During the first trimester, the pregnant individual will experience breast tenderness; this occurs because the tissue develops increased vasculature and hypertrophies, which increase the size and sensitivity of the breast.
To help decrease breast discomfort, the pregnant patient should wear a more supportive bra.
Nausea and vomiting occur in 50-75% of pregnant individuals. Although the exact cause is unknown, theories suggest that morning sickness may be caused by hormonal changes, increased hCG levels, or may be linked to emotional changes.
To prevent the occurrence of nausea and vomiting, the pregnant individual should eat dry carbs, such as crackers, and should practice eating small carbs upon awakening in the morning.
The pregnant individual may experience increased urgency and frequency in urination as the bladder function becomes altered by the release of hormones and the growth of the uterus.
To aid with the increased urinary urgency and frequency, the pregnant individual should practice emptying the bladder frequently, perform Kegel exercises, decrease fluid intake before bed, and notify the health care provider if they experience pain or burning upon urination.
During the first trimester, the pregnant individual may also experience leukorrhea, which is an increase in the discharge of vaginal mucus. This increase is due to the cervix becoming more hyperactive and hypertrophying, thereby producing increased amounts of mucus.
To manage the increased vaginal discharge, the pregnant individual should wear a perineal pad and practice good perineal hygiene. Douching is not recommended for pregnant individuals.
The pregnant individual may experience increased salivation, termed ptyalism, which is due to increased estrogen levels or avoidance of swallowing due to nausea. It is recommended that the pregnant individual use mouthwash, chew gum, or eat hard candy to decrease salivation.
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