You are pregnant! Congratulations! You have already taken your first step in becoming a mom.
The next step is to arm yourself with all the knowledge you can learn about pregnancy. This blog post will help you get started.
Becoming a mom for the first time is a joyful and exciting time but also comes with many new challenges and changes – from preparing the home to the rapid physical body changes.
New moms spend 1,400 hours online researching ways to keep their babies happy and healthy. This worrying comes with the territory of experiencing a whole new kind of responsibility.
So here’s a quick guide of exactly what you can expect and a few tips to follow in your first trimester as an expecting mom.
Pregnancy and labour put added stress on your body, so entering into pregnancy as healthy as you can be crucial. This is the best way to avoid complications during pregnancy.
Visit your primary care physician to talk about getting pregnant and review your current medical conditions and medications.
Confirm with your physician the medications are safe to take before and during pregnancy. If a change needs to be made, it should be done before conception, as many common medications can risk the pregnancy.
Be as close to your ideal weight as possible.
Start taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid to prevent congenital disabilities, especially in the brain and spine.
Create good habits you can follow during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is not the time to throw away all inhibitions and “eat whatever you want.” Instead, you are programming your infant’s metabolism and health for life.
This is a great time to create good self-care habits, such as a healthy diet and exercise.
Continue taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid diligently.
Depending on the season, if you haven’t already done so, get up-to-date on vaccines, such as the flu shot.
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Don’t forget to make time for mental self-care!
Newborns typically don’t sleep more than two-and-a-half-hour intervals in the first six weeks, so it is essential if you are nursing your infant to have your sleep schedule mirror the infant.
Have a supportive and caring network around you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Rest when you can and make sure to take time out for yourself daily – you will need these recharge moments.
Don’t put too many expectations on yourself. This is a time to bond with your infant and manage the transition to motherhood.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to have everything perfect and lose all the baby weight. Instead, concentrate on healthy eating and bonding with your infant.
Typically, the stressful times are just that, moments. However, if you feel overwhelmed and have no relief, or you’re starting to lack interest in your newborn, these could be signs of more severe depression, and you should see your healthcare provider.
What To Expect From Your First Trimester?
You May Not Gain Too Much Weight
As soon as you spotted the positive sign on your pregnancy test, you probably envisioned yourself with a nice, round bump — but chances are you’ll only gain a few pounds during the first 12 weeks.
Morning sickness is mostly to blame: It will be hard to up your calorie intake when you’re having trouble keeping food down.
Are you not feeling nauseous? Certain smells and foods might bother you, or you’ll lose your appetite.
Add that to the fact that you’re skipping high-calorie items like alcohol and soft cheeses, and it could be tough to maintain your calorie intake.
It May Seem Short
For a lot of moms-to-be, time flies during pregnancy. And although your first trimester is technically 13 weeks long, it will feel like way less time has passed.
Here’s why: The pregnancy calendar counts your first week of pregnancy as the last day of your period (even though the egg and sperm haven’t met yet).
But there’s no way to know you’re pregnant for sure until week 5 when your HCG hormone level (which turns your pregnancy test positive) is finally high enough to confirm you’re expecting (and that’s assuming you take the examination the second you miss your period).
That knocks you down to nine weeks to get through the first trimester, at most.
Your Due Date May Be Wrong
They were confused about how short those first few months will be? There’s more: Figuring out your due date will require a little bit of math magic — and sometimes, even doctors get it wrong initially.
Even if you’re confident, you know the day you conceived, tacking on 40 weeks won’t add up to your due date.
Instead, add 40 weeks to the day of your last period, or 38 weeks to when you did the deed.
But keep in mind that no matter what date you have pencilled in on your calendar, your baby will likely arrive on her own time.
Some Foods Are Off The Menu
It’s probably safe to say you know to avoid alcohol during pregnancy, but some off-limits foods may surprise you.
For instance, while it’s essential to bone up on calcium, be cautious that you’re not eating products made with unpasteurised dairy products, which can contain pregnancy-unfriendly bacteria like Listeria.
