First Trimester must have items, tips and expectations to make it through the first trimester.
Going through a first trimester now for the 4th time I can say that every pregnancy and every trimester is different. Things that I needed the first couple go arounds no longer apply, and I have added new must have items to my toolbox for my latest and probably last pregnancy. Here is my list of must have items, tips and some first trimester pregnancy expectations to make it through those sometimes rough couple of months.
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First Trimester Must Haves
Not everyone experiences “morning sickness” or what I like to call all day and night sickness. In my first pregnancy I did not experience it at all. The second time around I had a few days of slight nausea, but nothing too bad.
With my third pregnancy it was full blown nausea most of the day and I threw up once in the middle of the night. It lasted till about 10 weeks and then went away completely in 24 hours. In fact, I panicked because of the dramatic reduction in symptoms, and went to see my OB to make sure everything was ok. Sure enough everything was fine and I went the rest of the pregnancy not feeling sick at all.
With my current pregnancy, my fourth time going through this, the nausea has stepped up and been pretty awful. Even worse it lasted till about 16 weeks. Even now if I don’t eat at the right times or go too long without water I can start to feel sick at a moments notice. I can usually make it go away with eating or drinking pretty quickly. I did throw up this time too, one night I fell asleep on the couch and it woke me up and I had to run to the bathroom.
Preggie Pops: These were a lifesaver in my third pregnancy. I would keep them in every room and just pop one in whenever I was feeling particularly nauseas.
Ginger Chews: These I would take 3 times a day when it was really bad during my current pregnancy. This really helped when I discovered these.
Sea-Band Anti-Nausea Acupressure Wristband: Great Natural alternative and some people swear by them!
Other things to try are drinking Gingerale or Pedialyte. These don’t usually work for me, but worth a shot!
Peppermint tea is also a remedy, but I don’t recommend it because there has some been some info that came out that it can cause mild uterine contractions and should be avoided. To read what the American Pregnancy Association says about Herbal and Non-Herbal Teas during Pregnancy, click here.
If it’s really bad you can always talk to your doctor, there are a few medications that they can prescribe for the nausea if needed. I never had to go that route, but some people have it much worse than I did.
Your doctor will tell you to never let yourself get hungry, thats a key to managing the nausea. I would keep soda crackers, pretzels, goldfish, almonds, snacks like that near me at all times. Also Sprite (no caffeine).
For me I didn’t need to start wearing “maternity” clothing till closer to my second trimester. However one of my recurring pregnancy symptoms is extreme bloating in my first trimester. I am usually so uncomfortable and tight pants or jeans are just miserable for those first couple of months even though my stomach hasn’t actually “grown” yet. Here are the items I live in to make myself a little more comfortable during the first trimester.
MATERNITY LEGGINGS: You will need to fold the upper flap down in the beginning, but these are so comfortable from Day 1 till 3 months after you give birth. Get a couple pairs as they can be used with everything. I usually buy two sizes also. One for immediate use and then I ended up getting a size larger for my third trimester as I didn’t want them as tight later on.
Motherhood Maternity Leggings: One thing to note when buying maternity clothing on Amazon, always go down and read the reviews from women that are around your height and weight to see what size they bought at what point in their pregnancy. That will hopefully save you on returns or exchanges later!
Motherhood Maternity Cropped Leggings: Cropped version of the ones above.
H&M MAMA Leggings: I have two pairs of these and wear them even when Im not pregnant sometimes, haha.
JOGGERS: So to be fair I live in these year around, so it’s no surprise that I want to wear them when I am pregnant too. The only difference is that regular joggers will only last through the first 12-16 weeks, depending on how tight you wear them usually.
Leggings Depot: I wear these year around and they are still perfect throughout my first trimester and you can’t beat the price. My current pregnancy I started showing a lot sooner and I was not able to get away with wearing my normal clothes as long. I definitely recommend reading reviews on sizing for these as well. I ordered a size up from what I usually would (that goes for pre/post pregnancy as well).
Champion: I like these a lot too, they are more fitted but still comfortable for the first trimester, and also pre/post pregnancy. I would buy one size up though or try two sizes and return whichever one doesn’t fit. Sometimes thats the key to shopping for clothes on Amazon.
