Wednesday, October 22, 2014

First Trimester Pregnancy Must Haves {Mommy's Must Haves series}

Welcome, moms, moms-to-be, and moms who want to share this series with their friends. (haha) Today brings the first post in my new series, Mommy's Must Haves...all about the essentials for pregnancy and baby. Written by a mom of three on a budget!

If you just found out you're expecting, congratulations. This is such an exciting (and emotional!) journey you're embarking on. Trust me, now's the time to start planning and preparing for your new arrival. Don't ask me how I know, but it stinks to wait until the last minute. {wink}

If you're planning and hoping to be pregnant soon, welcome to you too! It's a great idea to make healthy choices and plans before you 

As I mentioned in the series opener, every single pregnancy is different! You may have morning (or afternoon, or night) sickness; you may not. You might go up three bra sizes; you might get away with just wearing something stretchy. What worked for me might not work for you, so take my tips with a grain of salt and be prepared to try some other ideas!

You really don't need much for your first trimester, but here are some items that I found to be helpful over the course of my three pregnancies!

1. Saltines
I had awful, terrible nausea with all three of my pregnancies. All day, all afternoon, and all evening until I went to bed. I was the most tired with baby #3, probably due to the fact that I was exhausted from the taking care of my two other kiddos. Saltines were something I could nibble on without feeling like I was going to hurl...right away.

You may have morning (or afternoon, or night) sickness; you may not. Find something, anything (!) you can eat without wanting to throw up. With my first baby, fresh fruit helped me feel better. Find your thing and hold onto it!

2. Water Bottle or Straw Cup
Again with the morning sickness! Sometimes the only thing that kept me from "tossing it" was taking little bitty sips of very very very cold ice water. If I felt the nausea coming on, I'd start sipping, and sometimes it would keep things at bay. Also, water is good for you.

3. Ginger Ale
I don't think the brand really matters, but sometimes Ginger Ale also helps curb the nausea...also, it's nice to be able to order something besides water when you go out to eat as a treat. (Especially since you'll be turning down margaritas for the next nine months!)

4. Ginger Pops
I'm adding these (Preggie Pops) to the list because they were recommended to me by so many friends. There wasn't much that seemed to work for me, but friends have sworn by the ginger pops! You can find them at CVS, WalMart, etc.

5. A good OB/GYN
This should be a no-brainer, but I've heard so many mom friends talk about how much they dislike their docs and end up switching when they get pregnant. Find yourself a good OB/GYN! Look for someone who is empathetic, takes the time to listen and answer your questions, and isn't pushy. Also be sure you like the staff! I've had the same OB/GYN since I got pregnant with Natalie, my oldest. Not only is my doc excellent, someone I trust (she's done all three c-sections!), but her staff is fabulous. They are kind, friendly, and don't keep me waiting!!!

6. Pregnancy Journal
I'll level with you. You probably won't have time to do this if this is not your first pregnancy. You have enough on your hands to deal with, so don't beat yourself up. If this is your first baby, a pregnancy journal can be a fun way to record your feelings, experiences, and health. My sis gave me one when I was pregnant with Natalie, and I loved it. You'll also be able to look back and compare if you have more little ones later on.

7. Prenatal Vitamins
Hopefully, you're already taking some for the folic acid. My OB/GYN prescribed some prenatal vitamins during my first two pregnancies, but they were so expensive ($50 a month with our new insurance!!) with baby #3 that I just took over-the-counter ones and never noticed a difference. Ask your doc what he/she recommends, and they probably have some great samples for you to try. 

8. Pregnancy and Baby Books
One of my top pregnancy tips? Start reading those pregnancy and baby books now, and take notes! First-time moms, I don't need to tell you. You probably already have a stack of them on your coffee table. I'll share a list of my favorite pregnancy and baby books next week, but you can also check out my list of best pregnancy websites and blogs! If this isn't your first pregnancy, it's still kind of nice to dust off those pregnancy books and brush up on your knowledge.

Other first trimester tips:

-Nighttime vitamins
If you are unable to keep anything down, try taking your vitamins at night after you brush your teeth. I found I was less likely to hurl them back up, and it also helped me to remember to take them since I was following a routine.

-Avoid caffeine
My doctor told me that small amounts of caffeine (ie. one small cup of coffee a day) are okay, but I preferred to play it safe and went cold turkey. If you're experiencing morning sickness, the thought of that coffee, mocha, Coke, etc. may make you feel gross anyways. I held off until around 20 weeks and then allowed myself a small amount after that so I wouldn't go nuts. Ask your doctor!

-Rest up!
You're growing a human being. I found this trimester to be the most utterly exhausting of all. I suppose it's kind of a shock to introduce a human into your system. When I was pregnant for the first time, I used to come home from working 9 to 5, take a 2 hour nap, and then still go to bed by 10 because I felt so awful from throwing up all day. My husband, who was possibly the least sympathetic partner ever (don't worry, he learned his lesson by subsequent pregnancies!) did not understand this at all, and frequently made me feel awful about wanting/needing extra rest. Don't let anyone give you slack for needing a nap or two! By baby #3, T was the one telling me to go put my feet up and take a load off. 

If you already have little ones at home, start enforcing a nap time or quiet time. I promise, it won't kill them. Take some time for yourself and rest up for your new baby.

What are your top must haves for the first trimester of pregnancy? Any good tips?

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  1. Ginger Chews at Trader Joes are great. Their a little spicy like ginger beer. As an alternative to the pregnancy journal, the One-Line-A-Day journal people make a Mom's One-Line-A-Day (it's pink and says "MOM" on it, only difference). It's a good way to keep track of things. I'm using one as a "baby book" right now and wish I'd gotten it when I was pregnant. I still miss days here and there, but so far, I've kept up with it alright. I read the Mayo Clinic's Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, it mostly stuck to the facts without editorializing too much, but the tone was a bit condescending at times. I found What to Expect...a bit alarmist, so I skipped it. A friend told me to buy half the pregnancy and childbirth books and twice the number of parenting books, and it was good advice. I read Natural Birth the Bradley way, occasionally checked in with the Mayo Clinic guide and spent time reading (ok, skimming!) the baby books instead. Happiest Baby on the Block, The Nursing Mother's Companion and Heading Home with your New Born, and then a bit later, The No Cry Sleep Solution. Those were my go-to books. I have since also heard good things about Sweet Sleep too.

  2. I lied, I also read Natural Hospital Birth in the couple weeks right before I was due. That was really helpful too!


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