Each trimester brings different joys and struggles, so my favorite food, supplement, product or exercise tended to change over the course of my pregnancy. I’ll be breaking down my journey by trimester to give you a full idea of what worked for me (and what didn’t) as I progressed through my pregnancy. This week, you’ll hear about how I navigated the first trimester.
This was definitely the toughest part for me. For both pregnancies, I was exhausted all the time and pretty much felt nauseous all day, every day (when they called it “morning” sickness, they lied).
During the first trimester, I had food aversions and I was suddenly repulsed by coffee (never thought I’d see the day!). The biggest change for me was forcing myself to eat breakfast every morning. Before pregnancy, I would consistently fast until late morning or mid-afternoon, so I wasn’t used to a morning breakfast routine. Until one morning, after a short walk with my husband, I got home and started feeling lightheaded. Before I could tell him what was happening, I passed out – luckily close enough to him so that he could catch me. I called my doctor shortly after and she explained that I absolutely need to eat and drink water before I do any sort of activity in the morning (you think this would be obvious, but I really wasn’t hungry in the morning and it hardly crossed my mind). So despite my food aversions, I was very strict about having some sort of breakfast each morning. My go-to was a smoothie when I couldn’t seem to get anything else down. Here’s my favorite:
Also be sure to take your prenatals everyday! From my research, I found out that not all prenatals are created equal, so I opted for a food-based prenatal, which are more absorbable and gentler on the stomach, because they are derived from food instead of isolated vitamins. My two favorites are MegaFood Baby & Me and Thorne Prenatals.
Unfortunately, so many of the most popular products in the health and beauty market today are full of toxic ingredients. Start by taking a look at your toothpaste, soap, body lotions, shampoo and conditioners and deodorants. Refer to this resource for “the dirty dozen” in health and beauty products and make sure that none of these are present in any of the products you are using. You can also download the “Think Dirty” app to find out what’s in your bottles at home. Be prepared to throw a lot away! But trust me, it’s worth it and throughout the process I was able to find some all-natural and non-toxic products that I really love, like Primally Pure and Puracy.
Since I was so exhausted during the first trimester, I took it easy on myself. I knew my body was going through so many important changes, so if I didn’t feel like running or lifting weights, I wasn’t going to force myself to do it. I opted for lots of walking and yoga. And I took plenty of naps when I had the opportunity to! Trust me, now that I’m a mom of one crazy almost-2-year-old with another on the way, I miss those naps and I’m glad I got them in when I had the chance.
Hair and Body Products
Like most people, I carried my phone in my pocket and frequently had my laptop sitting on my lap. And it never occurred to me that the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from those devices could actually be harmful to my baby. But the World Health Organization has classified EMFs as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Yes, you read that right. So that scared me enough to take some precautionary measures. I purchased this EMF blocking cell phone case and this protective blanket for putting on my lap when using my laptop for extended periods of time. Because it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I went on Amazon and ordered the Mama Natural book. I also joined the Mama Natural Facebook group, where you can interact with other moms who are planning to have a natural birth.
I also ordered two other books that are still useful to this day: Happiest Baby on the Block and Twelve Hours Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old. These books proved to be extremely helpful for the first crazy month of my baby’s and I still refer to them today. I recommend reading once during the first trimester and again during the third trimester.
My favorite app is Ovia Pregnancy. This includes week-by-week updates about how the baby is progressing (and give the fun fruit size updates!), as well as health tips and a baby countdown. We have so many resources available at our fingertips and I strongly encourage you to find the blog, book or app that speaks to you most and helps you navigate the crazy and exciting pregnancy journey.