• Why You Should Take It Easy During Your First Trimester

    Whether it is your first time or your fourth time being pregnant, there are precautions every pregnant mother should take in the first trimester. The first trimester is week 1 to week 12, or three months, of pregnancy. At this stage, your body is welcoming new and sudden changes.

    These changes will affect you emotionally, physically, and mentally. It is important that you take care of yourself. It may seem self-explanatory, but there are important reasons to take it easy during your first trimester. These reasons tend to be overlooked, but are crucial to you and your baby’s health.

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    Your body needs to recuperate from morning sickness

    With the sudden influx of hormones surging through your body, it is most likely that you will experience nausea, also known as ‘morning sickness’. ‘Morning sickness’ is a common symptom in the first trimester. Although it is called ‘morning sickness’, vomiting during pregnancy can happen at any point of the day.

    Just like having the stomach flu, vital fluids from your body are being thrown up leaving you with less nutrients. Having fewer nutrients in your body lowers your immune system which leaves you vulnerable to viruses.

    You should take it easy by ensuring that you replenish the fluids and nutrients that were lost. You may feel deterred from eating as you feel nauseated. The opposite might be true and you may feel the need to eat everything that you crave – especially the foods that are not good for you.

    Take the time to keep yourself hydrated and eat foods high in vitamins. Morning sickness can affect some more severely than others. You can find helpful, natural remedies for morning sicknesshere.

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    Your body needs to adjust to fatigue

    Along with the morning sickness, you will feel the desperate urge to sleep. Your body is exhausted from the changes it is undergoing. Your energy is being used at such a pace to adjust to the home that your body is building for your baby.

    Listen to your body and find time to rest. The act of being physically sick takes a toll on your system. Schedule in some nap time here and there to boost your immune system. If napping isn’t an option, there areother ways to combat fatigue.

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    You need to mentally prepare yourself for the journey

    Bearing a child is a very intimate process between mother and child – 9 months to be exact. That’s almost a whole year! It is a profound moment in one’s life that is often shared with a partner, family members, and friends.

    Pregnancy is the beginning of a challenging and exciting journey. With all the exhilaration, doctor appointments, morning sickness, fatigue, and celebrations, it can quickly become overwhelming.

    Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. With an absolutely delightful journey ahead, you should take some time to think about how your life is going to change. Here are some questions you may consider reflecting on:

    What is my parenting philosophy?

    Who do I see as positive parent role models? What do I like about what they do?

    How will my social life change? How will it stay the same?

    What changes do I have to make in my budget?

    How is my body going to change?

    How will this pregnancy change the lives of the people around me?

    What big decisions will I have to make?

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    You should minimize the risk of complications

    The first trimester of your pregnancy is a precious time. As your body starts to change, you become more vulnerable to the effects of allergens and pollutants. Allergens and pollutants are all around us. However, there are contaminants that are more dangerous than others and should be avoided. Complications may arise from the effects of coming into contact with these chemicals.

    There are practices you should put in place harmful substances.

    One of the fun parts of your first trimester is organizing and decorating the nursery. If you are thinking of painting the room, you may want to reconsider. Inhaling the fumes from the paint may havedangerous effects on you and the baby.

    The consequences may include irritation to your eyes and lungs. As your baby is sharing your respiratory system, you should be diligent in limiting your time in painting the room.

    Household cleaning products are known for giving off unpleasant odours. Just like paint fumes, the strong odours should be avoided if possible. The inhalation of these toxins can lead to headaches and nausea. Since you may already be experiencing morning sickness, the added nausea may increase the chances of you becoming dehydrated.

    If you can’t get away from the cleaning products, choose ones that are made of natural substances or areenvironmentally friendly.

    Pesticides in foods is a concern even when you are not pregnant. It is important to be diligent in taking extra care to wash fruits and vegetables. Use warm or hot water to rinse them, or if you want to go that extra mile, wash with warm water and vinegar to ensure that you kill the bacteria. Here are some greatfood handling tips that you can implement at home.

    Be cautious of pollutants in the workplace. This applies more to those who work in settings that give off chemicals and have poor air pollution or circulation. Factory and warehouse work, construction, and kitchen work have higher exposure to unhealthy substances. If your job is high risk, ask your boss for other opportunities that would be safer for you and your baby.

