Pregnancy period, indeed, is a wonderful phase of a woman’s life. When pregnancy hits a woman for the first time, she experiences an incredible feeling, but she is also faced with fears and new challenges. Hence, it is important to know tips and things to do for healthy pregnancy during the three trimesters.
Pregnancy period last for 40 weeks–three trimesters. Some common symptoms of pregnancy are missed menstrual cycle, food cravings, morning sickness, sleepiness, vomiting, nausea and so on. Women deserve special care during this period of three trimesters for healthy pregnancy.
What are the basic pregnancy care tips?
Follow these step-by-step pregnancy care tips trimester-wise
First trimester – 18 things to do
- Take prenatal vitamins, especially folic acid supplements, as soon as you come to know about your pregnancy.
- Find a good gynaecologist, who is experienced in pregnancy care and delivery. You need to be in good hands to avoid any complications. Once you have selected your doctor, make the appointment straight away.
- Consult about medicines you are taking and what not to have during pregnancy. Headaches are common during this period due to hormonal changes. You should not take any pain killer without doctor’s consultation.
- Start mild exercises and meditate. Walking or special yoga classes conducted for ‘would be mommies’ will make your system function normally.
- Chart out a pregnancy diet plan. Eat fibre-rich foods like sprouts, cereals, legumes and leafy greens. Eat fruits rich in folic acid like strawberries.
- Have small meals several times instead of eating in bulk at a time. It will be good to stay filled, fit and healthy. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water daily.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol. It can affect the fetal growth and can cause certain abnormalities in the child.
- Stop eating junk food. It will increase your weight and weaken your immune system. Junk food will increase your blood pressure and sugar levels as well. Monitor your blood sugar levels and blood pressure regularly.
- Quit smoking. It can lead to low birth weight and breathing problems in the babies.
- Increase peaceful sleeping hours. Keep yourself calm, confident and happy.
- Maintain personal hygiene to avoid vaginal infection. Take probiotics. Avoid sauna/hot tubs.
- Stop panicking as your mood has a direct effect on your baby.
- Avoid long distance travelling in this trimester as the chances of miscarriage are highest in first trimester.
- Wear lose comfortable clothes to let your body breathe. Start wearing supportive bras to prevent sagging of breasts as the size increases during pregnancy. Do not wear high heels to avoid tripping.
- Lifting weight more than 20 pounds and bending can cause dizziness.
- Avoid exposure to pesticides and chemicals and video display terminals. Also, avoid sex for at least first three months.
- At the end of first trimester, undergo a complete scan for the first time in pregnancy.
- Be mentally prepared for a number of changes in your body.
It is all about newer avenues. You are now getting into a more comfortable phase as compared to first trimester.
Food: Now you have to be more mindful about what you eat. You will feel hungrier than before. Eat a healthy balanced diet rich in iron, folate and protein. Excessive eating will not help your baby grow faster and better. Consume more fruits, vegetables and cereals. Fish, walnuts and sea foods are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. It is required by your baby in this period for fast progressive cognitive and visual development. You may be allergic to certain sea foods. Discuss the same with your doctor. Drink lots of water and fresh juices.
Body posture: Maintain good posture all the times. Do not be stuck in one position for long periods. Keep moving and do frequent walks. Start sleeping on your left side to keep your circulation to the growing baby in a better way. Control the urge of slouching. It can be dangerous for you and your baby.
Maternity wear: Your clothes will start becoming tighter. Do shop maternity clothes made with linen and cotton. Pick pleasant colours to feel good.
Exercise: Continue doing your usual exercises as recommended by a professional. Do breathing exercises to contribute in healthy growth of your baby. Continue doing stretches. Do not fall prey to lethargy. Take decent rest.
Regular test: Go for the tests recommended during this trimester. You will see rashes in areas like underarms, groin and under the breasts. Take a shower to help soothe them. They will ultimately go away.
Stay positive: Keep your mind positive. Start communicating with your baby at the end of this trimester. You will love to see his/her response in the form of movements and kicks. Develop an interesting hobby to stay calm and focused.
There are certain symptoms that will occur during this stage. Make sure that your baby grows and develops properly.
Food: Eat iron and protein-rich foods. Calcium becomes more crucial during the third trimester. Increase your intake of more dairy products. Incorporate more sources of magnesium in your diet as it helps in absorbing calcium efficiently. Folic acid helps decrease the risk of defects of your baby’s neutral tube. Include grains, dark leafy veggies and strawberries more in your daily diet to increase the intake of folic acid. Eat foods rich in DHA (fatty acids). It is good for the development of your baby’s brain. Foods rich in vitamin C and fibre should be consumed in abundance.
Drinks: Say no to caffeine, alcohol and tobacco at all costs. Drink plenty of water, milk and juice to keep yourself well hydrated.
Food to avoid: Avoid eating high fat and spicy foods, sodium packed foods and junk food.
Birth plan: This is the right time to attend some workshops in your hospital about breast feeding and diaper changing classes if you are a first-time mother. Draw a birth plan like who should be around you while you give birth to your child. This is the time to delegate chores to others as much as you can.
Care for the body: Take adequate rest. If you are a working woman, you may take a step back from here on. Swimming is a wonderful workout in this trimester to prepare your body for the labour pain. Have a warm bath to comfort your aching body.
Special activities: Spend quality time with your partner and family members. Catch up on movies, hang out and do all that you want to do as you will not get time for yourself later for a long time after delivery. Choose a special name for your child. Prepare your hospital bag. You are just around the corner. Embrace yourself with joyful feeling about the oncoming labor and delivery. Child birth is a natural process. Do not take any kind of stress.
Wish you all good luck for successful completion of three trimesters. Your new chapter of life of motherhood is going to start soon. Get ready to be overwhelmed!