Top Ten First-Time Mom Pregnancy Tips

First-time pregnancy tips

Are you a first-time mom looking for pregnancy tips?

As a first-time mom myself, you might have many questions about caring for yourself and your growing baby. 

Working as a nutritionist who counseled pregnant women for over ten years, my focus was to educate moms on which foods to eat for a healthy pregnancy.

And when I was pregnant, I knew I had to be mindful to eat more of certain food groups.

I created my top ten first-time mom pregnancy tips that I found helpful during my pregnancy with my daughter, and I hope to serve as a guide in helping you choose some or all tips to practice. 

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Here are my top ten first-time pregnancy tips

1. Take your prenatal vitamin every day with a meal

Always take your prenatal vitamin with a meal to help the vitamins absorb into your bloodstream and avoid feeling nauseous. I found it easier to take my prenatal vitamins after lunch.

If you struggle to swallow your prenatal vitamins, choose soft gel vitamins; trust me, this will be a game changer. 

2. Consume calcium, iron, and fiber rich foods

Try to consume foods high in calcium, iron, and fiber, which are essential for your baby's growth and prenatal health. 

Calcium-rich foods will help your baby build strong bones and help with muscle function.

If you are not consuming a good amount of foods that contain calcium, your body will supply the calcium to your baby from your bones, risking having weak bones.

During my pregnancy, some of the calcium-rich foods I consumed on most days were green smoothies, oatmeal with almond milk, and steamed broccoli.

The daily recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for calcium during pregnancy is 1,000-1,300 milligrams, depending on age. 

Consider choosing foods from this list to have healthy calcium levels.

Title calcium foods that are appropriate for pregnant women to consume.

Iron-rich foods help supply oxygen in the blood to your baby. As your baby grows, so does the increase in blood volume.

If you do not consume a good amount of iron foods, you will have low energy levels and be at risk for anemia. 

To ensure I was eating a good amount of iron-rich foods, I consumed mostly egg omelets, spinach salads, and roasted chicken. 

The daily recommended dietary allowance for iron during pregnancy is 30 milligrams. 

Consider choosing foods from this list to have healthy iron levels: 

Title  iron foods that are appropriate for pregnant women to consume.

Fiber-rich foods will help you have regular bowel movements to prevent constipation, as well as help lower high cholesterol and blood pressure levels to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. 

Berries were my go-to for fiber intake. I enjoyed adding blueberries to oatmeal, strawberries to smoothies, and eating raspberries as a snack.

The daily recommended dietary allowance for fiber during pregnancy is 25-30 grams. 

Consider choosing foods from this list to have healthy iron levels: 

Title fiber foods that are appropriate for pregnant women to consume.

3. Go for a ten-minute walk and increase gradually

Start with a ten-minute walk daily and increase gradually.

Even if it’s your only exercise, walking is a great form of physical activity during pregnancy. 

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that pregnant women get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, which can be broken into 30 minutes daily, five times a week. 

If you cannot get 30 minutes of exercise at one time, try splitting your workouts throughout the day.

During my pregnancy, I would walk during my ten-minute breaks twice daily, then come home and try to do another ten minutes of strength training or light stretches before bed. 

4. See a prenatal chiropractor to relieve back pain

If you are experiencing back pain, I recommend seeing a prenatal chiropractor after you complete your first trimester; gentle adjustments can make a difference in relieving low back pain.

After I completed my first trimester of pregnancy, I started going to my prenatal chiropractor every two weeks and then weekly towards the end of my pregnancy.

Going to my prenatal chiropractor consistently helped me experience no back pain and relieve the side pain I would get from the discomfort of sleeping at night while pregnant. 

Follow up with your insurance; most insurances cover seeing a chiropractor with a copay.

Just make sure the chiropractor specializes in prenatal care. 

5. Listen to a labor and delivery podcast

Listen to a labor and delivery podcast or take a course to help you understand what your body will experience during labor. 

The podcast I found helpful is “All About Pregnancy and Birth with Dr. Nicole C Rankin.”

I enjoyed listening to the podcast while driving or cooking. The podcast clarified my birth preference and the interventions I was comfortable getting at the hospital. 

6. Keep your birth plan simple

Keep your birth plan simple. View it as a birth preference, not a birth plan, since things can change during labor.

