Your baby has arrived, and you are now a mom. This is a big change, and can be both exciting and scary. Start on the right track by following these 7 tips for first-time pregnancies. …
As a new mom, you’ve got a lot on your plate. You need all the energy you can get to care for your little one, but it’s hard to work up the motivation to go shopping or meal plan when you’re tired and uncomfortable. Below are 7 tips for first-time pregnancies that’ll help you start on the right foot.
Being a mom is an exciting time in your life. Learn more about this exciting time by following these 7 tips for first-time mothers.
Congratulations – you’re about to be a mother! Becoming a parent is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also feel overwhelming at times and you likely have lots of questions. That’s to be expected and we hope this guide will be a useful companion throughout your pregnancy. During the first 13 week of pregnancy, your body is growing and changing, and so is your baby’s. Here’s what to know as you start this amazing journey together.
- Start a Prenatal Vitamin.Begin taking a prenatal vitamin before you get pregnant. It can help protect your baby against birth defects.
- Get a Pre-Conception Checkup.Before you conceive, see your doctor and discuss your plans. Ask what you can do to get ready for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
- Get Regular Exercise.Getting regular, moderate-intensity exercise may actually increase your chances of getting pregnant. Try walking, bicycling, or gardening.
- Is It OK to Drink Alcohol?It’s best to avoid drinking while you’re trying to conceive. That way you won’t expose your baby to alcohol before you know you’re pregnant.
- Get a Flu Shot!It’s safe for you — and recommended. Being pregnant puts you at higher risk of serious flu complications. So get a flu shot to protect yourself and your baby.
- When Should You See a Doctor?It’s never too soon! If you know you’re pregnant or think you might be, make an appointment. Early prenatal care protects your baby’s health.
- Looking for an OB?Find a doctor you are comfortable with, so you’ll feel more confident and relaxed during your pregnancy. Learn how to find the right OB for you.
- Start Prenatal Visits.Between weeks 4 and 28 of your pregnancy, you should see your doctor once a month. It’s a good chance to ask questions and follow your baby’s growth.
- Skip Kitty Litter Duty.Contact with cat stool can cause pregnancy problems. Let someone else change the litter, or wear gloves and wash your hands well afterward.
- Stay Away From Soft Cheese.Avoid cheese made from raw or unpasteurized milk. This includes most soft cheeses. They may carry organisms that can harm your baby.
- Can’t Keep Anything Down?If you have severe morning sickness, you may need medical treatment. Call your doctor if you vomit almost every time you eat or can’t keep water down.
- Who Will Deliver Your Baby?Still can’t decide between a midwife and doctor? Consider whether you want to give birth at a birth center or a hospital. That may help you choose.
- Manage Morning Sickness.Ginger and vitamin B6 may help nausea or vomiting. First, get your doctor’s OK. Then ask how much to take and how often to take them.
- Know What’s Safe to Take.Talk to your doctor before taking any prescription or OTC medicines, herbs, or supplements. Be especially careful during your first trimester.
- Watch the Heat.A high body temperature can harm your baby, especially in the first weeks of your pregnancy. Limit sauna and hot tub use to less than 10 minutes.
- Exercise 150 Minutes a Week.With your doctor’s OK, do low-impact exercise like yoga, swimming, or walking for a half-hour most days. Learn about safe exercising during pregnancy.
- Should You “Eat for Two”?You don’t literally need to “eat for two.” You only need about 300 extra calories a day to meet your baby’s needs. Get them from nutrient-rich foods.
- Is Your Bra Getting Tight?Buy a maternity or nursing bra for extra support and comfort. Choose a soft cup with a little “give” for tender nipples and fluctuating breast size.
- Guess What? I’m Pregnant!Decide with your partner when to share the great news. Some women wait until after the first trimester, when the risk of miscarriage goes down.
- Can’t Ever Get Enough Sleep?If chronic insomnia makes you drag through the day, ask your doctor if you can take a sleep aid. But don’t take any meds without your doctor’s OK.
- Catch Some Daytime ZZZs.Try napping during the day when you can’t get enough sleep at night. Take one or two short naps (30-60 minutes) — just don’t snooze too close to bedtime.
