If you’ve kept up with my pregnancy podcast, you’ll know that I’m a few weeks away from my third trimester. Now seems like as good a time as any to share the things that singlehandedly carried my through my fifth pregnancy for my fourth baby earthside, right?
Congratulations! You’re pregnant! You’ve made it through the two week wait, which is a feat in and of itself, and you’re growing a human in.side.your.body. I’ll never get over it! I’ve had one loss in the past so while I’m currently in my fourth second trimester, this was my fifth first trimester. I’ve learned so much each pregnancy and while each one has been different, a few things remain true: 1. This won’t last forever. 2. Grace abounds. You can only do your best minute to minute and you must give yourself grace and ask it of those who love you for as long as you’re in the struggle. 3. Carbs win. 4. Rest at all costs and 5. Mothers around the world are joining in this struggle with you and that brings me comfort every time!
This isn’t an exhaustive list, of course. Preparation H, Flowy dresses and Gin-gins would be included too, if that were the case! Instead, I wanted to share the things that I believe truly made the experience bearable this time around. For context, I found out I was pregnant at 3 weeks, was hit with the crippling exhaustion at 5 weeks and the worst of the nausea stretched between 6.5-15 weeks.
This first photo is me in both of these first two essentials here at 24 weeks pregnant. Not the Lululemon version of the leggings, though, but the Amazon flare leggings linked in that paragraph. They’re an absolute dream, friends.
Go-To Knit: Hear me out. This sweater is super expensive and I won’t lie to you and tell you it does anything a $19.99 crewneck from Target won’t do. I bought a couple of these sweatsuits years ago and fell in love with the shape as well as the fact that they hold that exact shape and color even after a million washes–something I can’t say about my Target knits. I love how oversized the sweater is when I’m in those early weeks and not telling people yet and want to still looked pulled together. Now that I’m almost in my third trimester, I love that it still fits perfectly and looks great with leggings, jeans or the matching sweats I haven’t given up on yet.
Go-To Leggings: The leggings I linked to the left have been my absolute favorite for every pregnancy and also for day-to-day wear throughout nearly the past decade. I have raved about them in posts like 30 favorite products at 30 years old, all of my Momiform essential posts and more. You feel like you’re naked while wearing them, they’re beloved by schoolteacher and celebrity alike and they are a bit of magic. That being said, I have intense varicose veins again this pregnancy and have preferred a bootcut or flare style rather than a legging that shows off all the bulges and bumps and you guys…THESE $21 AMAZON LEGGINGS ARE INCREDIBLE. 27,000 reviews agree with me. They’re long enough for my six-foot tall self while also working for 5’4 friends and feel like pure butter. I can’t rave about them enough.
Pregnancy Pillow: I’ve used many pregnancy pillows in the past nine years. The thing I’ve learned is that personal preference is real. All of our bodies and needs are different which means I can’t possibly promise you this is the pillow that will solve all your problems or get you more sleep or whatever it is. If someone promises you that, they’re lying. That being said, I absolutely love that this pillow is adjustable which has been a life saver. One of my biggest struggles for a few weeks was constantly waking up flat on my back so I’ve been sleeping with one side really lose, one side more taut and putting the taut side behind my back while letting the loose side rest under my belly. That + my fan + my eye mask + rain sound machine is my only hope for beating pregnancy insomnia.
Eye Mask: As I said- I have no hope of getting even thirty minutes of sleep without this eye mask. Especially in the first trimester when you’re getting up to pee 3, 4, 5 times a night this is crucial!
Preggie Pop Drops: Listen. I’ve yet to find anything that actually cures pregnancy nausea in that first trimester. The very best hope I have is curbing the intensity of it and I’ve loved these sour drops for three pregnancies now. I also suffered terribly with a metallic taste in my mouth this time around so this sour flavor helped the most. Lime So Delicious yogurt, Lime popsicles, Ginger + Lemon Olipop Prebiotic Soda, Cola Poppi Prebiotic Soda and Pur gum were the only things that really did the trick in weeks 6-15.
Eucalyptus Shower Spray: For whatever reason, my nightly shower became a lifeline in this first trimester. It brought me back to life after an incredibly challenging day of nausea and exhaustion and let my body know it was time to rest (or try.) This spray is heaven, you guys. The eucalyptus scent became an anti-nausea smell for me. I spray it on the floor and the walls a couple times throughout my shower and treat it as aromatherapy.
LMNT Salt Drink: This is the purest, most highly recommended electrolyte packet on the market. As someone who lives a very clean lifestyle due to an auto-immune disease, I pay extremely close attention to what ingredients make up the items I consume at all times, but especially during pregnancy. The potassium, magnesium and salt level of these packets make me confident that I’m getting what I need. The salt taste takes a teeny bit of getting used to at first if you’re also someone like me who doesn’t like salt, but it’s pretty delicious.
Kiehls Body Butter: O calls this lotion “my ambrosia.” I have a million stretch marks and have tried all the lotions and potions and oils so I gave up on stretch mark prevention. Now, I just want a lotion that feels like a special and soothing routine and that’s this lotion every single pregnancy for me. I cover my body in almond oil after my shower each night and slather this on my just arms, belly and chest before crawling into bed every night.
Bread SRSLY Grain Free Sourdough Rolls: If you’re grain-free like me, these rolls are a must. I had some form of carb like this every single morning as a survival tactic when I was most nauseous and these ingredients truly can’t be beat.
Magnesium Calm: I have irritable uterus (I talk more about it in this podcast episode if you’re curious) so I have to almost over-do it on electrolytes and magnesium to keep my muscles from over contracting. This also helps so much with consistent digestion which can be super hard to come by in the first trimester so my midwives suggest every pregnant mother take one dose each day. I take two!
Melatonin Epsom Salt Sleep Soak: Lastly, this is again partly due to the irritable uterus, partly due to insomnia and partly due to exhaustion. I looked forward to soaking in a bath with a show or a podcast so much after a hard day. The salt soak calms overworked muscles (I’m looking at you, cramping and round-ligament pain) and the lavender is a bit of aromatherapy that feels like a treat at the end of the day.
What are your first trimester essentials? Do you agree that it changes pregnancy-to pregnancy?