Getting pregnant for the first time is as exciting as it is frightening. Most ladies are suddenly experiencing a plethora of new sensations. Thus, it may be a challenge to make sense of all the swirling emotions and responses that follow early pregnancy symptoms.
The first signs of pregnancy are a step toward becoming aware of your baby. Even before the fact that you are pregnant sinks in, you should carefully study the dos and don’ts in your first trimester. What better way to prepare for your baby’s arrival?
Nutrition Do’s and Don’ts in Early Pregnancy
Eating healthy food and drinking healthy beverages during the first trimester makes for a strong basis for safe pregnancy and the baby’s health in general. “What’s good for me is good for my baby” is not the adage you should follow. No matter how good you might feel, pregnancy is the most delicate period in a woman’s life and demands a very specific lifestyle.
- Consume locally grown, organic foods. Visit your local green market and buy organic produce when possible. Otherwise, make sure it comes from local farmers who don’t use pesticides.
- Prepare homemade meals. By preparing fresh meals at home, you can be sure that what you (and your baby) ingest is free of additives like preservatives and flavor enhancers.
- Drink sufficient water. Staying well hydrated with at least 1.5 liters of water daily is vital for your health and your baby’s proper development.
Nutrition-wise, focus on foods and drinks that will do you good and avoid those that can harm you both.
- Don’t overeat and don’t diet. There’s no scientifically proven need for doubling your calory intake during pregnancy. During the first trimester, your daily intake should rise for barely 100 calories, growing to 300-500 calories during the third trimester. Also, don’t cut out any food groups as you’ll deny your baby valuable nutrients.
- Don’t eat raw, undercooked, unpasteurized food and street food. These bear the risk of food poisoning, infections, and gastrointestinal problems. Hence, avoid raw eggs and their products, sushi, partially cooked meat, unpasteurized milk, and soft, mold-ripened cheese.
If you already behave in a baby-safe manner – great! If not, make those few adjustments as they’re in your and your baby’s best interest.
Exercising Do’s and Don’ts in the First Trimester
Gentle exercises, walking, and swimming may be your way to stay fit during this period, prevent health issues, and boost your energy levels at the same time.
- Incorporate relaxation and breathing techniques into your daily routine. Prenatal yoga is specially designed for future moms and is highly beneficial.
- Stay active. Even short quick walks help prevent a sedentary lifestyle and some issues like lower back pain, varicose veins, and shortness of breath.
- Avoid contact sports. Even if you are an experienced sportswoman, avoid collision sports during pregnancy.
- Don’t overexert. If you didn’t exercise before you got pregnant, start slowly following your Ob-Gyn’s instructions. Twenty to thirty minutes of light exercise or walk daily is sufficient.
If you exercised before getting pregnant and your pregnancy is not a high-risk one, continue with your active lifestyle. However, consult with your physician regularly, as not all exercises and sports are allowed during pregnancy.
Get Your Habits in Check with First Pregnancy Symptoms
Some of the activities you enjoyed before pregnancy may be harmful or even fatal for your baby. Your physician has your and your baby’s best interests in mind, so don’t feel afraid to ask for advice.
- Make an early relationship with the baby. Take time to relax and think about how to do your parenting right. Make a habit of talking, singing, or reading to your baby.
- Connect with other moms-to-be. Getting in touch with other expecting ladies will reduce your anxieties and get you loads of good advice.
- Make plans and preparations for the baby’s arrival. Use the time before the delivery to set up the nursery, and obtain everything you’ll need during your baby’s first year.
- Don’t consume harmful substances. Don’t drink alcohol, quit smoking, and stop using psychoactive substances. Even the smallest quantities can have a damaging effect on your baby’s health and development. Decrease your daily consumption of coffee, too.
- Avoid the risk of overheating. Don’t visit a sauna and don’t indulge in hot baths. High temperatures and poor access to oxygen are not good for your baby. Avoid massages in the first trimester, as they also increase the risk of miscarriage.
Prenatal Supplements and Medications
If you have planned your pregnancy, you will most likely already be familiar with the supplements necessary in its early stages. If you didn’t, make sure to take the most vital prenatal vitamins and minerals, but only after blood analyses and consultations with your Ob-Gyn.
Important Prenatal Supplements
- Folic acid. It is by far the most essential prenatal supplement. Not only that it helps women conceive, but it dramatically reduces the chances of congenital disabilities.
- Calcium and iron. These elements are necessary for normal fetus development and are often needed in higher doses during the first trimester.
- Vitamin D. Deficiency of this vitamin is quite common, but during pregnancy, it can lead to underdevelopment of the baby’s bones.
Supplement Usage Risks
- Don’t take supplements on your own. Otherwise, you risk overdosing as even the most beneficial minerals and vitamins can be harmful to your child in large doses.
- Don’t take medications without consultations with your physician. Always discuss your pregnancy symptoms and the safest possible therapy with your Ob-Gyn, especially if you have a chronic condition.
Fatigue: One of the Pregnancy Symptoms or a Reason to Worry
Feeling tired during early pregnancy is perfectly normal and easily solved.
- Do take rest whenever you need it. Even short power naps during the day are good energy boosts. Good night’s sleep is indispensable for your health and baby’s development, so get at least six hours of sleep during the night.
- Don’t ignore the possible symptoms of prenatal depression or confuse them for the regular emotional ups and downs. Should your negative feelings remain for longer than a few weeks, ask for help. Therapy helps!
Emily Clarkson works as a consultant and writer for Dubai Personal Trainers and enjoys sharing her knowledge about health and exercise with her readers. She hopes to start her own personal trainer business one day, but until then, she is happy to assist anyone on their road to fitness.