Your first pregnancy can be quite intimidating – all the advice from those around you and the countless number of pregnancy advice books might still leave you feeling clueless. Here is a list of tasks you can add to your first trimester’s to-do list, ranging from what to avoid and what to prepare in advance.
- Take your prenatal vitamins
Folic acid is a crucial vitamin during the period when you are trying to conceive and your first trimester because it greatly reduces your baby’s risk of developing neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Folic acid may also reduce the risks of other defects such as cleft lip, cleft palate and certain heart defects. It also lowers your risk of preeclampsia.
- Research on health insurance
It is never too early to get health insurance for both you and your baby. Ensure that you know you are covered by insurance during your pregnancy, delivery and that your newborn is covered as well. Call your health insurance company to get more information.
- Choose a healthcare provider
If you have a midwife or doctor you love and prefer, then this is ticked off the list. However, if you are completely foreign to this, you might have some homework to do. Try asking relatives or close friends for contacts if necessary.
- Cut out the alcohol
Although there is insufficient research to explain how much alcohol will harm your baby, it is always good to cut out the cocktails and spirits altogether because alcohol is known to increase the risk of problems in your child’s learning, speech and language development.
- Decrease the amount of caffeine consumed
High caffeine consumption may lead to miscarriages or other pregnancy problems. Try and limit your coffee consumption to no more than one 11-ounce cup a day.
- Start avoiding hazardous foods
Foods such as – undercooked meat, unpasteurized cheeses, raw eggs, sushi made with raw fish, raw oysters, shellfish, fish high in mercury and raw sprouts – all can contain bacteria, parasites or toxins, so try to avoid them as much as possible.
- Make your first prenatal appointment
Most healthcare providers will see you when you hit 8 weeks but you might want to book an appointment early because these slots fill up fast. Find out about your family medical history because your doctor will want to know about any chronic conditions or genetic abnormalities that run in your family.
- Budget for your baby
Set a maternity and baby budget early and try your best to stick to it so that you will have sufficient financial support when the baby comes! Things like baby clothes, food, diapers and gear can all add up fast so consider trimming your spending costs to make room for the new member of your family.
- Rest more, a lot more
When you are pregnant, it is okay to sleep earlier than usual because you will be more exhausted than normal. 15-minute power naps are great during lunch breaks too if you are feeling the fatigue.
- Pregnancy announcement
Some women tell their loved ones right away whilst others wait for the first trimester to be over before announcing their pregnancy. Pregnancy announcements can be fun and exciting and it is something worth getting hyped up and feeling joyous about so have fun with it!