First Trimester of Pregnancy

What to do During the First Trimester of Pregnancy

One of the greatest opinions for some women (not necessary all) to do is to fall pregnant.

Women are very different from each other and therefore every pregnancy is different, but there are some common ideas for a future mother to look out for in the first trimester (three months at the beginning) of their pregnancy.

‘What to eat’, ‘what not to eat’, ‘how to exercise’, ‘what not to do’, general advice and FAQs are general topics that will be covered, and hopefully give you some insight on how to prepare before you expect your baby.

Being pregnant should not change your life too much, but there are things that can help you get ready for the journey ahead, as well as for after the pregnancy.

However, the best advice anyone can give you, is to speak to your doctor first before taking any other advice. They are the ones that should know your body better than you do and can lead you in the healthiest direction for you and your future child.  

Signs of Pregnancy

The body has a regular pattern of when it’s menstrual cycle (period), given a few days here and there, happens and a clear indication that you could be pregnant is if your period is a week or so late.

Another sign is that your breasts (and not rest of the body, which can happen with weight gain) increase in size, and some women just feel it, they just know that they are with child. As well as your emotions may go a bit ‘all over the place’.

The best advice is as soon as you suspect you are pregnant go take a test.

You can do the home pregnancy tests a week after your period is due and two weeks after you ovulate, but these do have the possibility of giving false positives so the best course of action would be going to a doctor to get a pregnancy test.

But, do this as soon as possible since they can fill up every quickly, and as soon as you know the result, start booking check-ups and attend them regularly.

Attending check-ups three times during the first trimester is a great start for the health of your baby as well as yourself.

The first check-up will be the most detailed since that is when the doctor will need to know your and your partner’s medical history as well as the medical history of relatives so that you can know what you could expect.

There will also be a pelvic exam (do not worry, you will not need to study for it) to see the size and position of your uterus. The doctor will also do a pap smear which is done to see if there are any abnormal cells in the uterus and cervix.

Why the First Trimester is Important

The first trimester is the start of a journey, and getting the start right can help a lot of time goes on, and as your belly grows.

This time frame is when the baby is more susceptible to toxins such as drinking, smoking, and certain medications (check with your doctor), because this is the time that the mayor organs such as the heart develop and grow.

The first month is when the mayor systems of the body form, as well as the beginning feature of ears and eyes, and this can make the embryo look like a tiny tadpole.

There are also limb dubs which grow into legs and arms further down the line. Plus this is when the heart beat is formed, although it is very soft.

Two months into the pregnancy is when the feature of the face: eyes, ears, mouth become more noticeable, and the embryo moves away from looking like a tadpole to looking more like a tiny human.

Dubs of teeth are also formed at this stage. The digestive, urinary, nervous, and circularly system continue to form in this time frame.

With an ultrasound you can see the start of finger and toes. The future child is always moving, but you will not feel this yet.   

Three months into the pregnancy is when the external genitals are formed, as well as eyelids, tiny fingernails and toenails. The voice box begins to grow in this period, plus the fetus moves around a lot more.

What to Eat 

The popular myth that you are eating for two while pregnant is incorrect.

You are not eating for two, and your meal size stays the same. Gaining too much weight is not good for the baby as well as for your body since it is difficult to lose a large amount of weight.  

Therefore, eat healthy, and remember that babies need vitamins from vegetables and not sugar from chocolate.

Choose healthy snacks and drink plenty of water (about eight glasses a day), plus listen to your stomach, if it does not like something or if a type of food does not agree with you, it will tell you.

It is also a good idea to cook your own meals or to have someone you trust to cook for you.

It is important to know what is going into your body, therefore do not eat junk food since no one knows what goes into it exactly.

Fruits like bananas, oranges, cherries, watermelon, pears, mangoes, apricots, and apples are a great way to get vitamins and natural sugar into your body. As well as taking prenatal vitamins.

What Not to Eat 

This is not food but it is still important to do: Quit smoking and drinking, and check with your doctor on all medications, those which you take regularly and those that you do not take regular such as for headaches. As for food:

  • No raw fish
  • No raw meat or organ meat
  • No high in Mercury fish such as certain types of tuna, Shark, Swordfish, and King Mackerel
  • No raw eggs
  • Unwashed fruit and vegetables
  • Unpasteurized Milk, Cheese, and Fruit Juice
  • Pineapples
  • Papaya

And if you are a coffee lover, it is best to cut down to 200 mg per a day which is about two/ three cups.

Exercises

It is important to stretch as much as you can, but do it in a way that is safe for both you and your baby.

There is no hurry while you exercise, and you can go at a pace that is comfortable for you.

You should do stretches before and after you exercise to loosen your body up a bit, and increase your heart-rate and breathing slowly, as well as drink water before the routine, during the routine and afterwards. The best time to exercise would be in the morning.  

But before you start any physical routine you should check with your doctor what exercises you can do, and how much to do to avoid having a miscarriage before you start or go back to exercising.

Some exercises have programs designed for pregnant women such as Yoga, Pilates (which can help with lower back pains), and walking for about 15 minutes a day.

The reason that you should do exercise it to get you more into shape for childbirth as well as to left your mood, plus help you sleep better. 

If you have not exercised before your pregnancy it is best to start small and slow.

You can try aim for 30 minutes a day, with three to five times a week, but only if you are having fun.

The last thing you need is to stress.

Yoga is the best exercise to do while pregnant since it can help with your breathing, lower blood pressure, keep your muscles limber, and it can build your strength as well as help your balance.

However, there are certain aspects of Yoga you should avoid while pregnant:

  • Backbends
  • Twisting your abdomen
  • Headstand or any poses that require your feet going over your head
  • Lying on your back
  • Bikram of doing Yoga in very high temperatures
However, some women may not gain any weight at all, while other may gain a lot in the first trimester, and slow down gaining weight as the months go on. 


It is best to check with your doctor, and keep a diary (as well as photos) or your belly growth and weight change.
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