Becoming pregnant, especially for the first time, can cause new parents to feel feelings of joy, disconnectedness, romance, shock, depression and hope… all within the first hour. If this is you, congratulations! And welcome to the rollercoaster of parenting. To get you started, here are the top mistakes pregnant women make in the first trimester. 😉
Mistakes Pregnant Women Make in The First Trimester
Eat for Two
I’m not exactly sure where the phrase “eating for two” originated from, but within it is the assumption that pregnant women get to eat whatever they want and as much as they want. Yes, you need to eat more during pregnancy, but it’s not by that much, if anything, during the first trimester.
During the first trimester your caloric intake doesn’t need to increase, however, during the second trimester and the third the increase is around 300-500 calories.
Instead of focusing on counting calories I would focus on:
- eating 1-2 pregnancy superfoods each day
- eating protein at every meal and snack time
- never skipping a meal
- planning ahead for healthy snacks
Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols is my all-time favorite pregnancy book about food. I highly recommend it!
TIP: Try these energy balls for pregnancy to keep energy levels up and morning sickness symptoms at bay. They’re so delicious! I prefer to eat them frozen.
Eat Too Little
Another one of the mistakes pregnant women make in the first trimester is eating too little. Prior to pregnancy the consequences of skipping a meal may have been insignificant, but not eating enough, frequently enough, during pregnancy, is a big trigger for morning sickness.
To minimize morning sickness symptoms, it’s important to eat high quality foods paired with protein every 2-3 hours.
If you follow this advice you will minimize morning sickness symptoms, but also increase energy and of course, help your baby to grow healthy and strong.
Go to the Doctor Too Early
With my first pregnancy, as soon as I began experiencing signs of early pregnancy and got a positive pregnancy test, I called my OBGYN. I kept asking myself, “What do I do?”. Hahaha…
I think I was so overwhelmed, and since I’m such a “doer” I needed to do something to do make me feel at ease.
The reality is, there’s really nothing to be done so early in pregnancy. There’s no rush, no emergency. When you get a positive pregnancy test result, it’s too early for an ultrasound, and there isn’t anything your care provider can do for you.
Of course there are always exceptions, for example, someone that is using reproductive technologies, has health problems, or is a high risk pregnancy.
It is perfectly fine to enjoy the first weeks of pregnancy and do nothing! Start a pregnancy journal, spend time in nature, and begin taking a prenatal vitamin with folate. I recommend the Garden of Life prenatal, which is listed on my pregnancy resources. These three things would be a great place to start!
Go to the Doctor Too Late
On the other hand, another one of the mistakes pregnant women make in the first trimester is to go to the doctor too late. And when I say doctor, I mainly mean midwives or care providers that have small, limited practices.
If you have your heart set on using a midwife that has a small homebirth practice, you probably should call her as soon as you pee on a stick.
There’s a local homebirth midwife in my area and I know she’s turned clients away solely because she was booked up.
If you’re planning on using a big box OBGYN (just coined that term, ladies) there’s absolutely no need to call early. Trust me, they’ll take you!
PS – Here’s a great post about how to know if it’s time to fire your OBGYN. Keep this information in mind when searching for the right care provider.
Expect an Ultrasound
Another one of the mistakes pregnant women make in the first trimester is to expect an ultrasound.
In my opinion, ultrasounds should only be used when medically necessary. If there is no medical reason to receive an ultrasound, I would not partake.
The reason I say this is because the risks of ultrasound have not been fully researched. In one study it has been found that ultrasound increases the chance of left-handedness. It’s not that left-handedness is bad, it’s that something about ultrasound is altering our children’s bodies. That concerns me!
PS – After having repeated miscarriages, for future pregnancies I was all about ultrasounds. At that point I had an MTHFR diagnosis and ultrasounds were apart of my pregnancy protocol per my neonatologist. Seeing my baby growing healthy and strong was such a relief. I get the draw of ultrasounds! All I’m saying is to use ultrasounds with wisdom and discernment just as you would taking any supplement or medication during pregnancy.
Announce the Pregnancy
Announcing a pregnancy during the first trimester is a very personal choice, but I think most women don’t consider what they’re getting into with an early announcement, especially if they’ve never experienced a miscarriage before.
When I had my first miscarriage I was shocked! I thought that sort of thing would never happen to me. Others? Perhaps. But not me.
After I realized I was miscarrying, I was grateful that I had not announced my pregnancy on social media. I would have hated having to announce my miscarriage on there as well. It was difficult enough for me to contact the friends and family we had shared the pregnancy news with that the pregnancy had ended.
However, other women, perhaps the more extroverted ones, do not find announcing a pregnancy in the first trimester to be a problem. In fact, they report quite the opposite. They realize that an early public pregnancy announcement could translate to a public miscarriage announcement. Some women are grateful for the outpouring of support and find comfort grieving in public.
My advice? Wait until closer to the second trimester to announce a pregnancy. By that time you’ve likely heard the heartbeat and I’ve always heard that once you hear the heartbeat the chance of miscarriage goes way down. But of course, do what you most feel comfortable doing. There’s no manual for this sort of thing.
Share Belly Photos on Social Media
Seeing belly photos on social media prior to the second trimester always makes me giggle. Unless you’re carrying twins, the uterus isn’t large enough to be “showing” enough to warrant Facebook documentation of said pregnancy.
Likely, you’re just documenting bloating or a food baby. LOL!
Exhibit A: My youthful, skinny, tight body. RIP abs. See how nothing really happens until the second trimester?
If you do share pregnancy belly photos in the first trimester, I get it, I do. To me it shows that you are VERY excited about the changes within you, which is super sweet.
PS – I think this photo is hilarious.
WARNING: If you are a type A, overachiever, modern, American woman, etc. you are extremely susceptible to overdoing it during pregnancy.
Many of us have the misconception that we need to be all things and do all things, even on into pregnancy and parenting. This is simply impossible.
To avoid burnout, schedule “self care” activities in your calendar. Just like it’s important to take a prenatal vitamin every day, taking time to “not be productive”, but taking care of yourself is just as or even more important.
Listen to your body, rest or nap when you need it. And if it helps, remind yourself that, today, you grew a pair of ears. And sometimes, that is enough (and is amazing).
TIP: Here are some general sleep tips to follow at any point in pregnancy to help you sleep better. I hope it helps!
I live in a very consumer driven society, and likely, you do too.
For example, after an initial pregnancy visit with my OBGYN I started receiving baby related marketing materials in the mail. (How did they get my information??!! And just for the record, ViaCord, I did not want your blood banking services. I always planned for delayed cord clamping instead.)
If you are expecting, you likely feel pressure to buy the latest and the greatest baby gear. The underlying message sent to new moms is the way to prepare for a baby is to buy baby things.
Sure, preparing for a baby is partly gathering gear, but it’s so much more than that. Baby gear, clothes and snot suckers will fade away. But your birth, and how you were made to feel during it, will stick with you forever.
Baby gear is necessary, but make sure buying baby things is balanced with quality pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum education and support.
Mistakes Pregnant Women Make in The First Trimester
To recap, the following are common mistakes pregnant women make in the first trimester.
- Eat for Two
- Eat Too Little
- Go to the Doctor Too Early
- Go to the Doctor Too Late
- Expect an Ultrasound
- Announce the Pregnancy
- Share Belly Photos on Social Media
- Overdo It
Don’t make these mistakes! Don’t be one of “those women”! Haha just kidding. We’ve all been there and made all the same mistakes. Just do your best. You can do it!