During the first trimester, the pregnant woman will experience breast tenderness. This occurs because tissue develops increased vasculature, and hypertrophies which increases the size and sensitivity of the breast.
To help decrease breast discomfort, the pregnant woman should wear a more supportive bra.
Nausea and vomiting occurs in 50-75% of pregnant woman. 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 woman should eat dry carbs, such as crackers and should practice eating small carbs upon awakening in the morning.
The pregnant woman may experience increased urgency and frequency in urination as the bladder function becomes altered by the release of hormones and growth of the uterus.
To aid with the increased urinary urgency and frequency, the pregnant woman should practice emptying the bladder frequently, perform Kegel exercises, decrease fluid intake before bed, and notify the health care provider if she experiences pain or burning upon urination.
During the first trimester, the pregnant woman may also experience leukorrhea, which is defined as increased vaginal mucus discharge. This is due to the cervix becoming more hyperactive and hypertrophying; thereby producing increased amounts of mucus.
To manage the increased vaginal discharge, the pregnant woman should wear a perineal pad and practice good perineal hygiene. Douching is not recommended for the pregnant woman.
The pregnant woman 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 woman use mouthwash, chew gum or eat hard candy to decrease salivation.
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