Healthy Pregnancy: First Trimester Favorites
The first trimester is always a doozy. From morning (or evening, in my case) sickness, to heartburn, extreme fatigue, weird pregnancy dreams and a body that might not feel like yours anymore, it's easy to get caught up in the ick of early pregnancy and forget the most important thing- the beautiful new life growing inside of you. But I get it, mama. Easier said than done, right?! Luckily, the second time around I knew what I could turn to to alleviate some of those unpleasant early pregnancy symptoms (and discovered a few new ones, along the way). These were my essentials those first few weeks that made newly-pregnant life all the better.
1. One of my earliest aversions? Coffee and green tea. Though it's been a while since I had a true cup of joe (I gave it up in the fall of last year), I used to love starting my day with a hot, bitter bevvy- and suddenly the though of anything bitter made me reel. Those first few weeks I was feeling 'morning sickness' all. day. long. so I went with ginger turmeric tea, for a simple, pregnancy safe, anti-inflammatory and nausea-quelling option.
2. On those super-nauseated days, these organic candied ginger chunks were essential. They're strong, so a piece or two usually did the trick, so I didn't mind a little extra sugar (the most important part to me? They only contain two ingredients: ginger, and sugar). I also enjoyed a Zevia on occasion in lieu of regular ginger ale (and all the additives that come along with it!), but I found chewing helped more than drinking, and sometimes the carbonation had the opposite effect I desired.
3. The Mama Natural Week by Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth. Where was this when I was pregnant the first time?! It actually didn't even come out until I was around 8 weeks pregnant, but I was so excited to receive my pre-order copy in the mail. Genevieve, you have outdone yourself with this one. A week-by-week (my favorite!) guide to all the changes your body (and baby) are going through, as well as a tips and tricks on tests, pregnancy ailments and nutrition- all from a natural perspective. I like knowing everything that's going on with my body, as it happens, so this was perfect for those anxious first few months. Definitely a unique resource and one I'll be using throughout my pregnancy! 4. Athleta Chaturunga Tights. You guys. These are NOT maternity tights, but I am SO. IMPRESSED. by these tights and how they've held up. I've been wearing these for a few years now, and they're my absolute favorite for running, yoga and HIIT, because they do not ride up or down, they fit like a super-flattering glove and they have an incredibly durable quality. You can imagine my surprise and delight when, even though my belly has grown far quicker this time around, they fit just as good as they did pre-pregnancy (read: no muffin top. gotta have that confidence, right mama?!). 16 weeks and still going strong! I have three pairs and I'm considering getting another pair or two in one size up to last me throughout and into postpartum. 5. Bread. Specifically, sprouted grain bread. Ladies who have been pregnant before, you feel me? Those days when NOTHING sounds good? Toast just does the trick. I prefer Ezekiel bread because it's sprouted (easier to digest + easily assimilated nutrients), contains 5 grams of protein per slice (key when you have early aversions to animal protein!) and a ton of fiber, so it's blood sugar balancing (especially when I top it with half a creamy avocado or a big swipe of Kerrygold butter). I had a slice just about right when I woke up every morning to help keep nausea at bay.
6. Natural Calm Magnesium powder. I recommend this to all my clients- non-pregnant or not, because at least 48% and up to 80% of Americans are deficient in this essential mineral, and it plays a role in over 300 processes in the human body. Coincidentally, it has also been linked to increased morning sickness (as with Vitamin B6), so upping it may help. I take it both as an essential supplement (more on what I take, soon) and, as it is a natural muscle relaxant, it helps calm me down at night (I found I had a much harder time falling asleep, at night) and it helps with women who have problems with, err, regularity- with the early onset of those increased pregnancy hormones. 7. A good pregnancy app. I've really enjoyed the Ovia app, a new-to-me app, this pregnancy, because it not only gives me some of the cutest pregnancy updates ever (the little hand!) but it's a place where I can record doctor's appointments, ultrasounds, essential tests and vital stats like weight, blood pressure, sleep and symptoms. My go-to pregnancy tracker!
So there you have it- my 7 essentials that, well, I could have lived without, but I really wouldn't want to! Do (or did) you have any essentials those first few weeks? Share with us in the comments!
Kristin Dovbniak, CNE, CPT, Pn1 is a certified holistic nutritionist, personal trainer and pre- and post-natal health coach with a passion for helping moms find their beautiful balance in nutrition, fitness and motherhood. Read more about me.