If you think you’re pregnant…first thing’s first:
STOP all risky behavior... like smoking, breathing second hand smoke, drinking alcohol and using recreational drugs. Best-case scenario, you cut out coffee altogether. But if you’re having a hard time giving up the caffeine then limit yourself to no more then 2 cups a day. For more information check out my blog on Attention Moms! Top 12 Things To Avoid While Pregnant.
Get on a Prenatal multi-vitamin and mineral supplement and a Prenatal Omega 3 DHA supplement as soon as possible. Folate is the naturally occurring nutrient in foods. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. Your pre-natal vitamin should have at least 800 mcg of folate or folic acid. Did you know that there are some women who lack an enzyme that allows them to metabolize folic acid and may need to take an activated form? I'm one of them! Unless you’ve had testing for this genetic variation in folate metabolism(MTHFR testing) you won’t know if this applies to you. Aviva Rohm, M.D. recommends taking 1 mg (1000 mcg) of active folate daily as this is safe for all pregnant women, and bypasses this enzyme problem. But it’s best to ask your health care provider. Folate/ folic acid is extremely important during pregnancy but it’s especially important during the 1st trimester. Folate deficiencies have been linked to a neural tube defect called spina bifida. A Prenatal Omega 3 DHA supplement will, amongst other things, help with your baby’s brain development.
What about prescription medications? If you think you’re pregnant consult with your healthcare provider about any prescription medications you’re on. Some medications can cause serious side effects for your developing embryo. Do not stop taking them without talking to your doctor or midwife first.
You can also check Safe Fetus - A complete database of worldwide medication (trade and generic) providing information on their use, fetal risk during pregnancy and breastfeeding risk according to the FDA.
The InfantRisk Center (headed by Dr. Thomas Hale in the US) has a phone helpline (1-806-352-2519) and additional information on medication use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
What about over the counter medications or herbs? It is always a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider before taking any over the counter medication or herbal supplement. Again the above resources will be helpful.
How long does a pregnancy last? Typically 40 weeks. There are 3 trimesters, each lasting 12 weeks.
What should you be eating in order to have a healthy baby? Check out my blog 12 Tips to Eating Healthy During Pregnancy.
Here are some other blogs to help you get started.
Don't forget to check out: Tips for Weeks 4-7: You've Tested Positive. Congratulations!