Now that we’ve announced we’re expecting & I’m well out of the first trimester I figured it’s time to post about the things that helped me survive those first few months.
Pregnancy Countdown Book – This countdown style book has a little blurb for each day. It’s also separated out by weeks & trimester. The weekly sections are short enough that I can read it aloud to my husband in about 5 or 10 minutes & then he feels like he’s well informed for the week to come. I like that this book isn’t terribly dense, it gives real life advice from real mommas & has a lighthearted feel which makes it fun to read. Pregnancy doesn’t have to be this in depth research project you embark on as soon as the second line appears. I have some knowledge I retained from my nursing school semester of maternity, but otherwise I find this book to be just informative enough & then I save my questions for whenever I see my doctor. I will mention that I do plan to read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth once I hit my 3rd trimester, but for the first few weeks this book was plenty.
Raw Prenatals – These vitamins are a serious must have. They are raw whole food vitamins that are gluten free & don’t have any fillers. Any momma to be knows that one of most important reasons to take prenatals is Folate or Folic Acid so our babies don’t have any neural tube defects. One thing I love about these vitamins is that they have Folate which is the natural form, versus Folic Acid which is synthetic. It can be hard to find prenatals that are made with true Folate, so that was initially what drew me to these vitamins. They also contain ginger which is a game changer during the first trimester. Other vitamins I tried were not easy to swallow, literally. I got vitamins from whole foods & each time I opened the jar I would gag because they smelled so bad, they were also huge tablets which weren’t easy to take when you’re already so nauseated. These Raw Vitamin Code Prenatals are small capsules that don’t have any strong scent. The box even says you can open the capsule and our the powder into some water and drink it, I never did this so I can’t comment on how that would taste but if you struggle to take pills that could intrigue you. Doctors are now recommending that women also take an omega 3 fatty acid supplement, otherwise known as DHA along with their prenatal. I’ve been taking Nordic Naturals
Face Wipes – Do yourself a favor & just buy a pack of your favorite face wipes. Once week 7 hit I was so tired & so nauseated that at the end of the day all I wanted to do was crawl into bed. I couldn’t bring myself to wash my face every night so I lived on these. I personally love the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths. They’re super gentle & take all your makeup off.
Ovia App – When it comes to pregnancy applications there’s dozens to choose from. I originally used Glow to track fertility but switched over to the Ovia App. It’s easy to use, I like that it gives you little “tid-bits” about your baby each day & there’s a calendar feature which makes seeing how many weeks you are really easy. I also love that they have a feature that shows how big the baby’s hands & feet are versus how big they’ll be at 9 months! At first it seems like the hand is never growing but now I’m at 21 weeks and the hand all of the sudden looks huge! Side note: I try really hard to avoid the online forums, I think they’re more anxiety producing than they are helpful because most of the time it’s just other random people on the internet answering whatever question you pose.
Cool Eye Mask – Originally when I purchased this San Francisco was going through it’s once in a lifetime heatwave & I was just about 6 or 7 weeks pregnant. You put this eye mask in the freezer and then put it on before bed. I became addicted to sleeping with this each night during my first trimester. Something about having the coolness on your eyes when you’re feeling like you’re gonna hurl just made me feel better. I was never able to sleep with it on the whole night, I usually woke up a few hours later and took it off, but I really do think it helped me get to sleep. Added bonus the coolness is supposed to help with any dark circles under your eyes!
Acupuncture: I have been going to acupuncture for over 5 years for various ailments. I started going originally for a pulled hamstring & was sold after I was able to make a full recovery. Since that time I usually would go once every six weeks or so as a preventive measure for my back. Being an ER nurse takes a toll with standing all day, lifting patients, & just other awkward body mechanics. When we started trying to conceive I knew I wanted acupuncture to play a role. After going for one full cycle we were able to conceive the following month! So needless to say after I found out I was pregnant I wanted to keep going especially during those first few weeks when your risk for loss is the highest. Acupuncture helps promote blood flow to the places where you need it the most & can help relieve some of the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy like nausea, bloating, constipation etc. I also find it to be meditative. Usually they’ll place the needles and then let you rest in a dark, warm room for about 30 minutes. It’s a great pause in an otherwise hectic day to day life. Usually I find myself in a half sleep state & I walk out more relaxed than any massage has ever made me! I recommend acupuncture to everyone for all sorts of ailments but especially if you’re trying to conceive. If you are in the San Francisco area you should 100% check out Blue Ova they’re honestly the BEST!
Apple Sauce packs – this obviously isn’t a must have for everyone but this was one of the few things I could stomach eating during those first few months. I probably hadn’t eaten apple sauce in at least a decade but I found myself eating a few packs of these day. But honestly my best advice is to eat whatever sounds good and whatever you can stomach! I lived on chicken broth, apple sauce and miso soup probably for a month straight. But take comfort in the fact that feeling really nauseated means your body is producing the hormones it needs for a healthy pregnancy!
What are some your pregnancy must haves?! Comment below I’d love to find out.