and trouble doing daily activities. Learn more about morning sickness.
Many women have problems with constipation during pregnancy. Being constipated means having hard stools that are difficult to pass. A high fiber diet can improve the symptoms of constipation. Some breakfast cereals, whole grain breads and prune juice are high in fiber. Raw fruits, vegetables and cooked beans are also good fiber sources. Increasing your intake of fluids and getting regular physical activity may also be helpful. Be sure to check with your caregiver before you begin any exercise program.
Pregnancy hormones cause food to move more slowly through your digestive system, which sometimes causes heartburn. To improve the symptoms of heartburn, avoid lying down right after eating. When you do lie down, sleep with your head slightly elevated. Eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals. Avoiding caffeine, chocolate, or spicy foods may also be helpful.
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