The first trimester! For many of us expectant Mom’s it’s also the hardest trimester. With all the changes going on in our bodies, mixed with the excitement, the nerves and don’t forget the tiredness, energy loss and for a lot of women the constant nausea aka ‘Morning Sickness’.
Why it was named morning sickness is anyone’s guess as it really can hit any time of the day. I was lucky with Alba and only had mild nausea up until I was 12 weeks. But with this little babe my nausea has been debilitating!
Most days for the last 13 weeks I have spent in bed! Not able to stomach doing much except the kindy run. Anything to do with food, groceries, cooking dinner etc has been such a battle as even looking at a certain type of food makes me sick, not to mention the smell of things cooking!
Running around after a toddler makes the second pregnancy that much trickier too as you are unable to rest when you really need it. We have survived with lots of help from Daddy, who has been so helpful making meals when I’ve felt too sick. We also enrolled Alba in an extra day at kindy which has been a god-send plus was perfect timing as she just turned 3 so is eligible for some free kindy hours! I also set her Ipad up with a whole bunch of new and exciting educational games which she has been loving, keeping her occupied for those times when I cannot do anything but lay in bed and rest.
For those of you who haven’t been through pregnancy yet or who have, but were lucky enough not to get nausea as a symptom. Morning sickness is pretty much just like being hungover 24/7! Your tummy feels so sick all the time and you can basically only stomach salty food and carbs if anything at all! Most of the time even the thought of water makes you want to throw up and just in pure hangover style you crave Powerade and orange juice! There are a few things that I’ve found though that can help make this time a little easier on yourself so here they are.
Blackmores Ginger pills
These have been really great, they are made from pure ginger and you just swallow them with water up to x3 a day. I would take one as soon as I got up, before lunch and before dinner. They don’t take the nausea away completely but they do help to ease the tummy so you can eat and feel a little better.
These I found very interesting. So they basically look like sweat bands you wear around your wrists with little acupressure points which you align with the nausea pressure point under your wrist. These need to be quite firm to work, so if you’re wearing them a lot make sure to wash and dry them so they shrink back into shape. I found these didn’t work that great alone but when used with the nausea pills they seemed to work really well as a combo. I definitely felt the difference when I didn’t use one or the other.
Lifemum ‘Tummy calm’
These were also great, similar to the Blackmores Ginger pills but with added Vitamin B6 which studies suggest can really help with pregnancy nausea. These ones you are recommended to take 2 capsules daily with meals but sometimes I would take one of these along with one of the Blackmores ginger ones.
1st Trimester Food and Liquids
In between all of the nausea, try and nourish your body with lots of good food and stay hydrated as much as you can. But don’t stress if you really can’t stomach healthy food, just do your best and listen to your body. Things I’ve been wanting to eat this time around, which is very similar to when I was pregnant with Alba, are toast with cheese and tomatoes, toasted sandwiches and hot chips. Also I have been loving nectarines, peaches, and apples! In the very early stages of nausea all I could stomach was rice crackers, salt and vinegar chips, and lots of naughty stops to McDonald’s for cheeseburgers and Mcchickens. I normally hate McDonald’s but for some reason when I’m pregnant it’s all I can eat!
I found eating the original digestive biscuits from McVities great for chewing on whilst still in bed in the morning, they really helped me to feel well enough to get out of bed. I think I’ve been through around 4 boxes now! Also in the first several weeks I was unable to stomach drinking much water as it made me feel so sick! So I would drink lots of freshly squeezed orange juice and sometimes dilute some in water too to try and keep up my water intake up as well as lot’s of Powerade! It’s very important to try and stay hydrated whilst pregnant but if you can only drink flavoured drinks definitely try diluting in a little water if you can.
