Wellness During Pregnancy,
First Trimester Challenge Support

Click here to access and print the Wellness During Pregnancy,

First Trimester Challenge

During the Challenge you will access resources from the employee well-being portal in the Wellness Initiatives 

Congratulations! You’re pregnant. The decisions you make as you grow your family reflect who you are and who you want to be. During your early pregnancy, your decisions can set the stage for improved health, a successful pregnancy, and giving your child the best possible start in life.

The First Trimester, Wellness During Pregnancy Supports:

  • Healthy lifestyle habits around tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, substances, physical activity, sleep, and stress

  • Optimizing nutritional practices and weight gain including foods, beverages, and supplements

  • Proactive management of your health and medical conditions

  • Avoiding environmental exposures to toxins and chemicals

 

During this challenge you will focus on the 4 areas of Lifestyle, Nutrition, Medical, and Environmental at the same time. The Challenge Support material offers an in-depth focus on one of these topics at a time.

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1: Lifestyle 

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“The greatest gift you give to your child is to be the healthiest you can be.”   

Anonymous

Your overall lifestyle choices in early pregnancy set the stage for a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby.

 

Important Factors in a Healthy Pregnancy Include:

 

  • Guidelines for tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, substances, and caffeine

  • Physical activity and exercise recommendations

  • Healthy sleep practices

Pregnancy can be a stressful time.

 

To manage the stress of early pregnancy, focus on:

  • Learning to identify your personal stress triggers

  • Determining the area of stress that you can control

  • Using stress management practices

  • Strengthening your relationships with your partner, family, and friends

 

Early pregnancy is the time to give your baby the best start in life. Take an honest inventory of your lifestyle habits and improve lifestyle habits that optimize your pregnancy and the health of your baby. Take action now and incorporate into daily living. Use your Challenge Sheet to track your progress throughout your first trimester.

“Going into a pregnancy is a really challenging time for a woman, because it’s forever-changing, both mentally and physically.” Brooke Burke

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2: Nutrition

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“You must nourish to flourish.” Anonymous

Your nutrition during pregnancy affects your baby’s health, size, and metabolic function. The effects are seen well into the child’s life. The food you eat is the food the baby eats. Healthy you. Healthy baby.

 

Nutrition during fetal development is associated with:

  • Growth

  • Organ development

  • Body composition

  • Body functions 

Some women experience weight loss in the first trimester and this is not unusual. The baby is being nourished even though you may be having difficulty eating. Many women are nauseous in early pregnancy.

Tips for Minimizing Nausea:

  • Avoid trigger foods including strong odors

  • Eat small meals frequently, and smell fresh lemon, mint, or orange

  • Good snack options include fresh raw vegetables and fruit, cheese, and dry crackers

  • Hydrate well with small sips. Water, ginger ale, and lemonade are good choices

Early pregnancy is the time to give your baby the best start in life. Take an honest inventory of your food and beverage habits that optimize your pregnancy and the health of your baby. Take action now and incorporate into daily living. Use your Challenge Sheet to track your progress throughout your first trimester.

“The early stage of pregnancy for me is quite hard to hide.” Kate Winslet

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3: Medical

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“Improved maternal health benefits the whole of society.” Isabella Lovin

Managing your medical care during your pregnancy is essential for a healthy outcome for both you and your baby. Schedule your first prenatal visit as soon as you know you’re pregnant. This will entail reviewing your medical history, discussing the management of any chronic conditions while pregnant, reviewing medications and supplements, and discussing lifestyle habits.

The first prenatal visit typically includes:

  • Urine specimen

  • Blood type and Rh status

  • Blood draw for a complete blood count (CBC)

  • Review status of vaccinations and pap smear

  • Discussion of genetic testing and carrier screening

  • Possible pelvic ultrasound

 

This visit gives you the opportunity to ask questions as your body changes and as a new life develops within you. Other important areas to be aware of in managing your health include getting immunizations, medical tests, maintaining your dental health, and being aware of early pregnancy complications, and advice nurse availability.

Early pregnancy is the time to give your baby the best start in life. Take a proactive approach to medical care while pregnant. Schedule your medical visits, get involved in your care, prepare questions for your medical visits, and be aware of your changing body. Take action now and incorporate into daily living. Use your Challenge Sheet to track your progress throughout your first trimester.

“The only stupid question is the unasked one.” Anonymous

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4: Environmental

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“A woman’s body is the first environment.” Katsi Cook

It is important to understand your overall prenatal exposure to environmental toxins and take steps to reduce risk or make changes in your environment if necessary — an environmental risk assessment.

 

Environmental risks to consider:

  • Living in a house built before 1978

  • Use of imported pottery or ceramics for cooking, eating, or drinking

  • Consumption of fruits and vegetables grown with pesticides

  • Consumption of fish with high levels of mercury: shark, king mackerel, swordfish, tilefish, albacore tuna

  • Use of pesticides in the home environment

  • Risk of toxoplasmosis through cat litter/feces

  • On the job exposure to radiation, metals, solvents, chemicals, or fumes

  • Traveling to regions where Zika is present

  • Phthalates and heavy metals in your personal care products

  • Heating food in plastic containers or wrap

  • Heat including tanning beds, electric blankets, and hot tubs

  • Secondhand smoke

 

Early pregnancy is the time to give your baby the best start in life. Take an honest inventory of your exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins. Improve your environment to optimize your pregnancy and the health of your baby. Take action now and incorporate into daily living. Use your Challenge Sheet to track your progress throughout your first trimester.

“Let’s clean up our environment. Let’s clean up our bodies, but most importantly, let’s not permit our babies of the future to be polluted before they are even born.” Louise Slaughter

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Congratulations!

 

You have made a conscious choice to manage your health and well-being in early pregnancy. It’s one of the most important decisions you can make as future parents. You’ve taken an honest look at your lifestyle habits, nutritional practices including foods, beverages, and supplements and incorporated more healthy habits into daily living. You’ve taken a proactive approach to your prenatal medical care and reviewed your environments to minimize exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals. We hope that you have learned from the Virtual Exhibit, read the articles, and watched the videos from the employee well-being portal, and found ways to improve your lifestyle and environment in your first trimester. Keep up the momentum by continuing to use the Challenge Sheet throughout your first trimester of pregnancy.

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“Little things matter.” Anonymous

Click here to access and print the Wellness During Pregnancy,

First Trimester Challenge

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