The first trimester of pregnancy can be somewhat of a whirlwind. You're not just dealing with the reality of being pregnant, but you're also dealing with all the other things that come along with it.
You might be wondering what to do in the first trimester of pregnancy and whether it's safe to do certain things during this time. Don't worry, we've got you covered with our best first trimester pregnancy tips to help make your life easier!
What to Do in the First Trimester
The first trimester is a period of excitement, anticipation, and uncertainty. It's a time that can be filled with many different emotions. Here's some advice on what to do in the first trimester:
Make an Appointment With a Midwife or Doctor
First things first, find an OB/GYN or other prenatal care provider. The best way to do this is by asking friends, family members, and coworkers who they trust with their health during pregnancy.
Start Prenatal Vitamins
Begin taking prenatal vitamins and supplements, especially folic acid. It helps prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) and other problems in your baby’s development.NTDs are a group of birth defects that affect the brain and spinal cord. They occur when the neural tube fails to close properly during fetal development, resulting in incomplete brain and spine formation.
Study Your Health Insurance Plan
Find out how your health insurance covers prenatal care and delivery. Your insurance company should have information on its website about what’s covered by its plans; but you can also call them directly to ask questions about their services and policies.
Attend All Your Prenatal Appointments
Make sure you go to all your prenatal appointments so your healthcare provider can monitor your health and ensure the baby is growing properly each month!
Get Recommended Immunizations
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to get the recommended immunizations (e.g., COVID-19, chickenpox, German measles, tetanus, etc.).
Consider Starting a Savings Plan For Your Child
If you're not already saving for your child's future and education, we urge you to consider starting a savings plan. From diapers and formula to clothes and toys, babies are expensive.
Get Screened For Possible Abnormalities
Next, have your nuchal translucency screening done between weeks 10 and 12 of pregnancy.Nuchal translucency screening is a prenatal test that looks for indications of Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities. You can ask your doctor for any other screening as well.
Buy Maternity Clothes
Start buying things for yourself that will help you feel more comfortable during pregnancy and after the baby is born (e.g., maternity clothes, nursing bras, stretchy pants).
Study Different Diapering Options
Research different diapering options. How to choose betweencloth diapers vs. disposables?Cost of cloth diapers vs. disposable? Disposables are cheaper upfront; however,cloth diapers are more economical in the long run.
Furthermore, cloth diapers can last for more than one child when properly cared for. There are also manytypes of cloth diapers available for different budgets and lifestyles, such asdiaper covers,prefolds,flats,all-in-one cloth diapers, and more.
Related Source: Cloth Diapering For Beginners
Schedule a Dentist Appointment
During pregnancy, women are more likely to develop gum problems, so make an appointment with your dentist.
How to Care for Yourself in Early Pregnancy
When you're pregnant, it's easy to feel like the baby is the only thing that matters and taking care of yourself is an afterthought; but the best way to take excellent care of your child is to take excellent care of yourself, too.
For many women, the first trimester is the hardest part of their pregnancy. It's when your body goes through some of the biggest changes as it begins to adapt to its new role as a host for a growing baby.
With these changes come some common symptoms like fatigue, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating, breast tenderness, frequent urination, constipation or diarrhea, headaches, and dizziness. Here are some first trimester pregnancy tips on how you can care for yourself in early pregnancy:
Get Plenty of Rest
The best way to deal with the above symptoms is to rest as much as possible. If you can take things easy at work or home, that's great! If not, try taking naps when possible and getting more sleep at night. Ensure you get enough rest in the first trimester—you'll need it.
Eat Healthy Food—and Lots of It!
Your body will need extra nutrients during pregnancy. So make sure your diet is full of fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins like chicken or fish, and low-fat dairy products like yogurt or cheese (if you're not allergic). Stay away from processed foods, sugar, and too much salt.
Drink Plenty of Water Every Day
About eight cups per day are recommended for most people. If you aren't drinking enough water, talk with your doctor about how much you should be drinking during pregnancy.
Be Physically Active
You don't have to work out like a professional athlete—just get moving whenever you can. Walk around the block or do some gentle stretches at home. You should also talk to your doctor about what exercises to do during early pregnancy.
Quit Drinking Alcohol and Caffeinated Beverages
These both have beenshown to increase the risk of miscarriage at this stage in pregnancy. If you're craving an adult beverage, trymocktails instead; and when you’re jonesing for a cup of joe, give herbal tea a go. It may not give you that buzz, but it sure tastes good.
Also, stop smoking cigarettes and taking any recreational drugs, as these are also bad for your baby's healthy development.
