The Mother

Whether it is planned or a surprise, pregnancy is the beginning of an emotional roller coaster ride.

Many things happen simultaneously in your body, which is thankfully incredibly smart and knows exactly what to do.

Our bodies are our homes, and we live in them. Through our bodies, we experi-ence life, the world, and being human. And now your body is getting ready to present you with your most valuable gift; it’s going to become a home to that gift and use all its strength to create the gift from itself. Your body is going to have to work so hard to pro-duce and grow the little human being that’s being formed inside of you.

The lifestyle of the modern woman is not what it used to be. Especially in big cit-ies, while trying to exist within the rules of the system and the consumer society, wom-en have to work longer hours to prove themselves. Almost every single moment of their lives is taken up by a different commitment or responsibility. But pregnancy can disrupt the rules of the game, and the daily routines may need to slow down a little. The body can take over and request a calmer and more relaxed pace. Unless you slow down and take your time, you might find yourself exhausted and out of breath, especially during the first few weeks of pregnancy.

Mother Nature knows best and wants to help us out. She is telling mothers, in the process of creating new life, to let things take their natural course and get some rest. Heeding this advice and taking things easy will help you get through these weeks more comfortably.

Like I wrote earlier, you are technically not pregnant for the first two weeks of pregnancy. The egg awaits fertilization and the lining of the uterus thickens for a pro-spective pregnancy.

Week 3

You are now officially pregnant. The pregnancy hormones (hCG, estrogen, progesterone, relaxin) are being produced and your body is beginning to feel tired. Even though every pregnancy is unique and every body responds differently while on this journey, one thing that’s always true is that nutrition is the most important thing. Each item of food you consume is so valuable for the baby growing inside of you. Alt-hough it might be a bit difficult during the first few weeks, or even the first trimester, you should focus on a healthy and balanced diet in the following weeks.

We’ll talk about this in more detail in the nutrition chapter. For me, personally, the most important dietary decision I made was not eating any packaged food items. However, during those weeks when I was extremely nauseous and the only things my stomach accepted were grilled cheese and ayran, I just let myself relax and ate what-ever I could keep down.

Week 4

Even though you might not look like it on the outside, there could be a storm blowing up inside of your world, physically. Your baby is still incredibly tiny, but you probably feel tired all the time as well as sickness in your stomach and tautness on your breasts. Some women feel good in the morning and feel these symptoms in the afternoon, while for others it is the exact opposite. The best cure for all of it is rest! If you are able to meditate, soothing your mind is the greatest gift you can give both your-self and your baby. You’ll find a few simple meditation techniques on the following pages.


Week 5

Increasing fatigue and nausea can be accompanied by the constant need to urinate and bloating in your belly. Sudden cravings might also make an appearance during this period. I hope you crave salads and fruit, but most women just go for junk food. I think that especially during these weeks, you should eat whatever you want. I’ll talk more about the essentials of eating healthy in the next few chapters, but this early on in the journey, it might be a little challenging to keep an eye on what you eat. Since your hormone levels begin to change rapidly, you might have unusual cravings and be disgusted by what you used to love as your body tries to keep up with all the changes. The point is to eat as healthy as you can and let yourself enjoy the occasional junk food.

On the other hand, there are also a few principles you should adhere to regard-ing what you eat, e.g. no raw meat or raw eggs. These are pretty non-negotiable. More on that in the nutrition chapter…

Week 6

Your breasts begin to feel tender and swell a little bit in preparation for nurs-ing. If you opt for lotions that consist of completely natural ingredients, you can keep using them while you breastfeed as well. You might have put on a little weight, or if you’re always nauseous and not eating very well, you also might have lost a little weight.

If you keep feeling sick, you might want to try eating in small amounts without waiting to get hungry. In any case, small portions will help with digestion as well.

Week 7

By this week you might be exhausted from feeling sickly and uncomfortable all the time. Just hang in there, because you’re almost through! The first three months are usually the only ones filled with so many ups and downs. By the way, some wom-en reportedly feel just fine during this time and others feel just incredibly happy. I say “reportedly” because I’ve had a completely different experience.

