Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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Start taking folic acid 400 to 1,000 micrograms daily is the dosage recommended during pregnancy by experts, including the March of Dimes, to prevent neural-tube defects. Most prenatal vitamins include this amount.
Eat small meals throughout the day Citrus foods and ginger also quell nausea for some women. (Go to fitpregnancy.com/sniffalemon for more morning sickness cures.)
Choose nutrient-dense foods Junk food provides little nutrition for you or your baby. For a five-day prenatal meal plan, go to fitpregnancy.com/rightstuff.
Drink more fluids Your blood volume increases up to 50 percent, so you'll need to drink more to support that gain. Pregnant women need three liters of fluid a day (equivalent to about 101 fluid ounces, or almost 13 8-ounce cups). Most of it should come from water; keep that bottle handy.
Stay active Exercise can help reduce nausea, increase energy, boost mood and prevent common aches and pains.
Avoid overexertion You're in the "safe zone" if you can carry on a conversation while exercising. Also, don't become overheated.
Always drink water before, during and after your workouts.
Weight train safely Don't strain or hold your breath; don't exercise while lying on your back; and don't increase weights, reps or sets beyond what you're used to.
Remember your goal Maintain your fitness while pregnant--now's not the time to try increasing it. Also, avoid any activity that risks falls or trauma to your abdomen, such as downhill skiing, horseback riding, basketball or softball.
What To Do Now
Stop smoking and drinking alcohol In addition, cut caffeine intake to no more than 300 milligrams daily.
Discuss your meds with your doctor Before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication, make sure it's safe.
Simplify Shorten your to-do lists and rest when you need to.
Allow others to help with chores And get used to asking for help now: You'll need even more support after the baby is born.
Start shopping Look for versatile maternity outfits. Pants and skirts should feature stretchy fabric, a front panel or drawstrings; since you've got a way to go, make sure they will grow with you. If you're still not showing much, you might want to wait until the second trimester to buy new clothes.
Tell your boss you're pregnant You're entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if your company employs more than 50 people, and you may get much more. By month four, talk to your human resources department. Also, check out our complete guide to working while pregnant and your options after the baby is born, at fitpregnancy.com/wwguide.
Consider prenatal testing If you're concerned about genetic defects or medical problems in your family, or if you're 35 or older, talk to your doctor. A genetic counselor may suggest one or more of these prenatal tests: Nuchal fold ultrasound for first-trimester Down syndrome screening; chorionic villus sampling (CVS) at weeks 12 to 13; the triple or quad screen blood test, performed between weeks 15 and 20; amniocentesis, conducted between weeks 16 and 18. Discuss all your options with your doctor and your partner. (For more on prenatal testing, go to fitpregnancy.com/testing123.)