Authored by Eva Sandra
Pregnancy is a very crucial period in the life of every woman aspiring to be a mother. She needs to be careful from the very beginning, as soon as she learns about her pregnancy. A pregnant woman should be taken care of by her family members, mainly by her husband. The first trimester is considered as the most critical period of pregnancy, as the baby grows from the fetus stage during this time. Therefore, the mother-to-be should take care of certain matters during this first trimester to safeguard her baby and her own health.
Most important factors to be cared during the first trimester of pregnancy
- A pregnant woman normally gains weight due to the additional weight of her baby, but there is very little weight gain during the first trimester, as the baby is still at a fetus stage and too tiny to add extra weight to mother’s body. Moreover, the woman feels nauseated during this stage and is likely to lose some weight as a result. Therefore, during the first trimester of pregnancy, the mother-to-be needs to actually try for gaining some weight, though being overweight can also be harmful for the baby’s growth.
- It is necessary to eat very healthy foods at this stage of pregnancy, for the well-being of both the child and the mother. Vegetarian women need to eat lots of whole grain cereals, pulses, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables; while the non-vegetarian mothers should include good amounts of lean meat, fish and eggs in their regular diet. It is best to follow a diet chart planned by an experienced dietician during the whole pregnancy period.
- The presence of proteins and fibers are essential in the daily meals of the pregnant women during this first trimester. An adequate amount of calcium intake is necessary for the proper growth of the bones of the baby, which is available from milk, yogurt and other healthy milk products. But some foods, like soft cheese, hot dogs, less cooked meat and raw eggs should be avoided, to prevent bacterial infections.
- The intake of omega 3 fatty acids should be increased, in the form flax seeds and sea fish, for the better development of the baby’s internal organs. But a few sea fish with high amount of mercury should be avoided, like mackerel and tilefish.
- Many expecting mothers have a problem feeling nauseous from the smells of many usual things during this trimester, so it is necessary for them to avoid all kinds of perfumes, smelly foods like garlic and tangy pastas.
- Daily intake of Vitamin D is very important for a pregnant woman for the bone development of a baby. Foods like egg yolks, milk, cod liver oil, sardines, tuna fish, salmon and herring are rich sources of Vitamin D. Vitamin B or Folic Acid is also a very important nutrient for an expecting mother. She should take prescribed Vitamin B supplement or Folic Acid capsules daily, to keep both mother and baby at peak health during this trimester. Foods, like beans, soybean, sunflower seed oil, peanuts, green leafy vegetables and liver are all natural sources of Folic Acid and thus, important for a pregnant woman.
- Adequate amounts of iron should be present in the meals of a pregnant woman, to prevent anemia, as large amount of iron are needed to form the baby’s blood. The iron can be obtained from spinach and other green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, legumes, lean meat, fish and eggs.
- A pregnant woman should never eat large amount of foods at a time, even if she feels hungry; rather she needs to eat small amounts of food at short intervals of 2-3 hours, to prevent the problems of nausea, bloating and acidity during the first trimester of pregnancy.
- The fluid intake of a pregnant woman should increase to a great amount, for preventing the problems of constipation and dehydration, as well as to enhance the total volume of blood in the body. So it is a good idea to sip in ice cold water or fruit juice, for getting rid of the feeling of nausea at this period.
- Pregnant women should continue doing mild exercises during the whole pregnancy, which is easier during the first trimester because of slimmer body figure at this time. Regular evening walks and light aerobics can help in fighting the chance of caesarian birth of the baby, as well as decrease the sugar level in diabetic patients. The doctor should be consulted before starting any sort of exercise routine during the pregnancy.
- Lots of rest is essential for maintaining the good health of a pregnant woman and she should often take short naps as is possible, to fight the fatigue, nausea and heartburn that are mostly caused due to hormonal changes during pregnancy.
- Pregnant women need to stop drinking coffee and other caffeinated drinks starting from the initial period of pregnancy, as the caffeine intake may cause a miscarriage in patients suffering from hypertension.
- The first trimester of pregnancy is marked with several blood tests and various other physiological tests to ensure safe baby birth and the sound health of the mother. The family of a pregnant woman should take her to the doctor for the checkups and prenatal tests.
- The pregnant women should not take any over-the-counter medicine, even in case of minor fever or cold. The doctor should be consulted for every physical problem and no medicine should be taken without a prescription, to avoid any negative effects of any medicine on the health of the mother and baby.
- The pregnant woman should quit smoking and drinking alcohol completely, from the very first day, when she finds out about her pregnancy.
All the above tips should be maintained to ensure a safe birth of a healthy baby, as well as retaining the best health of the mother.