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Psychological Changes in the First Trimester

Published September 25, 2007        by Kim

Numerous psychological changes occur once you are aware that you are pregnant. Although you may not look any different to other people for weeks to come, you start to feel a number of changes beginning. A rapidly changing emotional state is one of them. Your usual emotional highs and lows will be magnified at this time and if this is your first pregnancy, these feelings may confuse you. Things that normally would not bother you provoke you to tears or cause you to become depressed or angry even at those you care about.

These sudden emotional swings are more pronounced in some women than in others. This depends on your personality structure, the kind of stress you are experiencing, and emotional support that you are receiving, as well as hormonal changes in your body.

Since the risk of miscarriage approaches twenty percent in the first trimester, you may worry about whether the pregnancy will continue. If you have had a previous miscarriage, this will be a time of heightened stress and anxiety.

Talking to a friend or a counselor might be very helpful at this time, especially if the feeling of anxiety and tension appear to be significantly interfering with your day to day activities. Also, it is important to try to get as much rest as you can during the first trimester because rest will help you feel better if there is a lot of stress in your life, you may want to modify it, if possible or attempt to learn some relaxation techniques to help you cope with it. Meditation, yoga, and relaxing fantasies can help.

Try not to take birthday gifts such as slippers or baggy clothes the wrong way, as your husband or family members are likely trying to help you along and provide you comfort.

Your feelings about your own sexuality and your desire for sexual activity may change during this time. Many women report a diminished desire for sex in the first trimester because of fatigue, nausea, and sore breasts. Sexual desire usually returns to pre-existing levels or even increase in the second trimester, only to diminish again in the third trimester as one's size increases.

There is a universal fear about injuring the fetus during intercourse. In most instances, intercourse is safe throughout the pregnancy, but make sure you discuss it with your doctor.

During the second trimester [month four through six] a sense of general well-being develops. The fear of miscarriage has usually disappeared, and the physical discomforts of the first trimester have diminished.

The most overwhelming event during the second trimester occurs at the time of fetal movement. In first time mothers this usually occurs at about twenty weeks. It can occur a little bit earlier if this is the second or subsequent child. Psychologically you may feel an increased dependency towards your partner. You have more needs than usual and you may worry about whether your partner will be available, interested, and able to support you during this time of change.

During the second trimester both vaginal lubrication and blood flow to the pelvic are increased. These changes plus the diminishing of the nausea and breast sensitivity of the first trimester, may increase your desire to have sex with your partner. You may wonder if he still considers you still attractive. Some women and men, particularly in a weight-conscious society associate weight gain with unattractiveness. Talking to each about this should alleviate many of your fears and misconceptions, so that you and your partner can enjoy a healthy sex life during your second trimester.