Dos and Don’ts for Your First Trimester

your_first_trimester

What is the First Trimester?

There are many dos and don’ts for your first trimester, but what exactly is it? The first trimester is the first of three phases of pregnancy. Your first trimester begins on week one and ends on week twelve, thus starting the second trimester. During the first trimester, there are several things to implement into your day-to-day and others to avoid. This is a critical stage in your pregnancy and the development of your baby.

Although it may not seem like a whole lot is going on during this time,  a lot is happening for both you and your baby. For you, first trimester symptoms may occur as early as a few days to weeks after conception. During the first trimester, you can begin to experience discomforts or changes such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Mood swings
  • Tender Breasts/ soreness in the chest area
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Cramping
  • Increased urination
  • Constipation
  • Food aversion or cravings
  • Change in sexual desire

While all first trimester symptoms are temporary for everyone, they can vary from mild to severe across individuals. Continue reading to learn some of the dos and don’ts for your first trimester.

The Dos

Food is Fuel

As with most things, you will need to fuel your body first, thus fueling your babies. Without proper nutrition in the first trimester, this could lead to poor fetal development. However, eating is not just about quantity; it is also important to focus on the quality of food and ensure that all needed nutrients are consumed.

Folic Acid Supplements

Folic acid is a nutrient that you should take during the first trimester. This vitamin helps to produce and maintain new cells and prevent changes in the DNA. There are many things folic acid does for your body, such as:

prenatal_vitamin_jars

Prenatal Vitamins

In addition to folic acid supplements, one should take prenatal vitamins daily. Prenatal vitamins contain specific nutrients for fetal development and help to replace the nutrients needed during the first trimester. These nutrients include calcium, iron, zinc, as well as omega-3 fats which help the baby’s brain development.

Proper Sleep and Exercise 

During your first trimester, your body is experiencing extreme changes which can play a big role in how tired you are. Your hormones and emotions are on a rollercoaster which can take a toll on expecting mothers. That being said, proper sleep, as well as frequent naps throughout the day, are essential. Your body needs between eight to nine hours of sleep each night.

When it comes to exercise, if you are someone who exercises regularly pre-pregnancy, keep it up! A regular exercise routine can help with hormone changes and restlessness. Before continuing your regular workout routine, check with your health care provider for the green light, or other options to move your body.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential for you and your baby’s health, as well as helping to prevent preterm labor. Keeping your body hydrated with water as well as vegetables helps to prevent headaches, kidney stones, and dizziness.

Choose a Doctor or Midwife

Choosing the perfect healthcare provider can seem like a stressful task because you want the best for yourself and your baby. You’ll want to find someone in a timely manner to ensure booking your first prenatal appointment. However, do your research and find someone whose beliefs and practices line up with yours and someone you can trust.

The Don’ts

No Smoking or Drinking

It is important to avoid smoking during pregnancy because women who smoke during pregnancy are more at risk of miscarriage. Furthermore, your baby is at greater risk for birth defects if you are smoking while pregnant. As for alcohol, there is no amount that is safe during pregnancy, it is important to stay away from it. Consuming alcohol while pregnant can also lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and behavioral, as well as intellectual, disabilities.

No Raw Meat

Eating raw or undercooked meat and eggs is a big no-no during the first trimester. Consuming raw foods puts you at a higher risk of contracting listeriosis which can lead to miscarriage and life-threatening illness. Furthermore, toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that can easily become life-threatening as well as cause severe birth defects if not treated.

Avoid Caffeine

Although this may seem like an impossible task because of how tired you feel during your first trimester, try avoiding caffeine as best as you can.  Caffeine, although not always consumed by drinking coffee, is often found in chocolate as well as soda drinks. Caffeine does cross the placenta and can affect your growing baby’s heart rate. Some caffeine is safe in the first trimester and expecting mothers can consume up to 200 milligrams a day. However, this should not be exceeded.

Saunas and Hot Tubs are a No

Hot tubs, saunas, as well as steam rooms are out of the question during your first trimester. You should avoid these areas because it increases the risk of overheating, dehydration and fainting. A significant rise in your core temperature can affect your baby’s development.

