Updated: Feb 9, 2022
Being pregnant for the first time can be scary, and most frequently asked question is "is this normal?"
Well, most of the things you experience are normal, but my advice to you is to buy the book What To Expect When You're Expecting. I can't understand how there are so many pregnant women who know nothing about this book. It's been around for so long even people who don't want children know about it. I'm actually surprised that doctors don't just give out the book for free or at least suggest it. And because the book has been out for so long, they have new version with updated information.
They also have versions called What To Expect, Eating Well When You're Expecting, What To Expect The First Year, What To Expect The Second Year, What To Expect When Your Wife IS Expanding, What To Expect Before You're Expecting. They come in other languages too.
Here are some things that you may not know...
Every pregnant woman does not experience the same things. You can never compare your pregnancy to anyone else's. You can't even compare your OWN pregnancies, because each one can be different. I literally had NO SYMPTOMS when I was pregnant with my daughter. I can't even tell you from personal experience what Braxton Hicks contractions feel like. I had no morning sickness, no mucus plug loss, no aches and pains (until I went into labor), I mean NOTHING AT ALL!!
Morning sickness: It doesn't happen to everyone, and can come and go at any time. Some women have it throughout their whole pregnancy, some don't have it at all. So if you are a first time mom wondering why you're not gagging, JUMP FOR JOY & BE THANKFUL!!!
Spotting: During the first trimester, it is very normal to have some spotting. It can be pinkish, brownish or slightly red. No need to worry unless you are bleeding heavily with lots of pain. That is when you should contact your doctor to rule out a miscarriage or any other complications. But...you can contact your doctor at any time, just in case!
Braxton Hicks Contractions: Most women tend to think that BHC only happen late in the second trimester or in the third trimester. But guess what? It can happen at any time, especially for repeat moms. They can feel it as early as the first trimester. BHC doesn't mean labor is near, it's just practice.
Mucus Plug: The mucus plug can be lost (in pieces) continuously throughout pregnancy...it actually grows back. It can be white or yellowish in color and sometimes be tinged with blood. Losing your mucus plug does not mean you are about to go in labor. You can lose your mucus plug early in the second trimester.
Skin discoloration: Hormones can cause your skin to darken, This can happen near or under the armpits, around the neck and chest, between your thighs, on your nipples and areolas, your freckles may even look darker.
Linea Nigra: Linea Nigra is spanish for "black line" which is the vertical line that goes down your stomach. It doesn't show up on everyone, but did you know that it has always been there? Everyone has one, but it's most people don't notice it until pregnancy, because hormones cause the line to darken. I personally remember having that line at the age of 13. It was faint, but noticeable.
Pelvic Pain & Pressure: Aka round ligament pain. As your uterus expands and baby grows, you will feel some aches and pains in your pelvic area, thighs and back. This is because the ligaments connecting your thighs to your pelvis are stretching.
Food: Yes, you can eat tuna (no more than 12oz per week). yes, you can have caffeine (no more than 200mg or 12oz per day). Yes, you can eat sushi! Yea yea I know "but it's raw." Guess what, as someone who is part Japanese, I can tell you now that all sushi is NOT RAW!
Baby movements: Most first time moms don't feel baby move until they are well into their second trimester. So there is no need to worry if you see other people feeling baby movements at 13 & 14 weeks. Second time moms can feel baby as early ass 11 weeks.
Belly Bump: First time times take longer to show. The more children a woman has, the sooner she shows with each child because her uterus doesn't necessarily shrink back down to it's normal size. So it grows faster! Many first time moms show as late as 25 weeks.
Loss of appetite: It is very normal to look at food and say YUCK! Loss of appetite is very common in the first trimester. Try to eat some fruit such as watermelon, apples, grapes, etc. Something very light.