I have been hoping that the Lord would bless us with another baby (despite my husband’s other-minded-ness) and He has. I am pregnant again and just made it through the first trimester. I have not taken the opportunity to talk pregnancy and child-birth much on this blog, because honestly, I didn’t have the energy when I was going through the last pregnancy and early baby stages. But this time around, I don’t have that pesky bed-rest to deal with (just yet) and I have finally gotten back some of the energy I so desperately miss during the first trimester! And after my pregnancies, I have LOTS of opinions on products that are my must-have items for each stage of pregnancy. So, I thought I would divide them up by trimester and share my favorite pregnancy supplies with you. If this is your first pregnancy (congratulations!), you may want to consider these items as you navigate this new season. If this is your second (or third, etc.) pregnancy, I am sure you would agree with some of them and have others to add.
Many of these things will be used throughout the rest of the pregnancy and a few can be used for months and years afterwards. These are the “real deal, I really use these things and you will be glad when you do, too” items. Some are a little on the awkward side, but this is pregnancy – and pregnancy has it’s awkward moments, trust me. And some of the links in this post are affiliate links – meaning if you click and make a purchase as a result of my recommendation, I get a small remuneration at no additional cost to you.
Are you ready to get real on this pregnancy survival stuff? Let’s go:
Kids step stool
Let’s get this out of the way: this (for me) is an overshare, but honestly a necessary share. When you get pregnant, your stomach can often have a mind of it’s own and constipation is one of the side-effects, which can lead to painful and uncomfortable hemorrhoids (even if you have never had these problems before). We were watching Shark Tank between my last pregnancy and this one and I saw the makers of the Squatty Potty present their product – it seemed to work! But, I was not about to go to the store to buy one – call me vain. But because I have two toddlers who require a step stool for the bathroom (both the potty and the sink), I thought I would try it out. AND IT WORKS! I mean really I don’t have to tell you how to go to the bathroom, but I can tell you that this helps for the entire pregnancy. By the way, this doesn’t look like it does exactly what the Squatty Potty does, but it definitely improves the situation. Plus, if you purchase it now, it just looks like you are purchasing something for your kids and they will be able to use it when it is time.
Speaking of digestive health, I highly recommend probiotic gummy vitamins to help with your regularity. I really like these:
Let’s just keep up the oversharing, shall we? These are honestly things I don’t talk about regularly, but they are true to pregnancy life. Let me tell you straight: your boobs are going to grow during pregnancy and they are going to hurt! I have pretty extreme boob growth and discomfort, such that it hurts when I get up (vertical). I found during my first pregnancy that it was good to wear a “night bra” to help support the girls while I was sleeping or just walking around the house. I really like these soft bras and most of mine have lasted since my first pregnancy. You can get them at Nordstrom (with free shipping! get a better deal by going though ebates first to get a percentage back on your purchase!)
Saltine crackers and Gatorade
If nothing else sounds good, these are my go-to foods for times of nausea. The Gatorade does help to promote hydration, especially since in my later trimesters, I develop an aversion to water (because it doesn’t taste right). And saltines are so innocuous that they can help overcome whatever aversion to food I have on a given day.
Peppermint Essential Oil
I kept this by my bed for the moments when the nausea was overwhelming. I actually just took the lid off of the container and smelled it every few minutes to settle my stomach. I didn’t diffuse it or make a fancy oil to apply to my body. So this is literally the easiest way to combat nausea. I have been (and remain) skeptical of essential oils, but I know this one works! And the small vials make it really portable.
Iron and B12 vitamins
I have a little bit of a problem with anemia during my pregnancies. And I also really struggle with low energy. These two combine to make the first trimester very difficult. I can literally spend most of the day in bed and still feel tired. But with two little ones running around, I have to wait until nap-time to get some rest. In the mean time, I try to combat the low feelings throughout the day by taking some vitamins. I HATE vitamins (and cannot take most traditional vitamins), but these are the two I take during the first trimester to help with the specific problem of low energy. I take the iron to combat anemia (but be careful, because it will create more constipation problems). And I take B12 for a general boost of energy throughout the day (it helps if you get one of the time released ones).
Your Pregnancy Week by Week
I had a hard time with pregnancy books when I was first pregnant. I felt that they have a tendency to be more like worst case scenario books for pregnant ladies. And I, honestly, didn’t need anything to work up my anxiety. So I was really happy when my Dr. the first time around recommended Your Pregnancy Week by Week to me. She knew my hope to avoid increasing anxiety and pointed me in the direction of this book because of its matter of fact discussion of what is going on in a pregnant woman’s body, as well as the development of baby each week. This has been my go-to book for each of my pregnancies and I have really enjoyed having something interesting to read each week as my baby develops. It also includes specific exercises for each week of pregnancy. If you are still interested in the possible problems throughout pregnancy, that information is here, but it is less horror-story, more informational.
Skincare for your body
I have really not had a problem with stretch marks during my pregnancies, but I attribute it largely to a routine of exfoliation and lotions that I really enjoy. I found the most AMAZING scrub and lotion between my last pregnancy and this one – The Body Shop’s Wild Argan Oil Rough Scrub and Body Butter. It smells wonderful without being flowery or sweet. I just LOVE it. Which reminds me: I need to order some more from the Body Shop. I take a bath every week and make sure to do some intense exfoliation with the scrub. And then after my daily shower, I slather on the lotion in all the important places!
So those are my must-haves for surviving the first trimester! You will notice that I didn’t talk clothes this trimester. Stay tuned for some of my absolute favorite maternity clothes and the future must haves for surviving the second and third trimesters!
What are your absolute favorite things for surviving the first trimester of pregnancy? I would love to hear from you!
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My MIL (a midwife) told me no ginger because of a previous miscarriage that I had, but that’s what most women use for nausea during pregnancy! I was so glad that I already knew that peppermint helps me a TON with my nausea. I think I spent my entire first trimester this time sniffing my bottle of peppermint oil (I probably looked like a junkie) and eating spearmint candies (not quite as good, but good enough) if I had to travel. (I shared a couple with hubby, but once he realized that I was only eating them to not puke all over his car, he mostly let me be.)
Our bathroom is ridiculously narrow; so I can just prop my feet up on the wall, but I also agree that the “squat” is quite helpful!
One other thing which was really helpful for me was a water bottle. (Doesn’t matter what kind, but a clear one has worked best for me.) As someone who doesn’t drink much water/fluids, having the water bottle always present was a good reminder for me that I should be drinking more than before. Any time I emptied it, I filled it up again and put it right back at my elbow. If immediately refilling it isn’t a good option for you, I suggest a second water bottle. (Note that you don’t have to be drinking water. Juice is fine as are some other beverages as well as soups and fruits for getting in your liquid. However, this is what worked best for me.)