Your first trimester can be really difficult if you’re struggling with morning sickness, which affects more than half of all pregnant women, but it’s also an important time to make some positive changes in your lifestyle.
Check out some of the most important healthy things to do in your first trimester, from taking the right supplements to reducing your caffeine intake. Find out what other good habits can have a positive effect on your pregnancy, either by reducing the risk of complication or simply by making you feel more comfortable.
1. Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
Folic acid and vitamin D are among the most important nutrients your body needs in the first trimester. While the necessary vitamin D (10mcg per day) is usually included in most prenatal vitamins, folic acid (400mcg per day) might not be, so you could need a separate supplement. If you haven’t been taking folic acid while trying to conceive, you should start as soon as possible in order to reduce the risk of your baby developing brain and spinal cord issues later on.
2. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
If you can’t get out of bed in the morning without a cup of coffee, you can still have that. But going over 200mg of caffeine per day increase your risk of pregnancy problems and even miscarriage. One of the healthiest things to do in your first trimester is to keep your caffeine consumption under control, so that also means checking labels on sodas and teas.
3. Improve Your Diet
Eating more fresh fruit and vegetables is important even if you’ve already started taking prenatal vitamins. Replacing all the junk food in your pantry with healthier options is also a great start to making some changes. While you don’t need to eat more calories in your first trimester, the quality of food is important, so make the right choices.
4. Ban Alcohol
If you’re really interested in the healthy things to do in your first trimester, you should stop drinking alcohol, at least for your first trimester. Even a single drink a day can increase the risk of health problems for your baby, and alcohol consumption during pregnancy has been linked to a low birth weight. Stop smoking and drinking altogether to be on the safe side.
5. Learn Which Foods to Avoid
As soon as your pregnancy is confirmed, it’s important to avoid foods that might contain toxins or bacteria that can be harmful for your baby. Undercooked meat and unpasteurized dairy are particularly risky. Foods that contain raw fish and undercooked eggs are also risky. Raw vegetable sprouts, from alfalfa to radish sprouts should also be avoided unless they’re properly cooked.
6. Sleep More
Getting plenty of rest is very important and going to sleep earlier can help you keep your energy levels up, particularly if you’re suffering from morning sickness. On the list of healthy things to do in your first trimester, sleep is pretty important, so you can extend it, with or without extra naps.
7. Work on Stress Management
Keeping your stress level under control is also beneficial, not just for your baby, but for yourself as well. It might be time to try prenatal yoga or any kind of breathing exercises.
8. Check Your Medication
Even without the help of a doctor, you should check all your prescription medication to make sure that it’s safe for pregnancy. Other healthy things to do in your first trimester include reading the detailed instructions and side-effects for over the counter meds or simply checking with your pharmacist.
See also: How to Get in Shape During Pregnancy
9. Avoid Toxic Cleaning Products
If you don’t wear gloves when using cleaning products, now is the time to start. Some of them can also have toxic fumes, so check all your cleaning supplies and avoid the potentially harmful ones. Even if you don’t clean yourself, make sure that all household chemicals are used in a room with open windows or good ventilation.
10. Learn to Do Kegels
Exercising your pelvic floor muscles is one of the most important healthy things to do in your first trimester. Start now, and you’ll reduce the risk of leaking urine later in the pregnancy and after you give birth.