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1st Trimester

First Trimester

When you first find out you’re expecting, it’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions – happiness and fear, joy and worry and everything in between. The first trimester presents the most difficult and most exciting times for an expectant mother and her partner. Above all, it’s a time of extreme importance for the baby’s health.

You may receive a lot of advice on what to eat and what to avoid, what kind of vitamins to take, how much to exercise and how much to rest. It can be confusing to navigate all of the new “rules” coming your way. There are a few simple steps you can take right away to give yourself and your baby the best chance at a smooth and healthy pregnancy.

Visit a health care provider. They can help you get your pregnancy off on the right track and address any specific questions, concerns or health issues you might have. They also can provide you with important tests and treatments to help your pregnancy develop without complications. Find a health care provider in your county here.

Learn more about the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. WIC helps mothers and expectant mothers obtain the nutritional, educational and supportive resources they need from birth to age 5. Learn how to apply at http://www.in.gov/isdh/19691.htm.

Take a multivitamin with folic acid. Folic acid is crucial to preventing birth defects and other medical complications. Talk to your health care provider about finding a multivitamin with folic acid. Many pharmacies and clinics offer free vitamins.

Stop using tobacco, drugs and alcohol. Studies have proven that women who use tobacco, alcohol and drugs during pregnancy are much more likely to develop complications during pregnancy or give birth to babies with serious medical complications. If you need help quitting, find a treatment program here. For help quitting tobacco, call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.QuitNowIndiana.com.

Eat fresh, healthy foods. Your baby only receives proper nutrition if you do. Eat a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Stay away from processed foods, sugary drinks and caffeine. Having a healthy intake of the proper nutrients can help ensure a healthy baby. For more advice on the kinds of foods to eat, and those to avoid, while you’re pregnant, visit the March of Dimes website.

For more information on the first trimester of pregnancy, visit the March of Dimes website.

Get vaccinated against the flu. Pregnant women are at high risk for severe illness and complications from the flu including premature labor and delivery. Pregnant women can receive a dose of the inactivated (killed) flu vaccine at anytime during the pregnancy. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months, so it’s important that women get the flu vaccine every year, even when they are not pregnant.