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Weeks 6 to 10 of Your Pregnancy: Care Instructions

Early fetal development

Your Care Instructions

Congratulations on your pregnancy. This is an exciting and important time for you.

During the first 6 to 10 weeks of your pregnancy, your body goes through many changes. Your baby grows very fast, even though you cannot feel it yet. You may start to notice that you feel different, both in your body and your emotions. Because each woman's pregnancy is unique, there is no right way to feel. You may feel the healthiest you have ever been, or you may feel tired or sick to your stomach ("morning sickness").

These early weeks are a time to make healthy choices and to eat the best foods for you and your baby. This care sheet will give you some ideas.

This is also a good time to think about birth defects testing. These are tests done during pregnancy to look for possible problems with the baby. First trimester tests for birth defects can be done between 10 and 13 weeks of pregnancy, depending on the test. Talk with your doctor or midwife about what kinds of tests are available.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Eat well

Go to Canada's Food Guide at to learn how many food guide servings you should aim for each day. In your second and third trimesters most women will need to add 2 or 3 extra servings for healthy weight gain. Talk to your doctor or midwife about what is right for you.

  • Eat at least 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks every day. Eat fresh, whole foods, including:
    • Vegetables and fruit. Be sure to include a variety of colours. A serving is ½ cup of fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables or fruit, 1 cup of leafy raw vegetables, 1 piece of fruit, or ½ cup 100% juice.
    • Grain products. A serving is 1 slice of bread, 30 g of cold cereal, ½ cup of cooked rice or cooked pasta, or ¾ cup cooked cereal.
    • Milk and alternatives. A serving is 1 cup of milk or fortified soy beverage, 1 cup of cottage cheese, ¾ cup of yogurt, or 1½ ounces of cheese.
    • Meat and alternatives. A serving is 2½ ounces of cooked fish, shellfish, poultry, or lean meat, ¾ cup cooked beans, 2 eggs, or 2 tablespoons peanut butter.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Avoid sodas and other sweetened drinks.
  • Choose foods that have important vitamins for your baby, such as calcium, iron, and folate.
    • Dairy products, tofu, canned fish with bones, almonds, broccoli, dark leafy greens, corn tortillas, and fortified orange juice are good sources of calcium.
    • Beef, poultry, liver, spinach, lentils, dried beans, fortified cereals, and dried fruits are rich in iron.
    • Dark leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, liver, fortified cereals, orange juice, peanuts, and almonds are good sources of folate.
  • Eat two or more servings of fish that are lower in mercury. These include salmon, rainbow trout, pollock, herring, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters, and canned "light" tuna.
  • Avoid foods that could harm your baby.
    • Do not eat raw or undercooked meat, chicken, or fish (such as sushi or raw oysters).
    • Do not eat raw eggs or foods that contain raw eggs, such as Caesar dressing.
    • Do not eat raw sprouts, especially alfalfa sprouts.
    • Do not eat soft cheeses and unpasteurized dairy foods, such as Brie, feta, or blue cheese.
    • Limit how much high-mercury fish you eat.
      • Do not eat more than 150 g of high-mercury fish in a month. These include fresh or frozen tuna (not canned "light" tuna), shark, swordfish, marlin, orange roughy, and escolar.
      • Do not eat more than 300 g of canned (white) albacore tuna each week.
    • Avoid caffeine, or limit your intake to 300 mg or about 2 cups of coffee or tea each day.

Protect yourself and your baby

  • Do not touch kitty litter or cat feces. They can cause an infection that could harm your baby.
  • High body temperature can be harmful to your baby. So if you want to use a sauna or hot tub, be sure to talk to your doctor or midwife about how to use it safely.

Cope with morning sickness

  • Sip small amounts of water, juices, or shakes. Try drinking between meals, not with meals.
  • Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day. Try dry toast or crackers when you first get up, and eat breakfast a little later.
  • Avoid spicy, greasy, and fatty foods.
  • When you feel sick, open your windows or go for a short walk to get fresh air.
  • Try nausea wristbands. These help some women.
  • Tell your doctor or midwife if you think your prenatal vitamins make you sick.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

Enter G112 in the search box to learn more about "Weeks 6 to 10 of Your Pregnancy: Care Instructions".

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.