I went back and forth about the name of this post. First trimester essentials? No, not quite right. First trimester cures? Ha, that would be nice! So I went with helpers. Now that I’m in my fourteenth week, I expected to be floating on a cloud of second-trimester bliss with enough energy to pursue my freelance business, create endless new blog content, start organizing my house in preparation for baby and volunteer at a new foundation that’s close to my heart. The reality? I’m still sick and count it as a major win when I don’t throw up for a day. My food and smell aversions have me avoiding public places like the plague (seriously it’s like a nasal assault out there! Home is my safe zone.). Energy? Well, not so much. I’m still holding out hope that the next few weeks will bring some welcome changes but I’m not holding my breath. Pregnancy has been really humbling in teaching me how little control I have over my own body right now. I’ve never been great at listening to what my body needs but I’m learning to do so more and more as these weeks go by.
When I found out I was pregnant and read all about the possible nausea that was to come, I sort of just decided that I wasn’t going to have it. For some reason, I convinced myself that I would be just fine and so I was even more shocked when that turned out not to be the case at all. I tried a ton of different remedies (ginger, peppermint, Saltines, repeat) and found that no one thing really made “the difference.” However, a combination of different products and creature comforts helped ease me through that challenging first trimester. My recommendations for surviving are below!
- What To Expect When You’re Expecting book: This classic tome is the American pregnancy bible for good reason. The Q&A style and easily accessible week-by-week updates make this a great resource for quelling all sorts of fears and concerns. I found that searching symptoms on the Internet was alternately terrifying and misinforming so it’s nice to have a reference that gets straight to the point with facts rather than conjecture.
- Seamless Nursing Bra: The first clue that I was pregnant? A sore, heavy feeling chest and a newfound hatred for my underwire bras. As you grow you need more support but anything pressing into you feels like torture. I’ve also read that underwires can interfere with the healthy development of milk ducts. Soft nursing bras that will also come in handy after I deliver have become my undergarment of choice.
- Smarty Pants Gummy Prenatal Vitamins: Swallowing massive vitamins was not an option once my morning sickness set in and a friend recommended these. Some days I couldn’t even stomach these but they helped me get more vitamins down than I would have otherwise.
- Pink Stork Tea: I wish I had discovered this earlier in my first trimester! The soothing blend definitely helps stave off nausea. Plus, I enjoy being able to have the ritual of drinking a hot beverage since regular teas and coffee are off the table.
- Pedialyte: The dehydration struggle is real. This helps restore electrolytes which can also give you a little much-needed energy boost.
- Preggie Pop Drops: These sweet and sour candies helped to keep bad tastes out of my mouth if nothing else.
- A comfy robe: My husband gave me this robe for Hanukkah and it made such a difference. It’s really nice to have something soft and easy to put on when most of your time is spent casually lounging on the bathroom floor.
- SeaBand Mama: These acupressure bands have worked well for me in the past when dealing with motion sickness so I gave them a shot. I have no idea if they worked but I refused to take them off for the duration of my bout with the stomach flu so the placebo effect was beneficial if nothing else. Plus, you can look really cool rocking mini pink sweatbands around town.
- Bai Antiwater: Bai contacted me midway through the depth of my battle with morning sickness wanting to collaborate on Instagram and I’m so glad they did. Their water is infused with antioxidants, electrolytes and vitamin C – everything a sick mama-to-be needs – and I keep a bottle with me at all times.
- Bellaband: Another lovely first-trimester symptom – bloating – left me feeling pretty uncomfortable in my jeans. This soft band allows you to keep wearing your non-maternity pants when you’re in that awkward in between stage where you haven’t popped but your waist is expanding thanks to relaxing muscles and carbs being the only food that appeals.
- Ultrasound Picture Frame: I seriously considered putting this in my bathroom to remind me of why I was so sick on particularly rough days. Fortunately, it didn’t come to that and now this sweet memento is preserved and sits on my nightstand. Seeing baby on the ultrasound for the first time was such a revelatory moment and one I definitely want to relive again and again!
- Maternity Leggings: Another transitional piece that helps as you ease into the second trimester. I went through a surprisingly long challenge trying to find leggings that I liked. These were the first pair that really worked and will transition well as my belly keeps growing.
- Humidifier: Another fun pregnancy symptom is congestion and sinus headaches. I use my humidifier religiously and plan to put one in baby’s room, too.
As much as this first trimester has challenged me – both mentally and physically – it’s also provided an opportunity to be grateful that most of the time I feel really healthy and well in my life. Feeling sick all the time has been a new experience for me but it’s an experience that many people with chronic illness face every day. When I’m having a particularly difficult day I try to remind myself that this is finite and I am doing it all for the most wonderful gift in the world. Alright, second-trimester show me what you’ve got! Best of luck to all of you on this crazy exciting journey to motherhood! More to come on my pregnancy beauty routine and some maternity fashion in the weeks to come!