"The first trimester of pregnancy can be a very stressful time. It's also a really exciting time. So if you've just found out you're pregnant and you're just getting started, congratulations. The first trimester is that beginning part of your pregnancy up to 14 weeks and the cell, the sperm and the egg coming together and multiplying into multiple cells, and then ultimately becoming an embryo, is what's happening now. And you can imagine all the work that that is taking and why you are so tired. So what are some of the other things that are happening that may be contributing to your fatigue? It's very common to be tired in this part of your pregnancy and sometimes overwhelmingly so. And in fact, some women can be tired even before they know they're pregnant. And they're not really sure what this overwhelming fatigue is from. Well, there's a lot going on in there. So as the baby is forming and developing, it's implanting against the side of the uterus and it's growing a placenta, which is ultimately going to feed it after the first little while. And then your blood volume is increasing and you can actually double your blood volume over the pregnancy, so that you have extra nutrients going to the baby and to your uterus that is housing and growing this new being. Some of the other things that can happen, of course, you're going to start gaining some weight, not very much in the first trimester, but you might start noticing that you're a bit more bloated. Some of the hormonal changes are contributing to your bowel, being bloated or retaining extra fluid, all that's normal. And all of those things happening to your body are actually to be celebrated. And it's very common in this day and age that we don't celebrate those things, but you're pregnant. You're becoming a mom and it's so valuable for you to realize that these changes in your body are normal and important for you to be able to grow that healthy baby. Some of the other things happening are your breasts may be increasing in size or tender because they're responding to the extra hormone and they're getting ready to ultimately be able to feed and keep that baby alive. Your belly, like I said, may feel a bit bloated. Of course, the uterus is still really, really little, but the bowel starts to push out a little bit. You may notice an increase in some veins around your body. So some varicoceles or varicose veins or some dilated veins in your legs, or even in your vulvar vaginal area. And that's because of that extra blood volume that's contributing to those changes. And you can start to notice some vaginal discharge, some white discharge. Again, it's hormonal and very, very normal. Some people notice that they have to go to the bathroom a bit more, again, that blood volume is contributing, and maybe a little bit of pressure on your bladder. Although at this early stage, things are still very small. So my message to you during your first trimester is congratulations, and start celebrating and noticing some of the beautiful things that are happening as you grow that human being inside of you."
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