Your first trimester refers to the first three months of your pregnancy. This begins from the first day of your last period because it is often difficult to know the exact date of conception.
The first trimester can be different for every woman. Some experience a lot of nausea, some women not so much. Some pregnant people won’t start to show within the first trimester; others will.
It is commonly said that the second trimester is when one really starts to “feel pregnant”, but looking out for yourself and your health is equally as important during the first trimester as it is the rest of the pregnancy.
Mothers-to-be can take care of their health during the first trimester by considering the following:
Health care provider:
Having a health professional you like and trust can make your pregnancy journey a bit easier to manage. Whether this is a midwife, an OBGYN, a GP, a doula, or a mixture of various professionals, use the first trimester to find one you like enough to stick with. This may involve “shopping around” a bit to find a professional that suits you, or you may be happy with your first choice.
With your health professional's advice, you may need to make some changes to your diet within the first trimester. During these first three months, it may not be necessary to increase how much you eat yet but talk to your doctor about how much to eat to stay within your healthy weight range. Now is the time to focus on ensuring the right nutrients are present in your diet, namely protein, calcium, folic acid, iodine, and iron.
The first trimester is the time to cut back and stop smoking and drinking if you are still doing so when you fall pregnant. If you need some support quitting these habits, reach out to your doctors and loved ones.
Try to keep a good balance of rest and activity. Chat to a health professional about pregnancy-safe exercises and start building a routine.
Strengthen the pelvic floor:
Pregnancy and birth put a lot of pressure on the pelvic muscles. The earlier you begin pelvic strengthening exercises like Kegels, the better. Consult a physio or doctor to make sure you are performing exercises safely.
Book your recommended antenatal appointments for the first trimester. This is a chance to test your blood, urine, and vital signs to make sure your health is in order. You will also experience an ultrasound around week 12 and see the baby for the first time!
Chat with your doctor to make sure your vaccinations are all up to date.
You will experience a range of emotions throughout your pregnancy. Be kind to yourself and reach out to a loved one or a professional if you’d like to talk about how you feel. If you’re experiencing anxiety or negative emotions for more than two weeks, let a professional knowledge. Otherwise, embrace the ups and downs (and hormones) of your journey!