First Trimester: Myths and Realities

Newborn Baby

Oh, the joy of being pregnant! And then announcing to the world that you’re going to give birth to a little one in nine months! It’s quite a momentous occasion, and you’ll have friends, relatives, neighbors, long-lost acquaintances all swooping down to congratulate you and give you their blessings. Of course, their good wishes will always be accompanied by some old-world pregnancy advice on prenatal stages that they know from experience. The neighborhood aunty will immediately start giving unsolicited advice of do’s and don’ts as soon as she sees you. It can be a lot to take in, especially when you’re at such a beautiful moment in your life.

Of all the pregnancy stages, the first trimester (first 12 weeks) are the most confusing because your body begins changing and you have to know what to expect and what not to. Can I do this? Is this normal? Such questions will bubble up in your mind, and it is important to update yourself on the emotional and physical changes that occur during the first trimester of your pregnancy. But there is nothing to worry about. Relax and take a deep breath, because we’re here to bust some of those myths and guide you through the first trimester of your pregnancy. Read on to find out – myth or reality?

‘You cannot take hot baths during your pregnancy.’

This is actually true, as hot tubs or saunas can increase your core body temperature and that can be dangerous to the developing fetus. But that doesn’t mean you have to pour ice-cold water over yourself for nine months. Warm water is fine as long as it doesn’t raise your body temperature over 102.2 F. Anything over that could decrease your blood pressure and deprive your baby of nutrients.

‘You shouldn’t eat fish.’

False. You can eat fish as long as it’s not raw. Raw fish may contain micro-organisms that may lead to infection. Eating the right kind of fish actually ensures a well-developed brain for the baby. Just make sure it’s well cooked.

‘You cannot fly during your first trimester.’

Completely and utterly false! You can travel the world if you have to. Though some airlines do not allow pregnant women to travel in their third trimester, it is mainly because of the chances of in-flight labor or delivery. There is no immediate harm to the baby if you travel. Far from it if you’re just in your first trimester.

‘You cannot have sex.’

False! Having sex doesn’t hurt the baby. Rest assured that the baby is well protected by the amniotic sac and the uterus. But beware of sexually transmitted diseases, which can be transmitted to the baby. So make sure you are well protected.

‘Eat a lot dear; now you’re eating for two.’

We can hear you. Please let this be true. Please let this be true. But, sorry to burst your bubble. Even though you do need extra calories for the baby, you need just 300 more of them. You need not eat for two adult-sized people- Just one adult and one tiny little munchkin.

‘Do not drink coffee.’

Even though a lot of studies have been conducted, there aren’t strong points that say you should avoid coffee. Just restrict yourself to one cup every morning and you’ll be fine. And no more of that lame instant coffee! Get some quality beans. We’re kidding of course.

‘You should sleep on your left side’

There is no truth to this. Sleep in whichever position you feel comfortable and get as much rest as you can.

‘Stay away from polished furniture’

Another one of those silly myths that say the fumes from polished furniture can harm you or your baby. There is absolutely no scientific proof that suggests that this may be true. Dine all you want on that vintage oak table.

There we have it. A few simple precautions and you’re through with your first trimester. Update your knowledge on the various pregnancy development stages and you’re good to go. Accept the changes in your body with open arms and you’ll enjoy it and get that enviable pregnancy glow. See you next trimester, ladies!

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