That positive pregnancy test is a life-changer. For a woman, knowing that she will become a mother is both exciting and scary, mostly because there are so many new situations and rules and medical issues all wrapped together that happen in a very short time.
For first-timers, especially, there is a big learning curve that has to be overcome immediately. The baby begins developing at a fast rate, and many miracles have already happened before the first symptom ever comes to fruition. Some mistakes in the first trimester can have dire consequences — smoking, especially can cause birth defects, and alcohol can also be problematic. No mom-to-be is perfect, and it can be hard to keep track of all of those instructions. It’s tricky to navigate and very stressful, so we’ve got a guide to help you get through — and help you realize that sometimes everything will be OK.
Here are some mistakes moms-to-be make in the first trimester –
1. Eating for two: Your daily calorie requirement is roughly between 1800 to 2000 calories. The rule of thumb here is that, you need only 300 calories more than your normal calorie intake. Remember gaining excess weight during pregnancy can put you at risk of conditions like pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and could necessitate you to have a C-section during your delivery. It can also lead to various other health problems postpartum.
2. Self medication: Did you know that you are supposed to refrain from using antacids, paracetamol or even acne creams once you are pregnant? Self medication can have adverse affect on your pregnancy. Also undergoing harsh beauty treatments could lead to congenital abnormalities in your baby.
3. Lack of sleep: If you thought that sacrificing on your sleep can help you get a work-life balance, know that pregnancy is no time to play superwoman. The hormonal and physical changes that happen within your body during pregnancy demand more rest. Less sleep would in fact add to your pregnancy-fatigue. Exercising is also of immense importance in order for your body to prepare for the arduous journey of being in labor.
4. Not talking to your baby-bump: Pregnancy can be stressful and leave you tired and exhausted. All this fatigue can take away attention from your baby bump — unless you experience your baby’s kick. But that’s not a healthy way to be reminded about your baby. Experts say that it is essential to bond with your baby-bump before you receive the actual reward.
5. Avoiding comfort food: If you have a sweet tooth, it’s a good practice to limit your sweet intake a little after the second trimester. Putting a check on your sweet intake will help you prevent the chances of suffering from gestational diabetes and other allied problems.
6. Not exercising: If you are a ‘non-exerciser’ you will tend find excuses to sit back and relax. Not exercising during pregnancy can harm your body like no other. Exercise helps to combat stress hormones, boosts circulation, prepare the body for labor and delivery and help in fetal growth and development. Remember daily wear and tear is no substitute for exercise.
7. Deciding on healthcare hastily: Before you decide on a hospital or clinic, ask yourself what kind of birth you prefer and if your doctor and the hospital has the means to support your decision. Birthing is a personal emotional experience and you wouldn’t want it to be ruined by not expressing your desires.
8. Not joining an antenatal class: Ask yourself, ‘Do you know enough about post natal care?’ ‘How to breastfeed right?’ ‘What exercises should you do during pregnancy?’. Sure there will be your family and friends to help you. But there is no harm if you want to do it on your own and here is where antenatal classes come in handy. Antenatal classes will give you all the information you might on pregnancy and childcare and prepare you for the onslaught of delivery.
Sometimes the first trimester is a miserable time, especially if the morning sickness is bad, but it’s still the beginning of the journey called motherhood. Pretty soon this phase will be over, and you will want to look back at it with fond memories.