Congratulations! If you’re reading this post you’ve probably just found out you’re pregnant – how exciting!! Now whilst you’re still dealing with the whirlwind of emotions it’s time to get to work because you have a lot to do! Here’s your First Trimester Check List to help you along:
- Contact your Doctors surgery to arrange an appointment with the Midwife – You’ll need to see them at around 8-10 weeks & remember the date of your last period because they’re want to know that to work your due date out.
- Folic Acid – if you haven’t already been taking this you need to start straight away – it’s recommended to take 400 micrograms of Folic Acid daily whilst trying to conceive and in the first 12 weeks on pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
- Vitamin D – it’s also recommended to take 10 micrograms of Vitamin D daily as its thought to help with baby’s bone formation and it’s common nowadays for us to have insufficient levels especially in the winter months because of the lack of exposure to sunshine.
- Quit smoking – we all know that smoking is bad for us but it’s also harmful to our babies even before they’re born; giving an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and sudden infant death. Yes it’s hard to quit but there’s lots of help out there check out the NHS site on smoking and your unborn baby.
- Say goodbye to alcohol – experts are still unsure as to how much alcohol is safe during pregnancy, so the safest approach would be not drinking it at all. Known risks are miscarriage, premature birth and low birth weight and the risks are greater the more you drink, including learning difficulties and behavioural problems and a serious condition called “foetal alcohol syndrome”.
- Watch your caffeine – high levels of caffeine in pregnancy have been linked to miscarriage and low birth weight in babies which can increase the risk of health problems for them in later life. The recommended daily maximum level is 200mg which equates to 2 mugs of instant coffee, but the issue is that caffeine is also in tea, cola, energy drinks and I’m afraid to say it – chocolate!! Check out the levels here.
- Check your medications – if you are taking any medications check the small print to make sure they are safe to take in pregnancy – there’s a lot of pills and potions out there that are not recommended for pregnant women. If you are unsure check with your pharmacist.
- Think about your diet – your growing baby is totally reliant on your body to provide all of the nutrients they need to develop and grow, so it makes sense to be well hydrated and feed your body healthy food to help that process.
- Keep up the exercise – with few exceptions exercise is really good for you in pregnancy, so you keep up your usual regime or if you’ve not done any exercise for a while then start with something more gentle such as a daily walk.
- Listen to your body – your body is going through some amazing changes as it prepares the perfect environment for your baby to grow. Your hormones are all over the place and you’re still coming to terms with what’s happening; the first trimester can be exhausting! You may not have announced the news yet, so you have to keep up appearances but listen to your body and if you’re tired then rest. But don’t worry it won’t be like this for long because you get your energy levels back in the second & third trimesters.
- Start a pregnancy journal – A diary or journal is a great way to record the events of your pregnancy and how you’re feeling; it’s also a nice way to bond with baby.
- Seek support – you may not want to announce your pregnancy to the world just yet but letting someone special in on your secret can be really beneficial as a support buddy.
Thanks for reading
Jane – The Midwife x
For more blogs on pregnancy, birth and life as a new mum please visit www.naturalbirthingcompany.com/blogs/news
During your pregnancy factors may come into play that results in you requiring different advice – in these circumstances, you should seek direct advice from you own Midwife/Doctor according to your situation.
If you are unsure about anything or have any concerns whilst pregnant please speak to your Midwife.