Information Overload


Dear Midwife,
Hi! I have looked through the multitude of questions, but have found none quite like my own. I have recently found out that I am 9 weeks pregnant. I asked my doctor about diet and exercise (I am in good shape and exercise a lot) to which his response was to change nothing.

I am not the healthiest eater but I'm thin. I go to websites and friends and all I hear are "the first trimester is the most critical, make sure you're..." from eating more frequent healthy snacks, to slowing my exercise, to no heavy lifting. I just don't know where to begin.

Why would my doctor say to do nothing and everything else say something else?

Do you have any advice for a first time pregnant, 25 year-old who eats not so well, walks 3-4 miles a night, and plays softball? Where do I begin? I feel like I should be changing some things, but not completely shifting my entire life.

Can you help? I just need a direction, a start.

Thank you


I would basically agree with your doctor, with the addition that you go on-line and read up about what is in a good pregnancy diet. Then start eating that way every single day. Take your vitamins also.

Just know that everyone will give you tons of advice for the next 20 years or so, but you are the one that knows best what your baby/child needs, so trust yourself. I know that trusting yourself may be a new concept, but there's no time like the present to start learning it if you are going to be a parent.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.