First Trimester Issues


Healthy Women

So how are you feeling? If you're like most women, the answer is exhausted and nauseous. Let's deal with the fatigue first. Do you have any idea what your body is doing right now? It is building a home-the placenta, that is-that can nourish and protect your baby for the next nine months. This is really hard work. It takes a lot of energy-your energy. So stop being superwoman for once and listen to what your body is telling you. That means:

  • Napping on the weekends and when you get home from work
  • Slowing down at work if possible
  • Putting your feet up as much as possible
  • Turning over housework, cooking, errands, etc., to your partner, friend or a professional agency-or just letting things go for a while

Don't worry; in your second and much of your third trimesters, you'll have energy to burn.

Now, about that nausea: They call it morning sickness, but for many women it lasts all day. You may never throw up-just feel like you're occasionally (or continually) seasick-or you may throw up every morning as soon as your feet hit the floor. Don't worry. This is normal. There is even some evidence that the nausea is nature's way of protecting the baby from potentially harmful foods.

Most morning sickness disappears by the end of the first trimester. Until then:

  • Eat small meals throughout the day so you're never too full or too hungry
  • Avoid rich, spicy, greasy or fatty foods and foods whose smells bother you
  • Eat more carbohydrates (plain baked potato, white rice or dry toast)
  • Eat bland foods when you feel nauseous (saltine crackers, gelatin desserts, Popsicles, chicken broth, ginger ale and pretzels). Keep some crackers by your bed and eat one before you get up
  • Use acupressure wristbands
  • With the advice of your health care provider, take additional vitamin B6 (25 mg three times a day), which some studies find can help with nausea

If your prenatal vitamins make your nausea worse, talk to your health care provider about prescribing a vitamin without iron.

Pregnant Women Ask...

I'm nine weeks pregnant, and I can't keep anything down. Should I worry?

Some women experience a severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum. If you experience any of the following or anything else unusual, you may have more than just "morning sickness" and should call your health care professional:

  • You have extreme, persistent nausea and vomiting
  • You have lost more than 10 pounds (or more than 10 percent of body weight)
  • You have vomited more than three or four times in one day
  • You have not been able to keep fluids down and are becoming dehydrated
  • You feel dizzy or lightheaded or have fainted

Eating Healthy and Exercising throughout Pregnancy

You know you're supposed to follow a "healthy" diet during pregnancy (think lots of fruit and veggies, low-fat forms of protein, high fiber, etc). But do you know why? Beyond the obvious-maintaining enough calories to keep you healthy and ensure the baby keeps growing-we're learning that in utero nutrition, including whether the mother is overweight or has pregnancy-related diabetes, can impact a child's health throughout life.

© 2014. National Women's Health Resource Center, Inc. All rights reserved. All content provided in this guide is for information purposes only. Any information herein relating to specific medical conditions, preventive care and/or healthy lifestyles does not suggest individual diagnosis or treatment and is not a substitute for medical attention.

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