As you might have guessed I am big on comfort year around. I have been working remotely full time for the last several years so most of my office/business type clothes have been replaced with more lounge type comfortable clothes, and it is super important to me that my maternity wear is just as comfortable.
Other Clothing Accessories
Belly Band: These are great if you want to keep wearing your regular clothes for awhile but are experience any bloating or your belly has started to grow. Instead of using a hair band to keep your pants closed, use this layering belly band. It will also let you keep wearing shorter shirts longer. Please note: this is not for support, its to extend the length of time you can wear your regular clothing. More on support bands in a later post!
Bra Extenders: You will probably be able to wear your normal bras pretty far into the pregnancy with the help of these handy little bra extenders.
Nursing Bras: I know you are thinking why now, but trust me these are so comfortable and can really be worn year around even when you are not breast feeding. If you are someone who hates underwire bras, these are so great. I have included a few different types below.
- Push Up Bralette: I like these for going out of the house
- Hanes Wirefree Bra: I like these ones for lounging and sleeping
I currently take Pre-Natals, Vitamin D (per my doctor), Cranberry supplements, (to combat UTIs, which are common in pregnancy) and a probiotic, (make sure to clear these last two with your doctor first). If you have not already started taking Prenatals pre-pregnancy, and have a go to choice, these are the ones I like below. I am big on gummy vitamins, always have been always will be. As always please consult your doctor on anything medical related as I do not have any medical background or expertise.
- Prenatal Gummys: Make sure it has DHA, Omega 3 and Folic Acid (clear with doctor)
- Prenatal Regular: I would get a recommendation from your doctor, there are tons out there that might be covered by insurance.
- SmartyPants Organic Prenatal Vitamins: This is another very popular brand of prenantal gummys
- Vitamin D: If prescribed by your doctor
- Probiotics: If cleared by doctor
- Cranberry Pills: If cleared by doctor
One thing to note is the Gummy prenatals do not have iron in them. Most likely you will have to take an iron supplement at some point if you choose the gummy version. That was fine with me and I didn’t have to take the iron till probably my third trimester.
To read what the American Pregnancy Association says about Probiotics during Pregnancy, click here.
Hydration is key when pregnant. Your daily intake will differ depending on doctor recommendations, etc. but regardless I love these two water bottles for pregnancy hydration and after.
BellyBottle Weekly Tracker: This one is super fun because you get to add the weekly milestone stickers as you move along in your pregnancy. I got this one during my third pregnancy, but I purchased it pretty late so I saved the stickers so I could add them in real time for baby #2.
Half Gallon Time Marker: This one works great because its about the average recommended daily water intake so you don’t have to refill it throughout the day.
One Gallon Time Marker: If you are super motivated and like to drink more, try the one gallon version! The last two both have removable straws as well.
Pregnancy Books / Education
For me the first trimester is really about just getting through it. I don’t think you should bombard yourself with a whole bunch of reading and trying to do everything at once. You have 9 months to spread all this out and honestly, stuff you read in the very beginning you might not remember once the baby is born. So my recommendation is to slow it down and just focus on the here and now during the first couple of months.
The one book I do recommend Expecting Better, is not the typical “What to expect when you are expecting” and all that stuff. I was recommended this when I was first pregnant a few years ago. Emily Ouster is an economist and author who decided to do the actual research on all the pregnancy do’s and don’ts when she was pregnant with her first child. Expecting Better is her take on the subject and is an excellent read. It’s short, to the point and I really appreciated her deep dive on the typical pregnancy subjects. Also its related to what you are going through in the first trimester so it’s important to read up front.
She has actually written three books now, Expecting Better (pregnancy), one for the first years, Cribsheet (birth to preschool) and the latest is The Family Firm (Early School Years).
Pregnancy Mobile Apps
If you are like me you are going to want to track your pregnancy from week to week and see the babies growth and keep track of appointments and important milestones. I have tried out multiple different apps over the years but the one I come back to and use consistently is OVIA. I also used OVIA for their fertility tracking as well and if you use that one first then when you become pregnant all the data transfers over to your OVIA Pregnancy app. They also have a version for tracking the baby after you deliver as well.
First Trimester essentials are going to vary person to person. I hope this comprehensive list provides an overview of some of the items that are helpful to get through those first couple of months.
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For Second Trimester must have, click here.
For Third Trimester must haves, click here.
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