1st Trimester

Congratulations! You’re pregnant!

With pregnancy there is a lot of information to take in and a lot of decisions to make. We’re here to help! If you have any questions or concerns about your health or baby’s development along the way, give one of our Let’s Talk Parenting nurses a call. It’s free! Call 1-800-265-7293 ext. 3616.

You can also sign up for our free monthly e-newsletter, called Let’s Talk Pregnancy. Each month will focus on a current pregnancy topic like saving money on baby items, baby wearing, preparing for labour and birth and tips to avoid environmental toxins. It’s where we compile tips and local resources to help you stay well throughout pregnancy, birth and parenting. We also try to help you sift through the vast amount of pregnancy information available online – a task we know can be overwhelming.

Speaking of finding information online, there are a few easy checks you can do that will help you identify whether you can trust the website you’re reading. For example, if a site is offering medical advice but also selling products, there might be a conflict of interest (a bias in their information that will help them sell more product).

The resources we recommend for health information are from reputable organizations that base their advice on research.

First trimester checklist: mom comes first

  • Choose a healthcare provider (family doctor, obstetrician or midwife) and book your first prenatal appointment.
  • Ask your healthcare provider about and make sure your immunizations are up-to-date.
  • Take a prenatal vitamin every day.
  • Find out what foods to avoid when pregnant.
  • If you smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or cannabis (or use cannabis/marijuana or other drugs in any form), quit as soon as possible for a healthier baby. Ask your healthcare provider for help if you need it.  Second-and-third-hand smoke (the smell and chemicals left behind) are also dangerous for you and your baby.
  • No amount of alcohol is safe to drink while pregnant. Tell your healthcare provider if you’ve been drinking alcohol during your pregnancy so they can help you and your baby get the medical care you need.
  • Scan your home for these hidden toxins [VIDEO] that could affect your unborn baby.
  • Listen to your body and rest! It is common to need to sleep a LOT during the first trimester.
  • If you can, keep being physically active. Being active during pregnancy can help with aches and pains, tiredness, poor sleep and decrease your chance of getting pregnancy-related conditions like high blood pressure. It can even make labour easier! Talk to your care provider (or bring them your PARmed-X questionnaire) to determine the right level of physical activity for you.
  • Keep your regular dental appointments, and tell them you’re expecting. If you’re one of the 85% of women who experience morning sickness, you may want to wait until your second trimester, when nausea tends to decrease.
  • Sign up for a prenatal program—both our in-person and online programs are free. If you plan on taking in-person prenatal classes later in your pregnancy, sign up for our in-person program early but choose a series that starts when you are approximately 28-32 weeks pregnant. When you sign up for the in-person program you automatically get the online program too!   
  • The Sensible Guide for a Healthy Pregnancy covers topics like prenatal nutrition, physical activity, smoking, alcohol, dental/oral health and emotional health.

Partners’ corner

The first trimester can be as big an adjustment for partners as it is for pregnant women. It is important to support each other during this time.

In the first trimester, partners can:

  • Help out more with chores, especially those that might expose the pregnant woman to hidden household toxins or that might make her feel sick to her stomach (cooking certain foods, for example).
  • Support her to maintain a healthy lifestyle – for example, by encouraging her to take a walk with you or by preparing healthy snacks to share.
  • Ask her what she needs from you.
  • Give her encouragement and affection.

Guides and resources

  • The Sensible Guide for a Healthy Pregnancy covers topics like prenatal nutrition, physical activity, smoking, alcohol, dental/oral health and emotional health.
  • Omama.com is a website and app that walks you through each stage of pregnancy (and birth). It provides Ontario-specific resources to help you make the decisions that are right for you, your baby and your family.

Your local and Public Health supports

Let’s Talk Parenting: Talk to a public health nurse about pregnancy, breastfeeding, parenting and more. Call weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 3616.

Telehealth Ontario: A registered nurse can answer your health questions 24-hours a day, seven days a week for free. Call 1-866-797-0000.

Motherisk offers one-on-one counselling about the risk or safety of medications, alcohol, herbal products, chemicals, X-rays, infections, and chronic conditions (e.g., high blood pressure, asthma, epilepsy, depression) during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Call 1-877-439-2744.

Here 24 Seven. 24-hour, 7 days a week help line providing intake, assessment and referrals for addictions, mental health and crisis support. Call 1-844-437-3247 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.

 

Looking forward? Read ahead to your second trimester >