Six tips to make your first trimester a little smoother

Once you finally find out that you're pregnant, you and your loved ones will likely be filled with joy as you expect the arrival of your baby. However, the first trimester of your pregnancy is going to come with numerous changes to everything from your mood to your body - are you prepared?

If this is your first time getting pregnant, there will be plenty of new experiences along the way, some of which may not be enjoyable (can you say morning sickness?). In any case, the light at the end of the tunnel is a bright one - motherhood. To get through your first trimester, take the following tips into consideration to ensure you aren't completely caught off-guard by what your body throws your way!

1. Visit your primary care physician.
Your healthcare provider is likely the person who helped confirm your suspicions that you might be pregnant, but there's more for your primary care physician to do within your first trimester. Your doctor may need to perform a series of tests to ensure you're healthy as you enter this phase in your life. Everything from a Pap smear to a blood pressure test might be recommended by your doctor to eliminate any early concerns in your pregnancy - this is completely normal.

2. Consider prenatal tests.
During your first and second trimester, your doctor might ask you if you're interested in prenatal tests. These can help determine if the fetus is showing signs of conditions that your baby may have once it arrives. Many parents choose to use these tests to help them prepare for some of the health challenges their baby might have after delivery. However, they aren't necessary - it's up to you and your healthcare provider to decide whether you should have them performed.

3. Exercise regularly.
You might not be in the mood to move around much once you start feeling morning sickness, but one way you can fight off the nausea and other symptoms is by staying active. It's in your best interest (and your baby's interest) to work out regularly. Even if you only have 15 minutes to do so every morning before work, you'll find that a bit of exercise can do wonders when it comes to alleviating fatigue associated with pregnancy.

4. Be mindful of your eating habits.
It's not too early to start feeling cravings for food during your first trimester. You've likely heard stories of pregnant women gorging on unusual combinations of food while expecting. While you might begin feeling the same urges, it's important to keep a close eye on what you're eating to maintain your energy levels and ensure your unborn child gets the necessary nutrients. To top off your efforts to eat healthy foods, you might want to consider adding a prenatal supplement to your diet to assist with baby development.

5. Don't always expect rainbows and sunshine.
While you obviously have a reason to be excited, it's important to note that your first trimester is going to bring a series of new hormones through your body - many of which you might not be ready for. This means that you can go through extreme ups and downs on a whim, even if you're not naturally an emotional person. There isn't much you can do to stop these hormone fluctuations, but you can warn everyone else around you that you might be a little moodier than usual!

6. Give yourself a break!
One of the easiest ways to ensure your first trimester isn't a complete struggle is to cut yourself some slack. Nap whenever you feel like you need it to fight symptoms, such as fatigue, which can put a damper on your day.