The first trimester is arguably one of the hardest, as you battle against all of the pregnancy symptoms those pesky hormones throw at you.
You might also be feeling pretty lonely if your friends and family have no idea about the pregnancy. They aren’t likely to be giving you much slack as you complain of headaches, sickness and tiredness.
It can also be a pretty worrying time; the risk of miscarriage is highest during the first trimester so you may find yourself feeling anxious about the pregnancy.
In short, it’s not going to be the easiest three months of your life, but don’t worry, there are things you can do to improve the first trimester. These must have items will help you to survive the first trimester:
#1: A Good Bra
If you’re experiencing the flaming hot tender breasts of the first trimester, you need to get your hands on a decent maternity bra. You need support and comfort above all else. Underwires are best avoided during pregnancy.
If you’re on a budget, invest in a maternity/nursing bra that you’ll be able to use after the birth as well. A well-fitting maternity bra will stop you cursing each time the wind blows your blouse against your nipple, will help you to roll over in the night without wincing and might even enable your partner to touch your boobs without you threatening divorce breaking down (might, no promises with this one).
Find out more about buying a maternity / nursing bra.
If you weren’t taking them at the point of conception, you should start taking multivitamins as soon as you see that positive test result appear. You’ll need to get multivitamins specially formulated for pregnancy to make sure they contain the right vitamins and minerals.
Make sure the vitamins you take include a daily dose of 400 micrograms of folic acid, this is particularly important during the first trimester. Before you do though, you might want to get tested for the MTHFR gene mutation (especially if you have a history of miscarriage or other health problems). This mutation is very common (1 in 4 impacted seriously and almost 1 in 2 mildly), and impacts how the body is able to break down folic acid (synthetic version of naturally occuring folate). Alternately, you might like to simply replace folate with folinic acid and methylfolate. You can find folinic acid here.
#3: Good Pregnancy Books
Now is the time to learn about all things pregnancy-related. You’ve probably already noticed that you’re able to focus on little else, so make the most of this one-track mind by becoming an expert in all things pregnancy. Not just the fluff, but whole food for your pregnancy knowledge pantry.
Check out BellyBelly’s recommendations for pregnancy books here. You can also download pregnancy apps that will send you daily information about your developing baby. And, of course, you can get plenty of info here on BellyBelly, especially our pregnancy week by week section, so you’ll be a pregnancy expert in no time.
#4: Ginger Nut Biscuits
If morning sickness hits, you’ll need to experiment with foods until you find something you can keep down. Ginger and peppermint are believed to help with nausea, so stock up on ginger nut biscuits and make sure you have a cupboard full of peppermint tea bags.
Some mamas-to-be find that eating a dry cracker first thing in the morning helps with their morning sickness. If you’re currently in the midst of morning sickness, you’ll know only too well how much it can suck. Staring into a toilet bowl all day is hardly living the dream, is it? It will pass though, you just have to get through these few weeks and then you should be feeling a little better.
#5: A Dream Pad
Much like the dreams of a person who has taken a lot of hallucinogens, your dreams are worth noting down during pregnancy. The crazy dreams of pregnancy can start as early as the first trimester, so keep a dream pad by your bed to note down any dreams you remember upon waking.
Some mamas-to-be experience anxiety dreams during pregnancy. Pregnancy is a time of impending change and it’s not surprising that this could be reflected in your dream world. Writing down your anxiety dreams could help you to deal with these feelings of anxiety.
#6: A Water Bottle
You should be drinking around eight glasses of water a day now that you’re pregnant. Other drinks count towards this total intake, but water is the best drink you can have because it doesn’t contain any additives or sugars unlike other drinks. Meeting this quota might not be easy, especially if you’re hoping to avoid having to get up six times in the night to pee.
One way you can increase your chances of drinking eight glasses a day, is to carry a water bottle with you at all times. This will remind you to drink extra water whilst also ensuring you’re never far from your next refreshing mouthful of water.
#7: Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
All that extra water will be doing wonders for your skin, as will the increased amount of fresh fruits and vegetables you’re consuming. However, if you want something extra to ensure your skin is as soft as it can be, invest in some organic extra virgin coconut oil. You can rub it onto your bump and breasts to help keep the skin moisturised as your baby slowly begins to change during the first trimester.
It’s naturally produced, free from harmful additives and chemicals, and has the added bonus of smelling delicious. Check out what's available on Amazon.
#8: A Body Pillow
It’s never too early to invest in a pregnancy pillow.
In fact, the sooner you get it, the more use you’ll get out of it. Once you stop being pregnant, your partner is probably going to demand his half of the bed back and that means no more pregnancy pillows.
It sounds unreasonable, but he will have been balancing on the very edge of the mattress for nine months by this point. A pregnancy pillow will help to support your changing body throughout the pregnancy and could help you to get a decent night’s sleep. Invest in one now, you won’t regret it.
Pregnancy is the perfect time to get (or stay) fit. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you need to spend the next nine months lounging around and eating for two. In fact, you should be eating better and working hard to stay fit. You should try to exercise each day, though that might be tough when you’re battling pregnancy fatigue during the first trimester.
A brisk 30-minute walk, however, is all it takes to get your heart pumping and improve your fitness. Some mamas-to-be prefer scheduling in a couple of swims each week, and others choose to continue with their pre-pregnancy exercises.
#10: A Partner Who Can Talk Endlessly About Pregnancy, Birth & Babies
If you’ve decided to keep hush about the pregnancy during the first trimester, you might be relying on your partner for emotional support right now. That means you’ll be bending his ear about anything and everything to do with pregnancy, birth and babies.
Hopefully your partner has equally as much to say and doesn’t mind talking up a storm about impending parenthood. If, however, you find that there is still more to say, don’t forget there are online forums where you can chat anonymously to other mamas-to-be.
If you find this one to come by, an acceptable alternative would be a partner who can endlessly massage your feet, back and anything else that aches during your pregnancy.