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Pregnancy / Smartmum / Trimester 1

Common First Trimester Problems (and How to Solve Them)

Common First Trimester Problems (and How to Solve Them)

Common First Trimester Problems (and How to Solve Them)

Your first trimester of pregnancy is an incredibly exciting time, whether it is your first baby or not. But apart from your growing belly, it’s also when you can experience a wide range of symptoms, from the minor to the mysterious. Even women undergoing their second or third pregnancy can experience unexpected complications. What problems can arise in your first trimester, and how can you minimise or prevent them?

Feeling Sweaty

Hormonal changes can mean that you feel hot and bothered — particularly in tropical Singapore. This is quite common, but you can cool down by wearing loose, cotton clothing and avoiding warm, crowded environments. For example, you might try swapping the rush hour MRT for a cab, at least for a while!

To ensure that mild perspiration does not turn into a more serious issue, make sure you stay hydrated to replace what you’re sweating out. The last thing you want is to faint from dehydration — a warning sign that you may be about to faint is a ringing in your ears.

A Rollercoaster of Emotions

Some first-time mums-to-be may be surprised by how powerful the emotional changes are, not just the physical ones. A mix of hormonal changes — and the huge life event that is having a baby — can mean you feel anxious one second, then exhausted but delighted the next. This is quite normal, but if you feel that anxiety and fear are taking over, share your feelings with your doctor and loved ones.


Morning sickness is a common symptom, says Dr Tan Thiam Chye, an obstetrician and gynaecologist. “Most women will lose weight because of the nausea and vomiting. You may have a very poor appetite as well.”

Don’t worry too much though. “It doesn’t really matter because in the first trimester, the placenta is not formed yet so the baby is not taking in nutrients,” says Dr Tan. If you’re worried you are losing too much weight, speak to your doctor. For more information about optimum nutrition and what to eat when pregnant, you can read more here. To reduce nausea, try to eat small meals but regularly. You can also sip ginger tea, which may help soothe your stomach.

Vaginal Infections

There are two main types of common vaginal infections during the first trimester, says Dr Tan.

One is called candida infection, which is a yeast infection. “For yeast infections, we usually give mothers some wash, some probiotics and even an antifungal pessary [a medication inserted into the vagina] to treat it.”

A more serious infection is bacterial vaginosis, Dr Tan says. “It has been shown that if you don’t treat that, it can cause problems like miscarriage or even preterm labour.” Luckily, this can also be treated with an antibiotic pessary.

Other Issues

The above are just a few of the problems you may experience; you may want to take a look at this in-depth list of common pregnancy problems to learn about others.

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MBBS (S'pore), M.Med(O&G) (S'pore) Head & Senior Consultant Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology KK Women's and Children's Hospital Director (Clinical), Office of Patient Experience Deputy Director (Education), KKH Campus Associate Professor Duke - NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore

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