The dos and don’ts of early pregnancy

Pregnancy guru Zita West shares her tips for a smooth first trimester

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Zita West’s dos and don’ts of early pregnancy

Seeing that positive result on the test is a magical experience. But with it comes the anticipation of what’s next. On top of feeling sick and tired, most people choose to keep the news to themselves for the first 12 weeks, and trying to carry on as normal while dealing with the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy can be draining. Some women find it is a time of great anxiety. Common concerns at this stage are often around lifestyle and the changes you need to make. Very often, it’s the little things that lead to a healthier you and a healthier pregnancy…

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DON’T… get too amorous in the early days

‘I get asked all the time about whether it’s safe to have sex in early pregnancy,’ says Zita. ‘In general, I think it’s better not to in the first 12 weeks, especially if there’s a history of bleeding or miscarriage.’

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DON’T… Keep having your coffee fix

‘Caffeine is best avoided during pregnancy,’ says Zita. ‘The Food Standards Agency advises pregnant women should drink no more than 200mg of caffeine a day – two mugs of instant coffee, or less if it is strong – but I’d give up tea and coffee altogether and limit other sources such as chocolate and soft drinks, which may contain it.’

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DON’T… worry about things you can’t change

‘It’s not unusual to find out you’re pregnant after a night out where you may have has a glass or two of alcohol – so many women do, especially in January after the excesses of Christmas,’ says Zita. ‘It’s the same if you’ve eaten something that should be avoided. My advice is not to panic, just get on the right track as soon as you can.’

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DON’T… Keep up the pace

‘We women are bad at nurturing ourselves,’ says Zita. ‘Pregnancy is the perfect excuse to put yourself first, as you care for your growing baby. Expect to need more sleep and to slow down overall.’

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