10 Things You Must Do During the First Trimester of Pregnancy
1. Start taking prenatal vitamins
If you have not taken prenatal vitamins at this stage, start as soon as possible. In particular, it is very important to get enough folic acid intake while planning a pregnancy and during your first trimester – doing it as early as possible has been shown to reduce the risk of brain problems and damage to the spinal cord (such as spina bifida).
You need a minimum of 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid (vitamin B9) supplements every day – 600 mcg is the recommended number during the first trimester. You can buy a vitamin supplement without a prescription at the nearest pharmacy or supermarket.
In addition to folic acid, you will also need to meet the needs of 10 mcg of vitamin D every day. You can take a multivitamin specifically for pregnant women, but still nothing beats the nutritional “treasure” you get from a balanced diet.
2. Look for the health care provider that is right for you
Which is right for you, obstetrician or midwife? Health facilities around pregnancy are the most important milestones in ensuring your and your baby’s health over the coming months. If you already have a health provider that you trust and are comfortable with, you are ready for the next step.
Check the recommendations of the health care provider listed on your health insurance plan, look for recommendations online through forums or blogs about pregnancy, or seek advice from family, friends, or colleagues to recommend your favorite doctor / midwife, if you don’t have the right doctor.
3. If you smoke and drink alcohol, stop now
Smoking increases the risk of a number of health issues, including miscarriage , placental problems, and preterm birth . Smoking also slows fetal growth, increasing the risk of stillbirth and postnatal infant mortality. Some studies have even linked smoking habits with an increased risk of babies born with cleft lip or palate defects.
In addition, just one small glass of alcohol can increase the likelihood of low birth weight at birth and the risk of learning, speaking, focusing, language skills, and hyperactivity problems.
It’s never too late to stop. Every cigarette and glass of alcohol that you don’t consume provides a better opportunity for your baby to develop healthy and optimal.
4. Make an appointment for your first prenatal consultation
After you have told your doctor or midwifery clinic that you are pregnant, you will need to make an appointment for your first consultation with your chosen doctor / midwife. You should at least undergo your consultation appointment around the eighth week of pregnancy.
Ask about your health history and lifestyle, including a history of previous pregnancies (if any). In general, you will also receive a complete physical examination, including a pelvic exam and a Pap smear.
Provide information about how to care for and maintain themselves during pregnancy, such as starting to regulate a healthy diet and exercise safely.
Check blood pressure.
Measure your height and weight. Your doctor / midwife will use these numbers to calculate your body mass index ( BMI ).
Test whether there is a sexually transmitted infection (if not, you can request it).
Gives you the due date, which is officially called “estimated time of birth,” usually 266 days after the first day of your last menstruation if you have a regular menstrual cycle. If not, it is customary for doctors to set dates based on USG.
If you take any medication to treat your health condition (from mild to chronic), do not stop the sudden dose. Talk about when you consult with your doctor about the list of medicines you are currently using and find out which ones are safe and not. Many drugs – even nonprescription – are not safe to use during pregnancy. Mention in detail and thoroughly, even vitamins, supplements, and herbal products that you use.
5. Research your health insurance
Make sure you know what your health insurance plan covers ; whether your personal or employee insurance facilitates as far as prenatal care costs and labor costs, as well as care for your new baby. Get answers to all these questions by contacting your insurance service provider or talking to your HR department at the office. Doing this can save a lot of time and money later.
If you don’t have health insurance, find out where you can get help and start designing the appropriate plan.
What should be remembered, before planning a discussion with the HRD at your place of work, do not forget to also be sure to explore the choice of maternity leave provided by your office. Enrich yourself with the basics of the provisions of maternity leave during and after pregnancy.
6. Manage healthy eating patterns – Learn which ones should and should not be eaten
A healthy and balanced diet will ensure that you get all the nutrients needed to ensure you and your baby’s health.
Remember that you don’t need extra calories in your first trimester. The important thing is to design your diet to meet the intake of five main nutrients : folic acid, calcium, iron, zinc, and fiber.
You must avoid certain foods during pregnancy, because they may contain bacteria, parasites or poisons that can harm your baby. This includes some unpasteurized cheese and dairy products, raw or undercooked eggs, liver and pate, and raw shellfish. In addition, you can also consume your omega-3 fatty acids. A diet rich in omega-3 can sharpen your baby’s brain and nerve development before birth, possibly leading to better vision, memory and language comprehension in early childhood. These fatty acids can also reduce your risk of postpartum depression.
Monitor your fluid level. According to the American Pregnancy Association, it is very important to drink more fluids during pregnancy. Your body needs more water to help support your and your baby’s increased blood volume. Not enough water can cause constipation, fatigue, and even premature labor.
Finally, don’t overdo processed carbohydrates. White bread, white rice, sweets and soda move quickly into your bloodstream, increasing your blood glucose level. This surge can lead to obese newborns, which puts them at greater risk of being overweight as they grow older.
7. Keep exercising regularly
There are many benefits of exercise during pregnancy for you and your baby – which can be a big motivation to get 30 minutes of physical activity every day of the week.
Light exercise is a big energy booster. Consult with your doctor about which restrictions are safe and not, and exercise advice that is right for your pregnancy.
8. Enough rest
It’s normal to feel tired and tired quickly during the first trimester. This is because your body is getting used to rapid hormonal changes. Get as much rest as you can, although it might be difficult if you work.
Spend a little time to take a nap (yes, even in the office !), If the situation allows. Your body is growing and changing – and your prospective baby needs you to stay healthy and alert.
Try to schedule sleep early at least one night a week. Even if you can’t sleep, relax reading a book or listening to soft music will help you to relax. Turn off the cellphone and forget about work. Also, reduce caffeine. Research has linked high caffeine consumption to miscarriage and other pregnancy problems. Limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day (about one medium cup of coffee).
After your baby is present, sleep will be a luxury. So, enjoy while you can.
9. Consider genetic testing
During your first trimester, your doctor / midwife will offer various screening tests that can provide information about your baby’s risk for Down syndrome and other birth defects, such as nuchal translucency tests (between weeks 11-14 of gestation).
Based on your risk, your doctor / midwife may also recommend NIPT around the ninth week (non-invasive screening that sees chromosomal abnormalities) and / or other more invasive but more definitive prenatal screening, such as chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis – but preferably wait until you reach your second trimester .
10. Design a future financial plan
Building a family is a very good – and necessary – moment to reevaluate your monthly expenses.
Think about how you will handle the costs of clothing, food, diapers, toys, and baby gear can multiply quickly. Discuss with a partner where you can cut the budget to make room for your baby’s needs. You can save money by using “inheritance” from your mother, sister, brother, or friend or rent baby equipment, rather than having to buy new.
Set a maternity budget and baby’s needs, and try to stick to it. Consider making a few budget adjustments now, and start saving for your baby’s future .