Pregnancy is one of those times in your life when you will go through a season of lifestyle change. You can’t drink or smoke, no more soft cheeses or sushi, and you’ll be battling fatigue (so no more late-night Netflix binges!) But, this doesn’t mean that your new lifestyle won’t be fun, powerful, or enjoyable. Many women welcome a new perspective and find that planning for pregnancy and motherhood is one of the most positive changes they have ever experienced.
When you find out you’re pregnant, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and not sure what to do next. The best way to get through the first trimester is to stay busy. You can start a maternity to-do list to keep yourself occupied and prepared for what the next months have in store for you. Remember that this is a short season and it won’t last forever. But while it does last, look at it as a time to grow, to focus on yourself, and to make positive changes in your life.
Here are the first 9 things you need to do in your first trimester!
Prepare For Morning Sickness
If you are still early in your pregnancy, morning sickness might not have fully kicked in (or you might be one of the lucky ones who will skate past it!) Whenever nausea decides to strike, however, it’s best to be fully prepared. Go on a small shopping trip for these items to have on hand:
*Insulated Water Bottle With A Straw
It’s time to replace your morning espresso with at least 8 water bottles of water every single day. Dehydration can aggravate or kickstart nausea, so stay on top of it with ice-cold water. (Lemon water also is a common nausea fighting trick.)
If you are struggling with morning sickness, one way to fight it is with sour candy (or anything that makes you pucker.)
Sometimes morning sickness is trigged, aggravated, or is mistaken for severe acid indigestion. Grab some tums and talk to your doctor.
*Ginger Candy and Ginger Beer
Many women find comfort and relief in ginger products, like ginger candy and ginger beer. Ginger beer is a stronger, non-alcoholic, version of ginger ale.
*Ask About Medication
If you struggle with vomiting and debilitating nausea, ask our doctor for a prescription. There are many safe medications you can take for morning sickness.
*B6 And Unisom
Make sure to ask your doctor before you take Unisom, but taking it with B6 is an over-the-counter trick to help you function through your day and it aids in sleep.
Take A Prenatal Vitamin
If you have seen your doctor, they probably told you to start a prenatal vitamin. You and your baby need all the nutrients you can get to grow and stay healthy, so it is important to not skip this step. For many women, however, they can’t keep them down during the first trimester because of morning sickness. If you are one of these women, your doctor will tell you not to worry about it until your second trimester when your stomach settles down. But if you really want to start your vitamins, here are a few suggestions:
Try a gummy or a liquid prenatal as these are the easiest to keep down. A liquid vitamin will absorb quicker into your system, and if you are tired from constant vomiting, this might be a great pick me up and give you new energy!
If you still can’t keep it down, put the prenatal on the back shelf and only take folic acid. This is the most important mineral that your baby needs for neural tube development and it most likely will not make you nauseated. When you feel better you can stop taking it and go back to a well-rounded prenatal, which has folic acid.
Take your vitamins with food. Vitamins on an empty stomach can make you feel sicker.
Read Pregnancy Books
Or scour the internet for mommy bloggers you like! Reading and researching your pregnancy will help you feel fully prepared and confident for the next two trimesters, birth, and post-partum. Educate yourself as much as you can and ask yourself questions like, “What will my parenting style be?” “What questions do I need to ask my doctor?” “What baby items do I need?” Use this first trimester to set yourself up for pregnancy and parenting success!
Find Your OBGYN
If you haven’t already verified your pregnancy, you need to make an appointment with an OBGYN. This is important so they can rule out an ectopic pregnancy or another life-threatening health issue. They can also predict your due date, screen for health concerns, and care for you during the rest of your pregnancy. It is really important to research the doctor who will monitor your pregnancy and who will deliver your baby. Don’t hesitate to switch providers if you don’t like something or if you feel dissatisfied with your care. You have every right to feel comfortable with your doctor since you will be seeing them regularly for the next year. Research things like the doctor’s overall-star rating, how long have they been in practice, ask what their c-section percentage is, read reviews, and take note of how clean and organized their office is when you go for your first visit.
Decide How and Where To Give Birth
Along with deciding who will deliver your baby, you need to research how you want to give birth because that will help you decide on where you want to deliver. Do you want to give birth in the comfort of your home? Or at a birthing center in a birthing pool? Or are you wanting to deliver in the security of a hospital? Do you want a doula or midwife? Hospital care is streamlined and includes 24-hour emergency care, while a home birth or birthing center is more customizable to your preferences and wishes.
There are many ways to give birth, and as you research facilities and hospitals near you, you will be able to narrow down your preferences and where you want to go.
Decide When And How To Announce Your Pregnancy
Eventually, you will have to explain the existence of your baby bump. How you share the good news will be forever a memorable moment for those you love. The internet is full of awesome ideas to “break the news.” However, you have the right to keep your pregnancy a secret for as long as you choose. Most women wait until after the first 12 weeks to share because that is the most common time frame to experience a miscarriage. If you work you will need to let your employer know in your second trimester so they can plan for your maternity leave or adjust your workload if you work in a highly physical environment.
Whenever you choose to announce your pregnancy, now is a good time to think about how you want to do it.
Take Control Of Your Lifestyle
This trimester is the best time to make a list of lifestyle changes and take control of your health. Learn what foods you need and which ones are toxic for your baby, quit smoking, stop drinking alcohol (and replace it with 8 glasses of water a day), and start an exercise routine. Are you using harsh chemicals to clean your house? Now is a good time to use gloves and a mask, or switch to natural cleaners. Include a mental health check this trimester, as well. Are there any lifestyle changes you’ve been avoiding making until now? Pregnancy is the best time to distance yourself from toxic people in your life and surround yourself with more supportive friends and family, for example.
Take a good look at your life and assess what needs to change for you to be a strong and healthy mama.
Learn The Danger Signs
Most pregnancies are healthy, safe, and successful in the US if you follow your doctor's orders. But it is still important to know the danger signs if your body starts to go into distress. Ask your doctor and educate yourself on what to look for so you can seek medical help immediately in case of an emergency.
Sign Up For A Pregnancy App
Pregnancy apps are free and are the best way to keep track of your baby’s development and they also have support groups and blogs for every pregnancy question you can think of!
Make An Appointment At Your Local Pregnancy Resource Center
If you need extra support, make an appointment with your local pregnancy resource center. They can help you file for programs like WIC or government assistance, offer free parenting classes, and help moms by supplying them with free diapers and formula. Every center has different programs, so call your local pregnancy resource center and ask how they can support your pregnancy. PRC's also offer emotional and practical support for moms who need a little extra direction for their pregnancy and postpartum journey, so don't hesitate to call to make an appointment with a trained client advocate!
You can also make an appointment through this website to access free and instant support.