Precautions during 1st Trimester of Pregnancy

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 16, 2013

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Quick Bites

  • Take several precaution to avoid complications.
  • Health healthy diet and switch to healthy lifestyle habits.
  • Quit alcohol and smoking the moment you get news of your pregnancy.
  • Avoid everything that may harm you or your baby.

Nothing can beat the joy of pregnancy for women but it also makes them the most nervous. After all, every woman wants things to be perfect for her child. As the pregnancy progresses you may often find yourself panicking and clueless as the journey is going to be long. Moreover it may not be as smooth as you anticipated.

pregnant woman

The first trimester of pregnancy will determine a lot about the progression of your pregnancy into later phases and the health of your child. Although, this joyful ride is going to be the best journey of your life, you need to prepare yourself for the pregnancy. With preparation including precautions during early pregnancy you will be able to control your pregnancy and avoid any complications. Taking precautions during pregnancy will keep several problems at bay.

The precaution during pregnancy not only include about alcohol, drugs and medication, it helps you improve the complete experience itself. You will be able to avoid complications so that you can spend more time on looking after yourself. Pregnancy precautions can make the first trimester a stress free as it could have been very stressful otherwise. Following are the common early pregnancy precautions for your first trimester.

Stay dehydrated

The changes in the body during the onset of pregnancy increase the fluid requirement in the body. It may even lead to dehydration in the first trimester which increases the risk of miscarriage. Drink plenty of water, fresh fruit juices, smoothies and also eating vegetables such as cucumber that are high on water content to stay hydrated. You need to drink more fluid during pregnancy as your blood volume needs to increase during pregnancy to support better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your baby.

Quit Smoking and Alcohol

It’s time to look after yourself and switch to healthier lifestyle. Although you should follow a healthy lifestyle throughout your life, there is no scope for alcohol, smoking and drug during pregnancy. Consuming alcohol during the first trimester may cause fetal alcohol syndrome which affects the mental well being and facial features of the child.
On the other hand smoking significantly increases the risk of complications including miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have premature labour and babies of low birth-weight. The risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is also higher in households where someone smokes. Make sure to be careful about passive smoking as well as it can also be harmful for your child.  


Some experts believe that more than 150mg intake of caffeine a day during the first trimester poses higher risk of miscarriage. Limit your caffeine intake by avoiding drinks such as green and black tea, colas and sodas as well as chocolates that contain caffeine.

Stay Away from Certain Foods

Healthy eating is a primary prerequisite to pregnancy; however, there are certain items that are best avoided.  Certain fish such as tuna, king mackerel, shark, swordfish and tilefish do contain high amounts of mercury that may harm the developing brain of your unborn child. The American Pregnancy Association says, "Mercury consumed during pregnancy has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage. Certain types of sushi should also be avoided due to high levels of mercury."

The American Pregnancy Association advises that you avoid raw eggs while you’re pregnant because raw eggs are exposed to salmonella bacteria that can be deleterious to the foetus’s health. The National Health Service warns “Don’t eat mould-ripened soft cheese, such as brie, camembert and chevre (a type of goats' cheese) and others with a similar rind. You should also avoid soft blue-veined cheeses such as Danish blue or gorgonzola. These are made with mould and they can contain listeria, a type of bacteria that can harm your unborn baby. Although infection with listeria (listeriosis) is rare, it is important to take special precautions in pregnancy because even a mild form of the illness in a pregnant woman can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or severe illness in a newborn baby.”

Also avoid soft unpasteurised cheeses, raw eggs and foods containing raw eggs such as mousse, salad dressings, raw fish, processed meats such as sausages and also meat spreads as a precautionary measure during the first trimester. These foods need to be avoided because they can contain bacteria that may lead to disorders such as salmonella, toxoplasmosis and listeriosis. These illnesses can cause birth defects in the child or in extreme cases, may also lead to miscarriage. Also make sure that you stay away from uncooked meat and thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them.

healthy diet

Exercise, eat well and sleep

You need to look after yourself even more carefully during the first trimester. Make sure that you regularly perform some gentle exercises that can help prevent back pain, boost your energy and  build stamina. Hormonal changes during the pregnancy can leave you feeling worn out. So make sure that you get naps as and when needed. Also make sure that you get ample uninterrupted sleep every night. Since your baby needs to be fed constantly, eat light and frequent meals every two to three hours. Don’t rely on your favourite foods or dishes; instead get the required calories from all food groups. Include healthy amounts of foods such as whole grains, milk, meat, poultry, eggs, fish, pulses, legumes and nuts in your diet.

Limit Contact with Animals

If you have got a pet at home, you should also limit contact with the animal. Your pet may carry toxoplasma gondii, a harmful parasite that can cause long-term damage to the baby by attacking her brain. It may also cause severe eye defects and poor growth in the baby. Animal dander may also cause trigger allergic reactions. To avoid such problems limit your contact with animals.

