The early stages of pregnancy can be tricky as your body adjusts to its new role as not only an incubator, but preserver, nourisher and protector of your new baby. This journey is fraught with changes as your body undergoes unprecedented spikes in hormone levels along with an exponential rise in blood volume. These changes make it necessary to take some basic precautions during pregnancy.

1. Give up harmful habits

Consuming alcohol and cigarette smoking must be avoided during pregnancy even if it is only second hand smoke that you are exposed to. This may be a great excuse to get your husband to quit by explaining the harmful effects it can have on the baby even at this early stage! Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to foetal alcohol syndrome and smoking can cause sudden infant death syndrome. If that isn’t enough, premature delivery or even a miscarriage is a distinct possibility with either.

2. Take Prenatal Vitamins

At least 400mg of folic acid must be included in a pregnant woman’s day as folic acid prevents neural tube defects in the developing foetus. A multi-vitamin that has calcium and iron must be taken in addition to a diet that is rich in whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.

3. Limit your Caffeine Intake

While your mother-in-law may insist that her generation or the ones before never cut down on coffee or tea during pregnancy, keeping your trips to Coffee Day to a minimum can greatly minimize your risk for miscarriage. Take consolation in that chocolate is considered safe although it has caffeine. So there!

4. Stay well-hydrated

In the coming months, your blood volume will increase by a whopping 33% to accommodate your baby’s needs. Drinking plenty of fluids will not only help with this but also enable your body to acclimate to your increasing hormone levels gradually.