These are a must for all expectant Mama’s and if you are trying to conceive it’s a good idea to have already started taking them before you fall pregnant. If not make sure you get your hands on some ASAP as soon as you find out. I used Elevit with Alba and also this time around as well, just because it was the brand my midwife and Doctor recommended to me and has all the essential requirements, but there are so many great brands on the market who do pregnancy vitamins. A health shop such as Health 2000 has a great selection and will be able to suggest the perfect one for you, otherwise Elevit is available at all good Pharmacy’s I usually wait until they are on special and buy 2 packs. I also take Pregnancy DHA’S which are really helpful for baby’s brain development. I love these ones from Nordic Naturals and also took these with Alba. They are full of Omega-3 fats and contain Vitamin D3 which is great bone support and further immune support.
I always go up a cup size pretty much as soon as I find out I’m pregnant! If you’re the same, make sure you are wearing something supportive especially if you are feeling up to exercise still. If you don’t want to invest in new bras this early on, then pick up some cheap but supportive ones from Cotton On or Kmart. Look for ones with thicker straps as they will have better support and will even out the weight better over your shoulders. Further along in the pregnancy, you should opt for wire-free bras which help to prepare your milk flow better for breastfeeding and are so much more comfier than underwire during these final weeks. I will touch more on these and where to find some good ones in my next pregnancy post!
I started using this from day one, which is also what I did when I was pregnant with Alba. Even though your tummy isn’t growing rapidly at the start it’s just a really good habit to get into. Also because your boobs and probably hips are getting bigger it’s a good idea to start slathering on in these areas too. People often forget about getting stretch marks on their boobs, but its certainly a very common place to get them. Hydrated skin is much less likely to develop stretch marks and hydration will also help keep the itchy skin away which can also cause stretch marks. A lot of it though is unfortunately up to genetics. My favourite body oils for pregnancy are coconut oil and almond oil which are both super nourishing and hydrating. With Alba I went through a few jars of good quality coconut oil! I get mine from my local health food store. Another product which I absolutely love and swear by is the Mama Belly oil from Nature Baby. I also went through a couple of bottles of this. The two used together worked really well for me!
Pregnancy Skincare & Beauty – Faking that glow!
Now is the time to check the skincare you are using is safe for the baby. There are definitely a few ingredients that pregnant women should avoid in skincare the most common ones being, Retinol A and Salicylic Acid. If you have any doubts about what you are using check with your Doctor or Midwife, alternatively you can also contact the company directly and ask them which products of theirs are safe to use whilst pregnant, or simply pop over to their website as more than often than not, they will have this listed under their product FAQS section. During the first trimester, because you are usually feeling unwell and have such low energy levels your skin tends to look tired and dull. Faking that pregnancy glow in the first stages can be tricky but these products have been my skin saviors!
Osmosis Calm Serum- This seriously makes my skin look and feel so good. If I don’t use it for a few days I notice my skin looking dull and dehydrated straight away!
La Mer Tinted Moisturiser- This product is on the pricey side but i love it so much! It gives my skin the perfect amount of coverage and leaves skin with a beautiful dewy glow and finish, by far the most amazing tinted moisturisers I’ve tried.
Bobbi Brown Extra Glow Illuminating Moisture Balm- I use this after moisturiser before my La Mer tint or sometimes just by itself and it really gives the most beautiful gloss and glow to the skin, it’s a nice thick consistency and smells amazing.
Coola NZ Tan Serum – I use this a few days in a row to achieve that perfect sun-kissed glow, doesn’t clog pores like other face tanners can and is all natural.
Bondi Sands Tanning Foam in Dark- When you’re pregnant and your body is constantly getting bigger, popping on a little fake tan will honestly do wonders for your confidence! This one from Bondi Sands is safe to use when pregnant, but please always consult your Doctor or Midwife before using any new products whilst pregnant or if you have any concerns or queries. For me applying some self tan makes me feel a million times better! I’ve tried so many different brands but this one is hands down my holy grail of tanning products for the body. It’s without a doubt the best for even coverage, ease of use and natural colour. It lasts a good 5-7 days on my skin with regular moisturising and it’s seriously foolproof to apply! To prep skin, I always start the day before application by shaving my legs and doing a full body exfoliation (usually on a Thursday night). The next evening I dry off after my shower and pop a very small amount of moisturiser over my feet, knees, and elbows and apply starting from my lower legs up- lightly going over knees and feet. I always use the Bondi Sands tanning mitt which I find gives the absolute best application.
