Ready to some seriously helpful tips for surviving the first trimester? I thought it would be helpful to put all my first trimester pregnancy essentials and tips together into a survival guide for making it through early pregnancy and even thriving (or as close to it as possible!).
I’m not going to lie, this pregnancy has been like none other I’ve experienced. Maybe it’s the “advanced maternal age” or the fact that there are TWO littles growing and pulling on my energy – or just a mix of all of it.
I don’t feel like an expert, even after four births and multiple pregnancies, though I think many times when we share where we are in life, what we’re experiencing or what has helped us… it’s not being an expert that’s helpful – rather it’s about being real and sharing our lives with each other – and THAT is helpful.
Many have asked how this twin pregnancy feels or what’s different… and what has helped, so I thought I’d break it down and share what worked and what didn’t for each trimester, beginning with the first trimester tips!
My First Trimester Pregnancy Essentials: An Early Pregnancy Survival Guide
This early pregnancy was a rough one for me. The nausea and the exhaustion were real. Typically though, the second trimester brings feeling well and a boost of energy. I’m currently still waiting for the energy, and I think being a twin pregnancy, I might not feel much of that. The first trimester felt more like a “normal” pregnancy, and then for the second trimester, I actually feel like I jumped right to the third trimester… possibly all due to size since I feel like I did at the end of all of my previous pregnancies (at only halfway through!) We’ll save that for another post, right now, let’s get on to these first trimester favorites and the things that truly got me through early pregnancy:
Carbs! Aka: Eat Whatever You Can, Whenever You Can
Seriously though, some of the only things I could keep down early on were potatoes in just about every form… fries, mashed potatoes, etc. The thought of all the healthy things, like salad, ICK. But give me a potato in some form, toast or even some crackers – heck mac n cheese worked too – and while I didn’t keep down all my food, at least there was something I could sometimes nosh on.
The point is, this trimester isn’t always the time to stick to a regimen that you’re used to. It’s okay to find the things that you crave, even if it doesn’t seem the healthiest, you want something that you won’t immediately throw up, right?
One of our top first trimester tips is having crackers or almonds on the nightstand. When the stomach is too empty (or too full), that is when you’re most likely to feel nausea in full force. So keep snacks handy!
If you can find soups or smoothies that don’t turn your stomach, that can be a way to sneak in the extra nutrients as well!
This was a tough one for me because as soon as I drank water, I’d throw it up! I found that slowly sipping REALLY COLD WATER helped, or even just letting ice chips melt in my mouth was a way to get fluids and still keep it down.
Having a shaved ice machine is a game-changer though! They’re so easy to use and makes chomping on ice, whether you flavor it or not, so much easier. We have this one (we’ve used it for the kids and for parties for years now), but this is also a really inexpensive option.
I also craved soda. Ugh! Even the thought of water would make my stomach turn at times. But soda was something that soothed it, for some strange reason. While I did indulge here and there, I definitely tried not to overdo it due to the sugar content (or tried to find better options).
Teas are another thing that helped a little. I just made sure not to take in too much ginger, since it’s warming. And when you’re nauseous you want to cool your insides, not warm them up. Chamomile tea was also great for the evenings. But no matter what drink I was using to stay hydrated with, I had to remember to SIP it. Too much too soon and it would all come back up.
Vitamin B-6 and Cal-Magnesium
Upon a recommendation from my doctor, I added in a dose of B-6 daily. Which really helped with the morning sickness. It was something I hadn’t tried before with morning sickness; and it was a great step before trying medicine for intervention. In fact, I really liked this isotonic B-Complex and Cal-Mag… it was easy to sip and keep down.
… in every pocket.
What is it with the dry lips? Maybe I needed to up the water intake. But goodness my lips felt dry this pregnancy. Especially during the first trimester. I had a few different ones that I liked, so there wasn’t a specific balm that helped the most, though these have been great… but just keeping them handy was a big help!
More First Trimester Pregnancy Essentials
Choose sleep over social media. Choose sleep over your favorite television shows. Just choose sleep when you can. Your body is already doing so much work and so many changes are happening quickly, that it’s okay to rest.
With four kids in our household already, extra sleep wasn’t easy to come by for me. But that’s why choosing it over those more leisure activities is a must. It’s okay to take work and exercise down a notch and get rest when you feel you need it.
The more sleep that I get when I’m feeling tired, the better I feel. Both in the first tri and now!
My doctor recommended trying belly support this time around as I’m getting so much bigger (faster) with twins. There are SO many options! So he even recommended trying a few because each kind and brand fit each person and each pregnancy differently.
While it’s not recommended to use essential oils topically during early pregnancy (I have a list of oils that are safe for pregnancy and SUPER helpful after those first few weeks), a first-trimester tip is having peppermint oil on hand to inhale helped with both nausea and with headaches.
Other oils that I do use throughout my entire pregnancy is sweet almond oil and fractionated coconut oil… these make for the best body oil and I like to start using them on my belly right away, plus they help with the itch! My skin was so itchy during the first trimester. Especially right after my shower. So I would slather myself in oil.
Now that I’m out of the first trimester, I add in our Fresh Mommy Blend as well, and loving how it smells, feels and makes me feel. Fingers crossed it helps with stretch marks too!
I think the fact that I’ve had multiple pregnancies, and am now expecting twins, means that I began growing and showing QUICKLY. I remember wearing the same clothing, and undergarments, so much further into my pregnancy.
This time though everything felt tight so early on. I went ahead and indulged in some under-the-belly underwear to relieve some of that stomach pressure right away (no one likes elastic pressing into the stomach, and especially when dealing with everything else like hormones and nausea) and I’m so glad I did!
Yep, you read that right. Slack. You need it and need to cut yourself some.
You are growing a human, and in some of our cases, we’re growing two!
We all do our best to maintain our home, our health, ourselves and keep up with everything else. But sometimes we just can’t. So it’s okay to take the break. To lay our head on our desk. To steal away for a nap (or sit under a warm shower head, I did that often and it helped both nausea and headaches!). To wear the sweatpants. To watch Netflix with our kids. To ditch the guilt.
What would first trimester tips would you add to this list?
What are some of your first trimester pregnancy essentials? Share in a comment below!