Getting pregnant is an exciting time, and often something women have been trying and wishing for fervently for many months or even years.
However, once you spot those lines on the pregnancy test that make you light up with joy, you move into dealing with the first trimester of pregnancy, which isn’t all rainbows and sparkles. Here are some dos and don’ts to consider during the first few months that you grow a baby.
Do Get Enough Sleep and Rest
You might not have been expecting to feel really tired until you were heavily pregnant, but the likelihood is that you’re exhausted already. Your body is going through tremendous changes right now as it develops a baby, and your hormones are all over the shop. As such, it’s completely normal to find yourself bone-tired right now.
It’s vital, then, to rest up. Take naps wherever you can and go to bed earlier so you can get in as much sleep as possible. When not sleeping, take restful breaks where you sit and do nothing. Pay attention to the signs your body is giving you, and don’t try to force it to do more than it can.
Don’t Miss Medical Appointments
You must also be vigilant about seeing medical practitioners. If you haven’t already, now is the time to set up your first prenatal appointment with a doctor so they can check you out and talk to you about any medications you may already take and if they’re safe for pregnant women or not. This includes multivitamins and the like, not just prescription items.
Chat with your physician about any diseases or disorders you know of on your side of the family or the father’s side. Make a list of questions you want answered about the baby’s development, your bodily and emotional changes, etc. Plus, you may want to ask your medical practitioner for a doctor’s note if you’ve been feeling unwell with lethargy and morning sickness or other pregnancy symptoms and need some time off work.
It’s also worth getting a flu shot now since this illness can be more severe in pregnant women. Get other vaccinations as needed, too. Furthermore, now is the time to schedule dental checkups and dental work so you don’t have pain issues during pregnancy or after you give birth and have a newborn to care for. Some pregnant women get periodontal disease and other dental problems, too, so taking the time now to ward off issues will help.
Don’t Drink Too Much Caffeine or Take Other Substances That Aren’t Good for the Baby
Another “don’t” to keep in mind is don’t drink too much caffeine. This stimulant can stop you from getting the rest you need, plus it’s believed it may increase the risk of low birth weight or miscarriage. It can also cause nervousness and irritability, which is not something you want when dealing with all the changes that come with being pregnant.
As you’d imagine, it’s essential for your health and the health of your baby that you don’t smoke or inhale secondhand smoke, take illicit substances, or consume too much alcohol. Instead, focus on staying hydrated with plenty of water throughout the day.
Do Take Helpful Vitamins
You may want to start or continue taking helpful vitamins while pregnant to help your health and your baby’s. In particular, focus on your folate consumption. Folic acid supplements can help prevent some congenital disabilities. Your doctor may recommend you take a quality prenatal vitamin, too, especially one with plenty of iron, calcium, zinc, and omega-3s.
Don’t Use Saunas and Hot Tubs
Don’t spend much time in saunas or hot tubs while you’re pregnant. As much as you might love these facilities, they can cause you to overheat and dehydrate. In turn, you might faint, get blood pressure that’s too low, or have your core body temperature soar, which could potentially negatively affect your unborn child.
Do Eat Well
Of course, a big must while pregnant is eating well. Think of food as fuel to help your body grow the precious one inside you. The better the energy you give it, the better everything can run. Choose healthy, quality ingredients and organic foods where possible to limit your exposure to pesticides. Get enough fresh fruits and vegetables plus good fats and lean proteins throughout the day. Also, steer clear of raw or undercooked meat and eggs, plus some soft cheeses.
Some other dos in your first trimester include continuing to do some exercise, obtaining health insurance, and having serious discussions with your partner about finances, how you’ll raise your baby, and the like. Take the time now to do plenty of planning and organizing.
The more informed you are about what’s helpful and harmful to you and your child in the first trimester, the more likely it is that both of you will be doing just fine by the time the little one is born.
Read more on our Pregnancy Blog!