I can’t believe I’m well into my second trimester, approaching my third (I’ll be 25 weeks the end of this week)! This pregnancy has flown by so far and overall has been great! I was planning on sharing a first trimester recap with you all, but in all honesty, there wasn’t much to recap! I felt great, didn’t have any bad pregnancy symptoms, no cravings or food aversions, I didn’t change up my normal workout routine, wasn’t wearing maternity clothes, etc. So, I figured I’d skip that post and share some of my favorite things that I found helpful during my first trimester.
Going into my pregnancy, I decided I wanted to continue my current mindset/ lifestyle of a more natural approach and really focus on the positives of pregnancy/childbirth, rather than a fear-based medical approach. Just a little side note: at my first appointment with my OBGYN I asked him his philosophy on pregnancy, delivery, etc and he said “childbirth shouldn’t be looked at as a medical procedure, but rather the most incredible experience of your life, as should pregnancy”- right then I knew I found the doctor for me!
With that being said, a lot of resources out there (books, websites, podcasts, etc) and even personal experiences that have been shared with me are based on fear and horror stories. I am a realistic person and am aware I’m a “high-risk” pregnancy, so I’m educating myself on all aspects, however, I prefer to stay away from fear-based educational material.
The Mama Natural Week-to-Week Guide to Pregnancy
I highly recommend this book and am learning so much from it. For me personally what I like about it is it focuses more on natural childbirth and remedies, however, it still discusses both sides of everything and interventions.
I’m a huge fan of podcasts and listen to them everyday when I walk/exercise.
A couple that I found really helpful are:
“Unbound Healing Podcast” episode #31- “Fertility and Pregnancy with Autoimmune Diseases with Alaena Haber” – this was actually the first pregnancy podcast episode I listened to and I found it relatable and relevant to my life and situation since I have an autoimmune disease.
“Pregnancy Podcast”– I learned SO much from this one! This podcast discusses ever aspect of pregnancy, delivery, postpartum, etc. Each episode is a different topic and most are under 30 mins so they’re easy to listen to without taking up too much time or getting distracted. This podcast does a great job of explaining both sides of each topic (some of which are controversial) and she approaches everything in an unbiased way, presents research on everything she discusses and provides the research articles in the show notes.
“What the F is Hynobirthing”– This is my favorite one I listened to and would actually look forward to each episode on my morning walks. I’m not sure I’ll have a natural, unmedicated delivery- I’m going in with an open mind and taking it as it comes. But, I do know that I have health anxiety stemming back to my long struggle with celiac disease and then other issues along the way. With that being said, I’ve been working really hard to have a positive mindset, staying calm and changing my thinking about pregnancy/childbirth, because as I mentioned above it seems like suddenly everyone wants to tell me their horror stories relating to their birth. What I love about this podcast is that the girl that does it isn’t a medical professional, hypnobirthing educator or even a mom during most of the episodes, but rather she’s pregnant and wants to learn everything she can on hypnobirthing and shares her knowledge along the way and then in later episodes shares her birth story using hypnobirthing and what aspects worked, didn’t and what should do differently.
If you’ve never heard of hypnobirthing, I plan on doing a post down the road on it, but it’s basically a method to help women deal with fear and anxiety around childbirth and involves various relaxation, visualization, and breathing techniques to help relax the body before and during labor as a pain management method.
There are so many great pregnancy tracker apps available, but I’ve been using Ovia and really like it. It not only gives you updates on your progress and baby’s growth, but also tracks your symptoms, moods, etc. It has various articles, pregnancy facts, health tips and even has a spot where you can look up food and medication safety during pregnancy.
Garden of Life Prenatal Multivitamin
There are so many different options out there for prenatal vitamins, but I’ve used this brand for years for many of my vitamins and have always been happy with them. When it came to selecting a prenatal, a few things were important to me and these had them: I wanted “folate” instead of “folic acid” since folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, I wanted vitamin B12 as methycobalamin, I liked that they’re formulated by whole-foods, they’re non-GMO and most importantly for me, they’re certified gluten free.
I’ve always taken probiotics and feel they’ve helped with my digestive issues due to celiac disease, so when I found out I was pregnant I switched over to these that are formulated specific for pregnant and nursing moms.
*I’m not a medical professional, so as always, please consult your doctor first.
I never had any morning sickness, but I did get occasional indigestion. It wasn’t that bad and wasn’t anything that I couldn’t manage with my diet (I think I’m so used to digestive issues from celiac that I didn’t really consider this a “pregnancy symptom” per say).
I know many people recommend drinking Sprite or Ginger Ale to alleviate indigestion, but I don’t drink soda, so I did keep La Croix in my pantry and would sip on it when those symptoms occurred and it really helped!
I know this sounds crazy, but I swear by Salt & Vinegar chips for indigestion and have used this as a cure for years! Even though I try not to eat processed food, I would much rather eat these than take antacids. I’m not recommending you eat the entire bag, but if you have a few of these chips when you get indigestion it really puts the fire out. I believe that’s because you get indigestion/heartburn when your stomach lacks acid so it begins overproducing it, so by eating these chips you help neutralize it. If you don’t believe me I say next time you get indigestion, give my method a try!
I’m always a big water drinker, but during my first trimester, I was always thirsty and drank more than usual. I kept this water bottle full and with me at all times!
Stretch Mark Prevention:
In my first trimester, I actually did not even gain one pound, but I wanted to be proactive with my skin and make sure it was always hydrated to prevent stretch marks. I originally bought cocoa butter, but in all honesty, the smell would gag me that I couldn’t use it. I then read reviews and after talking to some other mamas I decided to give Bio-Oil a try. I love the smell of it and I like how it goes on greasy but then dries fairly quickly so I don’t feel sticky for hours. During my first trimester I only used it once a day, wherein my second trimester I kicked it up a notch and added an additional product to my routine (I’ll share that when I share my second trimester favorites!)
I hope you found some of my first trimester must-haves helpful if you’re early on in your pregnancy or are planning to be soon!
Mamas/Mamas-To-Be what products did you find to be a lifesaver in your first trimester?