Being pregnant for the first time is a joyful and exciting feeling for many would-be mothers. Just the thought of another human being growing inside you is simply magical and fulfilling, especially if this is something you have planned and waited for.
However, while pregnancy brings happiness to the family and the expectant woman, it can also be scary for some, particularly those who have complicated pregnancies.
This is why pregnant women should take precautions throughout the three trimesters and immediately after giving birth since this condition can be risky for the mother and the baby.
Are you pregnant for the first time and in the early stages of your pregnancy? If you are, then you must be both excited and nervous about your condition.
Perhaps there are questions you want answers to and you want to know more about how to get through the nine months healthy and safe, for you and your little angel.
Being a first-time mother, it’s important for you to be aware that you need to take extra precautions during the early stages of pregnancy, particularly the first trimester. This is between the first and the twelfth week or for the first three months.
During pregnancy, hormones are acting up and there will be hormonal changes to expect. At around one to six weeks after conception, you will be experiencing changes in your body. There will be times when you will feel exhausted and it seems you are always sleepy.
This is also during this period when you will experience morning sickness, although some women do not have to suffer from morning sickness at all.
But whether you are one of the lucky ones, early pregnancy warrants precautions since it includes feelings of discomfort, such as cramps, constipation, backaches, and even bleeding.
You also can feel stressed out and tired, not only during these months but all throughout your pregnancy. By knowing what to expect, you can prepare and be more careful so you can have a safe, uncomplicated pregnancy.
Before you know what steps to take, it helps to learn what’s happening inside your body to lessen your anxiety, if any.
What changes should you expect?
As mentioned earlier, you may have morning sickness during the early stages of your pregnancy up until the 5th week. The uncomfortable part is that this can happen at any time of the day.
However, you can manage it by eating frequently, but in small servings as well as drinking ginger tea.
If you notice that you have mood swings, which are not normal for you, this is a normal occurrence during pregnancy.
There is nothing to be worried about here except if you have a history of depression. If so, talk to your doctor about screening for prenatal depression.
Being pregnant makes you feel hungry most of the time, and you might even crave a particular food or fruit. While weight gain is normal, it should not be more than four pounds during the first trimester.
To keep your weight within limits, see to it that you eat light meals with frequent intervals and that your food intake includes avocados, whole grain bread, bananas, and yogurt.
Given the expected hormonal changes and the fragile baby growing in you, it is utterly important to be aware of what you eat and your lifestyle, as well as take the necessary precautions particularly during this crucial period of your pregnancy, the first trimester.
For a healthy pregnancy, prenatal care is imperative and this includes going to the ob-gyn for a checkup. The first visit is for pregnancy confirmation and for your medical history. You will also know how long you are into your pregnancy.
The doctor will also be giving you vitamins and other important reminders. Some pregnant women who neglect to go to the doctor may have complicated pregnancies and miscarriages.
Nutrition & Health
During the first 12 weeks, it is important to include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet to provide good nutrients for you and your baby.
Moreover, drink plenty of water to prevent constipation and fatigue. Try to sleep early and take recommended naps during the day so you will feel rejuvenated in the morning.
Bleeding can occur during the early stages of pregnancy. However, it is important to inform your doctor, and if the bleeding becomes severe, call your doctor and go to the hospital if advised to do so.
Important Things to Remember
On Cigarettes and Alcoholic Drinks
If you are a smoker and you also drink alcohol, this is the opportune time to give up smoking and drinking. Nicotine and alcohol are not only bad for you, but also for the fetus.
Smoking and drinking alcohol can affect your baby and can also lead to miscarriage. If not, your child might have a low-birth-weight and may even be born prematurely.
These toxic substances will be ingested by your baby and can even lead to sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.
On Exercise and Travel
Many pregnant women still exercise and do their usual activities like swimming, running and exercising. If you want to be physically active even when you are pregnant, consult your doctor first. As for traveling, try to avoid long journeys, which can exhaust you and the baby.
While it helps to eat fruits and vegetables, certain fruits are better to be avoided. Processed food and canned goods should be avoided as well because of the sodium nitrate content.
Never attempt to self-medicate, especially during pregnancy because some medicines can harm the baby and lead to complications like a miscarriage.
Over-the-counter medicines like aspirin can result in excessive bleeding while antibiotics can affect the development of the baby.
When you are pregnant, your health and that of your baby should be your priority and extra care is needed, particularly during early pregnancy.
The first three months are crucial since these are also the early stages of fetal development. By taking extra care in the first trimester and throughout your pregnancy, you can look forward to being a happy mother to a healthy baby.