Herbs and Medicines

Some herbs such as saw palmetto, passion flower, pennyroyal and black cohosh have been linked to high risk of miscarriage, preterm labour and intense uterine contractions. You should ask your gynaecologist about all medicines available over-the-counter that you should avoid during the first trimester of pregnancy. By taking the necessary precautions in the first trimester of pregnancy, you can save yourself from a lot of pregnancy complications that often lead to dire consequences in the early months of pregnancy. Also, monitor your condition vigilantly i.e. under the supervision of your health care provider.

Stay away from strong scents

Several women experience an increased sense of smell during the first trimester of their pregnancy which can often cause symptoms such as morning sickness and nausea. If you experience such symptoms after smelling something, make sure you avoid such triggers. Stay away from strong smells to keep the symptoms of increased sense of smell at bay.

Take Prenatal Vitamins

Always take your prenatal vitamins on time as prescribed by the doctor. The first trimester is a crucial time for you and your baby. Make sure you get all the required vitamins and minerals. A pregnant woman must have at least 400 mcg of folic acid every day. Folic acid is important because it prevents birth defects such as neural tube defects in the unborn baby. Never miss the  iron and folic acid supplements.


Image Courtesy : Getty

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  • priyanka02 Jan 2013

    is backache normal in first trimester?

  • Shruti12 Dec 2012

    I want to know that is the amount of sperm affects the baby.

  • preeti04 Dec 2012

    I am pregnant now. need to know precautions to be taken during the first 3 months and also about intercourse.

  • preeti04 Dec 2012

    last night i confirmed dat im pregnant. wht kind of precautions shud we take? can we hv sex .....n im also hv a ques....wen i tested den there was two pink line at pregnancy test kit.......... one of my relative said dat u shud confirm ur test again after 1 week....... so shud i test again or nt

  • Pregnancy Week by Week30 Oct 2012

    This period is really a tricky period, a pregnant women should take better care of her in this time, because there are more chances of miscarriage during this time.

  • srilatha29 Oct 2012

    hi iam srilatha now i was first preganancy what steps should be follow in this month

  • nisha01 Oct 2012

    i had 2 misscarriages last year due to less growth of i m 2 months pregnant i m very afraidthis time........suggest me some precautions to avoid that my pregnancy can be a successful pregnancy.

  • Sameera19 Sep 2012

    Great information for new mothers:)

  • olly16 Sep 2012

    i had a two months miscarriage last year and now im planning for pegnancy but my job is very what are the necessary precautlons that i will have to take so that my pregnancy becomes a successful one.

  • fatima02 Sep 2012

    my lmp is 16june,i hv previous 3miscarriage n 2 alive babies witn normal delivery.i hv anticardiolipin antibody +, now im taking expert opinion ,inj clexane40mg b.d, tb,deltacortil,tb.ascard 300mg, tb.folic acid,plz advise me i m going on a rt way of management?

  • Ramu28 Jul 2012

    My wife is pregnant now and she is in first trimester now, I want to ask u that can we do the sex and if i do then how much time in pregnancy we can do ?, in which way it is safe for the baby,

  • rani04 Jun 2012

    hi i am 5 weeks pregnant i want to wen i went fr scan there was no sack visible even the doc tld me seeing the scan that my cervix is small can i have sex with my husband and when is the sack vissible

  • shelly26 Apr 2012

    hi i m pregnant with 5months with twin pregnancy. Its my first pregnancy. Can u tell me that should i have sex with my husband during this timing?

  • Gaurav13 Apr 2012

    My wife is 2 months pregnant My left eye has visionary problem i. e very low vision right one is ok my wife eyesight is also ok Please tell me will my problem affect my baby's eyesight or not??

  • Mrinal Kanti Bhattacharjee19 Mar 2012

    my wife suffering endometrosis(two overies) and dr done lap oprerat an Rx Gonablock 200mg/day after operation(before operation 3 months in 400mg/day) months, after coursre compleated and dr said that 1 month or 1/2 month period will be statrt but not done ,now i check urine test and we find that my wife just pregnant and my dr Rx folic acid ,HCG 8 injection , vitamin, duvadilan and progestron caps(inside by vagina one/day) , is it ok pls suggest me.....

  • sheetal27 Feb 2012

    i am pregnant for 1.5 months but no such feeling i am feeling my doctor prescribe me some tablets but not folic acid, i am feeling unsecure as i have one misscarage last year,due low growth of baby.kindly suggest the way,

  • ranjana27 Jan 2012

    my lmp was 22 dec now i miss this in jan i check in strip after two days from due date it gave nagative now what i shoud do today is 27 n i m very curious to know about this it is my first chance when i miss my period.

  • nour12 Aug 2011

    what about intercourse, is it safe or what?

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