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So you’ve found out your pregnant: A guide to the first trimester

Congratulations! I am so happy for you and bet you are excited, stressed, overjoyed and worried all at once… Yep the early days of pregnancy can be quite a rollercoaster and oh so emotionally draining – I know I have been there.
I’ve created this blog as two of the biggest questions I get asked when my patients first fall pregnant are, ‘am I doing anything wrong?’ and ‘what more can I be doing?’. FIRSTLY you are doing such an amazing job of creating a baby, I really want you to enjoy these special early days and weeks no matter what tomorrow brings.
I also want you to avoid trawling endless blogs and poor information online so I have compiled a stack of resources, links, tips and referrals that cover the main areas that my patients ask about in the first few weeks.

Should I be feeling excited just yet?

A reminder I tell all of my patients when they find out they are pregnant is to do their best to remain cautiously optimistic, meaning knowing the facts but erring on the side of glass half full. Pregnancy loss occurs in approx 1/5 pregnancies in the first trimester, our body is intelligent and knows to not progress with a pregnancy if there are chromosomal or implantation complications along the way. We use this knowledge as power but try to not let it overtake our optimism. I’ve found meditation to be really good at helping patients to keep present and not think too far forward.

Should I be feeling different?

For many, you may feel slight fatigue and nothing more, for others you may have light sensations in the pelvic area, bloating, intense fatigue and nausea. There are a range of different experiences. If however you experience intense pain, bleeding or have cause for concern you should contact your GP or specialist immediately.
It is normal to feel no changes in the first few weeks of pregnancy.

What should I be eating?

Generally, you can continue with a normal wholefood diet with a few exceptions. There are foods to avoid in pregnancy, here is what to avoid. We also recommend ensuring an intake of approx 80gm protein daily, wholefood carbohydrates and good oils from oily fish, avocado, nuts & seeds IF and only if you are not experiencing nausea, then eat what you can. For more on balanced eating look at our blog here.

Should I be exercising?

Yes. Regular moderate-intensity exercise is protective against many pregnancy-related complications and can provide some of the best support of mental health in early pregnancy. Walking, gentle weight-bearing activity and light cardio are encouraged. Read this blog on safe exercise in pregnancy and what to avoid.
If you don’t feel up for doing much that is okay, a short walk around the block may be enough for you that day.

How can I help to reduce the anxiety I am feeling around my pregnancy?

Anxiety in pregnancy can be debilitating for some, we feel you. Ways you can reduce anxiety or excessive worry is to spend time outdoors each day, confide in a loved one, rest as much as you need and meditate when you are feeling strong emotions. I’ve written a blog (possibly my most important one yet!) on mental health resources for pregnancy and beyond which has some fantastic resources for the wide range of emotions you may experience in pregnancy including anxiety, you can check it out here.
We also recommend Gidget Foundation, COPE and PANDA for fantastic resources and information on supporting mental health in pregnancy.
Also talk to your health professional about safe options for reducing anxiety eg. magnesium, psychology sessions, medication.

How can I better manage my nausea?

Pregnancy nausea is hard, physically and emotionally so firstly we commend you for getting through it so far! We have lots of tips on reducing pregnancy nausea and recipes too, take a look here.

What supplements are safe for me to take?

It is always important to check in with your prescribing practitioner but in general, it is safe to take or continue taking:
– A pregnancy multivitamin- CoQ10- NAC- Vitamin D – Magnesium- Fish oil- Probiotics
We advise you to speak with your naturopath or health professional about the right dose and protocol for you.
Cease all herbal medicine tinctures and tablets unless prescribed by your naturopath specifically for pregnancy. Herbal teas are generally safe however we advise you to check in with us before consuming large amounts.

What happens next?

– Pregnancy is confirmed by a blood test that looks at your level of HCG. HCG rises quite dramatically as the pregnancy progresses up until around week 12 when it levels out.

– 6 Week scan: This is your first scan and one that often makes your pregnancy feel more real. It’s known as a dating scan as it determines approx how many weeks pregnant you are. They will also check the fetus’s heart rate.

– You may want to start looking at your options to go private or public, here is a good resource to get you thinking about your options.
Want extra support through your pregnancy? It’s my focus area and I am currently seeing patients.

To book in for a free base chat to see if we are the right fit click here.


Author

Jennifer Ward, Adv dip Nat, BCom Econ, competing Masters Repro Med

Jennifer is a qualified naturopath with a focus on preconception, pregnancy, postpartum

Learn more about Jennifer here

Book a session with Jennifer here

For speaking enquiries on this topic get in touch at hello@halsahealth.com.au

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