Pregnancy in itself is a beautiful thing. I mean, come on. You’re growing an entirely new human being inside your body! Mother Nature at her finest, right there. However, when you become a portable baby factory, you must endure all the side effects -both good and the bad- that go along with it. Although some of these are great (i.e. glowing skin and thick, shiny hair) most of the unpleasant ones (i.e. nausea and vomiting) occur during the first few months of pregnancy and are usually constant, long-lasting, and extremely uncomfortable. This lovely time is known as the First Trimester.
Now, I understand that some women feel great throughout their entire pregnancy, but for me (and millions of other women around the world I’m sure) this just isn’t the case. So, I’ve come up with a handy list of the top 10 things that I believe every woman battling through the dreaded first trimester should have to make their lives a little easier. Enjoy!
First Trimester Must-Haves
1. Dry, Salty Snacks
When you’re nauseous all day and the idea of eating just makes your stomach turn even more, it’s extremely hard to force pretty much anything down. But, if you ever do get a break in between bouts of crippling queasiness, take it as an opportunity to get something into your system. For me, pretzels were my savior. Most of the time, they stayed down and when they did -trigger warning- come back up it was usually pretty mild and tasteless. Bland, unflavored crackers are typically the best. Saltines are always a good option, too!
2. Prenatal Vitamins
From the moment you find out you’re expecting, you want to make sure that baby is getting everything that they need. When you go to your first prenatal check-up, you can expect to be asked by your doctor if you’re taking any sort of prenatal vitamin. Although they are ideal for fetal development (and great for mom, too!) don’t beat yourself up too much if you haven’t been able to take them every single day or even at all. With both of my pregnancies, the chalky texture and “unique” taste were no match for my unrelenting nausea. If you find yourself in the same boat, I highly recommend trying the gummy variety! Not only do they taste better, but they tend to be a bit more gentle on the tummy.
3. Comfy Clothes
Yoga pants, anyone? Aside from rushing to the bathroom every hour (if not to puke, then to pee), bloating and breast tenderness are also extremely viable reasons for me to advocate loose-fitting lounge clothes during your first trimester. Sweatpants and sports bras were a couple of my favorites. Also, if you’re like me and you have another little one to chase around the house, constricting clothing is only going to limit your movement and make bending and lifting all the more difficult.
No matter how hard you try (unless of course, you’re one of the lucky few who feel great during the first trimester), you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the couch the next several months. Don’t worry about being “lazy” by the way. It’s a lot of work to make a baby! Fatigue is one of the major symptoms you will experience in early pregnancy. There will be plenty of time later on for you to get out and enjoy the fresh air, but for now just take it easy and enjoy binge-watching all your favorite shows. 😉
This one is a given. However, along with eating, drinking plain water can seem like the most difficult thing to do when you’re combating morning sickness. Luckily, there are other ways for you to stay hydrated! Eating juicy fruits like pineapple, watermelon, and grapes are a great way to get water into your system. Flavored drinks are a good option as well. For two weeks straight, I pretty much lived the on orange, strawberry, banana juice from Safeway.
It’s never too early to start lathering up that belly! When I was pregnant with Hadley, it hadn’t crossed my mind to do this until I was well into my second trimester and already starting to stretch. This time, I’ve been applying daily, morning and night. Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter works wonders!
Okay, by now I bet you’ve heard from numerous sources that drinking ginger ale can help curb your morning sickness. And for a lot of women, that’s absolutely true! But for me, I’ve never really liked the taste of ginger ale, or just ginger itself for that matter. Luckily, you don’t actually have to consume ginger to get relief. The smell alone was enough to help my queasiness. Simply take a fresh thumb of ginger, crack it open and inhale! (I’d recommend doing it at a bit of a distance- that is some strong smelling stuff!)
8. Hard Candy
One of the biggest triggers for nausea in pregnancy is the excess saliva being produced and constantly running down your throat. I talked to my doctor about this and he recommended sucking on some sort of hard candy. Jolly Ranchers were what did it for me- specifically the watermelon ones. I had to experiment with a couple of the flavors before I found one that I could tolerate and didn’t upset my stomach. Peppermints are also great for relieving nausea.
9. Unisom and B6 Combo
Although far down on the list, this proved to be absolutely magical in preventing my morning sickness. When I initially called my doctor to discuss my options, I was at my wit’s end with the never-ending nausea. To clarify: when I was pregnant with Hadley, usually if I got something up and out of my system, I would feel well enough to eat at least a little something. This time, however, I was plagued with just the constant feeling of needing to throw up, but I never could. It was absolute torture! So you can imagine that I was pretty frustrated. My doctor had called me in a prescription for Zofran. And because I tend to lean more towards natural methods before resorting to medications (and because of the reputation that this particular drug has), I asked him what other options there were, to which his nurse recommended I try taking Unisom and vitamin B6.
Unisom is actually a type of sleep-aid, but the active ingredient diphenhydramine is what works wonders for morning sickness! When mixed with the B6, it has the same effects as other anti-nausea medications, but without the side effects! Although this has worked wonders for me, be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications.
10. Sea Bands
If you’ve never heard of these before, then boy, you’re in for a treat! Sea Bands are a type of acupressure treatment that can help relieve nausea and vomiting naturally. Worn like a sweat band, they go around the wrists and contain small plastic studs that stimulate the Nel-Kuan pressure point. Now, I know it sounds kinda crazy, but it actually works! In my experience, they worked well by themselves, but I achieved the best results when I used them in conjunction with my other methods of morning sickness relief. Sea Bands are sold in most department stores as well as online. You can read more about them here!
And there you have it, ladies! Be sure to give some, if not all, of these a try for a happier, more enjoyable first trimester. 🙂 What are some of the things that worked for you?Post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure here.