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In your first trimester of pregnancy? We’ve got your FAQs covered

The first trimester is an exciting time for newly expectant mothers and their close ones. However, it’s also a time of many, many questions!    Here we’ve broken down some commonly-asked first trimester questions.   

What are the most common first trimester symptoms? 

The main and earliest sign of pregnancy is, of course, missing your period. Aside from this, many women will experience tender, swollen breasts and fatigue in their first trimester. Other symptoms could include headaches, nausea, mood swings, frequent urination and food aversions or cravings.   

Of course, these symptoms may be a result of something else and don’t necessarily mean you are pregnant.  

When should I see my doctor? If you think you may be pregnant, either through missing periods or taking a home test, you should make an appointment to visit your GP. The GP will confirm your pregnancy, tell you your estimated due date and advise you on beginning antenatal care.   

What foods should I avoid? Some foods are a risk to pregnant women as they may make you or your baby ill. 

Avoid the following: 

● Soft cheese with white rinds 

● Soft blue cheese

● Pâté 

● Raw or partially cooked eggs 

● Raw or undercooked meat 

● Liver 

● Sushi or any uncooked fish dishes (unless frozen first)

● Anything with a lot of caffeine (more than one coffee a day, for example)  

A lot of the foods listed above pose a risk to pregnant women due to the potential for bacterial infections. More information on foods to avoid (and the reasons behind it all) can be found here.   

Should I be adding anything to my diet or taking supplements?

Ideally, folic acid should be taken as a supplement for at least 3 months before you conceive. However, if you are already pregnant, you should continue taking it until the 12th week. Folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects in babies. 

Additionally, you’ll need more iron when you are pregnant because your blood volume increases. You can get this by eating more iron-rich dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, red meat or through supplements. You’ll also need Vitamin C to absorb it, so add some citrus fruits or bell peppers to your shopping list.  

Pregnant women are also in need of more calcium to help your baby develop in the womb. Add more calcium-rich dairy products to your diet, or else get in the calcium with foods like kale or sardines.  

So there you have it – some of the most commonly wondered questions that women have in their first trimester. There’s lots more information on fertility and maternity issues on Vhi’s Health Hub. Check it out now to learn more