That includes soft cheeses like feta, Brie, and goat cheese. The same goes for unpasteurised juices, so check the label before you chug OJ.
More to avoid hot dogs and deli meat, which can also contain Listeria and nitrates and nitrites (in processed meats like hot dogs).
Raw sprouts can also contain E. coli and Salmonella, so opt for spinach or arugula instead.
Pass on almost anything with the word “raw” — raw eggs (including Caesar dressings and hollandaise sauce), undercooked meat, sashimi and raw sushi. Speaking of fish, be cautious of seafood with a high mercury content, like mackerel and tilefish.
Your Baby Is Still Tiny
Another reason you likely won’t gain much weight in trimester one: Your little one is tiny.
When you’re able to confirm your pregnancy in week 5, your sweetie will be as small as an orange seed.
And while your baby will be hard at work developing his brain and growing itty-bitty bones, he’ll only measure up to the size of peach by the time your first trimester is through.
Chances are, your breasts will be growing faster than your belly at this point!
The World Has A Lot Of Smells
Since when did your mother-in-law wear such strong perfume, and did your hubby’s aftershave always reek?
In your first trimester, you may begin to notice you have a keen sense of smell — and that could even start to rub you the wrong way.
Some moms-to-be may not be able to stomach their favourite foods, just based on smell, while others may start resenting that coworker who insists on eating garlicky pizzas and kinds of pasta (and doesn’t even sit too close to you!).
Your Body May Weird You Out
Even sans belly, you may feel like a different person during the first three months of pregnancy.
Where did that road map of blue veins come from? Why on earth does it taste like you’re sucking on pennies?
And why does your sweet-toothed self suddenly need to plop pickles onto a savoury sandwich — though the idea of chocolate cake makes your stomach turn?
Just like most odd occurrences during pregnancy, you can thank your pregnancy hormones.
You May Not Look Pregnant
Even if you manage to pack on a few pounds, you likely won’t start showing until trimester two.
You may find your pants (and bras) feel a little snugger, but you should be able to hide it seamlessly with empire-waist tops and belly bands.
Every woman is different when you start showing — but expect to “pop” sometime in your next trimester.
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This Too Shall Pass
If morning sickness is making you miserable, rest assured that there is some light at the end of the toilet — er, tunnel.
Once you’ve reached the second-trimester mark, you may find yourself feeling less nauseous.
A few other symptoms that let up after the first three months: fatigue, tender breasts, and that constant need to pee (though that may return when your baby gets bigger and starts pushing on your bladder).
Most food cravings and aversions tend to disappear around month four as well.
It’s Hard To Know What To Expect
While some things are every day throughout every pregnancy, you’ll soon find that these nine months are full of surprises.
Did your sister carry all her weight in her hips? Don’t be shocked if your baby bump rests solely in your belly.
Have you heard all of the horrors of heartburn during pregnancy? Of course, you may never experience that symptom — but hey, why didn’t anyone warn you about leg cramps?
There’s only one thing you can expect for sure (besides a baby belly): No pregnancy is the same. The same person may have different experiences with each baby.
Tips New Moms Should Follow
Becoming pregnant is only the beginning, but it’s a very vital stage in your child’s health. So start on the right track by following these tips for first-time pregnancies.
Get Off Google
It’s nearly impossible not to want to look up every damn symptom you think you have or see exactly what stage of development your baby is undergoing right this second. Still, Christ in a cradle, you’ll drive yourself berserk with this constant internet.
Not to mention convince yourself you have some disorder unique to only two pregnant women ever in the history of people.
Find a reputable source of info, sign up for those weekly pregnancy updates and join just one forum or mom group if you must, but for the love of all that is holy, give it a rest after that.
Nothing good can ever come from such a demented obsession. Instead, it’ll turn you into a certifiable lunatic.
And that’s saying something for somebody whose hormones already make her questionable.
Drinking caffeine during pregnancy has some significant health risks. This is because the caffeine gets digested much slower and goes through the placenta into your baby’s bloodstream.
