First Trimester | Fit Pregnancy

First Trimester

Migraine Relief

Migraine-Relief

First, avoid dietary triggers such as alcohol, aspartame (an artificial sweetener), aged cheeses, and nitrates (used as preservatives in bacon, sausage and lunchmeats). Environmental triggers include strong odors such as perfumes and cleaning products.

High-altitude Hiking

High-altitude-Hiking

There is evidence that exercise at elevations higher than 6,000 feet may cause changes in heart rate, lung capacity and other cardiopulmonary measures that could potentially cause pregnancy complications. But that research does not necessarily apply to women who are used to exercising at higher elevations. I feel that your regular hikes probably are fine (but do check with your doctor). Still, I recommend modifying the intensity in your second and third trimesters. Be aware of overexertion; symptoms include uterine contractions, excessive perspiration and increased shortness of breath.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal-Disease

Yes. Periodontal disease is a chronic gum infection that is associated with preterm delivery. Researchers hypothesize that the infection may raise levels of prostaglandin and cytokine, both of which may contribute to an increase in uterine contractions. A study reported in the Journal of Periodontology, led by Marjorie K. Jeffcoat, D.M.D., dean of the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, found that scaling and root planing, a nonsurgical procedure, resulted in a large decrease in preterm births for pregnant patients with periodontal disease.

Claritin Safety

claritin-safety

It is always best to avoid taking any type of medication during pregnancy, if possible. That said, if allergies or nasal congestion due to upper-respiratory infection are keeping you from sleeping, eating or participating fully in your life, your doctor is likely to consider Claritin to help you cope with your symptoms.

Rest assured that after years of research on animals and humans, Claritin has been classified as safe to use during pregnancy. But even so, I think it is always best to use the minimum required dosage to achieve relief.

Preventing Constipation

Preventing-Constipation

Two factors contribute to constipation in pregnancy. The first is the body's increased production of progesterone, which relaxes not only the smooth muscle of the uterine wall but also of the intestinal wall and stomach, thereby making digestion sluggish. The second is the body's tendency to become underhydrated as it adjusts to an increasing blood volume. To help prevent constipation, drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Also exercise daily and eat more vegetables and dried fruits.

Gestational Diabetes Test

Gestational-Diabetes-test

Yes. Your overall health will undoubtedly benefit you and your baby, but since your history includes a first-degree relative who has diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes while pregnant. Testing you in the first trimester rather than the third--the standard for women without risk factors--is also important.

Painting While Pregnant

Painting-While-Pregnant

You can, with certain precautions. For example, you should pay close attention to the warning labels on all of the materials you are handling, be vigilant about painting in a well-ventilated area, wear coveralls while working, and never eat or drink where you work.

Roller Coasters

Roller-Coasters

No. I advise you to stay off all rides with rapid or jerky motions, as the sudden shifting of your baby from one side of the uterus to the other could cause damage to the placenta. You also shouldn't stand in line for long, as you put yourself at risk for swollen ankles and blood clots in your legs. So let your husband take your son on the exciting rides as you wave from the sidelines.

Quit Smoking Safely

Quit-Smoking-Safely

While the patch and other nicotine-replacement products are generally considered OK to use during pregnancy, their absolute safety has not been confirmed. As such, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women try to stop smoking via other means before turning to these products. You might, for instance, work with a therapist who specializes in smoking cessation or find a "smoking buddy" you can turn to for support and encouragement.

Sports and Exercise

Sports-and-Exercise

That may depend on your exercise intensity and workout goals. As long as you have a low-risk pregnancy with no contraindications, such as high blood pressure or symptoms of premature labor, exercise is good for you, and aiming for a target heart rate can help you work out at an appropriate level. While the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women use the "talk test" when exercising (if you can talk normally, your heart rate is acceptable), in 2002 Canadian experts suggested utilizing target heart rates.

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