Congrats, you’re pregnant! Now what? We asked moms for their best advice and we’ve made a checklist of tips and tricks for your first trimester.
First Trimester Pregnancy Checklist:
- Choose a Provider: If you don’t have an OB/GYN or midwife lined up, research care providers in your area or ask your family doctor for a referral. You might also consider hiring a doula. Julia from Georgia says, “Make sure you’re fully informed about all your medical decisions.... You have to get a care provider who listens to you.”
- Get a Checkup: Visit your care provider for recommendations on quality prenatal care, discuss any medication changes you might need during pregnancy, and discuss family history of any pregnancy or birth complications. Using the date of your last menstrual period, your doctor or midwife will be able to calculate an estimated due date.
- Drink Plenty of Water: You need to stay hydrated throughout pregnancy. Ample water intake helps keep the kidneys in good shape to filter waste from your body, reduces the risk of UTIs, and can also help with swelling and fatigue. Ask your doctor for the ideal level of water you should be drinking.
- Prepare for Morning Sickness: Not every woman will experience morning sickness, but if you do it’s possible to identify foods or smells that trigger more nausea and sickness. Keep a journal of your symptoms and if they happened after you encountered a food or on an empty stomach. Sarah from New Jersey advises to discuss “your prenatal [vitamin] with your doctor if you are having lots of morning sickness. I switched mine to a whole food prenatal and my morning sickness went away.”
- Eat Healthfully: Morning sickness might make eating anything seem impossible, but do your best to eat a healthful diet with fresh produce and whole foods. Keep healthy snacks on hand to reduce morning sickness from having an empty stomach. Pippa from Cardigan, U.K. says, “Listen to your cravings. If you want it, you probably need it.” Cravings for non-food items should be discussed ASAP with your doctor, as they may indicate a mineral deficiency.
- Keep Moving: It is generally safe to continue a level of fitness and exercise that you had before pregnancy. If you don’t already have an exercise regimen, prenatal yoga or gentle prenatal exercise programs can help boost your mood and energy during pregnancy. Always check with your practitioner to confirm an exercise plan that is safe for you.
- Rest: Genevieve from Massachusetts says, “For all trimesters, REST. Especially the first trimester. You’ll be exhausted, and so tired, and it’s because your body is making a human. So even if you feel like you didn’t do anything strenuous, and you feel like you need a nap, take a nap. Your body is working hard right now even if you don’t feel it.”
- Prep for Swelling: Unfortunately, you will experience swelling during pregnancy. Keep an eye on any rings you wear and do yourself a favor now and buy a bottle of this spray to help reduce swelling on, ahem, tender areas throughout pregnancy and postpartum.
What advice can you add?
We can’t pack every piece of good advice into this list, so share your insights with our readers. What did you wish you knew about the first trimester?
If you missed our Before Pregnancy Checklist, check it out now! And stay tuned for our next post about the second trimester.