Pregnancy is a beautiful period for many women in the world. Well, for some it’s a walk in the park while for others, it’s a disaster. Whichever the case, pregnancy celebrates life and has to be honored as such. A lot of changes and growth happen during the first trimester and it is always advisable to take charge of one’s health the moment they realize they are pregnant.
From shifting moods to cravings to morning sickness, this time plays a very crucial stage where all-important development occurs. The major organs and systems develop during this time, and the umbilical cord, placenta, and amniotic sac also form at this time.
As a mother, there are several dos and don’ts one should take into consideration during their first trimester;
Do attend antenatal clinic
When a mother realizes that she is pregnant, it is highly recommended that they start attending antenatal clinic immediately. This is because the first few weeks are the best to run tests on the mother and even their partner. Family medical histories, Rhesus factor exams, and her general wellbeing are best done during this time.
Exercise is important for both mother and baby. Regular exercise helps combat excessive weight gain, insomnia, and muscle pains. But before embarking on an exercise regime, it is important to see your doctor who will recommend the best kinds of exercises safe for each trimester.
Do take your prenatal vitamins
When you find out you are pregnant, the doctor will recommend some multivitamins that will help the fetus grow as it should. Folic acid, calcium, and iron are very important during the first trimester as they help in proper brain development and may prevent birth defects.
Do rest and get enough sleep
As the body is changing during the first trimester, a lot of hormonal changes occur in the mother’s body and fatigue and tiredness may be experienced. It is therefore advised that the mother get enough rest and sleep as she can, because sleep may become elusive during her final trimester.
Do eat a healthy balanced diet
Eating a healthy diet is crucial for the development of the fetus and also for the general wellbeing of the mother. Eating foods that are rich in all the proper nutrients is beneficial to both mother and baby. This also involves staying hydrated throughout the pregnancy to avoid constipation, dizziness, and headaches. Your doctor can recommend the best diet for you.
Do think about your mental health
A pregnant woman’s mental health is important especially during the first trimester. This is because a lot of changes are almost happening at once. She could be going through a rough time with the changes in her body, she could be moody, and she could be having terrible morning sickness. All these changes can be overwhelming and therefore advisable to talk about it. This is also important as it prepares you for what to expect once you deliver.
Smoking during pregnancy is detrimental to the fetus’ development. Smoking restricts oxygen to the fetus and passes toxic chemicals that cause low birth weight, intellectual disabilities, stillbirths, and miscarriage.
Don’t take alcohol
Alcohol is dangerous as it also causes low birth weight, brain development, stillbirths, miscarriage, and a range of behavioral and intellectual disabilities. It is therefore recommended that a woman stop taking alcohol as soon as she realizes that she is pregnant.
Don’t take a lot of caffeine
Caffeine is addictive and affects your growing baby’s heart rate. Caffeine has also been known to cause a greater risk of miscarriage among women who consume large amounts of coffee during their first trimester. Doctors recommend that a woman should stick to a cup a day or quit coffee altogether during her pregnancy.
Don’t take recreational drugs
Recreational drugs are also very harmful as they pass through the placenta and can also cause stillbirths, miscarriage, low birth weight, and a lot of disabilities and abnormalities for the baby. A baby born to a drug-taking mother usually undergoes withdrawal symptoms which can be difficult to counter.
Don’t take certain foods/medication
While it is advisable to eat foods from all subgroups, there are foods that may be detrimental to both mother and baby. Raw meats, deli meats, unpasteurized milk are a few examples of foods that a mother should avoid. Also, not all medication is good for pregnant women. Your doctor will recommend what to take and what to avoid.
All in all, the first trimester is a crucial stage of a mother’s pregnancy as all the development happens during this period and must be taken with a lot of importance.