First Trimester | Fit Pregnancy

First Trimester

Weighty Questions

Three decades ago, maternal-fetal medicine specialist Yvonne Thornton, M.D., was determinedly shedding the 67 pounds she gained during her first pregnancy when she found out she was expecting another baby. Thornton vowed not to let that derail her healthy eating habits again. “There was a strong dictum back then that no matter what you weighed, you should gain 26 to 35 pounds during pregnancy or risk fetal death,” says Thornton, now an OB-GYN professor at New York Medical College.

Don’t ban the block


According to Lori Wolfe, M.S., a certified genetic counselor and director of the Texas Teratogen Information Service, there’s more risk to you from not using sunscreen than to your fetus by using it. “Pregnant women are understandably worried about harming their baby by using any number of products, but sun protection is not one they should be concerned about,” Wolfe says. “Studies have not shown a risk to the fetus when its mother uses any type of sunscreen or sunblock.”

Chronic condition not so risky


Fibromyalgia itself does not pose a risk to an expecting mom or her fetus. The medications taken to manage it may, however, which is why experts recommend that women who have it review their meds with
an obstetrician before conceiving.

Are Vibrators Safe?


Yes, it is safe to use vibrators during a healthy, low-risk pregnancy. Just make sure you keep your vibrator clean. After every use, wash the surface with warm water and a gentle soap.

Your Busy Breasts

For some women, swollen and very tender breasts are the first clues they’re pregnant: Right from the start, they’re preparing for their job of producing milk. Here, Heather Weldon, M.D., an OB-GYN in Vancouver, Wash., answers some of the most common questions about your mammaries during pregnancy.

Q: How and when will my breasts change?

Womb With A View

Among the most memorable pregnancy moments are those when you see your developing baby on the ultrasound monitor. That flickering heartbeat! Those tiny fingers and toes! But ultrasound exams (aka sonograms) can also be mysterious and nerve-wracking.

Allergy Medication


Even women who don’t normally suffer from allergies often experience stuffiness or other typical symptoms at any time of year when they’re pregnant. Surprisingly, though, you may find your seasonal allergies lessening or even disappearing while you’re expecting. This is because a woman’s immune system becomes less reactive during pregnancy, in part so that her body doesn’t reject the growing fetus. If you do develop your typical symptoms, however, these steps can help:

Practice Safe Sexiness

To be on the safe side, most doctors advise against coloring your hair, especially in the first trimester. Dye can be absorbed into the scalp, explains dermatologist Jeannette Graf, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Instead, try henna or chemical-free dyes. As for highlights, precision application that avoids the scalp makes them safe as well.

Expecting Improvement

I have psoriasis, and for 20 years my scalp has been so crusty and flaky that a shake of my head can create a snow-globe effect. But when I was pregnant, an amazing thing happened: My flakes vanished. I stopped getting treatments at the dermatologist’s office and started wearing black sweaters, just because I could.