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    Stress is never good

    We all know that too much stress is unhealthy for us. We experience stress in all areas of our lives. We experience stress through our relationships, work, and social life. There are physical and mental consequences to the stress we face. Pregnancy can be a hectic time. It can add to the load of stress that you are already feeling in your life.

    Think about the physical and mental impact you feel when you are stressed out - without being pregnant. The effects of stress on a pregnant body can be felt tenfold. Stress leads to back pain, nausea, and mood swings, which are the common symptoms of pregnancy as well. Take control of these symptoms by reducing stress.

    Here are some tips and ideas on what you can do to help alleviate stress during the first trimester, which you can also use throughout the rest of your pregnancy:

    Sometimes we have so many things on the go that we forget to stop and breathe. It may take some individuals the act of actually scheduling in time for themselves in order for it to happen. If you’re that person, grab a pencil. Go ahead and book a spa day, or do a spa day at home. There is a list ofsafe spa treatments that you can check out.

    If the spa isn’t your cup of tea, schedule some time to do something you love to do. The important thing about you-time is that it allows you to do something that you find joy in doing, which in turn makes you happy and less stressed out.

    Exercise is a good way to release energy and stress, and add endorphins! Your exercise does not have to be intensive, but you do have to be moving. For low impact and intensity, try walking or tai chi. For a medium workout, try jogging or pilates.

    If you are very fit already, you may find enjoyment in swimming laps or an uphill hike. Vigorous exercise is not recommended during pregnancy. High intensive workouts may be more heightened in exertion than medium intensity activities, and should be taken on with care

    Meditate and breathe deeply

    Meditation is an excellent way to clear your mind and regain composure. People who meditate religiously say that it takes at least a couple of years to fully be able to clear their minds. Nonetheless, it is a wonderful way to practice letting go of thoughts that stress you out.

    If your mind starts to wander, replace your thoughts with positive reflection. List the things and people you are grateful for. Find an empty, quiet space to sit on the floor. Sitting on the ground will help you feel grounded and connected to the earth.

    Why not make it a bubble bath? Nowadays, not many of us take baths. We lead fast paced, busy lives. Showers are quick and convenient. Drawing a bath allows you to slow down and relax. Invest in some scented candles and scented bubble bath. Turn off the lights and play some soothing music. This is a great way to relieve mental and physical stress.

    The sights, sounds, and smells of nature are known to have calming effects. Going for a walk in the park, bird watching, fishing, picnicking, or simply sitting outside will help you get close to nature. While you are out there, observe the elements of nature.

    What sounds do you hear? What colours do you see? How do you feel being there? These observations will help you become in tune with nature, as will help distract you from the stress you are getting away from.

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    You need to manage your budget differently

    Taking it easy also means taking it easy on your budget. Your first trimester is your time to plan a new budget for the newest member of your family. Here are some tips below on how you can begin preparing:

    A lot of the expensive items that parents need, such as strollers and cribs, may be given by friends and family during a baby shower. The easiest (and most fun) way of letting people know what you need is by completing a baby register at a store like Sears and Babies-R-Us. Nowadays, baby registers can be done online with the option of emailing your guests your list.

    Hand-me-downs are great on the budget

    Channel your inner tree hugger and take advantage of one of the three R’s - Reuse! Ask family and friends for baby hand-me-downs. Babies grow at an exponential rate. If you are buying new clothes, you will be buying an abundance of them as babies will outgrow their clothes very quickly.

    As soon as you are expecting, create an account for a‘baby fund’. Put some money from each paycheque into this account to cover any unexpected baby costs, such as hospital bills and medicine. If you do not encounter unexpected costs, you can always use the money to cover your child’s future post-secondary tuition, or extra-curricular activities.

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    You deserve it

    The ultimate reason to take it easy during the first trimester is simply because you are carrying life inside of you. This doesn’t apply to just the first trimester. It is something that should be taken into account throughout your entire pregnancy.

    How often are people willing to wait on you and treat you with extra care for a full 9 months? You deserve to do things (especially fun pregnancy things) at your own pace and to be more cautious of your habits.

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