After finding out you are pregnant, you may feel a bit lost or like you don’t know where to start. I remember feeling so different during this time. I want to share my top first trimester must-haves, tips, and tricks, that I learned at the beginning of my pregnancy. So let’s talk clothes, apps, books, helpful tools, and food!
In my first trimester I wasn’t overly-nauseous all of the time, but I did feel a little off and not at my best. I felt queasy a lot, but it wasn’t until I got into my second trimester that I finally had lots of energy again.
These experiences, along with the hours of research I did before my pregnancy, have led me to learn a lot along the way. Hopefully these pregnancy must-haves will help you to have a smoother and more comfortable first trimester.
13 First Trimester Must Haves
1. Joggers or Yoga Pants
This is the very first thing that I just could not live without in my first trimester. If I wasn’t going out to dinner or meeting people that day, you can be sure the I was in comfy pants.
At this point, it’s not that your stomach is growing, it’s more just uncomfortable to have jeans digging into your skin and poking into your stomach while you’re in those first few stages of bloat. So getting pants that you love and that are super comfortable can go a long way in helping you feel a bit better in those first three months.
2. A Belly Band
This was super helpful in my first trimester because I was nowhere near ready to wear maternity pants. My stomach wasn’t big enough to fill them out yet, but my regular jeans were becoming more and more uncomfortable and impossible to fully button up. So using the Bellaband was so helpful during that transition period between regular pre-pregnancy clothes and full-on maternity wear. I actually have a whole review on the BellaBand that you can check out here.
3. Pregnancy Apps
I’ve tried a few different pregnancy apps, but my favorite by far is The Bump. It has a growth update every day on how big your baby is now and what’s developing this week. They also give 3-4 different blog posts on what was going on with the babies growth that day and week. I really enjoy that information, but you can try out ‘Sprout’ or the ‘What To Expect’ app. These are awesome too!
4. ‘Real Food for Pregnancy’ by Lily Nichols
This is one of my absolute favorite books and I’ve done a full review of it that you can check out here. The ‘Real Food for Pregnancy’ book is definitely going to help you prepare your body for baby.
It teaches you what nutrients to put into your body, how to address nausea, and what causes it. I would absolutely love to be able to sit down and talk to the author Lily Nichols, she is just amazing and so is her work. My favorite first trimester must have for sure!
5. Belly Lotion for Stretch Mark Prevention
I use two belly lotions one before bed, and one during the day. The oilier one is Mother Love that I use at night and the non-oily one is the Earth Mama Belly Butter, which I have done a full review on here. I am currently halfway through my second trimester and still stretch mark free and I’m hoping the lotions are why that is.
6. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is awesome for stretch marks, especially in preventing them in their early stages. If I had known about that in my first trimester, I would have started using it then.
One tip when looking into coconut oils is to make sure you get unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil. You will most likely be using it to cook and eat, and even applying it to your skin, so definitely make sure to get the best kinds possible. The oil will definitely get absorbed in to your body and into the placenta. For more info on that, I also have a blog post discussing organic coconut oil, its uses, and its benefits here.
7. Body Pillow
Halfway through my first trimester I noticed that I was sleeping on my back a lot and started reading how to arrange pillows to support my legs and my back in order to transition into side-sleeping. That’s when I decided to try the PharMeDoc C-pillow, which I have a full review on here.
I love this body pillow for keeping me upright, supporting my back, and keeping me on my side. So if you’re a big back-sleeper, I highly recommend getting this pillow to help you out near the end of that first trimester.
8. Water Bottle
I was always super thirsty during my first trimester. All I wanted to do was drink water, and tons of it. So a helpful tip is to always keep a large refillable water bottle on you at all times so that you never get stuck anywhere being super thirsty and not having any water on you. I personally use a Yeti tumbler. It’s just super travel-friendly and convenient and keeps the water cold for a very long time if I need it to.
9. Oyster Crackers
I ate oyster crackers constantly during my first trimester. I ate them when I woke up and before I went to bed, and it helped so much at keeping me from getting nauseous. They are so convenient and bite sized that I could pop in a couple while I was working to keep the hunger and queasiness at bay.
10. Peppermint Candies
My first trimester was around Christmas time and the holidays, so candy canes were pretty much everywhere I went. The peppermint in these candies really helped to soothe any queasiness I had, especially when I was on car rides. Try out peppermint candies as a nice way to soothe an uneasy tummy, nauseousness, or motion sickness.
11. Peppermint Essential Oil
I would sniff peppermint essential oil mostly when I had a headache to naturally take care of the pain without having to take Tylenol. It’s just really nice to have a more natural alternative to pain relievers. So give peppermint essential oil a try if you have headaches or nausea and see if it works for you.
While I couldn’t stand salads and ‘healthy’ foods anymore during my first trimester, I found smoothies to be so delicious. I was also struggling a lot with constipation during that time and smoothies really helped me out. Another alternative recommended to me by my doctor was Raisin Bran. I have a small bowl every morning and this really helped me out as well.
I would get super hungry out of nowhere and would go from ‘I feel perfectly fine’ to ‘Oh my gosh, I’m starving. I need food now or I’m gonna die’. So to prevent this, always carry snacks on-hand that you like and that you will eat. For me its oyster crackers or pretzels, and while these may not be the healthiest foods in the world, they have helped me feel better when I had a sudden hunger attack.
3 Tips to Enjoying your First Trimester
The following first trimester must haves aren’t necessarily things you need. Instead these are just some really good things I recommend doing throughout your first trimester.
1. List Questions for Your First Prenatal Visit
Take a list of questions to your doctor on that first prenatal appointment. Asking all those burning questions will help put you at ease and help you get to know your doctor faster if they’re new to you. Especially if you are a first-time mom, there are definitely going to be things you don’t know and that’s totally okay so don’t feel odd or embarrassed asking your doctor a list of questions.
I wanted so much sleep that first trimester, even my husband knows it. I’m usually not a big sleeper. I’ll sleep 7-8 hours a night and be good to go and would never nap. In my first trimester though, I was consistently taking several naps a week and needed to sleep 9-10 hours a night. My body just felt so drained and that’s not like me.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and give yourself the grace to allow that. Your body is working so hard at building this little baby and growing him or her, so make sure you give yourself a break when it comes to feeling exhausted and needing to take another nap.
3. Take Walks
I had talked to my doctor about exercising and what types of exercises I could do while pregnant. She told me not to stress about working out, and just to walk. Walks are good for baby and good for you, and I also found that they personally helped a lot with my mental health and helped me to stay positive and feel good in general.
To wrap up this list of first trimester must haves, I really do hope you’ve walked away from this list with a few useful tips and tricks. I know that these helped me have a better pregnancy experience overall. After implementing these strategies and tricks, I enjoyed myself more, and I hope you find the same is true for you!
Remember to be kind to yourself while you’re growing that baby and to be forgiving if you have really bad days where you just don’t feel great at all, there will be better days ahead, trust me!
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