What to expect in the first trimester

Got a million questions running through your head, now you're going to be a mum? Of course you have. Put your feet up and read on - we've got the first trimester low-down

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  • Congratulations, you're a mum-to-be!

    In the early days you might not feel any different to normal, but there are enormous changes taking place within your body. Some women do 'feel' pregnant straight away, but many have no idea and won't experience symptoms for a few more weeks yet.

    In the first trimester symptoms will come thick and fast for some women, while for others they don't come at all...

  • Avoid alcohol and limit caffeine

    Avoid alcohol and limit caffeine to two cups of tea or instant coffee a day (200mg). Remember, chocolate contains caffeine too (A 50g bar of milk chocolate contains around 25mg, while 50g dark chocolate contains around 50mg)!

  • Eat well

    Eggs (make sure whites and yokes are solid), lean protein, pulses, wholegrains, green leafy veg and fruit are all good food choices in the first trimester.

    Avoid soft cheeses

    Avoid Brie and camembert, and blue-veined cheese such as Stilton. Pate, raw and undercooked meat are also off limits.

  • First trimester exercise

    If you have a regular exercise routine, it's probably OK to continue, but take the intensity down a notch or two. Check with your GP if you're in doubt.

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  • Sickness

    Morning sickness affects about half of all pregnant women, usually in the first trimester. High hormone levels are to blame.

    How to help

    Eat little and often, and avoid spicy or fatty foods.

    See your doctor if you can't keep food down, as you may be at risk of dehydration.

  • Tiredness

    Growing a baby is hard work! It's a strain on your entire body. Ditch the guilt. If you're too tired to see friends or clean the house, so be it!

    How to help

    Take catnaps and go to bed early. Accept all offers of help.

Last updated on 7 October 2011