This post is for all the women who got their big fat positive, as well as their partners/friends/family. Before I begin, I would like to say congratulations! I am in my second trimester now, but when I first found out that I’m pregnant I felt ecstatic yet overwhelmed. This is my first pregnancy and there is so much information floating around, it can be very difficult to figure out what’s right for you. Also, different family members (and even different medical professionals) have varying opinions on what to do/what not to do. However, once I settled on the doctor who I’ll be with throughout this pregnancy, things became clearer and less stressful.
I decided to compile a guide of what I found to be important during the first trimester and what got me through the more difficult times.
- Decide if you will be going with an OBGYN, family physician, or midwife. I highly suggest both a midwife and a doctor, however where I live we are only able to choose one or the other under our medical benefits. Thus, I chose to go with a doctor as this is my first and I was most comfortable with that decision.
- Do your research and find a medical professional you are comfortable with – it’s okay to make appointments with different people to see who you feel most comfortable with.
- Don’t read the internet. Dr. Internet will only stress you out and negative experience stories of other mom’s can scare you. Same goes for reading pregnancy books – you should be careful of what books you read, as most of them outline the worst case scenarios as well as best case, which can cause you some anxiety. Further, be careful about how credible the sources are. However, definitely do educate yourself on pregnancy and the process; just remember to find credible, reliable, and positive sources. The book I used and continue to use is called: The Pregnancy Countdown Book this book is easy to read and feels lighthearted. But at the same time, it has a lot of practical advice from real moms and information about your changing body. What I like most is that this book isn’t overwhelming, it feels as though you’re chatting with a group of knowledgeable women.
- Don’t be afraid to be honest about how you’re feeling. Your partner/friends/family will all understand. You are growing a human being and that’s no easy task. Your body is changing quickly, your hormones are going bananas, and your mind is racing to keep up. Further, fatigue and morning sickness can add discomfort and strain on your emotional and mental well-being. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones having a relatively easy first trimester, take care of yourself and your little growing bean. Rest when you need it and vent when you’re overwhelmed.
- Drink a lot of water. You may have heard that phrase so often you kind of let it in one ear and out the other, but it’s very important for pregnant women to drink a lot of water. Water is essential – water is life. You need to drink more than you would normally and don’t be afraid to make numerous trips to the bathroom (that issue will stick with you throughout pregnancy, so get used to it). There is a balance between too much and not enough water which depends on numerous factors such as where you live, your body type, and etc. So if you’re unsure of what’s right for you, just ask your designated medical professional.
- Only worry when there is truly something to worry about. In my first trimester I was told I might have a “blighted ovum” which is basically a false pregnancy. I spent 2 weeks waiting for a follow-up ultrasound stressing and worrying and causing myself totally unnecessary anxiety. But now my little nugget is kicking and moving about in there, so there was no need to worry. Don’t think about the M-word (miscarriage), & don’t worry if somehow the dates are off and you’re behind a couple weeks. Trust in the positive and think positively! That’s all you can do for your own sake and the sake of your little bean.
- Take your prenatal vitamins. BUT if they cause you digestive issues, talk with your health care provider about what you can do. I had to switch off the prenatal vitamins to simply a B6, B12, and folic acid combo as well as an iron supplement. So, make sure you are open and honest with your health care provider about any issue you are experiencing.
- Don’t loose sight of who you are. As the weeks move forward and the months tick by, you will be changing into someone you may not fully recognize. Your body will begin to look and feel different and your mental and emotional states will be shifting. And that’s OK. Just make sure to keep sight of your hobbies, interests, relationships, health, and your new found joy of the little human doing their best to grow and develop.
- Don’t be shy. Your health care provider is there to answers questions and give you peace of mind. This is an exciting time, but if this is your first pregnancy there is a lot to learn. So, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you want and be honest with your health care professional about anything that concerns you.
- Drink fresh ginger and lemon water with a touch of honey every morning. This helps with any mild nausea or upset tummy feelings you may be experiencing. If you’re one of the lucky ones who isn’t nauseated, then this tonic will help with your digestion and boost your water intake, as well as provide you with a little vitamin C.