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Surviving the Symptoms: Tips for Every Trimester

When you’re pregnant, crazy things like having the volume of blood in your body increase by a whopping 50 percent and experiencing your organs shift around to accommodate a growing baby become routine.

Your body undergoes drastic changes while you’re preggers, so side effects are guaranteed. Here’s a roundup of some of the most common pregnancy symptoms and how you can cope.

FIRST TRIMESTER

Your hormones are going totally crazy right now, so you could experience one or several of the following symptoms between weeks 1 through 12.

What to do when:

Everything makes you feel nauseous

Avoid an empty stomach. Eat small meals and snacks and avoid fried, spicy or high-fat foods. Keep your body temperature nice and cool; feeling too warm could bring on nausea.

You constantly have to pee

Cut back on caffeine to benefit both you and your baby. Drinking caffeinated beverages will make you have to go more often. Keep in mind, you may occasionally leak urine when sneezing or laughing, so stash some panty liners in your purse just in case.

You’re tired all the time

The rising progesterone levels in your body are to blame for the sleepiness. Get lots of rest, daily exercise and be sure to include enough protein and iron in your diet.

You feel lightheaded

Mild dizziness can happen. You can prevent it by not standing for long periods of time and getting up slowly after lying down or being seated. If the dizziness is severe, and you have abdominal pain or bleeding, get immediate medical care.

SECOND TRIMESTER

During weeks 13 -28 of your pregnancy, your morning sickness symptoms will probably go away (hurray!) and you should feel more energetic.

How to deal with:

The changes in your breasts

Your breasts are going to get larger as they prep for milk production and you could have some discharge from your nipples (it’s totally normal). Get through the discomfort with a support bra that has wide shoulder straps and an adjustable closure that fastens in the back.

Those dark patches on your skin

They could show up on your face or down the middle of your belly, either way it’s the hormones that increase skin pigmentation that are to blame. These patches usually fade, but sun exposure makes them worse—pack your hat and sunscreen!

That pain in your legs

Prevent leg cramps by staying hydrated and getting regular exercise. Since they often strike at night, doing calf stretches before bed can help. Got a cramp? Massage your leg and apply a warm towel or hot water bottle to relax that achy muscle.

A burning feeling when you pee

You’re at increased risk of getting a bladder infection now. This infection could cause pregnancy complications if it’s left untreated, so call the doc if you have symptoms.

THIRD TRIMESTER

You’re so close! Things may be getting a bit uncomfortable during weeks 27-40, but that beautiful baby of yours will be arriving soon.

Getting through:

Those annoying back pains

Since baby is growing heavier every day, your back is going to need some love. Make time for a massage from your partner or a pro and use heating pads or ice packs to soothe pain. Ditch the platforms and wear low-heeled shoes for now.

That breathless feeling

Your lungs are pretty much getting squashed by your growing uterus, which means you may have difficulty breathing. Try sleeping with your head and shoulders propped up on pillows. Lifting your arms over your head can also help you breathe easier.

The heartburn

>Because of your expanding uterus, your stomach is under pressure too. That can cause stomach acids to seep up into places they shouldn’t. Drink liquids in between meals instead of with them and try to avoid lying down (or even bending) after you eat.

All that puffiness

There is now so much extra fluid in your body that your legs, ankles and feet are likely to swell up. Even your hands and face could be affected. Prop up your legs and sit without crossing them to help reduce swelling. You can also bring swelling down and improve circulation by lying down on your left side.

Image: Getty

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