Ask The Experts at Midwife360 about The Dos and Don’ts for Your First Trimester

If you need more information or are looking for a trusted midwife with years of experience, contact Midwife360. Opening the doors in 2014, Midwife360 quickly became a staple to women’s care in South Florida. Founder, P. Fedwah Halaby CNM, created Midwife360 as a holistic evidence-based practice for all midwifery services. This includes routine women’s care, family planning, pregnancy care, as well as home and water birthing.

Contact South Florida’s trusted midwives today to set up an appointment!

Natural Approaches To Depression During Pregnancy

The media makes pregnancy out to be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life. Pregnant women are always portrayed as being overjoyed and looking forward to their new life with their baby. The reality is that many women develop depression during pregnancy, and it often continues after the birth of their child. There are many different factors that could lead to depression in a pregnant woman, including the fact that many prescription antidepressants aren’t safe for women to take while pregnant. When a woman has to give up her antidepressants in order to carry a healthy child to term, her mental health can suffer greatly.

Fortunately, there are many signs that can identify depression in a pregnant woman. For example, rapid mood swings or noticeable changes in her sleep patterns could be a symptom of depression. A lack of enthusiasm about the pregnancy or baby and thoughts of death and suicide are also markers for depression in a pregnant woman. If a pregnant woman speaks of having feelings of worthlessness, or if there is a noticeable change in her eating habits, these are also indicators of depression during pregnancy. If someone you know is displaying symptoms, you should encourage them to seek help within her community, or from a licensed therapist to ensure that her mental health is addressed early in her pregnancy.

Natural Remedies for Depression

 

Unfortunately, commonly prescribed antidepressants and MAOIs on the market can be harmful or fatal to the fetus. However, there are many natural remedies for depression that will have no negative impact on the mother or the unborn baby. The following list is a sampling of some of the popular natural remedies for depression.

Keep A Diary

You may find that documenting and journaling your thoughts and emotions can help you to get to the cause of the problem. You may be sad after visits from a certain family member, or after seeing particular clients at work. Keeping a diary of your activities and feelings helps to clear your mind and might even reveal what is causing your depression. 

Get Some Exercise

You don’t have to do high-impact aerobics in order to feel better. Yoga is an excellent choice for a pregnancy workout and is also a great postpartum program for weight loss and toning. It also has high impact rates on depression. Another healthy option is brisk walking or light jogging. Always be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a new workout routine while pregnant. 

Get Some Rest

Pregnancy alone causes women to feel exhausted, If you don’t get adequate rest, you’ll quickly feel like you’re suffering from chronic fatigue. Be sure to get plenty of rest, at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night if possible. This will greatly improve the way your pregnant body feels, and also will improve your mood. 

Women’s Peer Support Groups

Pregnancy groups on Facebook are a great example of peer support groups that could help you feel better. Many of those ladies are experiencing a lot of the same emotions that you’re also feeling. It helps to know that you aren’t alone. Wherever you can find groups of supportive women in similar situations, you may find help with your feelings of depression. 

Turn to Your Faith

Regardless of your beliefs or denomination, many people find that prayer and/or church services can help to lift them out of depression. If it is something that you regularly practice, then allow your spirituality to elevate your mood. 

Avoid Inflammatory Foods

Foods such as carbohydrates, refined sugars, and caffeine can actually make your depression worse. Stick with a healthy diet that consists of fresh fruits and vegetables. Include probiotics and prenatal vitamins in your daily regimen for some extra pep in your step. 

Sunlight/Lightbox

Sunlight, or a high-intensity light in a lightbox (to simulate sunshine), could be what you need to feel refreshed and add happiness to your mood. Sunlight allows your skin to produce Vitamin D, which plays an essential role in your mental health. 

 

If you’re feeling hopeless, please know that this is not abnormal for pregnant and post-partum women. Reach out to your spouse or family members to help you get the treatment you need. You want to be healthy and happy for your growing family. 

Professional help is available to you 24/7, call  1-800-273-8255