3 important guidelines for your first trimester

Posted on February 16th, 2017

Registered midwife and Pampers Institute expert Pippa Hime gives her top three tips to guide you through your first trimester of pregnancy.

3 guidelines for your first trimester of pregnancy

Have you just found out that you’re a mom-to-be? Congratulations! It’s an exciting time, but it can also lead to a lot of anxiety and uncertainty. To help you navigate through the first three months of your pregnancy journey, Pippa Hime, midwife and expert at the Pampers Institute, offers these three tips.

Focus on your health

Pregnancy is the perfect time to adopt healthy habits. Ensure you are moderately active, and eat nutritious meals. Your body is now home to an important being, so you want to look after it.

  • Pregnancy can be exhausting, and you’ve had to kick that caffeine habit, so for a quick pick-me-up, try snacking on fruit – the natural sugars can help recharge your energy levels.
  • Make protein a priority by regularly eating meat, fish, eggs and cheese to meet the requirements of your developing baby.
  • Try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Whether it’s walking or swimming, make it part of your daily routine.
  • Ensure you get 80-100mg vitamin C every day. Vitamin C helps with your baby’s new cell growth and bone and teeth development.
  • Eat foods that are rich in folic acid, such as lentils and asparagus, as this is essential for the development of new red blood cells. It is also recommended to take a folic acid supplement during the first trimester.

Click here for more advice on nutrition during pregnancy: 

Combat morning sickness

Although you may have every intention of maintaining a healthy lifestyle when pregnant, morning sickness, which can strike day or night, can put your plans on hold! It is usually common in your first trimester and affects 50-70% of pregnant women – so you’re not alone.

  • Stick to foods you know won’t make you feel nauseous. Even if that means you’re eating the same thing again and again, you are getting nutrients into your body and to your baby.
  • Stay away from spicy or greasy foods.
  • Instead of eating three large meals a day, eat five to six small meals to avoid an empty stomach and keep your blood sugar stable.
  • Make sure to eat something as soon as you wake up. It’s a good idea to keep some plain crackers or rice cakes next to your bed to help raise your blood sugar first thing.
  • Take prenatal vitamins daily. These can make morning sickness worse in the first trimester, so just folic acid may be better if you are nauseous.

ALSO SEE: Dealing with morning sickness

When to be cautious

You may not look pregnant right now, but your body and baby are going through big changes. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the normal signs of pregnancy and indications that something could be wrong.

Because the risk of miscarriage is at its highest during your first trimester, be wary of the following symptoms:

  • Severe abdominal pain/backache.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Burning sensation when urinating – urinary tract infections are common in pregnancy, so rather have it checked out. It is not a sign of miscarriage.
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding. Any vaginal bleeding in pregnancy should be investigated.
  • Severe puffiness in your hands/face. These are usually signs of preeclampsia, which you shouldn’t experience in the first trimester.
  • High fevers or chills.

ALSO SEE: Increase your chances to carry full-term

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important not to panic. Call your doctor or go to your nearest emergency room so you can get peace of mind and, if necessary, prompt medical assistance.

Pippa Hime

About Pippa Hime

Pippa is a Registered Professional Nurse and trained as a Registered Midwife at Chris Hani Baragwanth Hospital. She has extensive experience in all things baby related with a special interest in preparing couples for the exciting journey of parenthood as well as supporting them in the weeks that follow the birth. She and her husband Richard are the proud parents of Becca age 6 and Tom age 4. Pippa has a comprehensive private clinic service that includes Childbirth Education classes, a Well Baby Clinic including Immunization as well as Post Natal and Lactation support. With over 5 years of running a private clinic facility and raising 2 children Pippa comes with a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience of parenthood.