The Balm Mary Louminiser Highlighter- I have used this highlighter for years as it gives such a beautiful, soft, illumination to the skin without being too sparkly or cakey!
Pregnancy Weight gain
Pregnancy weight-gain varies so much from person to person and will also be different with your second and third babies etc. I have found the second time around my bump has popped so much earlier and I have gained a lot more weight quicker than with Alba. This is probably also due to the difference age plays in weight gain/loss. When I was pregnant with Alba I was 28 and this year I will be 32 so I think the extra 4 years will have a different effect on my body! The healthy recommended weight-gain bracket for pregnancy in NZ falls between 10-16kg for a healthy, average body type. But obviously women will still fall on either side of this recommendation. This is just a great guideline to use to stay on track with healthy eating and trying to fit in some regular exercise such as walking. With Alba I did lots of walking and in my second trimester, I went to a pregnancy pilates class. This time around I’ve been going to reformer Pilates once a week and trying to start walking and hopefully jogging again soon now that I am starting to feel better.
So pregnancy style in the first-trimester needn’t sway much from your normal style as you still have the pick of most of your wardrobe. Because I’ve already gained a couple of kilos though and my bump is poking out a lot more this time around, I’m already feeling uncomfortable in some of my tight jeans and denim skirts and shorts. I’m at that awkward stage where I just look chunky and like I’ve gained a few rather than looking like I’m pregnant! I think in a few more weeks when I hit 5 months though I will definitely look more noticeably pregnant. So far I’ve been favouring my Zimmerman Playsuits for when I want to get dressed up, as they are super loose and comfy through the waist and I can just adjust the waist tie to how tight I would like. Playsuits in the earlier stages of pregnancy are so great as most of the time they either have a boxy waist that you draw in with a tie or an elasticated waist. In the early stages I also like to make the most out of my favourite jeans so I try to wear these a lot and once they get too firm I just use the old hair tie trick. Simply take a hair tie, slip it through your buttonhole, create a loop, then send the other end of the hair tie through the loop and over the button.
Our Pregnancy Story
There is a actually a very unique and beautiful story to this. The day before my period was due I had a message from my lovely friend Milly, who I met and keep in touch with through Instagram. We often chat about pregnancy and motherhood but we hadn’t spoken in a wee while when she messaged me to say that the night before she had a dream I told her I was pregnant. I let her know that I would do a test in the morning and she said She’d hoped I would see those 2 magic lines. The next morning I took the test and to my surprise those 2 magic limes appeared. Milly was actually the first person I called to tell the news! It just felt so incredibly amazing that she had told me the day prior, I will never forget that day!
I then called my sister and also told Alba who was beyond excited! But waited to tell Paul as the following night we had a beautiful date planned so I wanted to surprise him then. Unfortunately that morning at breakfast I caved and couldn’t hold in the excitement. I told him like this: Hey Paul, yesterday my friend had a dream I told her I was pregnant. He wasn’t really listening to me that intensely so I said it again and he said oh cool and then I said and it’s true. And he looked at me so surprised then tears welled up in his eyes and then mine! We were both so, so happy at that moment as we had both really been wanting this for a long time. We had a rough end to the year last year, so this was truly such great and happy news for our family! So for those wondering as I get asked a lot about this it took us exactly a year to conceive. We started actively trying in January 2017 and didn’t conceive until January 2018. Good things sometimes take time.
So I’m finally into the second trimester now and because it’s my second baby I’m feeling so much more relaxed this time and have a much better understanding about what I’m doing and what I need. Keep an eye out for my Second Trimester Post and Pregannacy Style posts coming soon!