First Trimester | Fit Pregnancy

First Trimester

Riding the Hormone Roller Coaster

Your co-worker’s habit of talking too loud on the phone has always annoyed you; now it makes you want to throttle him. “What’s that all about?” you may wonder. The answer is simple: Hormone levels fluctuate throughout pregnancy, sometimes causing wild mood swings.

Surgery While You're Pregnant


It’s very unlikely, says Portland, Ore., OB-GYN Desiree Bley, M.D. To avoid risking miscarriage, we delay nonemergency surgeries until the second trimester. Although preterm labor is a risk then and later, it’s a treatable one. We prefer regional or local anesthesia to
general, but even the latter won’t harm the fetus.


All About Prenatal Vitamins - Your Questions Answered

Though it won’t replace healthy eating, a prenatal supplement is essential. Here’s expert advice to help you choose a good one. 

Q: How early in my pregnancy should I begin taking a prenatal vitamin?

Absorb Folic Acid


Yes. Recent studies have shown that even small amounts of green and black tea may interfere with your intestine’s ability to absorb folic acid. Since this B vitamin helps prevent neural-tube defects, you may want to avoid drinking tea while pregnant.

Bloody annoying


“Nosebleeds are a frequent occurrence among expectant women but are typically not something to worry about,” says San Diego OBGYN Suzanne Merrill-Nach, M.D. “We usually chalk them up to simply being an annoyance of pregnancy.

UTI symptoms can be silent


Pregnancy itself doesn’t put you at risk for urinary tract infections (UTIs), but your history does. According to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, close to 20 percent of women who have one infection will suffer another. Of those, 30 percent will experience at least one more. “Women with predispositions to UTIs are the ones who tend to have them during pregnancy,” says Angelica Zaid, M.D., an OB-GYN at Women’s Integrative Health Center in Encinitas, Calif.

Essential Oils

Since essential oils (the oils that give plants their distinctive smells) are the key ingredients in aromatherapy treatments and products, experts recommend not using them in the first trimester. Essential oils could cause uterine contractions or adversely affect your baby in his early developmental stages, explains Jill Edwards, N.D., an Oregon doctor of naturopathic medicine who specializes in prenatal care.

Botox While Pregnant


No. Botox hasn’t been tested for use during pregnancy, so we don’t know if it can harm a baby in utero, according to George Macones, M.D., chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. Botox is a class C drug, which means it should only be used during pregnancy if its benefits outweigh the potential for risk. A form of the toxin created by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, Botox works by blocking the chemicals that otherwise signal a muscle to contract.

You Still Got It


Our inability to see ourselves as sexy during pregnancy may be due to the combination of mood swings, nausea and the omnipresent photos of too-thin celebrities. However, being sexy isn’t about your body; it is a state of mind. What did you do before to feel sexy? Go dancing? Get a massage? You can still do those things. In terms of dressing your changing body, maternity clothes are far more sophisticated and flattering these days. As for your husband, we often make assumptions about what our partners are feeling. But unless you have a conversation, you may never know.

Folic Acid


The current recommendation is that all women capable of becoming pregnant get 400 micrograms of folic acid daily from supplements or fortified foods in addition to their intake of folate from a varied diet to help prevent neural-tube defects, such as spina bifida. Once pregnancy is confirmed, the recommended intake for supplementation jumps to 600 micrograms. Most prenatal vitamins contain 800 to 1,000 micrograms, which will cover your folic acid needs.