10 to-do items for your first trimester

HealthLink: News You Can Use

June 14, 2018

10 to-do items for your first trimester

You just found out you’re pregnant and you couldn’t be happier! But now what? 

Finding out you’re pregnant is an exciting time, but if you are like most women, it can also be an overwhelming time. Here are 10 health related to-do items during your first trimester.

  1. Take prenatal vitamins. If you haven’t started taking prenatal vitamins already, now is the time to start. Folic acid, also known as folate, significantly reduces your baby’s risk of developing neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Look for a prenatal multivitamin that has at least 0.4 milligrams of folic acid and at least 27 milligrams of iron. But don’t forget, prenatal vitamins aren’t a substitute for good nutrition!
  2. Research your health insurance. Find out what your insurance covers in terms of prenatal care, delivery costs and medical care for your new baby. Then, make sure you know how to add your newborn to your family’s health care plan. If you’re unsure about your coverage call your health insurance provider.
  3. Choose a healthcare provider and make a prenatal appointment. Your health insurance plan typically has a list of preferred providers, but you can also search online. If you’re still unsure, ask family, friends, and co-workers to recommend a favorite doctor or get in touch with your other healthcare providers and ask for a recommendation. Selecting a doctor also involves choosing where you want to give birth, so consider the options in your area.

    Prenatal care ensures the continued health of you and your growing baby. Most caregivers won’t see you until you’re at least eight weeks pregnant. In preparation for your first appointment, take note of the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) and talk to your relatives on both sides of the family about medical histories, chronic conditions, etc. Also, start making a list of any questions you have, since there are likely to be many!
  4. Consult your heathcare provider about your current medications. Many drugs– even some over-the-counter ones– aren’t safe to take while you’re pregnant. If you’re taking any medications for chronic conditions, don’t stop cold turkey. Call your caregiver right away to go through your medication list and find out what’s safe and what’s not. Include everything, even vitamins, supplements and herbs.
  5. Consider your prenatal testing options. Early in your pregnancy, your caregiver will offer you various screening tests that can evaluate your baby’s risk for chromosomal problems such as Down Syndrome and other birth defects. These tests are offered to all pregnant women, but it is your choice whether or not to have them done.
  6. If you smoke, quit. Smoking raises your risk of a variety of pregnancy issues including miscarriage, placental problems, and preterm birth. It also slows fetal growth and increases the risk of stillbirth and infant death.
  7. Exercise regularly. You don’t want to overdo it, but some exercise is important while you are pregnant. Moderate exercise helps to boost energy, which will be especially helpful during the first trimester when you’re likely to feel extra tired. Check out prenatal exercise classes in your area or start taking regular walks. Be sure to check with your health care provider about limitations and suggestions that are appropriate for your pregnancy.
  8. Eat healthy and avoid hazardous foods and drinks. It is more important than ever to maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy. Stock your fridge with healthy options including fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy. Check out our pregnancy nutrition infographic for a list of foods you should avoid.

    Even though you are technically eating for two, you shouldn’t be eating twice as much. In fact, the American Pregnancy Association (APA) says the average pregnant woman only needs to consume about 300 extra calories per day, and only in the second and third trimester.
  9. Know what to avoid. In addition to making dietary adjustments, there are certain substances and environmental hazards you should steer clear of during your pregnancy. Even everyday things in your home can be harmful- such as cleaning products, pesticides, solvents, and lead in drinking water from old pipes. Discuss your daily routine with you healthcare provider and determine ways to avoid or eliminate hazards in your home and workplace.
  10. Stay hydrated. According to the APA, drinking more fluids during pregnancy is essential. Your body needs more water to help support your and your baby’s growing blood volume. Not enough water can lead to constipation, fatigue, and even preterm labor. Time to drink up!

Have fun following your baby’s development, from your first trimester to the birth day!

Learn more about Holy Redeemer Maternity Care.

Related Taxonomy
  - Maternity
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