First Trimester | Fit Pregnancy

First Trimester

Your Worry List Is Shorter Than You Think

You may think the healthy pregnancy to-do list is like a potato-chip craving: never-ending. But it's not. Aside from eating well and exercising—two topics that are so important we've covered them elsewhere in this issue—there are only about five things you really need to do to increase your chance of having an enjoyable pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Trimester One

So you're going to be a mom. The first 13 weeks are all about adjustment: You're getting used to the idea of that little being developing inside you, while your body is adapting to the demands of building that baby. No wonder you're so tired!

Watching The Weeks Go By

Week 4 Four weeks from the start of your last period, a positive test shows you're pregnant.

Week 5 Measured from crown of head to rump, your baby is about 0.4 inch long—the size of a green pea.

Week 8 The baby is about 1 inch long—the size of a large olive. His features are already distinctly human.

Week 10 Your doctor will probably want to see you between eight and 10 weeks for your first appointment. That's when you'll get to view the heartbeat via ultrasound.

Feel Better Safely

It seems only fair that pregnancy should be accompanied by a nine-month reprieve from everyday pain and allergy symptoms, but as many an expectant hay-fever sufferer will tell you, that's just not the case. However, before reaching for your usual over-the-counter (OTC) medication or trying something new to help you feel better, consult our guide below and speak with your doctor.

Wild Nightlife

Many women experience vivid dreams during pregnancy, and no wonder—they're dealing with huge changes in their physical, emotional and spiritual selves, says Raina Manuel-Paris, Ph.D., author of The Mother-to-Be's Dream Book (Warner Books). Here are some common themes by trimester:

First Trimester: Women tend to dream about their past: childhood experiences, ex-boyfriends and parents. These dreams are a subconscious way of coming to terms with their new identity and letting go of the old.

Ski School

Ski-School

It's best to discuss this with your doctor. Here's why: In the first trimester, the fetus is well protected within the uterus, which in turn is safely tucked behind the pelvic bones. As such, if you were to suffer a hard fall or a blow to the abdomen from an errant ski, your baby would very likely be protected. However, after 13 weeks, the uterus begins to expand beyond the pelvis; this could put your baby at risk if you were to take a fall or get hit in the belly.

Emotions About Pregnancy

Emotions-About-Pregnancy

Indirectly, perhaps. Research suggests that birth outcomes can be influenced by whether a woman's pregnancy was wanted, unwanted or "mis-timed" or if she simply felt ambivalent about it. Women with unwanted pregnancies were more likely to deliver preterm, and ambivalence increased the odds of having a preterm or low-birth-weight baby. Women whose pregnancies were wanted but "mis-timed" were less likely to have a low-birth-weight baby. Expectant women should seek the emotional care and support they need, advises study author Anshu Mohllajee, M.P.H., of the Harvard School of Public Health.

The Lowdown on Low-Dose Aspirin

The-Lowdown-on-Low-Dose-Aspirin

I'm six weeks along and have been hearing a lot about this.

Reflexology and Pregnancy

Reflexology-and-Pregnancy

Reflexology is a form of massage practiced on areas of the hands and feet. The idea behind the practice is that pressing specific energy points can stimulate organs and help boost energy flow. Opinions vary on whether reflexology is helpful during pregnancy. "As far as I know, there is no potential pregnancy benefit or risk," says Peter Bernstein, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and women's health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

Antidepressants During Pregnancy

Antidepressants-During-Pregnancy

It's possible. Researchers have found evidence that prenatal use of at least one antidepressant--Paxil--increases the risk of congenital heart malformation. Other studies have found associations between late-pregnancy use of antidepressants and short-term complications in newborns, including jitteriness and respiratory distress. But not treating a mother's severe depression can also harm the fetus.

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