It is important to see your doctor as soon as you think you might be pregnant. Your doctor will make sure that you and your growing baby are healthy.
- Your Growing Baby
Your baby is growing fast.
First Trimester (Months 1 – 3)
- Body parts are forming
- Heart beats
- Weighs about an ounce and is 3-4 inches long
Second Trimester (Months 4 – 6)
- Can hear your voice
- Moves and kicks
- Weighs 1 to 11/2 pounds and grows to about 12-14 inches
Third Trimester (Months 7 – 9)
- Sucks thumb
- Lungs are maturing
- Weighs 6-9 pounds and grows to about 20 inches
- First Trimester (Months 1 – 3)
- What You May Be Feeling
Your body changes as your baby grows. Here are some changes and how they may feel:
- Morning Sickness. You may feel sick to your stomach and/or throw up. Eat small meals. Plain foods like crackers, eggs, toast and applesauce may help.
- Heartburn. You may feel a burning in your upper stomach and chest. Eat small meals and avoid spicy/greasy foods. Ask your doctor if you can take antacids.
- Backache. You may feel pain in your back. Do not stand or sit for long periods of time. Lay on your side with a pillow between your legs.
- Constipation. You may have hard, dry bowel movements (BMs) that are hard to pass. Eat high fiber foods. Drink lots of water. Do not take any medicine to help you have a BM.
- Hemorrhoids. You may have swollen, painful veins around the rectum (part of the body where BM comes out). They may itch or bleed. Avoid constipation and straining when having a BM. A warm bath followed by an ice pack may help.
- Swollen Feet. You may have extra fluid in your feet and ankles. Sit with your legs up. Eat foods low in salt (sodium).
- Fatigue. You may feel very tired. Get more rest and try to take naps. Let someone help you with chores around the house.
- Mood Swings. You may feel very happy one minute and very sad or scared the next. Talk to your friends, family and doctor about how you feel.
- Things Not To Do
Here are some of the things which can hurt your baby. Do not:
- Take hot baths or use a hot tub or steam room
- Change the cat litter box (you can get sick)
- Take any drug, including drugs you buy at the store and medicines, until you talk with your doctor
- Do not take street drugs like speed, pot and cocaine
- Take drugs given to you by a doctor who does not know you are pregnant
- Breathe paint or cleaner fumes
- Smoke, or breathe another person’s smoke
- Drink beer, wine, booze or other alcohol
- Eat shark, swordfish, King Mackerel or tilefish as they are high in mercury. Albacore (white) tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna; eat no more than 6 ounces a week.
- Get unneeded X-rays
- Eating Well
Your baby depends on you for food. You will need to gain between 15-35 pounds depending on your size. Talk to your doctor about how much is right for you.
1. Eat foods from all food groups:
- Milk, Yogurt and Cheese
- Meat, Chicken, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nuts: Thoroughly cook all meat and poultry. Do not eat shark, swordfish, King Mackerel or tilefish as they are high in mercury. Albacore (white) tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna; eat no more than 6 ounces a week.
- Oils: Use liquid oils like canola, olive and corn. Limit hard fats like butter and lard.
2. Take vitamins if they are given to you by your doctor. Get enough folate (a vitamin which helps your baby’s brain and spine) from cereals, fruits, vegetables or in a pill. Folate is also known as folic acid.
3. Limit caffeine in your diet. Caffeine is a drug found in coffee, tea, cola and chocolate. Have no more than 1-2 cups of coffee or tea, 2 sodas or 1-2 chocolate bars in one day.
Thirty (30) minutes of exercise a day can make you feel better. Walking and swimming are good choices.
There are some things you should not do. These include sports where you might fall such as bike riding and skating. You should not start a new sport or hard exercise program.
- When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor right away if you have:
- Blood, water or fluid coming from your vagina
- Discharge from your vagina which smells bad, burns or itches
- You can’t keep any food or water down
- Cramps or dull low back pain
- A feeling like the baby is pushing down or balling up
- Baby stops moving
- You see spots or have blurred eye sight
- Fever, chills, or bad headaches
- You think you have a bladder infection (urgent, frequent or painful urination)
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
The WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program can provide healthy foods for you and your baby. You will be able to learn about making good food choices.
WIC can also let you know about other health and social services in your area. Talk to your doctor today about going to WIC. You can also call WIC at 1-888-942-2229.
- Caring for Your Baby
The first things your baby will need are very simple: lots of love and something to eat. Give your baby lots of love by touching, holding, cuddling and talking to your baby.
Breast milk is the best food for your baby. Breast milk:
- Helps your baby stay healthy
- Helps you bond with your baby
- Is free
- Is always ready – there are no bottles to heat up or wash
- Helps Mom lose weight
- Some women can not or do not want to breastfeed. This is OK, your baby will be fine.
Talk to your doctor if you need help breastfeeding. The WIC program can also answer your questions and offer support. Another resource is the La Leche League at 1-800-525-3243.
- Seeing the Doctor After Delivery
You will need to take your baby to see the doctor often, even if your baby is not sick.
Take your baby to the doctor a few days after you leave the hospital and again at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 months. Take your baby again at 2 years.
New moms need to see their doctor too, about six weeks after delivery. At this visit, the doctor will ask lots of questions about how you and the baby are doing.
Sometimes new mothers get very depressed after having a baby. Call your doctor and ask for help if you feel like you might hurt yourself or your baby.