Activities during First Trimester
You are literally growing a human—there is no better excuse (or time!) to pamper yourself. Schedule a manicure and pedicure. Park in that “for pregnant women only” parking spot. Say yes when a stranger offers you a seat on the train or bus. Allow your partner to help out around the house.
The list of ways to enjoy your pregnancy is endless. Do your best to get enough rest. You may be surviving on naps once the baby comes, so sleep in now and don’t feel guilty about lying down during the day, either. Get dressed up and look your best. You’ve got that pregnancy glow, so flaunt it!
And don’t forget to laugh during pregnancy. Embarrassing symptoms, rude strangers and stress over a whole new budget will certainly take their toll on you. That’s why it is so important to enjoy the small moments of joy. Take in a comedy show with your partner or skim through your #tbt pictures. They are sure to bring a smile to your face.
Sex During Pregnancy
Speaking of bringing a smile to your face…pregnancy can be the perfect time to spice up your sex life.
First, an important note: In most pregnancies, sexual intercourse is perfectly safe for baby. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor.
Now, back to feeling sexy! During pregnancy, senses are heightened and new hormones are taking over the body. This means you may enjoy sex at a whole new level. Try new positions, new lingerie or new settings.
Connecting with your partner is the ultimate goal here, so if you aren’t feeling a desire for sex right now (thank fatigue and nausea), communicate and cuddle with your partner. Your desire will return soon.
Can You Work During Pregnancy?
Most women should be able to continue working throughout pregnancy. However, some normal parts of pregnancy may pose challenges.
If you are experiencing morning sickness, which is not always confined to the morning, make sure you are eating small snacks often and avoiding any triggers. If nausea causes you to be absent from work, it is important to know the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) classifies it as a chronic condition, meaning you do not need a healthcare provider’s note verifying the problem.
You will also experience fatigue during pregnancy, which can interfere with the job. To combat feelings of utter tiredness, eat foods rich in iron and protein and avoid sugary snacks that will cause you to crash. Drink plenty of fluids, get some exercise and go to bed early.
Make sure you are comfortable during your work day. If you usually stand during the workday, put one foot on a footrest. Switch feet often and take breaks. Wear comfortable shoes and consider wearing compression shoes to keep swelling down. If you sit most of the day, ensure your chair has good lower back support. Put your feet up to decrease swelling. Finally, if your job requires you to lift items, use proper form—bend at your knees, not your waist—and avoid twisting your body as you lift.
Keep stress at bay by relaxing and not bringing work home with you. And if your job requires you to be around harmful substances, excessive noise, extreme temperatures or any other environment you believe to be dangerous for your baby, talk to your doctor and your employer immediately.
Other First Trimester Activities
During pregnancy, there seems to be so many things you can no longer do. But with further research, doctors have determined many things are OK during pregnancy. Here’s our list of not-to-worry activities:
Bikini Waxes: Perhaps you want to continue maintenance below the belt during pregnancy or maybe you are considering a grooming session before your delivery. Either way, waxing is considered safe for your baby. Talk to your doc ahead of time to ensure everything is A-OK, and schedule your final appointment for at least a week before your due date to avoid any infections while delivering.
Asthma Medications: Talk to your physician early on in your pregnancy to develop a plan for managing asthma during pregnancy. It is likely he or she will encourage you to continue your medication, since poorly managed asthma could lead to complications. Also, do your best to eliminate triggers including tobacco smoke, pet dander and mildew.
Coloring Your Hair: Research has found that semi-permanent and permanent dyes are not considered highly toxic and are widely considered safe to use during pregnancy. Very small amounts of dye are absorbed by the skin meaning only a tiny amount, if any, would reach your baby.
Lifting Objects: It is recommended most pregnant women stay active, so lifting objects and even shoveling snow are considered OK early on. Use the strength of your legs to lift, not your back. And make sure you are wearing proper shoes before you lift or swing anything heavy. However, as your belly grows, your center of gravity moves forward and your risk of falling increases. During your third trimester, especially, ask for help if you can.
Attending Concerts: Just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean you have to give up your love of live music. It is recommended everyone, not just pregnant women, avoid extended exposure to sounds greater than 65 decibels. While your Dave Matthews Band concert may rock out at 100 decibels, your baby is literally living in a bubble. His or her hearing does not start developing until Week 17 of gestation, plus they are surrounded by a bag of fluid. Noise levels are decreased by about 30 decibels for baby, so there should be no risk as you enjoy the music.
As always, consult with your doctor before doing anything questionable while pregnant. But changes are you will be able to live your life and enjoy just as many activities now as you did before pregnancy.