A pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks, which are divided into three trimesters. The first trimester of pregnancy lasts from the day of conception until 12 weeks gestation. These initial months of pregnancy are critical as many physical changes occur in your body to ensure you enjoy a healthy pregnancy and get prepared for smooth childbirth and labor. Apart from the missed period, pregnant women might experience these symptoms during the first trimester:
- Tender, swollen breasts
- Increased urination
- Food cravings and aversions
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Constipation or upset stomach
- Mood swings
Like every trimester of pregnancy, this phase also brings many questions about what a mom-to-be should do and what she needs to avoid. Let’s take a look at these essential dos and don’ts during the first trimester.
Do’s for the First Trimester
Here are some of the “Dos” of the first trimester:
#Take your prenatal vitamins:
If you have not already started taking your prenatal vitamins, do so immediately as they diagnose folate, iron, zinc, and calcium deficiency in your pregnant body.
#Eat a healthy and balanced diet:
The first trimester is when you should consume a good mix of fiber, dairy, fats, grains, proteins, fruits, and vegetables to ensure you and your baby get all the essential nutrients. A well-balanced diet is also vital to ensure a healthy weight gain.
#Drink plenty of fluids:
Staying hydrated all the time is essential during pregnancy. Try to drink at least 2.5 liters of fluids every day in the form of water, juices, and soups.
#Limit caffeine intake:
You can still enjoy coffee during pregnancy, but as long as the quantity is limited to 200mg/day from all sources. If you consume too much caffeine while pregnant, you are likely to have a higher risk of stillbirth, low birth weight, and even miscarriage.
#Get rid of morning sickness:
Despite its name, morning sickness often lasts from morning to evening. You can try consuming vitamin B6 and Ginger to get relief from nausea or vomiting. Consult your healthcare provider if the morning sickness is severe.
#Sleep as much as you can:
Do you often find yourself exhausted? This is quite a normal thing during pregnancy. Don’t miss the opportunity to sleep whenever you can. Take naps after regular intervals, whenever possible.
#Prevent and relieve stress effectively:
Avoid indulging in things that cause you stress. Stay away from negative people, have a positive attitude, and pamper yourself like a queen.
#Be regular with prenatal appointments:
Your Prenatal care checkups play a vital role in identifying any complications early, which is why doctors can resolve them in most cases. So even if you’re feeling well, be sure to keep all your prenatal appointments.
#Buy a couple of maternity bras:
Are your pre-pregnancy bras getting tight and comfortable? This is happening because of your full, tender breasts. As you progress towards the end of the first trimester, consider investing in a couple of nursing-friendly maternity bras to deal with the fluctuating size of your breasts.
Don’ts for the First Trimester
Here are some of the “Don’ts” of the first trimester of the pregnancy:
Although travel is not prohibited for an uncomplicated pregnancy, it’s highly recommended you avoid exhaustive traveling. Always consult your gynecologist before you plan to go somewhere.
#Don’t get in the hot tub or sauna:
Whether it’s the first trimester or any other, steer clear of hot tubs and saunas. They can cause overheating and lead to dehydration or, eventually, miscarriage.
#Don’t carry heavy items:
A shift in the center of gravity can make you fall. So avoid carrying heavy items from one place to another and lifting weights. Instead, take help if needed.
#Don’t eat for two:
Pregnancy doesn’t mean you have to eat for yourself and your baby. This is crucial to maintain a healthy weight gain. Remember, you just require 300 extra calories every day to fulfill the nutritional needs of your baby, which you can easily get from nutrient-rich foods.
No amount of alcohol or smoking is safe for your unborn baby. This is the reason why most experts suggest avoiding smoking and alcohol throughout the pregnancy. Smoking and alcohol can cause various pregnancy complications, such as miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature delivery, so better to avoid it.
Tips for Surviving the First Trimester of Pregnancy
Tender breasts, fatigue, morning sickness, and frequent trips to the bathroom – all these symptoms make the first trimester of pregnancy a challenging phase to navigate. Here are some tips to make your first-trimester journey easier:
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Wear stretchable maternity clothes to stay comfortable
- Take at least two pregnancy tests to confirm
- Keep up your exercise routine
- Get adequate sleep
- Keep that baby fed all the time
- Don’t worry about losing or gaining weight
- Find a midwife or OBGYN
Is It Safe to Travel During the First Trimester?
Traveling by car, plane, or cruise during the first three months of pregnancy is safe as long as you take the measures given below:
- Consult your doctor before you travel
- Book an aisle or window seat
- Always wear a seat belt while traveling
- Take a safe anti-nausea medication
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Wear lightweight and breathable maternity dresses
- Don’t consume gas-producing items
- Check the airline’s policy
- Consider buying travel insurance
When to Call Your Doctor During the First Trimester?
Call your doctor or healthcare provider immediately if you experience:
- Severe headaches
- Swelling in your fingers, hands, or face
- Pain, burning, or trouble urinating
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Fainting spells or dizziness
- A fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- Blurred vision or spots before your eyes
- Heavy bleeding, soaking more than one pad every 1-3 hours
- Pain or cramping in your arms, legs, or chest
- Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
- One extremity swollen more than the other
- Unusual or severe cramping or abdominal pain
If you follow these tips, you’re sure to make the first three months of your pregnancy healthy, happy, and more comfortable.