It was a beautiful Sunday. Riya got super excited when the pregnancy test kit showed a positive result. Not knowing how to handle this overwhelming happy emotion, she straight away went to Shashank. While he was busy browsing content options on Netflix, Riya stood beside the sofa, trying to contain her happiness. Shashank looked at her and asked the reason behind that consistent smile on her face. She showed him the kit and said, ‘Shashank, you and I are soon going to be called Papa and Mumma.’
Shashank went blank for a few seconds, and on registering the excellent news, he held Riya in his arms. They were both so happy. Amidst this celebration occurred a sudden wave of concern. There was so much they had to take care of.
The same would be the case with a number of first-time parents who are excited yet anxious about having their first child. Pregnancy is the time they look forward to! Those beautiful dreams and conversations about having a family with a little baby coming home. The joy of those little hands holding your fingers and the delight of watching your newborn sleeping peacefully. A bunch of emotions flows within, and an elevated sense of responsibility takes over. An inherent desire to protect an innocent life takes place.
The safety of the baby becomes the topmost priority for the whole family, and it’s essential to know what things have to be taken care of during these months when the baby is in the process of coming to life. Here, we have culled a list of essential know-how during the first trimester of pregnancy.
What exactly happens in the first trimester?
Week 0 to Week 12 is usually called the 1st trimester of pregnancy. This is the time when the eggs released combine with the sperm and conception occurs. During this duration, the baby grows at a rapid pace.
Within the first three months itself, the baby’s heart begins to beat, fingers and toes start to form, arms and legs begin to develop, and by the end of week 12, baby’s sex organs have developed.
As exciting as it sounds, this period is quite challenging for the mother.
Challenges during the first trimester
As the baby grows, the mother’s body goes through significant changes. She has to go through a lot of inconveniences which can be in the form of:
- Frequent Urination
- Morning Sickness
- Mood Swings
- Tender Breasts
- Unusual food cravings
- Weight Gain
While she goes through a combination of the above-mentioned issues, it’s crucial to understand that her excellent health directly impacts the baby’s health. Following necessary precautions will not only ease upcoming trimesters but majorly boost baby safety.
Dos and Don’ts to keep your baby safe
Here we have culled a list of doing and don’t to keep your baby safe:
- Eating Habits
Food is the most crucial element of your daily routine. It’s significant that the right nutrients are consumed, which foster the baby’s development and keep him/her safe inside the belly.
- Unpasteurized dairy products which might cause infection due to the presence of a bacteria called listeria. This infection might even lead to miscarriage or make the newborn seriously ill
- Raw or partially cooked eggs/meat
- Caffeine intake of more than 200mg per day
- Unwashed fruits/vegetables
- High doses of multivitamins, especially Vitamin A, as it could lead to birth defects.
Safe to consume
The below listed are safe to consume. However, it’s also essential to seek your doctor’s/nutritionist’s advice for a detailed diet chart as per your medical conditions.
- Dried Fruits
- Pasteurized dairy products especially yogurt
- Whole Grains
- Thoroughly washed fruits
- Green leafy vegetables
- Lean meat
- Sleep Schedule
The first trimester is the time when the mother’s body is flooded with hormones, and the body goes through a lot of changes. Discomfort, drowsiness, frequent urination, heartburn, insomnia will all lead to difficulty in sleeping. While the body adapts to these changes, it is crucial to take care of below sleep-related factors to keep your baby safe and healthy.
- Sleeping on sides and on back
While this might be simple for women, who are used to sleeping sideways or on the back but a real struggle for someone who isn’t used to it. You can use pillows to maintain the right sleeping posture
- Proper Sleep Schedule
We understand that it’s tough to deal with the body making so many adjustments during the first few weeks, but it’s critical that one is disciplined about their sleep schedule. Afternoon naps between 2 – 4 PM are highly recommended.
- Routine Activities
Staying active throughout the day is the key to have a good time during pregnancy until suggested otherwise by your doctor. A new life is forming within your body, and a lot of energy will be consumed in this process. However, being involved in some or the other form of physical activity will serve multiple purposes like a good – night sleep, proper digestion, better mental health, and reduced stress. And all of this combined will keep your baby safe and healthy in his / her growth stage. Apart from the daily chores which you are comfortable with, you can follow a light exercise routine, which includes Kegel exercises, walking, or yoga.
Has your pet been the most crucial part of your day – to day life for months or years now? While all the love is widely appreciated, please note that staying away from your pet’s (especially cats) litter box is essential for your baby’s safety. Proximity to litter would not show any visible symptoms on the expecting mother, but it can lead to a baby’s weak growth, prematurity, or severe eye and brain damage. You can have someone else do this chore for you.
- Emotional Stability
There is so much that we have said about the first trimester. ‘Do this,’ ‘Do that,’ ‘Avoid that’……
A lot is expected from the mum – to – be and this might take a toll on your emotional health. You are going through so many changes, following umpteen precautions, taking care of the baby day in and day out. As important as it is to take care of your physical well being, it is also vital that you stay happy from within for the baby’s holistic growth. If there is anything that bothers you, speak to your partner. Let him know how you feel. You both are in this together!
Taking care of the above-mentioned factors, along with routine check-ups and recommendations by your gynecologist, will definitely cater to your baby’s safety. It stays a concern throughout the prenatal period and posts that as well.