Pregnancy is a special time for all women. These 9 months can be even more special for you if you take good care of your mental and physical health so that you give birth to a healthy baby.
The first trimester of pregnancy is very important to the growth and development of your baby. So you should be stress-free and healthy during this time. In this blog, we have listed a few things to keep in mind during the first, second and third month of pregnancy.
Tips for your first trimester of pregnancy
- Take special care of your health. If you are not taking any supplements already, consult your doctor and start taking supplements for folic acid, calcium, iron, etc. that will help in the development of your baby.
- Get your health checked by a doctor regularly. Do not hesitate to clear any doubts or questions in your mind when you talk to your doctor.
- Avoid any items that can be harmful to your baby. These can be things like pollution, alcohol, smoking, etc.
- Be careful while climbing the stairs so that you do not fall.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Eat foods rich in carbohydrates, iron, calcium, etc. like *Do light exercise to keep yourself physically fit. If you do not have time for exercise, regular household chores will also help.
Medical tests to take during your first trimester of pregnancy
In the first, second and third months of your pregnancy, your doctor may suggest that you take the following tests:
1. Blood test - Blood test is done to detect diseases like Anemia, Hepatitis B or HIV.
2. Urine test - Urine test is done to detect infections in the kidney or urine.
3. Ultrasound/Sonography - Ultrasound/Sonography is done two times in the first trimester of pregnancy.
- The first scan is done in the 6th-8th week of your pregnancy. This is called a ‘dating scan’ which is done to determine your due date.
- The second scan is done in the 11th-13th week of your pregnancy. During this scan, your doctor will check if the embryo is attached properly to the uterus and will check the heartbeat of your baby.
Dietary supplements and food for the first trimester of pregnancy
In the first 3 months of pregnancy, your doctor might ask you to take some supplements such as:
1. Folic acid - Folic acid is a type of vitamin B9. It is very important for the development of your baby’s spine and brain. It will also help in increasing your red blood cell count, which will prevent you from having anemia. Foods like eggs, green vegetables and beetroot are rich in folic acid. As our regular diet cannot provide enough amount of folic acid, WHO (World Health Organization) says that a pregnant woman should have 0.4mcg (micrograms) of folic acid supplements daily.
2. Iron - It is common for pregnant women to get anemia due to lack of iron in the body. Foods like chickpeas (chana), dry fruits, and beetroot are rich in iron. If you are at risk of getting anemia, your doctor might prescribe iron tablets for you as well.
3. Calcium - It is also common for doctors to prescribe calcium supplements during pregnancy. Calcium supplements will keep your bones healthy and at the same time help in the growth and development of your baby. Foods like milk, cheese, curd and almonds (badam) are rich in calcium.
Iron and Calcium tablets should not be taken at the same time. Leave a gap of at least 2 hours between taking them.
4. Multivitamins - Most of your vitamins will come from your regular diet. Make sure to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Based on your health, your doctor might also prescribe multivitamin tablets. These vitamins will keep you physically healthy and strong during your pregnancy.
Is it safe to have sex during the first trimester of pregnancy?
Don’t worry. It is very safe to have sex during the first, second and third months of your pregnancy. But there can be a few rare cases in which your doctor will advise you to not have sex during pregnancy. These cases are:
- If you have had a miscarriage before
- If your vagina is bleeding
- If you have pain or cramps in your stomach
- If you have complications like placenta previa
- If you are pregnant with twins or more babies Do consult your doctor if you have any doubts to make sure that it is safe for you to have sex during pregnancy.
Which sex positions are safe during the first trimester of pregnancy?
- Woman on top - You can be on top of your husband while having sex. This position makes sure that there is no pressure on your stomach.
- Lying at the edge of the bed - You can lie down at the edge of the bed with your stomach and knees facing upwards and feet on the floor. Your husband will be in a standing or bending position facing you.
- Spooning position - If you lie down on one side of your body, your husband can have sex from behind.
Which sex positions are NOT safe during the first trimester of pregnancy?
- Missionary position - In this position, your husband will be on top of you. His weight will add pressure on your stomach which can be harmful to the baby.
- Standing position - In this position, your husband will be standing and carrying you. You can be at risk of slipping or falling down, so avoid having sex in this position during pregnancy.
How to sleep during the first trimester of pregnancy?
While sleeping, lie down on your side, right or left, so that there is no pressure on your stomach. You can keep a pillow between your knees for more comfort. Sleeping on your left side is best as it increases blood flow and flow of nutrients to the placenta.
How much should you sleep during the first trimester of pregnancy?
Ideally, we should all sleep for 7-8 hours daily. In the first trimester, you will need even more rest. The increase of progesterone and estrogen hormones in your body makes you tired, which is why proper rest is necessary. So, rest as much as possible and sleep for at least 9 hours a day. You can also take short naps in the middle of the day if you feel too tired.
Why are you not able to sleep properly during the first trimester of pregnancy?
During pregnancy, it is common to have problems like not getting enough sleep. This can be caused by many things like -
- Not finding the correct position to sleep
- Having stress or tension
- Waking up to go to the toilet
It is best to lie down on one side as we have already mentioned in this blog. Make sure that you use the toilet before you go to sleep. Do not drink too many liquids before sleeping so that you do not have to wake up in the middle of the night to urinate. Avoid drinks like coffee, tea as they contain caffeine which can keep you awake.
How to exercise during the first trimester of pregnancy?
Exercise is necessary to keep your body fit. You should do light exercises like stretching, walking, swimming, dance aerobics etc. during your first trimester of pregnancy. If you do not have the time or space to exercise, you can also do some household work to keep yourself active.
Can you do household work in the first trimester of pregnancy?
A light amount of household work can keep you active during your pregnancy. But there are some things you need to remember:
- If you are sweeping or mopping the floor, use brooms or mops with long handles so that you do not have to bend frequently. If you are too tired, take rest in between. Avoid mopping if possible because you might slip and fall on the wet floor.
- Avoid work for which you might have to climb and balance on ladders or chairs like cleaning the ceiling, fans or curtains.
- Cleaning and cutting vegetables is safe. But don’t stand continuously for more than 15 minutes.
- Don’t lift heavy weights like furniture or shopping bags. Ask your husband or other relatives for help.
- Stay away from harsh chemicals like insect spray, detergent and toilet cleaning liquids.
- Use rubber gloves while washing dishes. Your skin is very sensitive during pregnancy and the chemicals can cause rashes.
Is it safe to travel during the first trimester of pregnancy?
In the first three months, you will be very tired and should rest well. You can travel to short distances only if necessary, but avoid long journeys.
Is it safe to breastfeed your older child during the first trimester of pregnancy?
Doctors usually advise keeping a gap of 1 and a half years between two pregnancies. But there can be cases where women get pregnant while already having a newborn child.
If you are physically healthy and there are no complications in your pregnancy, it is safe to breastfeed your newborn baby. Take care of your health and food intake and everything will be fine. Do check with your doctor for any doubts.
Every woman’s body is different. Every pregnancy is different. So don’t compare your pregnancy journey with others. In this blog, we have answered the most common questions that women have during their first trimester of pregnancy. You might not have all the problems mentioned here. So for any doubts, it is always good to talk to your doctor and be tension-free.