Everyone has a different experience when it comes to pregnancy, with no two journeys ever being the same. However, during my first twelve weeks’ I gathered some pretty useful pieces of advice, or discovered a few things I wish I had known a little earlier that made the first trimester a little easier.
Here’s a collection of things I discovered that may or may not help you if you have recently discovered you’re expecting, or are planning for a little one.
It’s incredibly important to start taking your vitamins as soon as you start trying to conceive and continue throughout your pregnancy. If like me, you struggle to keep any kind of food down, you can at least rest assured that your little one is getting it’s daily dose off vitamins, minerals and folic acid from these handy little pills.
Be mindful when buying them though, I got some at first which were GIANT and pretty difficult to swallow, and when I managed to gulp them down often they upset my stomach further and didn’t stay down.
Look for smaller capsules and take at night for best results in my experience. I used and I am still using Elevit Vitamins.
Comfy Loose Clothes
Even though I have more of a ‘bump’ in the second trimester, I found that the first was where I felt the most uncomfortable so far belly-wise. If you’re feeling nauseous you don’t want something tight digging into your belly all day. Plus, bloating is a serious side-effect for the first twelve weeks, so anything with a little room is a blessing.
Go for cotton, soft and stretchy clothes like loose dresses, leggings and longer line jumpers or blouses where possible. Side note – unless you really need or want to, I wouldn’t invest in maternity clothes at this stage. Just size up, buy belly extenders or wear the looser items in your wardrobe for now.
My favourite leggings were the HM Maternity range – they are affordable, keep their shape and incredibly comfy and long-lasting. Much better than the Mamalicious Maternity ones I quickly returned, and half the price.
Mints and Gum
This is a trick I discovered from my pregnant cousin who is a few weeks’ ahead of me in her pregnancy. Ginger just didn’t keep the sickness away at all for me. I suffered from severe morning sickness (being sick 4-6 times a day, every day for nearly six weeks). Highlights included being sick on a thousand year old Glacier during a hike, practically sleeping in a long-haul plane toilet and shocking a poor passerby as I quite suddenly threw up into a bush on my morning walk to work.
Mints were the only thing that helped to stop the constant nausea feeling. That, and McDonalds Hash Browns (don’t ask) when I finally got hungry.
If ginger doesn’t work for you like most, don’t despair and try strong mints instead.
When you feel pretty wiped during the first twelve weeks, you don’t really want to do much after work or during the weekends. This is where the fantastic Book Depository came in handy for me. It’s a brilliant site for used books, with free delivery worldwide (including Switzerland!) Thanks to my brilliant friend Katy I discovered this site which allowed me to keep a well stocked library next to the bed, for passing away the hours when you just feel…bleugh.
I don’t know the science behind this, but as soon as I was pregnant my cats were attracted to my belly like a magnet. They still are, and unless you want to deal with a heavy lump climbing on your belly when it’s already sensitive and you’re feeling nauseous, you’re going to have to find a way to distract them! I failed miserably, but I am adding this here in case anyone has any great ideas, and to let mums-to-be know that their furry friends may know before them if a little one is on the way.
Pregnancy Plus App
When I discovered I was pregnant, I downloaded a bunch of apps to track the babies development and to discover more about what changes were happening daily to my body (and, of course, to see what size animal it compared to each week).
The one which stood out, and I continue to use now, is the Pregnancy+ App. It’s got tons of great guides, to do lists, kick counters and more.
This isn’t something you can buy, but it’s something I recommend you all try to have with yourself for the first three months (easier said than done, granted). It can be hard when you find you can’t quite hike at a pace you are used to, when eating anything but beige food makes you instantly sick but you want to be healthy for baby, and when you find yourself crying because you realise you’re running low on your favourite crisps and the shops are closed (true story). Although it’s a big adjustment, try not to be too hard or demanding on yourself and give yourself time over these three months to enjoy what’s happening inside of you rather than being frustrated in what you can no longer do.
Body Oil and Moisturiser
Although they say stretch marks are hereditary and if you’re going to get them, there’s not much you can do to prevent it, it doesn’t hurt to take good care of your growing body and belly with a nourishing oil or moisturiser.
The two which worked best for me and I use daily is BioOil and Palmers Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark Cream. The former is good for putting on regularly, especially after a morning shower, and the latter is best to lather on at night as it’s quite thick and takes a while to soak in.
It can also be a nice moment for the dad to be, as my husband rubs it into my belly most evenings as a way to connect with the growing little one.
Refillable Water Bottle
No idea why, but as soon as you become pregnant you suddenly are 1000x thirstier than ever before, take it from me.
I would recommend getting a good refillable bottle you can carry about everywhere, to make sure you’re never without much needed hydration!
You don’t really need to buy maternity clothes this early on, but one essential I would recommend getting from the moment you get a positive line on your test is a good maternity bra. Honestly, this area becomes sensitive pronto during pregnancy and is actually usually one of the first symptoms you can feel. Stock up on a few comfy, non-wired neutrals and you won’t regret it.
I got mine from ASOS basics and in a multi-pack of two, and they were great.
Lavender Pillow Spray
You may find yourself sleeping more than ever before during the first twelve weeks’, especially with the frequent naps you now crave during the day. Make it easier to fall asleep and maximise your rest with a good pillow spray. It’s always nice to have little luxuries to help you through this period of big change.
I have used the ‘This Works’ Deep pillow spray for years now, and couldn’t recommend it more.
Black Out Eye Mask
Really on the same note as the above, and especially valuable for mid-day naps. A good black out eye mask is well worth the investment.
What To Expect When You’re Expecting Book
It is a really good and comprehensive guide that helps you week by week know what’s going on with your body, and answers some common questions you may have but don’t know how to ask or word them. It shows you different ways mums carry and their bumps, diet guides and uncommon symptoms. I read it nightly at the moment, and would recommend it to all expecting mums.