This means that the caffeine side effects of a racing heart rate, high blood pressure, and a stimulated nervous system affect you and your baby.
The result is a higher chance of miscarriage. In addition, even small amounts have been known to cause a 13% increase in low birth weight for your newborn.
Try switching to a naturally decaffeinated herbal tea, but consult your doctor or midwife, as certain herbs can cause premature labour.
Having a baby is rough both physically and mentally. To combat the pain and mood swings that come with being pregnant, exercise regularly.
Low impact exercise can help ease back pain, increase circulation, and improve your mood. It will also strengthen your muscles and ligaments in preparation for labour.
Some great exercises that limit the stress on your body include swimming and walking.
Yoga increases fertility rates, and prenatal yoga opens up your hips, relieves stress, and assists with restlessness.
Lifting heavy weights or exhausting yourself through intense cardio workouts may do more harm than good.
Drink Plenty Of Water
First-time moms require more water than usual as it becomes part of the amniotic fluid surrounding their baby.
Low fluid can lead to miscarriage or congenital disabilities, as well as complicated labour.
You can get dehydrated fast while pregnant since you need more than you are used to. It is recommended that you drink at least 10 cups of 8 ounces each day to stay hydrated.
Drinking enough water can also relieve swollen joints and flush your system of built-up toxins.
Fatigue, especially during the first trimester, is common. Your body is going through hormonal changes that will affect your energy levels.
Take the time now to catch up on sleep and let your body relax. Once the baby is born, you won’t have the opportunity to rest as often. As a result, your sleep schedule will be inconsistent and lacking.
So, treat yourself to an afternoon nap to restore yourself and help ease the stress of work and personal life on your baby.
Getting the right amount of sleep at night is also essential. As your pregnancy progresses, it will become more difficult to sleep at night. You will use the bathroom often and struggle to find a comfortable position for your bump.
Make up for lost sleep at night and invest in a pregnancy pillow that goes in between your thighs and under your below. A pad will align your hips to take the pressure off of your back and pelvis.
Before giving birth, schedule a time for a professional prenatal massage.
A low-impact massage treats lower back pain that can be a menace throughout your pregnancy. It will also increase circulation and remove inflammation that causes swelling.
Avoid a massage at the beginning of your first trimester. Most practitioners won’t accept women during this time as the chance of miscarriage is higher. However, you can get a message anytime up to your due date after that.
Nobody Else Thinks You Smell As Disgusting As You Think You Smell.
Excessive perspiration in places you didn’t even know was porous, and mudslide-like vaginal discharge will do that to a person.
But unless you’re getting up close and personal with others (sorry, spouses and partners) and as long as you’re diligent about washing yourself with mild soap on the daily, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about offending the nostrils of coworkers and fellow public transit patrons.
Make A Birth Plan
Being a mother begins during the birth of your baby. Naturally, you want to make this moment memorable and safe. That is why making a birthing plan is essential.
Do your research online about your options before taking any advice from friends and family. This is your decision, so you should have an unbiased view of the ways to give birth.
While hospital birth is traditional, a rise in the use of midwives and even home births is occurring in the USA. There has been a 77% increase in home births from 2004 to 2017.
Your location is not the only choice you have to make. The decisions to use an epidural, have a water birth, or a delayed cord clamping are just a few more.
Get excited for your bundle of joy by getting those essential and cute baby items ready.
You can prepare the nursery with a crib, changing table, rocking chair, and dresser. Plus, pick out a bright colour for the walls and decals for the windows for your baby to enjoy.
Dressing your baby is fun, but it also requires a lot of planning. For example, you don’t want to run out of clothes when your baby has a growth spurt.
Plan to buy one size up from their current age. Newborn clothes won’t last long, so only buy a few.
You also want to decide on diaper brands or choose cloth or reusable inserts.
For newborns, disposable diapers work the best since you will be changing very often. However, as they get older, you may switch to a more eco-friendly option.
Don’t forget about blankets, bibs, bottles, and some starter toys. These items will help you prepare both physically and mentally for your new addition.
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