You just found out that you’re expecting your first child and you’re already on a rollercoaster of emotions, ranging from excitement and happiness to occasional anxiousness – but not to worry, as we’ve compiled a list featuring the most important questions (and tips) for the first trimester, in order to help you stay informed and safe while thoroughly enjoying the exciting months ahead.
1. When Should I Announce the News?
While most moms-to-be find it hard to camouflage their enthusiasm once getting that positive pregnancy test result, many choose to wait until the 3 months mark in order to share the news with extended family and friends. Since miscarriages are common in the first trimester, waiting until the pregnancy is stable is a good idea when it comes to letting distant relatives, your 300 Facebook friends and your place of work know that you are expecting.
2. How Can I Combat Morning Sickness?
You’ve been thrilled ever since you’ve found out that you’re pregnant and you feel totally prepared for the amazing journey ahead – but one thing’s standing in your way to utter bliss: the annoying morning sickness, which, more often than not, transforms into noon and evening sickness. If you’re on the lookout for the best remedies out there and if simply eating small meals that avoid fatty and spicy ingredients isn’t doing the trick, try out ginger, lemon water, vitamin B6 vitamins and acupuncture wristbands to ease out the symptoms, but always make sure to consult your doctor before opting for a new medicine or supplement.
3. When Should I Schedule My First Prenatal Visit?
If you are not dealing with serious health problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes and if you are not in the high risk pregnancy group (advanced age, history of pregnancy losses), then waiting out until the 6th or 7th week mark is a good idea. Most women schedule their first OB visit between week 6 and 12 of pregnancy, but ideally, you should get an appointment around the 8th week mark (meaning 8 weeks since the first day of your last menstrual period).
4. When Should I Start Wearing Maternity Clothes?
While most first-time moms start showing around the 16th week mark, many women start investing in a few staple pregnancy clothes sometime during the third month or once their regular clothes start feeling too constrictive or uncomfortable. A few great maternity dresses that can accommodate your growing belly throughout your pregnancy, as well as provide easy breastfeeding access later on are perfect investment pieces from the get-go. In addition, comfortable maternity jeans with elastic waistbands and A-line or loose-fit tops make great additions to your maternity wardrobe once your favorite skinnies and form-fitting shirts start feeling too snug.
5. What Foods Should I Avoid?
Keeping a healthy diet throughout your pregnancy is essential both for your health and for your baby’s optimal development. Make sure to thoroughly wash your vegetables and fruit, to completely avoid consuming any raw meat or raw eggs and to avoid high mercury fish, as well as limit your seafood intake to 2-3 servings per week. In addition, limit your caffeine consumption to less than 200 mg per day, give up alcohol and smoking and make sure that any milk or cheese you eat is pasteurized.
6. What Vitamins Should I Take?
It is always a smart idea to start taking prenatal vitamins while trying to conceive and not just after getting pregnant. Optimally, you should schedule a visit with your OB doctor before trying to conceive, get a few basic blood tests done and make sure that your body is not lacking any essential nutrients, like calcium, iron or vitamin D. Your doctor will give you a prescription for prenatal vitamins and folic acid in order to ensure your baby’s optimal neural cord development.
7. When Is My Due Date and How Is It Calculated?
While most women do not actually deliver their babies on their exact due date, most moms-to-be feel less anxious when given at least a due date range or a ‘due week’ – and that is 40 weeks after the first day of your last period or 38 weeks after conceiving. If you are not keeping track of your periods or if you are dealing with an irregular cycle, getting an appointment with your OB sooner rather than later is recommended in order to get an accurate estimation.
8. Can I Continue Working Out During My Pregnancy?
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that focuses on good nutrition and an optimal level of daily activity is essential when aiming to have a safe pregnancy and delivery. While you might not be able to lift those heavy weights at the gym, nor perform those intense jumping exercises, working out at a slower pace while pregnant is actually recommended – and doctors agree that swimming, walking, stationery bike exercises as well as yoga and Pilates are all great options for moms-to-be.
9. What Tasks and Chores Should I Avoid?
Pregnancy comes with a new set of safety rules and that means that certain tasks, chores, as well as pleasures need to be avoided. For starters, you should ditch your long hot baths in favor of warm showers – and while you might not welcome this idea, you will surely love the fact that you should also avoid cleaning your bathroom with harsh chemicals and the cat litter during these 9 months. In addition, make sure you are not lifting anything heavy, that you are not climbing on stepstools or ladders or standing (especially in hot places) for extended periods of time.
10. How Much Weight Should I Gain While Pregnant?
Maintaining a healthy diet and a moderately active lifestyle during your pregnancy will help you avoid gaining too much or too little weight. And when it comes to the exact numbers, it all depends on your initial pre-pregnancy weight. If you were at a healthy weight before conceiving, a weight gain of 11 to 16 kilograms is ideal – but if you were underweight, gaining up to 18 kilograms is considered normal. As for overweight moms-to-be, the ideal weight gain is anywhere in between 7 and 11 kilograms.
Finding an OB doctor you trust, staying well-informed and anxiety-free, avoiding potentially dangerous activities while also getting enough rest is essential in order to thoroughly enjoy the amazing journey ahead and to keep both you and your baby healthy and happy.