Write your birth preference on paper and pack it in your hospital bag.  

If your birth goes differently from what you envisioned, it’s okay. The well-being of you and your baby is more important. 

The following is what I included in my birth preference: 

  • Dimmed lights
  • Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas for pain if needed 
  • No pacifier
  • Breastfeeding support

7. Sign up for classes to make informed decisions

Sign up for prenatal classes to make informed decisions on how you want to care for your health and baby.

As a parent, you always want to do what is best for you and your family.

I signed up for three classes, two through my medical provider and the other one from an online course.

Through my medical provider, I took a breastfeeding class to learn about the health benefits of breastfeeding and tips on how to breastfeed.

The second class I took through my medical provider was a baby wellness class, where I learned basics, such as when to give my baby her first bath to change her diaper.

Both were very helpful at the time since I didn’t know anything about taking care of a newborn. 

Lastly, the third class I took was an online class on natural birthing. My husband taking the course with me was essential so he could see the challenges a woman goes through during labor.

As a result of taking the class, I was able to have a natural birth with little intervention. 

If you want to learn about natural birth, I recommend taking the program I took during my pregnancy called “Mama Natural Birth Course.”                       

8. Shop online for pregnancy clothes 

Surprisingly, not all clothing stores carry pregnancy clothes; if they do, it is a small selection.

I searched online for pregnancy clothes and quickly enjoyed the selection offered by Old Navy. 

Here is a tip: sign up for the Old Navy emails and wait for the alerts on sales that happen periodically.

Stick to the size you normally wear when picking pregnancy clothes because pregnancy clothes usually run a bit larger.

Here are my favorite pieces I wore during my pregnancy from Old Navy.

9. Essentials for coping with pregnancy discomforts

The following list includes items to help you deal with some pregnancy discomforts.

Uncomfortable sleeping at night- get a pregnancy pillow to relieve some hip pain and help support your baby's weight.

Hip pain during the day- get a stability ball. Do hip circles to help remove tension, especially if you sit all day at work.

Swollen feet- get pillows to elevate your feet after getting home from work or before bed. Try soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salt if time allows. 

Leg cramps at night- my chiropractor recommended taking magnesium powder mixed with water from the brand Garden of Life labeled Whole Food Magnesium. 

10. Find a prenatal book to read

Find a book that aligns with your birth choice.

I read the book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin, which was recommended after I took the natural birth course.

This book helped me boost my confidence in having a natural birth and knowing I could do it.

I enjoyed reading the stories of mothers sharing their experiences with natural childbirth.

Title Top Ten First-Time Mom Pregnancy Tips with the image of a couple showing the ultra sound picture of their pregnancy announcement.

Final thoughts:

These were my top ten first-time mom pregnancy tips that helped me get through my pregnancy to a healthy baby girl, take what aligns with your pregnancy and birth goals.

And most importantly, enjoy your pregnancy; take lots of pictures because time goes by fast.

Congratulations, on your new journey to motherhood!

Top Ten First-Time Mom Pregnancy Tips

  • Start taking a prenatal vitamin as soon as possible, the vitamins and minerals are extra important for the growth and development of your baby in the first trimester.
  • Schedule an appointment with your doctor to start prenatal care. 

What should a first time pregnant woman know?

  • Pregnancy symptoms typically appear in the first trimester (0-12 weeks gestation). 
  • Consume a variety of foods with calcium, iron, and fiber for a healthy pregnancy.
  • Try to walk as much as possible to get fresh air and to prep your body when you go into labor.

What do first time moms need during pregnancy?

  • Drink water throughout the day and consider water with lemon slices. 
  • A pregnancy pillow will help relieve some hip pain and help support your baby's weight at night.
  • A stability ball will help relieve hip pain and prep your pelvis for labor.

Let me know in the comment section.

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  • Tristan says:

    Hi Mari, I love your post! I’m currently pregnant with my second child and still learning! I had no idea there was such a thing as a prenatal chiropractor! I do love a prenatal massage though! Thanks for the great tips.

    • Mari says:

      Congratulations on your second pregnancy! Thank you for taking the time to read my post and liking my tips.

  • Susye Weng-Reeder says:

    Nice tips! Thanks for sharing!

    • Mari says:

      Thank you for reading my post 🙂