Manage Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is a normal part of being pregnant, and many people experience it to varying degrees. However, if you feel that morning sickness is interfering with your ability to function as usual, please let your doctor know.
There are medications available that can help ease the symptoms and make life a little easier for you. Try stocking up on saltines, ginger ale, and snacks—these can help a lot with morning sickness!
Seek Support From Loved Ones
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the changes happening in your body, talk to your partner or close friends about what's going on with you emotionally, and ask for their support. It's okay to say no when someone asks you to do something because it's too much for you right now.
Manage Stress and Anxiety
These feelings can range from mild to severe, depending on your situation. If they become overwhelming, speak with a healthcare provider about how best to manage them during this time in your life.
Avoid Certain Medications (Ask Your Doctor)
Make sure that any medications you’re taking are safe for pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about any prescription drugs you’re taking and discuss any over-the-counter remedies you might be interested in trying.
Take Prenatal Vitamins Regularly
Take prenatal vitamins regularly, as directed by your doctor. Taking prenatal vitamins can help ensure that you're getting all the nutrients your baby needs during pregnancy. Your doctor can recommend a specific type of vitamin that fits your needs and health history.
First Trimester Pregnancy Tips
As the pregnancy advances, there are many things you will have to take care of to ensure that you and your baby remain healthy. So we've gathered together some of the most important tips for early pregnancy to help you get through those early stages, such as…
Track Your Progress
Keep a journal or use an app to track your progress. This will help you keep track of all the changes your body goes through and also allows you to look back later on and see how far you've come.
Don’t forget the bump photos! For those of you not into taking pictures, that's also okay. If you want to document the pregnancy experience but aren’t a big selfie person, you could always journal or start a scrapbook—or simply enjoy the experience.
Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Don't usehot tubs or saunas during pregnancy, and limit exposure to extreme heat and chill. Your baby's temperature control system is still under development during early pregnancy (and beyond). That's why it's so important not to expose yourself to extreme temperatures during your baby's development.
Ask Your Health Provider Questions
Talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns or questions that may arise, whether it be about which foods are safe to eat, how often you should exercise, or when you should schedule routine doctor visits. Having a medical professional available to answer your questions can help alleviate any anxiety or uncertainty.
Avoid People with Contagious Illnesses
Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Avoiding these people will lower your risk of contracting a disease yourself, which will help keep both you and your baby healthy during this exciting time.
Connect with Other Mothers
Seek out resources and support from other expectant mothers or parenting groups. One great place to start is online. There are many online communities where you can connect with people who have been through what you're experiencing right now.
Eat Smaller Meals More Frequently
Eat small meals frequently throughout the day instead of three large meals.Eating smaller meals more frequently will help prevent nausea while keeping your energy levels up throughout the day so that you feel ready for whatever comes next!
Don't Eat Raw Eggs or Undercooked Meats
Avoid foods that contain raw eggs or undercooked meat, such as deli meats. These foods may be contaminated with bacteria that could cause food poisoning in both you and your baby.
Limit Your Intake of Fish With High Levels of Mercury
Avoid fish with high levels of mercury, such as white snapper fish, swordfish, mackerel, or shark. High levels of mercury can cause congenital disabilities in your baby's brain.
Find Reliable Sources
When it comes to pregnancy, there is a wealth of information out there, but it can be very difficult to find reliable sources. You might think that because you are pregnant, you should avoid all risks by doing everything by the book.
However, books have been known to have mistakes in them. It's better to look at reputable sources, such as your doctor or midwife, friends, and family who have undergone pregnancy, and online forums with other expectant mothers.
Everyone has different experiences, but each person will have at least one or two nuggets of wisdom to offer. If you’d also like to read up on pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting, look for books that have been published recently (i.e., in the last five to ten years), and written or compiled by a reputable source—not a random celebrity. You can also get book recommendations from people you know who have found them helpful.
Wrapping Up: What To Do in Early Pregnancy
Here’s a quick wrap-up of what to do in the first trimester, along with some tips for early pregnancy:
- Find and make an appointment with an OB/GYN or midwife
- Start taking a prenatal vitamin and folic acid supplement every day.
- Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water.
- Exercise, limit your caffeine intake, and avoid certain foods.
- Talk with your doctor and check that any medications you’re taking are safe for pregnancy.
- Quit smoking or drinking alcohol altogether. This includes secondhand smoke.
- Start looking into childcare and maternity leave options and health insurance coverage.
- Start buying maternity clothes and study different diapering options for your baby.
- Attend all your prenatal checkups and take any recommended first-trimester screening.
- Take it easy, and get some rest whenever and wherever possible. Good luck!