Most women would like to know about what to do in the first trimester of pregnancy, pregnancy precautions, and other things to keep in mind during this time. An expectant mother should know what happens in the first trimester of pregnancy to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Let us try to follow the guidelines to understand what to do in the First Trimester of pregnancy to make the experience more enjoyable and stress-free.
What Is the First Trimester?
An ordinary pregnancy consists of forty weeks which is divided into three trimesters. The first trimester spans between the time the egg gets fertilized by the sperms to the 12th week of pregnancy. The first trimester is very crucial.
What Happens to a Woman’s Body During the First Trimester?
Women are found to be worried about what food to eat, how much weight they should gain and what should they do to ensure the baby’s adequate growth.
During these 12 weeks, a woman’s body undergoes several changes. Missing a period might be an indication of becoming pregnant.
Some other noteworthy changes that are experienced by a woman during this period are mood swings, vomiting, stomach upset, increase in weight, swollen and tender breast, and headaches. Although most women complain about these symptoms, some may experience none of these.
10 Things to Do in the First Trimester of Pregnancy:
Let’s now find out about the things you should do in the first trimester of pregnancy.
1. Choosing a Healthcare Provider:
If you already know a midwife or a doctor, there’s nothing like it. In case if you don’t, you should talk to your relatives and friends and ask for a recommendation. You may search online for obstetricians and check if they fall under your health insurance plan.
When you are all set, it is time to seek an appointment with the doctor. You should inform the provider about the last period so that the provider can ascertain your due date. The doctor will ask you questions regarding your medical history, lifestyle and previous pregnancy if any. He will also instruct you on some essential things like healthy foods to eat and exercises to practice.
2. Consuming Folic Acid Supplements:
A daily dose of 400 mcg folic acid supplement is essential for your baby. It fights against spinal cord ailment as well as different other critical brain ailments. You can avail folic acid supplement, which is also known as Vitamin B9, over-the-counter from any pharmacist. Besides taking folic acid, it is strongly recommended to have 10 mcg of vitamin D regularly. It is vital for you to eat a balanced diet which would help you get all the minerals and vitamins the body requires. Alternatively, you may also have pregnancy multivitamin tablets. Do not forget to discuss with your midwife and inform about any medicine you are taking.
3. Time to Get Rid of Bad Habits:
As a part of the 1st trimester pregnancy precautions, you should avoid some habits like smoking and drinking. If you are a smoker, you should immediately quit it. Smoking during pregnancy can increase the chances of miscarriage, premature labor, and ectopic pregnancy. If you find it difficult to quit, do not hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will connect you with the smoking support schemes that would provide support and help.
Apart from smoking, you should also cut down on your alcohol and caffeine consumption. In case, if you are still not able to quit drinking, you should stop consuming it for the first 12 weeks as drinking during the first trimester months can put you on higher risks of miscarriage. Also, limit your caffeine consumption and keep it to 200 mg of caffeine per day.
4. Becoming Knowledgeable:
Both of your baby and you would need adequate quantities of vitamins, nutrients and minerals. So, it is crucial for you to know what to eat and what not to eat. A balanced diet is all you need for the development of your baby. Inculcate a good eating habit and get rid of items like dairy products, undercooked meat, raw fish, raw sprouts and liver.
5. Learning to Deal Pregnancy Sickness:
It is common to feel sick during the first 12 weeks. One of the easiest ways to stop feeling sick and nauseating is by eating too little food at frequent intervals. Also, you should find out the foods that make you feel good and the ones that give you an uneasy feeling. Snacking is the best thing to do around this time. In fact, some plain biscuits or breadsticks can get rid of nausea and morning sickness.
6. Knowing the Danger Signs:
You should contact the doctor immediately if you face any cramp or twinge in your womb. Cramps accompanied with bleeding requires immediate intervention of your healthcare provider.
The first trimester can make you feel exhausted or tired very easily. As the body gets used to the fluctuating hormone levels, you might experience exhaustion and tiredness very easily. It is recommended to take rest as much as you can. It is a good idea to practice sleeping on one side as you might find it uncomfortable to lie on your back or stomach in the coming days.
8. Shopping for Yourself:
As stated earlier, your breasts will become tender during the first trimester. Your older bras might not be a good fit now. So, you might consider the idea of shopping for some supportive and fitting maternity bras.
9. Running House Errands:
Be careful while running the errands at home, particularly at the time of using chemicals or cleaning products. As a precaution, wear gloves and do not come in close contact with products that have strong fumes.
10. Getting a Good Massage:
If you have pregnancy backaches and headaches, it is a good idea to go for a good pregnancy massage. You may ask your partner to rub your back, head and shoulder to ease out stress and make you feel relaxed.
What should I avoid during the first trimester? The guidelines above should help you understand the things you should do during the first 12 weeks to ensure the development of the fetus. You may also try to explore more about it by going through books and journals about pregnancy.