Health and Fitness

The First Trimester of Pregnancy – Do’s & Don’ts

The initial months of pregnancy are very critical. Many things happen during this time. With the development of your baby’s main organs, several physical changes occur in your body to ensure a healthful pregnancy and prepare for smooth delivery. Sadly, this beautiful stage is also accompanied by several questions about what to do and what not to do. Don’t worry! The following is a list of dos and don’ts for the first trimester.

What to Expect During the First Trimester of Pregnancy?

The first trimester of pregnancy proves overwhelming for most pregnant women. While the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period, you might experience several other physical changes in the coming weeks, like:

  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Tender, swollen breasts
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Increased urination
  • Constipation or upset stomach
  • Heartburn
  • Mood swings
  • Aversion to certain foods
  • Cravings for certain foods

While many pregnant women don’t experience these symptoms, knowing what to do and what not helps you face the months ahead with confidence.

Do’s for the First Trimester

Here are the things you should do during the first trimester:

#Check that you’re actually pregnant:

This is the obvious thing to do! Since home pregnancy tests can sometimes be unreliable, you should visit your GP to be sure.

#Start taking your prenatal vitamins:

If you are not already consuming prenatal vitamins, start taking them immediately. They supply the necessary folate and resolve calcium, iron, and zinc deficiency in your body.

#Start taking folic acid supplements:

As soon as you find out that you’re pregnant, you should increase the intake of folic acid supplements. It prevents neural defects in the developing fetus and plays a vital role in the baby’s brain development. The dosage will depend on the physician’s advice.

#Sort out your plans:

Who do you want to deliver your baby? What about maternity leaves if you’re a working woman? Where will you have the birth? The first trimester is the perfect time to decide on all these things.

#Manage stress effectively:

Make sure that you don’t indulge in things that make you worried and stressed. Have a positive outlook, stay away from negative people, and treat yourself like a princess.

#Decide when to announce your pregnancy:

Traditionally, the end of the first trimester is when most couples officially announce the news of their incoming baby. If you’re experiencing complications, consider revealing your pregnancy sooner.

#Learn about health insurance and pick a provider:

If you already have health insurance, look for prenatal care plans and delivery expenses. Choose an OBGYN or a midwife based on the list of participating providers. To find the best healthcare provider, ask your friends and family.

#Get a flu shot:

Pregnant women are highly encouraged to get a flu shot as they are at higher risk of severe flu complications. So protect yourself and your baby by getting a flu shot.

#Ensure a healthy weight gain:

How much weight you should gain depends on your pre-pregnancy BMI. However, you should gain around 0.5- 2 kg in the first three months of pregnancy to ensure the optimal growth of your baby.

#Be regular with prenatal appointments:

Your prenatal checkups help detect any pregnancy issues early, which can be resolved in most cases. So keep all your prenatal appointments, even if you’re feeling fine.

#Limit caffeine intake:

You can still enjoy a cup of coffee while pregnant, but the intake must be limited to 200mg/day. This 200mg limit includes all sources of caffeine. Drinking too much caffeine during pregnancy might be linked to a greater risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and even stillbirth.

#Eat frequent, small meals:

Try eating several small meals a day instead of a big one. A full stomach may cause heartburn and push more acids up the esophagus.

Don’ts for the First Trimester

Here are things you should avoid doing during the first trimester of pregnancy:

#Don’t Travel:

Travel is not restricted if you have a normal pregnancy. However, it is vital to keep away from exhaustive traveling. Always consult your doctor to know if it’s okay for you to travel.

#Don’t eat raw meat:

Pregnant women who eat undercooked or raw meat are at a higher risk of severe congenital disabilities and miscarriage. Cook your eggs and meat thoroughly before eating.

#Don’t expose yourself to pollutants:

Take every step to protect yourself and your baby from the smoke and pollution. Limit your exposure to toxic products like pesticides, repellants, and household cleaning products. Stay indoors, use a car to commute, and walk in the morning.

#Stay away from soft cheese:

During pregnancy, the intake of soft cheese, raw/undercooked meat, seafood, and raw eggs is a strict no-no.

Top Tips for Surviving the First Trimester of Pregnancy

Nausea, fatigue, tender breasts, the constant trips to the bathroom – all these weird pregnancy symptoms can make the first trimester overwhelming. Here are some tips to help get you through the first three months of pregnancy:

  • Take more than one pregnancy test to confirm
  • Wear comfortable maternity bras to support your changing breasts
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Keep up your exercise routine
  • Get some extra rest
  • Keep that baby fed
  • Find a midwife or OBGYN
  • Don’t worry about gaining or losing weight

Is It Safe to Fly During the First Trimester of Pregnancy?

Traveling by plane during the first trimester is safe as long as you take the following precautions:

  • Consult your healthcare provider before you go
  • Book an aisle or window seat
  • Wear lightweight and breathable expectant mom clothes during the travel
  • Prevent air sickness through a safe anti-nausea medication
  • Don’t drink or eat gas-producing items
  • Consider buying travel insurance
  • Check the airline’s policy
  • Drink plenty of fluids

When to Call Your Doctor During the First Trimester?

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have:

  • Fainting spells or dizziness
  • Severe headaches
  • Pain, burning, or trouble urinating
  • Pain or cramping in your arms, legs, or chest
  • One extremity swollen more than the other
  • A fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Swelling in your hands, fingers, or face
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Unusual or severe cramping or abdominal pain
  • Blurred vision or spots before your eyes
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Heavy bleeding, soaking more than one pad an hour for three hours

Following the tips mentioned above, you can make your first trimester healthy and happy.

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