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Once you get over the thrill of discovering you’re expecting, the first few weeks of pregnancy can be quite a challenge. As well as dealing with annoying symptoms like morning sickness and fatigue, there’s the added stress of having to conceal those telltale signs – something many women do until their 12-week scan confirms a health pregnancy. Here are just a few helpful ways to deal with the most obvious symptoms discretely…
Most of us feel tired from time to time, but when you’re pregnant it’s more of a profound physical exhaustion. While this is understandable considering the extra demands a baby places on your body, it can be especially tricky if you work. Boost your energy levels where possible by banking as much sleep as you can outside of your job; take a nap as soon as you get in, for example, and have an early night straight after dinner. At weekends, treat yourself to breakfast in bed, and put your feet up whenever you can. Yes, life will be a little dull for the next 12 weeks, but your energy levels should return to normal by the second trimester.
Though your baby is only the size of a bean in the first few weeks, you may still find your jeans feel a little tight. This is largely down to the effects of the pregnancy hormone progesterone, which as well as helping to maintain the lining of the womb, causes the smooth muscle throughout the body to relax. One of the effects of this is that your digestive system slows down and you produce more gas. Drinking plenty of still water and eating more fiber (such as wheat bran fiber) might be a good idea. You could also treat yourself to a zip extender to give you more room until you feel ready to invest in some maternity jeans.
Peeing more frequently is usually one of the first signs of pregnancy and can begin as early as six weeks. This is down to the effect of pregnancy hormones on the kidneys causing your bladder to fill more frequently. You may find you need to go to the toilet in the night, but it’s the regular trips to the bathroom at work that will be the real giveaway. Lessen the need by avoiding drinks that have a diuretic effect, such as coffee, tea, and alcohol (which you should be avoiding now anyway), and when you do pee, lean forward to make sure you completely empty your bladder.
Bouts of nausea usually strike around week seven. While this is a good sign that your body is producing healthy pregnancy hormones, it can make life pretty miserable. Especially when you can’t even show your suffering. Queasiness is usually triggered by low blood sugar, so eating little and often can help keep it at bay. Eat breakfast as soon as you wake up and keep crackers and nuts (or whatever you can stomach) to hand to nibble throughout the day. Above all, remind yourself that the sickness will pass. Many women find they feel fine again by the second trimester – by which stage everyone will know you’re pregnant so you’ll get plenty of sympathy anyway!