1st Trimester Must Haves

preggo must haves

Although I am already well into my third trimester (time flies!) I realized that some of the things I had during my first trimester were true life savers. I mean it. Worth the investment, believe me — most of these also apply to your second and third trimesters too!

1. Gin-Gins Hard Candy – Although I have to say I didn’t have the worst morning sickness in the world (I’m very thankful for that), I did have a few rough days at work. These ginger candies were life savers! The minute I would start to feel nauseous, I would pop one and within minutes I felt better. Truly a good idea to invest in a few packs.

2. Motion Sickness Bands – These were also life savers. On days when Gin-Gins weren’t enough, I quickly pulled out my sickness bands and slipped them on. The trick is to position them one finger width away from the palm of your hand and press down on the ball a few consecutive times. The pressure point relieves nausea almost immediately. These can also come in handy during delivery — my childbirth instructor recommended slipping them on under your feet (ball in the center, facing the sole of your feet) to help alleviate stress and discomfort.

3. Pregnancy Full Body Pillow – After reading extremely positive reviews about this item, I bought one within my first few weeks of pregnancy. Although I do agree that it is comfortable and helps me fall asleep a little more quickly (It usually takes me a little while when I’m not dead tired), it is extremely bulky. I wouldn’t suggest a whole body pillow if you have a Twin, Full, or Queen bed (or you might have a very unhappy boyfriend/partner/husband…) There are other options out there, though, like smaller versions of the one pictured above. But for our California king bed, it fits perfectly! It has given my stomach some support when I sleep on my side, especially now that my belly is getting heavier and heavier.

4. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – If you tend to get nervous about the way you feel during your first, second, or third trimesters (cramps, pain around your belly button, light spotting…), this book is a great resource. As a rule of thumb, refer to this book before you start reading any online forums (just do it. Thank me later.)

5. Prenatal Vitamins – No choice with this one. Just get used to taking them! You will most likely be taking prenatals after you deliver as well if you are planning on breastfeeding. Although my doctor recommended a few brands at the beginning of my pregnancy, they ended up being super expensive with my insurance. The ones I found on Amazon are called Prenatalgyn and they cost me half the price for exactly the same ingredients. Although they are huge pills and you have to take three in the mornings and three at night, they have a really complete blend of vitamins and essential nutrients (calcium, iron, iodine, zinc, iron, probiotics, DHA, folic acid… even some ginger to help alleviate morning sickness!) My only recommendation is to have a nice big breakfast before taking them in the mornings — a banana won’t cut it.

6. Raspberry Leaf Tea – Most herbal teas are questionable during pregnancy, but luckily there is raspberry leaf tea! Red raspberry leaf is said to aid the mother’s immune system, ease morning sickness and promote better circulation. Taking raspberry leaf also strengthens uterine muscles and tones the pelvic floor in preparation for childbirth. It also assists with breastmilk supply (www.bellybelly.com.au). Feel free to indulge!

7. Pregnancy Leggings – Since I was pregnant during the winter, I got away with buying very little maternity clothes. I just bundled up in large sweaters, leggings, and boots daily. However, after a certain point, I just didn’t feel comfortable in my regular leggings. Buying two pairs of maternity leggings really made a difference in my comfort level (they really do support your belly) and I’ve been wearing them almost every day since.

8. Shea Butter – Start moisturizing early in your pregnancy. It’ll make a world of a difference as your belly really starts stretching. I used raw shea butter at night and depending on the day of the week, used a variety of oils (Mama Bee Nourishing Oil / Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Stretch Oil) and lotions (Mama Bee Belly Butter) in the mornings before work. Whichever oil, butter, or lotion you choose, just make sure you don’t hate the smell — the first trimester can be tough on your nostrils!

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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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