The First Trimester: 7 Vital Things for Every Woman
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If you’re reading this then I’m going to assume that you’re most likely in your first trimester of pregnancy.
I’ve been through it three times and have learnt a little more with each experience.
This post isn’t here just to list off a bunch of products that you need, but rather to give a more comprehensive and real-life idea of things that every woman truly requires during the first trimester.
Well, for two reasons. First of all, many women keep the news of their pregnancy to themselves for at least the first several weeks. So, you’re essentially alone with your thoughts and potential concerns.
Secondly, even if people are aware that you’re pregnant, you don’t actually LOOK pregnant and therefore it can be difficult for them to understand your struggles.
In truth, the first trimester can be the most challenging of all three. So, it’s important to know what you need and to seek those things out as much as possible.
Ready to find out what they are?
Number one on my list is rest.
I honestly thought I was just lazy when I was pregnant with my first. I wanted to sleep all day long.
Like, I would get home from work around midday and would be ready for a nap in the afternoon. Getting dinner prepared and served was a chore that wasn’t just difficult because of food aversions and ‘morning’ sickness. Nope, I was just dead tired.
Now that I’ve been through that fatigue a couple more times I know that there’s nothing ‘lazy’ about it. Your body is doing a heck of a lot of work to grow and develop the baby inside you.
Don’t underestimate how that kind of development can drain your energy levels.
So, my best advice is to rest whenever you’re presented with the opportunity. More importantly, rest and don’t feel guilty. There’s no need for it.
If you’re a first-time mom then you’ll likely have a lot more opportunities to rest. Don’t hesitate for a moment to take advantage of them. Your body needs it and you’ll feel better as a whole.
If you have other children to care for then it can make rest a wee bit (read a LOT) harder to come by. However, it can be done. You may just have to be really intentional about it and even ask for help.
This is something I used to be so good at when I only had my eldest child. Now that I’m pregnant with #3 and have a 3-year old and almost 2-year old to run after I tend to get slack.
However, during your first trimester, and really your entire pregnancy, hydration is a must.
Not only is it what your body needs to stay healthy, but it will help increase your energy levels, as well as helping to reduce the intensity of your morning sickness.
I know it can be difficult to remember to hydrate, so my advice is to invest in a good drink bottle. Something that holds a decent amount of water and is easy to sip from.
Keep it near you all day long and make a goal of drinking the amount you need per day.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you’re experiencing a lot of nausea and food aversion, then it can be really difficult to even stomach drinking water.
I had this issue with my third pregnancy and found that adding some lemon juice to it really helped.
Experiment with different things and find out if there is something that makes drinking adequate fluids more achievable for you.
Pregnancy doesn’t just come with physical challenges. In fact, from my personal experience, I’ve found that the mental ones are even more difficult to navigate.
Something that I found particularly hard to deal with is the anxiety around the possibility of miscarriage.
I’ve never had one, but I have certainly worried about it every time I’ve been pregnant.
If you’re really struggling in that regard, perhaps reach out to someone that you trust and talk about your fears. Often times, just saying things out loud can help reduce our worries.
On another note, as a mum to more than one child, I found the first trimester particularly challenging to get through. I was hit with the worst morning sickness and fatigue.
I needed help.
There is no shame in asking those around you for support. Whether that be your spouse, mother, sisters, friends, etc. Just do it.
Honestly, most people are more than happy to lend a hand. It takes a village to raise a child. Who says that’s limited to when they’re outside the womb?
4) Comfy clothes
You may think that maternity clothes are only necessary for the second trimester onwards.
I would encourage you to think otherwise.
You’ll be surprised at how much your body changes even just during those first 14 weeks. Bloating is usually one of my first pregnancy signs and can make me feel super uncomfortable.
Leggings are wonderful as well as anything that has a stretchy waistband.
I also used belly bands a lot which allowed me to still use my regular pants but be comfortable at the same time.
It is also totally normal for your breasts to change and grow a lot during the early weeks. For that reason, I would recommend investing in some comfortable bras that don’t have underwire. It’ll make life a lot more bearable.
5) Whatever Makes You Feel Better
Some women have the immense privilege of feeling mostly like their usual selves during pregnancy. However, I would vouch to say that the vast majority of us do not.
Even my first and easiest pregnancy was challenging at best. I was miserable during those first few weeks.
So, for that reason, I honestly believe that you need to find whatever it is that makes you feel better.
If you’re craving a certain food and nothing else sounds good, then eat it.
If you want to sleep, then sleep. If you want to exercise, then do that.
Just listen to your body and do your best to respond to what it’s telling you (within reason, of course).
6) A Maternity Provider
Some maternity care providers aren’t interested in seeing women until she’s at least 8 weeks along. Over here in New Zealand I’ve always sought someone out no later than 6 weeks.
Because our midwives (especially the good ones!) are in hot demand. Having a care provider that you trust and get on with is not something you want to leave to chance.
Find out my tips for finding the right midwife here –> Implement These 4 Things to Make Sure You Get an Amazing Midwife
My recommendation would be to see someone as soon as you can. Not only will it mean you have good, ongoing care, but issues can be picked up on that might otherwise be overlooked.
A simple example is iron-deficiency anaemia. It isn’t uncommon at all but you might just be putting the many symptoms of it down to being pregnant. In fact, it can be easily treated and can greatly improve how you feel!
Also, if you seek out a care provider early but struggle to find someone you gel with then you’ve got the luxury of time to keep looking.
This is my final point, but quite possibly the most important. For the record, I’m talking to myself here more than anyone, because I really struggle with this.
Each pregnancy I’ve had to adjust my expectations. Not of those around me, but of myself.
Pregnancy is temporary, and although challenging, it is only for a time.
It is okay to not be at your full capacity. Your body is growing a developing a human. Not just a human but a LIFE. Another person that will be born with their very own individual wants, needs, and personality.
It is a miracle.
I know what it is like to feel as though you’re not accomplishing anything worthwhile. However, I really want to encourage you to daily work on your mindset. Because the truth is that you ARE accomplishing something. Yes, that task might be leaving you feeling weak and ill, but you are doing a great work.
Speak kindly to yourself. Allow yourself to rest. Say ‘yes’ when people ask if you need help.
And give yourself grace.
Pregnancy has always been a humbling experience for me. Realising that I can’t do everything on my own. Learning to ask for help.
Motherhood is the journey away from one’s self
And let’s be honest. Motherhood starts the moment you find out that there is another life inside you.