I recently shared on my social media outlets that my husband and I were expecting! Woot woot. If you’ve been around my blog for awhile, you’ll know that this is our third pregnancy. We miscarried our first two. Anyone who’s gone through pregnancy after loss knows that it’s no joke. The excitement is there, but so is the fear. From an emotional perspective, the first trimester was rooouugh for me. I was constantly on edge, freaking out over every little twinge or cramp. I moped around and felt pretty sorry for myself.
It didn’t help that I was crazy nauseous. All.day.long. I seriously despise whoever came up with the term “morning sickness”, what a huge lie! I would probably hurl insults and rocks at whoever is responsible for inflicting so much confusion on pregnant women.
You know the craziest thing about this nausea that had me crying over small plates of food all day though? It was in those weeks, miserable as I was, I found tremendous joy! You probably think I’m crazy right about now, but hear me out. With my first two pregnancies, both first trimester losses, I never had the nausea. Awful as it is, people kept telling me that nausea was a good sign. To me, it meant I was still pregnant. Every day that I’d wake feeling like I’d puke, I knew I was still pregnant. And what a joy that was.
We are well into the second trimester by now so I’d love to share some of the essential, natural items that kept me well and sane that first trimester. Honestly, most of it was food.
Must-Haves for the 1st Trimester
I’m hitting y’all with the big one first thing. It only took a week for me to realize that the nausea was only curbed by small amounts of protein throughout the day. The crackers and toast and applesauce everyone suggested, Psh! I might as well have been eating air, my body did not care at all about these things. I could’ve eaten my body weight in applesauce and I’d still have been nauseous. For some women carbs satisfy, but for me it was protein. All.day.long.
My top picks for (mostly) real food, easy proteins are as follows (and let’s be honest, if we’re talking about eating 6+ times throughout the day, I need quick and easy!):
- Epic Bars – So thankful I finally bit the bullet and purchased a whole box of these. The bison is our fave.
- Larabars – I’ve always loved these bars because they’re made of only nuts and fruit and some spices, but there are a few that have 7 grams of protein. Buy them by the box too! Here are some recipes for homemade.
- Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt – Y’all, I haven’t been a big dairy eater in years, but my body craved these things so I ate them daily. Please, please, please get full-fat cottage cheese (your body and the growing baby need FAT!) AND plain yogurt. I know, the idea of eating sour cream all day sounds disgusting, but I looked and looked at all the labels and there is SO MUCH SUGAR even in grass-fed / organic yogurts. You can drizzle a little real maple syrup on top with some fruit and I swear it’s just as good.
- Smoothies – Check out my post on how to build a healthy smoothie because yes, most smoothies you can get out and are making at home are full of nothing but sugar (fruit is full of sugar). Great protein-rich additives include: chia seeds, gelatin, peanut butter. I even broke down and bought some plant-based protein powder from Garden of Life.
- Ham&Cheese Roll-ups – I’ll spare you the details of the night I cried like a baby while tucked into bed because I just.had.to.puke. Instead my hubs made me some roll-ups and fed me in bed whilst still crying. It’s true. Be aware that most health care professionals recommend you heat up lunch meat before eating.
Tea – I could not STAND the thought of coffee during the first-tri. Instead I opted for this Mama-to-be Sampler from Earth Mama Angel Baby.
Blueberries – There were days when all I wanted to eat was frozen blueberries. Refer to the section above and you’ll see that my body wouldn’t rejected such an act, but they were easy, sweet, and cold. I’d eat them by the bag.
Cereal – Yes, I know. Not so natural. As much as my tongue wanted Reese’s Puffs, I opted for more natural or organic kinds of cereal. I wasn’t necessarily craving the sweetness here, just the crunch, cold, and ease of eating. Balance, y’all- I probably ate my weight in blueberries and tangerines, a bowl of cereal before wasn’t going to hurt anything. 🙂
- Expecting Better – While I don’t agree with every topic she covers here, the author looks at the research on so many controversial topics surrounding pregnancy. You get information about caffeine, fish, prenatal tests, etc here. Again, a few things I skipped over (prenatal tests don’t apply and I’m planning an unmedicated birth), but some good stuff. I found a copy at my library.
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – The leading midwife in the US has a lot to offer for women seeking a natural birth. I’m a total hippie and while some of it was a little out there for me, she offers insight into the cascade of interventions I’m planning to avoid along with stories of beautiful and empowering births at her midwifery center, The Farm in Tennessee. If you’ve skimmed through Expecting Better first, you’ll see what Ina refers to as a techno-medical approach to birth more clearly.
Because I still craved sweets every once in awhile but wanted to limit my non-food consumption I opted for Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups. They’re the best.ever.
Y’all insomnia hit me in the first trimester. I was getting up to potty every night and generally had a difficult time falling asleep. The Magnesium Spray found in my shop not only helps with muscle tension, anxiety and vitamin and mineral absorption, it’s great for getting into sleep. A few sprays on the bottoms of my feet each night was perfect.
Here’s the deal, most vitamins on the market today are made with synthetic ingredients. You’re growing a human being and thus your body deserves the absolute best. My body cannot break down folic acid due to a gene mutation, and if you’re had even one prenatal visit or done a half-second’s worth of research on nutrition during pregnancy you’re going to see folic acid everywhere. Briefly because this isn’t really the space for it, folic acid is the synthetic (man-made) version of folate. For those of us with MTHFR gene mutation, we often need methylfolate (meaning partially broken down folate). Regardless if you have MTHFR or not, more and more studies are coming out showing that folic acid is connected to things like lip and tongue ties, autism, ADHD and more. Consider taking a prenatal without folic acid. I take this one by Thorne Research.
What natural or alternative things were vital to your first trimester? I’d love to hear and for others to see as well.