Do’s and Don'ts in Early Pregnancy

 Do’s and Don'ts in Early Pregnancy

The first trimester i.e. the first three months or week 1-12 after confirmation of pregnancy is referred to as early pregnancy. This is a fragile period and the mother should be very careful during this phase. There are certain Do’s and don’ts to be kept in mind in the first trimester as this is the period of maximum growth and the foetus is most susceptible to damage in this phase.

What is good for you in the first trimester(The Do’s):

  1. Finding a good gynaecologist:

This will probably be the single most important decision you will make for your pregnancy journey. A gynaecologist will be your lifeline during the next 9 months and it is of vital importance that you find a doctor you are comfortable with. Pregnancy brings a ton of uncomfortable situations in its course, the visit to your doctor should not be one of them.

  1. The First Prenatal Exam

The first prenatal exam is the most comprehensive exam in the entire journey. A thorough medical history and a physical exam is conducted to assess the health of the mother and her unborn child. This will include”

  1. Personal medical history including history of any medical illness like Diabetes, Hypertension, Thyroid abnormalities, Anaemia, any known allergies.

  2. History of any medications and current medications the patient may be on. This will include prescribed medication and over the counter drugs

  3. Paternal and maternal medical history to rule out any genetic disorders, developmental/intellectual anomalies, lifestyle disorders like diabetes or hypertension, which may be prevalent in the family.

  4. Personal Obstretics history including past pregnancies or miscarriages along with menstrual history which includes the length and duration of an average period.

  5. Pelvic exam to assess the size and position of the uterus, and pelvic bone and structure.

3. Serum Analysis

This includes blood and urine tests done to rule out any anomalies.

  1. Urine tests are used to analyse the presence of bacteria/Infection, Glucose/Diabetes and protein/Inflammation.

  2. Blood tests are used to identify the blood group of the foetus and rule out Rh incompatibility.  This refers to a condition where the mother’s blood is Rh-negative, the father’s blood is Rh-positive and the foetus blood is Rh-positive. The mother may make antibodies against the Rh-positive foetus, which may lead to anaemia in the foetus. Early detection and appropriate medication prevents any mishaps or damage to the unborn child.

4. Proper Diet and additional Multivitamins

The body requires proper diet and nutrition to support the demands of a growing baby. Eating a healthy diet is of prime importance. However, diet alone may not suffice. Hence, additional multivitamins prescribed by the gynec need to be taken on a regular basis. Expectant mothers require higher doses of folic acid, calcium and iron, provided by additional supplements.

The vitamins are vital for proper growth and development of the foetus and to prevent any birth defects.

5. Get proper sleep

The hormonal changes and increased metabolic demands by the growing foetus are extremely gruesome on the mother’s body. Aim for minimum 7-9 hours of sleep to ensure good health and prevent fatigue. A quick nap whenever you are tired is always a good idea!

6. Exercise

Regular exercise except in cases where told otherwise by the gynac has been shown to relieve insomnia, muscle pain and mood swings. Several studies also state that regular exercise during the entire course of the pregnancy aided in easier delivery and post Op complications.

Make sure you keep your gynac in the loop and take his/her advice on the duration and intensity of physical exercise.

What is bad for you in the first trimester(Don’ts)

  1. Smoking

Smoking is a strict contraindication at any stage in the pregnancy. It has been shown in several studies that kids born to smoking mothers had lower birth weight and greater risk of learning disabilities. Also, it has been noted that these children have a higher chance to start smoking at an early age, owing to the physiological dependence on nicotine in the womb.

  1. Alcohol

Alcohol should also not be consumed during pregnancy. Mothers who drink during the pregnancy risk delivering babies with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome(FAS). 

Symptoms of FAS include low birthweight, learning disabilities, behavioural issues and lagging patterns in growth and developmental milestones.

  1. Dietary Restrictions

Raw and undercooked meat and eggs carry the risk of foodborne illness, such as listeriosis and toxoplasmosis. Food poisoning is also a possibility.These conditions can cause serious, life-threatening illnesses that could lead to severe birth defects and even miscarriage. Make sure all eggs and meat that you eat while pregnant are well-cooked.

Unpasteurised milk and milk products are also a no-no as raw milk contains Listeria bacteria which is a known cause of miscarriages and even life threatning conditions. 

  1. Drinking Excessive caffeine

Caffeine has been shown to travel through the placenta and increase the baby’s heart rate. As per current studies. The mother can safely consume 1-2 cups of coffee in a day to prevent any ill effects on the baby.


  1. The first trimester. John’s Hopkins Medicine blog

  2. 17 Pregnancy Do’s and Don’ts that may shock you. The Healthline

  3. The do’s and don’ts in the first trimester. Sanford health

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