- Keep Dates With the Dentist.Dental checkups are even more important now. You’re at higher risk for gum disease, which can affect your baby’s health. Tell the dentist you’re pregnant.
- Choose Something Comfortable.Tight clothes may cause back pain, swelling, varicose veins, and heartburn. And they’re uncomfortable! Loosen up. Your pregnant body will thank you.
- Downsize to Avoid Heartburn.Try eating several small meals a day instead of three big ones. When your stomach is full, it may push more acids up the esophagus and cause heartburn.
- Soothe Your Skin.Use a moisturizer to ease itchiness and keep your skin soft. But avoid products that claim to reduce stretch marks — some are not safe in pregnancy.
Early Pregnancy Tips To Avoid Miscarriage
Having a baby is life-changing, and even though you’re looking forward to it, you still might not feel prepared for the changes that come with having a baby. A healthy pregnancy starts with good eating habits, exercise, and sleep. Making healthy choices early on will set the tone for a smooth pregnancy and healthy delivery.
Having a baby is an exciting time for both you and your spouse. You will find that there are many different things to do, buy, and think about before your little one arrives. By following these simple tips you can get a healthy start on life with your newborn.
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How you’re feeling
Your body is about to undergo some major changes as it prepares to grow a new life.
You may start to experience symptoms such as nausea or fatigue – or you may find that you have an increased level of energy! Listen to your body and make adjustments to your routines as needed. Every woman is different, and so is each pregnancy.
Early signs and symptoms of pregnancy
The earliest sign of pregnancy is a missed period for women who have a regular monthly menstrual cycle. Sometimes, implantation bleeding can occur. This is a bleed very similar to a light period or spotting. Though this is completely normal, you should check with your health-care provider if you experience any bleeding during your pregnancy.
You may also begin experiencing a handful of the symptoms below early on in your pregnancy such as fatigue, nausea or more frequent urination.
The changes in your hormones during your first weeks of pregnancy affect your whole body. While no two pregnancies are the same, some symptoms you may experience during your first trimester include:
- Breast tenderness
- Extreme changes in mood
- Nausea or vomiting (morning sickness)
- Frequent urination
- Weight gain or loss
- Extreme fatigue
- Leg cramps
- Lower back and pelvic pain
- Cravings for certain foods
- New dislike of certain foods
Symptoms in early pregnancy can be uncomfortable to say the least. For some relief, give these tips a try after checking with your health care provider first. Remember, choices should always be made based on your preferences and what is available to you.
- For nausea or vomiting, try ginger, chamomile, vitamin B6 and/or acupuncture.
- For leg cramps, try magnesium or calcium.
- For constipation, if dietary modifications suggested by your health-care provider are not working, wheat bran or other fibre supplements can be used for relief.
Healthy foods and regular exercise are important for your entire pregnancy. Continue your daily physical activity for as long as you feel comfortable doing so. The more active you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing body. Make sure to nourish your and your baby’s growing bodies with nutritious food. Make sure you are getting adequate energy, protein, vitamins and minerals by eating a variety of healthy foods, including vegetables, meat, beans, nuts, pasteurized dairy and fruit.
How your baby is growing
This period is the most crucial to your baby’s development. During the first trimester, your baby’s internal systems and body are beginning to take shape. These early organ and bodily developments include:
- Brain and spine
- Inner ear
- Cardiac tissue
- Cartilage for the hands, feet and limbs
- Muscles of the mouth, eyes and nose
- Webbed fingers and toes
Fetal growth can vary significantly for a number of reasons, but during the first trimester, your baby will grow from about 0.64 cm (.25 in) at the end of the first month (smaller than a grain of rice) to around 10 cm (4 in) by the end of week 12 and will weigh around 28 g (1 oz) [Figures from the Cleveland Clinic]. For information for your country, please refer to your ministry of health.
When should I meet with my health-care provider?
You should schedule at least one appointment with your health-care provider during your first 12 weeks of pregnancy, ideally as early as possible. For recommendations in your country, please check with your ministry of health or health provider.
Things to look out for
While all women experience pregnancy differently, you should speak to your health-care provider if you experience:
- Severe cramping
- A fever over 38° C (100° F)
- Odorous vaginal discharge
- Painful urination
- Vaginal bleeding
- Severe vomiting