My first trimester essentials

Living

Besides walks with Arlo and getting fresh air…there are a few things that helped make my first trimester more comfortable. Getting used to a new body shape, food aversions, replacements for those foods (and drinks) you loved and all the new thoughts and anxieties rolling around in your head – takes time! What I’ve learned is to take it day by day and if something works and makes you feel good, repeat, repeat, repeat. 😉

WHAT TO WEAR

Born to Roam sweater, Align High-rise Lululemons

My uniform for the first trimester was what I call my “stretchies” and oversized sweaters. My favorite for the last couple of years has been the naturally dyed fisherman sweater from Born to Roam. I reached out to Reyna to get a custom dip dyed version (not pictured) but there’s lots of options on their website. I felt stylish and it covered the “beer-belly effect” of the first few weeks. All the pieces are dyed with natural dyes made from flowers grown on Reyna’s farm – so lovely. Check the website for her dye kits, as well! – baby shower onesies anyone? 🙂

HOW TO SOOTHE

Attar by Monestary

Wow… this moisturizing (pregnancy safe) skincare product is well… just wow. It’s thick, and waxy and hydrating as all hell. I prefer to put it on my face and neck at night and let it sink in. It can easily feel greasy if you put on too much during the day, but if you go slow – a little goes a long way. I have normal skin which swings both ways but I think during my 1st trimester it swung more dry (it was winter…but?) and as someone who severely cut back on what I was putting on my face and body, this was a lifesaver.

Baby Bub Pillow (Use code: NORASIBLEYBB for 10% off!)

There are SO many pregnancy pillows out there! It’s important to note that I (currently 😉 sleep in a queen sized bed with my husband AND a 70lbs dog! Midway through my 1st trimester, my whole body was feeling very tight. I think this was because of the weight training I was committed to, which I had been doing for over a year to get in shape for my wedding, but it was making me feel totally out of wack during those first few months of pregnancy. After a few deep tissue massages (use the Soothe App! and my code for $20 off SOBWU – before you have too much of a bump) which helped my body feel at ease again, I still felt that I needed extra support during sleep even though I wasn’t really even showing yet. I purchased this afforable little, funny, customizable pillow duo and it saved the day. The pictures show it best, but two half moons are velcro-ed together keeping you on your side and supported, and it doesn’t take up the entire bed. Not being able to get comfortable when you’re tired is the worst (I’m a belly sleeper), and even though it takes a minute to get used to the Baby Bub pillow, I do really like it. At 20 weeks (writing this) I am still using this pillow and its great. I love that it doesn’t take up the entire bed. That said there is a chance I will try the next step up, as my belly grows, the “full body attachment“, which connects to the original pillow and provides continued support to your back while creating a larger huggable support system for the bump and legs to keep everything aligned. Sold!

WHAT TO DRINK

Hydro flask 32oz and Straw Lid (it’s important!),

Oh man, I was never very good and drinking water, but tbh the Hydroflask changed that. This water bottle after 38 years of water bottles is the first one to stick. I will say that the straw lid is 80% of the game. I do not like it when you unscrew a cap and take a sip and then all of a sudden you have poured it all down your shirt. Is this just me? Seriously, every time. Now with the Hydroflask I can finally drink water (and a lot of it) without looking like an idiot. Hahah, but I mean, seriously. Try this water bottle and tell me you are not hooked. Pregnant women are supposed to drink 2L of water a day. WHAT? Well, that’s about 2 full bottles at the 32oz size. Anyway, its helped me a lot.

Dandelion root tea

Giving up coffee was pretty easy for me. I’m married to a coffee connoisseur and enthusiast, but for me? I can take or leave a cup of jo. That said, I do like a cup of something warm and I enjoyed many hot chocolates over the holidays. As my 2nd trimester was in Spring, I was reaching for something a little more hydrating, a bit more palate cleansing – and Dandelion root tea was it for me. I’ve always preferred this flavor (sort of earthy and sweet) and recently found out that it is linked to certain benefits for pregnancy. According to livestrong.com it “contains essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, C, D and B. Dandelion remedies are said to support organ health, particularly the liver. Dandelion root may boost the appetite and ease constipation experienced during pregnancy, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dandelion root is also said to improve lactation after pregnancy.” So I mean, that’s gotta be good right?

INNA shrub “Albion Strawberry”

During cocktail hour, I would make a “drinking vinegar” shrub with 5 waters bubbly water to 1 part Inna shrub. The Albion Strawberry flavor packs a punch with a real, ripe strawberry flavor (and this from someone who LOVES fresh strawberries, and turns her nose up at strawberry flavored things. Strawberries in my smoothies? Eww no thank you!). But this vinegar is such a delicious juxtaposition to the sweetness of the wild berries. That said, you can easily make shrub syrup at home! Here is a recipe for one we made at Scribe last year with blackberries and the Hacienda Verjus.

WHAT TO READ

Nurture: A Modern Caring Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Early Motherhood

Nurture is written by Erica Chidi Cohen, a very impressive and knowledgable women’s health educator and doula. I found this book to be comforting while also giving you the real deal. While reading along throughout the months, I would read a little ahead and decide, “you know what? I think I’ll stop here.” I felt like I didn’t need to get ahead of myself. But I really liked how grounded and valuable I found the information. I knew that at each stage I could look to this book for an unsugar-coated (but respectful) take on the experience of pregnancy (and beyond – but I haven’t gotten there yet!).

Bump app

Every Saturday morning, after Noah went down to feed Arlo, he would hop back in bed and read me the newest week’s report on how big the baby was (a strawberry? a banana?), how the baby was developing and what symptoms I might experience. Honestly, it was a helpful and bitesize way to stay informed and also bring Noah into the process with me. I think it really helped us lay a foundation for staying in conversation about what was coming up for both of us heading into this new adventure!

…and one last thing – you got this! There is a lot info about pregnancy – everything is google-able but even then it’s hard to know what you trust. Figuring out new eating habits was the hardest part for me, not being used to dieting or really saying no that often, I had to learn new options to reach for. Find the sources you trust, ask friends, run rumors by your doctor, and remember to breathe and take one step at a time. I’m currently trying to take my own advice!

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