Sustainable pregnancy - First trimester Tips and Must-Haves
Updated: Nov 14
Just a couple of weeks ago I found out we will be having another little one! Even though this is very exciting, it is also a very scary time for me. In this YouTube video, I share with you my entire story about the several miscarriages I had. In this blog post, you can read all about the severe postpartum depression I had after the birth of my daughter. Not only were the very first weeks scary for me, but I also was extremely nauseous and tired.
Don't feel like reading? Watch it instead!
After about 2 weeks of this, my boyfriend pushed me to please go see a doctor as I wasn’t eating or drinking and could only lie on the couch sleeping. This obviously isn’t very healthy for pregnant women. Luckily, the OBGYN immediately prescribed me meds against nausea, had my bloodwork tested, and measured my blood pressure. It turns out I had extremely low blood (90 over 50) pressure which was the cause of me feeling extremely tired. So I upped my salt intake and now eat licorice daily and I feel great again. Still a little tired at the end of the day but that is ok as I am pregnant after all.
So how are we getting through this first trimester as sustainable as possible?
Prenatal vitamins are needed for the optimal development of your baby. Ideally, you should start these even before you find out you are pregnant to make sure your body is optimally prepared to grow your baby. So, if you start trying for a little one, also start taking prenatal vitamins.
I know this is not always an option as some of us weren’t really trying when they discovered they were pregnant. Even for those of you, prenatal vitamins are still important so select a prenatal vitamin that has sufficient folic acid (vitamin B11) to prevent certain birth defects. I use a B complex vitamin that also has B12 as I don’t eat meat. I want my prenatal vitamins to be vegan so I pay attention to that as well and I want to avoid a plastic bottle whenever possible.
I know more prenatal vitamins are sometimes advised and if you feel the need to take more than just B11, please listen to this maternal instinct and take whatever you feel you need to take for you and your baby.
Drinking enough water has been really difficult for me. I used to be a real tea drinker but since I found out I am pregnant, tea no longer tastes nice. So I had to find something else to drink. Luckily, water tastes amazing right now but still, I forget to drink rather often. How do I solve this? I have a large straw bottle (0,5L or 16 fl oz) that I make myself fill 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, and evening) that I have to drink. This works surprisingly well as I somehow always empty the bottle when I put it close to me. I just need to remember to put it close by.
It will take a couple of months for your baby to develop in your belly before you notice your belly expanding. So switching to maternity pants might not be necessary yet. By now I am 11 weeks and my jeans are starting to get a little uncomfortable. I wanted to wait a little longer with switching to maternity jeans so I solved this problem with a hair tie. I put it through the buttonhole, looped it through itself and over the button. This gave me a couple of cm/inches of extra space to put off buying maternity clothes a little longer.
A Belly Belt pants extender might also be an option if you want something more sophisticated than a hair-tie.
Now there is one part of your body that starts to grow immediately after you get pregnant. At 6 weeks of pregnancy, I could no longer fit into my regular bras as these just got way too uncomfortable. Especially the ones with a wire. I still had a few nursing bras from my previous pregnancy that are much larger and have no wire that I wear currently. I recommend you do something similar and find a comfy bra without a wire to support your breast properly.
Even though my belly is hardly growing, I notice things are going on in that area. The skin of my belly is extremely dry and itchy. So, it is time to give some extra attention to that area. Some mommies-to-be already start using stretch mark oil and if you want to do this, that is totally fine but I want to give the skin of my belly moisture instead of only oils (which is usually in a stretch mark oil). So I do a rather similar skincare routine for my belly as I do for my face. I start with hydration with a hydrating essence, then I apply a hydrating face serum on my belly and I finish with a thick body lotion to seal in all the moisture I just applied. In my opinion, this is much more hydrating compared to just using a stretch mark oil and it has helped significantly with the itching of my belly.
It is always a good idea to protect your skin against the harmful effects the sun has on our skin. When you are pregnant there is a 40% increase in blood volume which makes a pregnant woman’s skin glow but it also makes their skin more sensitive. So it is key to be nice to your skin and give it the protection it needs. So after your daily skincare routine, finish with a pregnancy-safe sunscreen with high SPF.
I hope you find these pregnancy tips useful for your first trimester and will continue a sustainable pregnancy for the next few months.