Congratulation! Your hard work paid off and you are finally pregnant. As you prepare for your journey to carry your baby to full term, we have put together a little guide for you that will give you a deep insight in to the first trimester pregnancy. It will educate you on the changes you will see within your body that shouldn’t cause you to panic, give you advice on what is good for you and what isn’t and even tell you the advantages of getting regular scans done. So while you are busy reading pregnancy books, do make time to read this article and enjoy your pregnancy more!
The Dos and Don’ts of first trimester pregnancy:
Here is a long list of things, which will help you have a happier pregnancy. Some small changes in your lifestyle and diet can bring about a huge change in the way you feel. And a happier mom means a healthy baby!
- See your gynecologist when you are 9 weeks pregnant for your first checkup. Also, make monthly appointments so that your doctor can keep a close eye on the growing fetus inside you.
- Give up on caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and recreational drugs. These are a strict No-no as they can lead to premature birth, an abnormally formed baby and even stillbirth.
- Drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated. A minimum of 10 glasses of water are required by your body every single day.
- Eat a healthy diet, which is high in foods containing folic acids and iron like beans, raisins, nuts, oranges, green vegetables and grains. Avoid processed foods, especially canned goods as the preservatives can be harmful for your growing baby.
- Do not take any medication unless you have consulted your gynecologist.
- Sleep as much as possible. The first trimester of pregnancy is when you need the maximum rest as your body adjusts to the changes.
- Indulge in moderate exercises. A light stroll is good, but any exercise including jerky motions is not recommended. Avoid running, cycling or swimming. Instead, go for a yoga class for pregnant women.
- Don’t get hair treatments or facials that include harsh chemicals.
- Buy a few pregnancy books to get to know more about what to expect as your pregnancy proceeds.
- If you are experiencing morning sickness, avoid strong smells like Petrol and Perfumes.
- Do take your prenatal vitamins, so that you and your baby stay healthy.
Getting scans and monthly checkups in first trimester pregnancy
Getting regular checkups done in your first trimester can be very helpful. Not only will your doctor be up to date on the growth of your baby, but will also keep a close eye on you as your pregnancy proceeds.
Your first scan, which happens at 10 weeks, will give you the following information:
- It will tell you the exact due date
- It will check if the baby is positioned rightly inside the uterus
- It will check on the baby’s heartbeat, which can be heart after 6 weeks
- It will show how many babies you might be carrying
- It will let you know if you should have any concerns related to the baby
But if your doctor suspects an ectopic pregnancy, or you have had previous miscarriages, you might need a scan earlier. However, if all is well, you won’t really need another scan until your second trimester. Though, there are a few cases where your doctor will recommend multiple scans, just to keep a closer eye on you and the baby. These could be:
- If you notice you are spotting or bleeding
- If you are carrying more than 1 baby
- If you are above 35 and are pregnant for the first time
- If your pregnancy is complicated, because you have a medical disorder which could affect the baby, like fibroids or cysts in the uterus or even diabetes.
First trimester pregnancy: Managing the painful changes
Now that you know what to do, what not to do and when you need your first scans in first trimester pregnancy, let us talk about a few changes that you will notice (and not particularly like!)
Morning sickness –
Though it is called morning sickness, don’t be too happy if it doesn’t happen in the morning! Actually, nausea can affect at any time of the day, and is probably the biggest problem in first trimester pregnancy. It happens because estrogen and progesterone levels in the body are on the high, which makes food digest slowly. Strong smells like cigarette smoke, cooking food and perfume can trigger your nausea. Try using soothing essential oils and air fresheners to keep such triggers at bay.
Swollen breasts that are painful when touched –
In your first trimester pregnancy, you will notice that your breasts become more painful and much heavier. This is normal, as hormonal changes are causing your breasts to swell. Try a diet low in sodium and processed foods and wear a bra that offers your breasts more support.
More trips to the bathroom –
As if nausea wasn’t enough, you will also feel a higher urge to urinate constantly. This is normal, as your enlarged uterus is putting pressure on the bladder. So urinate as often as possible, because not doing so might make you more susceptible to urinary infections.
Increased fatigue and tiredness –
In your first trimester pregnancy, you will notice that you are way too tired to continue with your daily routines. This could be a result of low sugar levels, low BP or increased blood production to facilitate the baby. All of this can sap your energy, leaving you more tired than usual.
Other changes –
You will notice aversions to certain foods, while cravings for others. This is normal; eat what smells good to you! Apart from that, you will also experience heartburn and constipation. This is because the food in your body is moving at a slower pace, to give the blood enough time to absorb nutrients from your food and supply it to the baby. Unfortunately, this gives you acute acidity and even constipation. To make life easier, eat smaller and more frequent meals. Some women can also feel dizzy during first trimester pregnancy. This is because blood vessels are dilating to increase blood flow through the body, to make blood readily available to the fetus. Don’t worry; this will soon pass.
So that is all you need to know about first trimester pregnancy. We hope you have a good 12 weeks, and walk in to your second trimester pregnancy happier and healthier. Good Luck!