Your First Trimester

Getting Through the First Trimester in a Pregnancy After Miscarriage

If you are pregnant after a miscarriage, or if you think you might be, you may be feeling anything from joy to apprehension, and maybe even a little bit of both. Once your pregnancy is confirmed, however, it helps to take things one step at a time—the first step is getting through the first trimester.

Here are some tips on how to handle your first twelve weeks of pregnancy after a miscarriage.

Take a Pregnancy Test

Pregnancy Test
Take a pregnancy test. Photo © Creative Crop / Getty Images

If your period is late, it's definitely time for a pregnancy test!

Home pregnancy tests are fairly reliable as long as you follow the instructions, which can vary by the brand of test you are using. Here are some general pointers to keep in mind that will help you understand what you're seeing in your test results.

  • Use a first morning urine, and if that is not possible, make sure the urine has been in your bladder for at least four hours.
  • Don't drink a ton of water in order to have enough urine to do the test. This can dilute your test, possibly giving you a negative reading even if you are pregnant.
  • Keep in mind that some fertility medications can affect test results.
  • Make sure to read the package directions carefully before doing the test.

Choose a Practitioner With Whom You Feel Comfortable

Choosing a Doctor
Find a doctor you trust. Photo © John Foxx / Getty Images

You may already have a doctor or midwife in mind for your prenatal care, but if you were not satisfied with your current practitioner's treatment of your miscarriage, you may want to consider finding a new practitioner to manage your care during the new pregnancy.

Calculate Your Due Date

Calculate a Due Date
Calculate your due date. Here's how. Photo © picturegarden / Getty Images

If you know the first day of your last menstrual period, you can calculate an estimated due date for your new pregnancy using Naegele's rule:

1. Determine the date of your last menstrual period and add 7 days.

2. Now, subtract 3 months.

3. This is your due date!

(For example, if your last menstrual period was March 7th, add 7 days to get March 14th. Now subtract 3 months. Your due date would be December 14th.)

Here's more information on how to calculate your due date.

Talk to your doctor if you have an irregular menstrual cycle of if you conceived immediately after a miscarriage. Even though the due date calculator is fairly accurate for those with regular menstrual cycles, you may need an early ultrasound to establish your due date.

Understand Morning Sickness

Morning sickness
Learn about morning sickness and what you can do to deal with it. Photo © Tom Le Goff / Getty Images

Morning sickness usually starts around the sixth week of pregnancy. Many pregnant women dread morning sickness, but don't feel weird if you find it to be a relief. Many women who have had a miscarriage feel the same way, since research shows that feeling morning sickness may mean miscarriage is less likely. But keep in mind that lack of morning sickness, or even loss of morning sickness, is not a sign of miscarriage.

Know What Your Ultrasound Might Look Like

Woman examining ultrasound of fetus
Maria Teijeiro / Getty Images

If you're curious how your ultrasound pictures compare to others in the same point of pregnancy, check out this gallery of first trimester ultrasound pictures. You'll find a selection of pictures from singleton and twin pregnancies, ranging from 4 to 12 weeks of gestation.

You may even wish to share your ultrasound on Facebook or twitter account for your friends to see also.

Watch What You Eat

Food hazards in pregnancy
Avoid foods that can cause food poisoning and result in miscarriage and other complications. Photo © CDC / James Gathany

When you're pregnant, you're more susceptible to food poisoning -- and food-borne infections can be more dangerous during pregnancy than when you're not pregnant. An example is listeriosis, which usually causes only mild symptoms in a pregnant woman, but can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and other pregnancy complications.

Don't panic, however, because avoiding food borne illness is relatively easy as long as you know what to look for and take precautions whenever you can.

Check out this list of foods to avoid during pregnancy.

Have Sex If You Want To

Sex does not cause miscarriage
You can usually have sex during your first trimester even if you've had a miscarriage in the past. Photo © Stockbyte / Getty Images

Many couples are afraid to have sex when pregnant after a miscarriage, but there's never been any evidence linking sex to miscarriage. There are certain conditions in which sex may not be advisable, but these are very uncommon and your doctor will make you aware if there is any risk. If you have any questions, call your doctor.

Announce Your Pregnancy

Announce pregnancy
Decide when you wish to announce your pregnancy to family and friends. Photo © Dimitri Vervitsiotis / Getty Images

It is completely up to you when you let others know that you are pregnant. Depending on how people reacted to your miscarriage news, if you told them, you may decide to announce your pregnancy immediately or wait until you finish the first trimester. This is a very personal decision and there is not a right time or a wrong time, only the time which you decide is best.

Start Planning

First trimester is not too early to begin planning. Photo © B2M Productions / Getty Images

You may feel it's too early to be thinking about baby names and baby showers quite yet, and that's completely okay, but there is also some planning that you can and should start during the first trimester—such as watching your nutrient intake, exercising appropriately, and avoiding alcohol and cigarette smoke.

Take a look at this first trimester checklist to make sure you begin your planning with what matter most.

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