It’s a positive! Welcome to Motherhood.
A life changing news and I know you have a lot of questions especially if you are a first time mom.
Let me ease some of your worries by answering the most common questions about THE FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY.
On this post, we will discuss the following:
- Common Signs of Early Pregnancy
- Ways to Confirm your Pregnancy
- Ultimate First Trimester Checklist
- Activities to Avoid during Pregnancy
Common Signs That You Are Pregnant
- Tender and Swollen Breasts
- Urinary Frequency
- Sleepiness and Fatigue
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Smell Sensitivity
- Missed Period
Do not wait for all these common signs to appear before peeing in the pregnancy test. Some of them may not occur but the best indication here is the Missed Period.
Visiting your Doctor for the First Time to Confirm Pregnancy
The best thing to do is to go and visit an OB-GYNE and start from there. From the urine and blood test, ultrasound and other procedures to confirm your pregnancy.
A thorough check up is much needed to confirm your pregnancy. The result will depend on how long you are in weeks.
Just to remind you, the result may depend on how far long you are in your pregnancy. I remember going to my doctor at 4 weeks only to have a reluctant and disappointing ultrasound result.
On my 4th week excited for the good news, I went for an ultrasound and found nothing. No sac or embryo but just a thick uterine lining which signs that pregnancy maybe on course. Aside from this she mentioned something about Ectopic Pregnancy asking what it meant and hearing her reply, my excitement dropped to sadness.
Read my experience about My Disappointing First Ultrasound here.
Okay, so now that all is clear and you are truly an expectant mom. Congratulations!
So the next step after seeing that positive is to…
1. Take Care of Yourself
Take care of yourself in the best way possible. Eat healthier, drink lots of fluids and surround yourself with people who loves and support you.
Make yourself more comfortable and get a maternity bra. Your breasts will be tender and grow in size and your good old bra won’t fit.
And to prepare for your incoming second trimester, get yourself some maternity clothes (leggings for the win) and a pregnancy pillow. Yes! you need those too, its such a relief to have them.
Do pregnancy-safe exercises. But the simplest and most useful of all is the Kegel exercise which may help improve your bladder control. You do this by squeezing the muscles that you use to stop the flow of urine. Hold this position for 10 seconds then release. Do this 3-5 times a day.
Also, now is the best time to start a pregnancy journal to keep you occupied and so you can have something to look back on for your next pregnancy.
2. Prenatal Care Visit
Once you are confirmed pregnant. Please ensure that you go to your prenatal visits as scheduled for your doctor to monitor your health and the baby.
They will provide you with a baby book wherein you can track yours and your baby’s progress in the pregnancy. I love this one as up until now I have it as souvenir with his ultrasound photos.
3. Know your EDD (Estimated Due Date)
This is calculated from the first day of your last menstruation period. Knowing this date is important and useful to be a guide for checking your baby’s growth, your pregnancy progress and affects the timing of your prenatal tests.
EDD gives only a rough estimate of when your baby will be born.
4. Choose your Doctor (OB-GYNE)
There’s no perfect doctor but there are great doctors.
Choose a doctor where you are comfortable to ask questions, who takes the time to explain to you in an understandable fashion on what your test result means.
Look for someone who actually cares, is considerate and takes the effort to adjust to your financial situation. Pushing for a normal delivery, supports breastfeeding and is tolerant of your questions.
5. Prenatal Vitamin Supplements
Focus on Folic Acid. Reduce the risk of Spina Bifida (a defect that occurs when the fetal spine does not close completely) or Anencephaly (a defect that occurs when the fetal head and brain do not develop normally).
Although Folic Acid is found in many foods, it is difficult to get the recommended amount from diet alone. With this, you need the vitamin supplements that contain the recommended daily vitamins and minerals you will need during pregnancy.
6. Know Everything You Can About Pregnancy
I believe that the best thing an expectant mom can do to prepare and enjoy her pregnancy is to be informed. To know what is ahead, what to expect and what to do.
With these knowledge comes confidence and ease of mind knowing that all is normal and if ever there’s a problem, solution is possible.
Here are some of the recommended resources a first time mom may find useful.
- Download Apps on your phone to track your pregnancy’s progress. What To Expect- Pregnancy and Baby Tracker
- Join a community. Facebook groups of mommies is your best guide as you get to ask questions from others who had been there or like you who is a new mom.
- Read and research. There are plenty of resources about pregnancy. The best books I found are:
1. What To Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
2. Your Pregnancy and Childbirth by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Learn more about your incoming Trimesters with my Pregnancy Series:
What To Expect On Your Second Trimester of Pregnancy
7. Know the Things You Need to Avoid During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is not easy. The physical and emotional changes that a woman is going through can be overwhelming especially if it is your first time.
The health and safety of mother and baby are of primary concern during this time. Hence, an expectant mom should be more conscious and cautious of her activities and food intake to avoid harm and illness.
What are the Activities to Avoid during Pregnancy?
Alcohol and Smoking
This must be stopped completely. Alcohol intake and smoking may result to health issues to your unborn baby such as:
- Physical Abnormalities
- Poor Growth
- Developmental Delays
- Reduced Coordination and Fine Motor Skills
Also be wary of your exposure to secondhand smoke. There have been cases where people are diagnosed from Lung Cancer because of their constant exposure to this. And for sure your sensitive sense of smell will never approve of it.
Whatever the source of your stress maybe it’s best to avoid it and see things with a positive outlook instead. Stress can cause you erratic sleep, loss of appetite and overthinking which can increase chances of preterm labor or having a low birth baby.
Your muscles are loosen from the work they are doing to accommodate your growing baby.
It can be done but with caution. Make sure to use hair products with no ammonium and ask someone to apply it for you. But the best thing would be to skip it. Warning: Postpartum Hair fall is real.
Exposure to Cleaning Products, Paints and Pesticides
Changing a Cat Litter Box
Sauna or Jacuzzi
Too much temperature can harm you and your baby. Anyway you won’t be needing this as your Pregnancy Hot Flashes can do this to you for free. Believe me. Pregnancy during summer? Good luck.
I hope that this guided you to understand on the activity restrictions during pregnancy. But of course, It’s still best to consult your doctor. NEVER SELF-MEDICATE!
8. Involve your Spouse/Partner
It takes two to make a baby and with that you two should share the pregnancy journey. A loved and well-taken care of mother is able to nurture a growing baby better.
9. Connect with your Baby
For me, hearing my baby’s heartbeat at 8 weeks is the best moment of realization that there really is a baby growing inside me. That there is life and I am a mother.
They may not hear you yet but talk, sing and play classical music to your baby. Create a loving connection and environment as early as you can to establish your special bond.
I would suggest to wait until 2nd Trimester to announce your Pregnancy as the risk of miscarriage is highest in the first 3 months of pregnancy.
10. Get your Government and Insurance Papers Ready
This is for health cards, insurance and government maternity benefit allowance (SSS and Philhealth). They usually have a minimum number of premium payments needed prior to covering your expenses or giving you an allowance.
Learn more about your incoming Trimesters with my Pregnancy Series:
Facts and Tips on your Third Trimester of Pregnancy
10 Things To Do Before the Baby Arrives
I hope I am able to answer some of your questions with this checklist. Pregnancy differs to every woman but one thing is for sure, You need to take care of yourself now more than ever.
Good luck on your pregnancy and happy first trimester!
For the veteran and more experienced moms, Is there anything I should add on this list? Let me know in the comments below.
If you find this Ultimate First Trimester Checklist helpful, please share.