Carrying a child is one of the most exciting times of a woman’s life. However, it is also one of the most fragile. There are three trimesters during pregnancy, and your body will go through dramatic changes during each stage. It is important that you educate yourself about these changes so that they don’t come as a surprise to you. There are also certain things that you are advised to do and not to do during each trimester. Here are some helpful tips that will make each trimester easier for you and ensure a successful pregnancy.
First Trimester Pregnancy Tips
- Prenatal Visits: During weeks 4 to 28 of your pregnancy, you will need to visit your doctor at least once a month. This will give you the chance to follow the growth of your baby and ask any questions you may have.
- Kitty Litter Duty: If you are a cat owner, you will need to skip changing your cats’ litter. Cat stool is known to cause complications with pregnant women. If you don’t have any choice, make sure that you wear gloves and give your hands a good wash afterwards.
- Don’t Eat Any Soft Cheese: Cheese made from unpasteurized or raw milk may contain organisms that can damage your baby.
- Dealing With Morning Sickness: Vitamin B6 and ginger will help with vomiting and nausea. Before you start taking them, make sure you get approval from your doctor.
- Caution With Medication: Before taking any supplements, herbs or over the counter medications, check with your doctor before hand.
- Body Temperature: Pay attention to your body temperature, if you become too hot during the first weeks of pregnancy, it can damage your baby. If you are going to use the hot tub or the sauna, limit your usage to 10 minutes at a time.
- Exercise: Get approval from your doctor before you start exercising, but in general you should exercise for at least 150 minutes per week. This can be in the form of low-impact workouts such as swimming, yoga or walking.
- Eating For Two: You don’t need to eat enough food for two people, to meet the needs of your baby, you should consume an additional 300 calories per day. You can get these from foods that are rich in nutrients.
Second Trimester Pregnancy Tips
- Buy New Shoes: You will notice that your feet will begin to swell during the second trimester. Some women state that their feet go up a full shoe size. Get yourself a pair of low-heeled comfortable slip-ons in a bigger size.
- Get a Massage: You will start to experience aches and pains as the baby grows. A massage will help melt away the pain, get you to relax and to sleep better. Book an appointment with a therapist who specialises in pregnancy massage.
- Look For a Paediatrician: Ask friends and family members for recommendations on a good paediatrician. Everyone has their own opinion so make sure he shares yours especially in subjects related to immunization and breastfeeding.
- Plan Your Leave: If you are in full time employment, you will be entitled to maternity leave.
- Natural Cleaning Products: Stop using chemicals for household cleaning, many of them contain harmful ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide. Switch to vinegar and baking soda instead.
- Sleep on Your Side: For a more comfortable sleep, roll onto your left side. Not only will you feel better, but it also improves blood flow to the baby.
- Premature Labour: You will know if you are going into premature labour if you begin to experience contractions that happen every ten minutes and increase in intensity. Call an ambulance or go to the hospital immediately.
Third Trimester Tips
- Go Swimming: Get permission from your doctor first, but swimming is a great way to exercise during the third trimester of pregnancy. It helps to alleviate aches and pains.
- Your Partner: Your partner is not an innocent bystander, he should play a role during the birth. Discuss what you want him to do, do you want him to be your cheerleader, your labour coach or do you want him to leave the room?
- Buy a Crib: When it comes to baby clothes, hand-me-downs are fine; however, you should always buy a new crib because you want your baby to be as comfortable as possible.
- Share Baby Moves: Get your partner involved in the pregnancy, when the baby kicks, place his hand on your stomach so he can feel it too.
- Learn Infant CPR: All mothers want a healthy baby; however, you never know what could happen so it’s best to be prepared. Go to the hospital and take an infant first aid or CPR class.
- Increase Your Iron: Get your iron from foods such as beans, spinach, chicken, beef, enriched rice and whole-grain cereals. You will need 27mg of iron per day.
- Signs of Preeclampsia: If you get blurred vision, your head is constantly thobbing or your body feels swollen, go to the doctors immediately because you might have preeclampsia.
- Birthing Options: There are plenty of options when it comes to giving birth, you may want to do so at home, in a birthing centre or a hospital. There are also other alternative techniques such as water birthing.