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First Trimester Survival Guide

July 1, 2016

If you’re reading this, you’re probably pregnant. Congratulations! This is a really exciting time that is full of ups and downs. After experiencing two pregnancies myself, I decided to share my own personal first trimester survival guide, just in case you think you might need one. (Trust me, I wish I would have had one my first time around.)

First Trimester Survival Guide

Invest in a Pregnancy Pillow

I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Finding the right pregnancy pillow will change your life. Entering my second pregnancy, I was a skeptic of the pregnancy pillow, but that’s only because I did not find the right one in my first pregnancy. I love this one, and have also heard amazing things about this one.

Stay Hydrated

This one can be tough, especially if you’re nauseous, but it’s really important! Water consumption is upped during pregnancy, to around 12-13 glasses per day in temperate climates. If you get sick of drinking straight water, I’d recommend adding cucumber or lemons. Also, coconut water is a great alternative. Make sure you are mindful of the source of water you drink, and avoid containers that have BPA in them.

Start Preventing Stretch Marks

I began rubbing my belly and its environs with this almond oil at the very beginning of my pregnancy. It really worked for me, and it also helped my skin feel more moisturized. (I live in a dry climate.) The smell of the oil was also one of the few smells I could tolerate, which was an added bonus. If oil isn’t your thing, I’ve also used this Shea butter and loved it.

Find an Anti-nausea Method That Works for You

Every pregnancy is different, so it’s important to consult with your doctor about your anti-nausea options. If it’s severe enough, you may be prescribed medication. If you’d rather take matters into your own hands, I’d suggest trying to find natural ginger and peppermint products that are designed to minimize nausea. Whether its teas, candies or gums, these two items can be quite effective. And if you’re ever unsure about what is safe to consume during pregnancy, talk to your doctor.

A pregnant young woman stands on a beach and puts his hands on a belly

Dress Comfortably

Ladies, it might be time to hang up the heels… at least temporarily. Personally, I didn’t until my feet swelled up to twice their size, so it’s entirely up to you. But I think dressing in clothing that affords you more comfort can really help you feel better about yourself, physically and mentally. (Especially if you’re pregnant but not announcing it quite yet.) Choose fabrics that feel good on your skin, and are breathable. Also, see below regarding bras… because bras are important enough to get their own section.

Acquire the Perfect Bra

This is something I wish I had done from day one. Why? Your chest changes. A lot. Buying a bra that can transition from pregnancy to breastfeeding is also a great idea, if you’re planning to breastfeed. Personally, I had success with this bra, so much so that I wore it for a while after I stopped breastfeeding. It’s inexpensive, too! Going into a maternity clothing store can also help you choose the perfect bra.

Nourish Your Body

This relates back to #2. Even though you’re most likely battling morning sickness (or more severe ailments like HG) it’s important to take care of yourself. Select a prenatal vitamin that contains lots of folic acid and calcium. Try to eat healthy foods whenever possible. (But I’ve totally been in the “I can only eat crackers because it’s the only thing I won’t barf up” stage, so I understand it’s not always that easy.) Consult with your doctor about the foods you can eat, and try to create a diet that will be the most beneficial to your baby. It’s worth it, I promise!

Well, I hope these seven tips have helped. What would you add to a first trimester survival guide?

—Contributed by Lauren Soderberg

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