top of page

Health tips by trimester

1st Trimester (Weeks 1-12)



Don’t try to lose weight during pregnancy. What you eat nourishes your baby as well as yourself. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes adequate protein, vegetables and fruit, grains and dairy products. Discuss prenatal vitamins and mineral supplements with your doctor. In pregnancy, most women need about 2000 calories per day.



Weight gain can be approximately 5 pounds in the first trimester. You will gain most of your weight in the later stages of your pregnancy.



Moderate and safe exercise during pregnancy can make you feel good, tone your muscles and increase endurance. Aerobic exercises, such as swimming, walking, and low impact aerobics help strengthen your heart. Ask your healthcare provider about an exercise program that is safe and appropriate for you. Maintain your heart rate below 140-150 bpm.  



You will probably feel very tired during this time, so get all the rest you need, taking short naps when you can. Many women feel queasy or nauseated during the 1st trimester. Try eating small meals throughout the day and eat dry crackers when you feel sick.



Smoking increases the risk of low birth weight, still birth, and health problems in infancy. Do not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy. Excess consumption of alcohol may cause low birth weight, birth defects and mental retardation in the fetus (fetal alcohol syndrome). Reduce your consumption of caffeinated beverages to 200 mg of caffeine a day. Tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking. 



1st Month

2nd Month

2nd Trimester  (Weeks 13-27)



Eating well-balanced meals and drinking plenty of water remains essential for your health and the health of the growing fetus. Your appetite may increase but limit sweets and junk food. These foods increase your calories but do not provide good nutritional value.



Your weight may increase significantly toward the end of the 2nd trimester, but on average it should increase about 5 pounds total.



You can continue to exercise carefully. Your joints are looser and more likely to be injured by jerking movements and because your center of gravity is changing you can more easily lose your balance. Swimming and prenatal yoga are some of the best exercises during pregnancy.



To help prevent backache, relieve strain on the back by wearing low-heeled shoes, using proper lifting techniques, getting enough rest and practicing good posture. You can use a pregnancy belt from a maternity store to ease low back pain. To help prevent sore, swollen feet and varicose veins, try not to stand in one place for long periods of time and wear support stockings. To help prevent sleeplessness, sleep on your side and support your back and abdomen with extra pillows. Rest is very important but as the fetus grows and becomes active, you may have trouble sleeping. 

3rd Month

4th Month

5th Month

6th Month

3rd Trimester (Week 28-40)



Continue to eat well-balanced meals and nutritious food. Watch your salt intake and drink plenty of water to help reduce swelling in the legs and feet. Try sitting down and elevating your feel to reduce swelling in the legs.



Your baby gains the most weight in the last 13 weeks of pregnancy, so you will probably gain the most weight at the end of the 2nd trimester and throughout the 3rd trimester. Average weight gain for the pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds, but will vary depending on your pre-pregnancy weight.



You may have to adjust your activities and exercises to accommodate your increasing size and fatigue. You should take short naps when you can. Avoid becoming exhausted and make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids. Ask your healthcare provider for advice on the most appropriate activities, swimming and walking are often recommended.



As in the 1st trimester, you will probably feel very tired and will need a lot of rest. You may also have to urinate more frequently as your enlarging uterus presses on your bladder. To help prevent hemorrhoids, avoid constipation by drinking plenty of water and eating fruits, vegetables and grains regularly.



Many women experience emotional ups and downs due to the hormonal change, fatigue and worry. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy and your baby, talk to your healthcare provider.



Picture Credit: 

7th Month

8th Month

9th Month

Download the PDF!
bottom of page