This week your uterus will double in size compared to the first week. Depending on the size of the abdomen some women may not show at all, while a small belly makes an appearance in others. In any case, you will get that belly soon! If you are still not used to the idea of having a big belly, please let yourself do so. I bet you’ll even slowly begin to like it.

Week 8

Have you heard about those folic acid kids? There is a lot of talk about the children of this era, who evidently have quick adaptability skills, developed conscious-ness, and awareness. This is generally associated with prenatal vitamins and extra fo-lic acid in particular. I also used supplements both during pregnancy and for as long as I breastfed and I believe they were really beneficial. Even though some people say that they haven’t seen any improvements and my mother said she experienced some den-tal problems after her pregnancy, I’ve never had any issues in this regard. My daughter loved being breastfed and did so for 28 months, but I never lost my strength. I believe that was thanks to the supplements I took and eating right. I took vegetarian tablets as well as calcium and vitamin D supplements for bone health. You can talk to your doctor and see which supplements might be right for you. And don’t think that the pills you take won’t have any effect on you if you’re throwing up frequently. Be sure to take your prenatal vitamins regularly and as prescribed by your doctor.

Some light contractions in the uterus this week are completely normal because it’s expanding. However, you must inform your doctor or midwife if you experience any bleeding. The feeling of fatigue will slowly begin to fade away, too, because the first trimester is almost over.

Week 9

You might be a little bit frustrated with the fact that you are dealing with a host of physical problems even though you can’t exactly feel your baby yet. Keep in mind that you are still getting used to being pregnant. Try to keep your stress levels as low as possible. The best way to relax is by touch. Being touched by your partner will usually be quite helpful and might even alleviate some of your symptoms.

If you are urinating frequently, that’s because your uterus is rapidly expanding. As the uterus gets bigger, it puts more pressure on the bladder and you feel the need to pee more often even though only a little bit of urine comes out. You also have 50% more blood than usual in your system now that you’re pregnant. This additional volume of blood is keeping you and your baby safe. At this point, your belly is either not show-ing at all or only showing a little.

Week 10

If you are experiencing any one of these with your body at the moment, you are not alone, and every single woman who has ever given birth has also felt them: Fa-tigue, lethargy, sleepiness, frequent urination, nausea, heartburn, gas, and bloating, constipation, changes in breasts such as fullness, heaviness, tenderness, darkening around the nipples and swelling in oil glands, a slight increase in vaginal discharge, mild headache, and increased appetite if the stomach is better.

If those of you who feel more at ease about eating consume lots of fiber and whole grains, you’ll already be resolving possible constipation issues. However, if you can’t eat comfortably due to nausea, just try not to keep your stomach too empty and eat frequently in smaller portions. Make sure to eat breakfast in the morning and that should help relieve your stomach a little.

You might want to start picking out clothes that are not too tight around the waist and that don’t cling to you too much. Your belly will be getting bigger.

Week 11

Growing a baby inside of you means that your body has to be working at all times. You can do light stretches and take short walks to help your body relax and sup-port it. Very soon you’ll be able to consult with your doctor about doing your preferred exercise or starting yoga, or at least that’s what I did. I waited for the first trimester to be over so that I would feel more stable and be done with the period that’s considered “risky.” 

Taking risks is part of my character as a person, but when it came to being preg-nant and accommodating another life, I put my adventurous nature aside. I made sure to take steady steps, did my own research at every stage, and moved forward in an in-formed fashion. Even though I had been doing yoga somewhat regularly for 14 years, I did not try to do any poses that I wasn’t sure about. Because pregnancy is the time when you act not just for one person, but two people. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything. I strongly recommend taking lots of walks, dancing, and preg-nancy yoga in the upcoming days.

Light and regular walks help you sleep better, relieve you of any headache you might experience, and regulate your digestion.

Week 12

Your belly is starting to show! Your body is changing and it will continue to do so. Your stomach will get bigger as your baby grows.

You might be feeling hungry all the time. Your hormones have not yet settled into a routine. On the other hand, the good news is that you are in the final week of the most critical trimester.


Burcu Kutluk


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