The first trimester of a pregnancy is full of so many unknowns. Is what I’m feeling normal? Will I start to show before I share the news with people? Am I resting enough? How much weight should I be gaining? Why am I so tired? Etc, etc. While everyone has a different experience (and mine has admittedly been quite easy), there are a few essentials I really depended on at the beginning that I think are relevant to any pregnancy.
(Those of you who aren’t pregnant can feel free to disregard this post or bookmark it for a later date.)
1 // LOOSE DRESSES
I personally experienced a lot of bloating during my first trimester, and had a major fear of starting to show before I announced my pregnancy. Hence, my love for loose shift and swing dresses! Not only are they comfortable, but they helped me relax knowing they would help me hide the changes I was feeling in my body. My personal favorites were the Puella Savant Swing Dress in black and the Gap Marled Sweatshirt Dress. Also, the ASOS Maternity Sleeveless Swing Dress is awesome because it doesn’t look like a maternity dress at all, but can be worn throughout your entire pregnancy (and it’s so, so soft).
2 // BRINGING UP BÉBÉ
Pamela Druckerman’s Bringing Up Bébé has absolutely been my favorite parenting book so far. There’s also a simplified version that’s more direct and to the point called Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting, which I bought as well, just as a quick-reference guide.
3 // COCONUT OIL
Everyone swears by a different moisturizer during pregnancy, and for me it is coconut oil. I love how inexpensive it is, how moisturizing it is (I even use it on my face!), and mostly that it is 100% natural. The best time to apply it is right after the shower, when you have some time to let it fully absorb into your skin. Most importantly, perhaps, the scent didn’t bother me the way other recommended moisturizers did—while I loved the feeling of Palmer’s on my skin, the scent made me nuts after a week or so. I personally use the kind from Trader Joe’s (found next to the olive oil in the section by the pasta), but coconut oil from any grocery store will do!
4 // CRYSTALLIZED GINGER
Though my nausea was super mild compared to pretty much everyone else I’ve talked to, I did rely on these ginger chews to get me through the rougher moments. They are strong and spicy and totally got rid of my nausea when it hit. Plus, it felt nice to do something proactive when that sick feeling came over me.
5 // KINDLE PAPERWHITE
After talking a fellow pregnant friend into getting the Kindle Paperwhite, I realized I absolutely needed (well, wanted) one for myself. With pregnancy comes a lot of curiosity, and for me that has meant a lot of reading. So far, I’ve loved how lightweight it is, that I can read outside (I absolutely took it to the beach and it was great to read in direct sunlight!), that I have all my books in digital format, and that I can download books instantly. Plus, as my friend pointed out, this will be perfect to use when nursing takes over my life (holding a paperback book, not so much).
6 // BOYFRIEND JEANS
Although my stretch skinny jeans fit throughout the entire first trimester, I really just didn’t want to wear any tight pants other than leggings. Boyfriend jeans are ideal for this time of pregnancy because they sit low enough to allow for a bloated and growing tummy, and are loose enough to keep you comfy. Bonus: I found an inexpensive pair at Target that fit perfectly. (See how to style them here.)
7 // ELLO WATER BOTTLE
Confession: I actually just bought this last week. But, I really wish I’d had it from the very beginning! Made of glass with a protective silicone sleeve, the Ello water bottle is leak-proof and easy to carry around with you during the day—which is important as you try to drink more water during the day than you’re likely used to (my doctor has me drinking 80-100oz per day!!).
8 // PRENATAL VITAMINS
An absolute must for any and every pregnant woman out there is a daily prenatal vitamin. These are the ones my doctor uses herself, and I’ve been pleased to discover that they don’t leave me with that weird nauseas feeling some vitamins create. As a precaution, I take mine at the end of the day, but just taking them with food should be sufficient.
9 // EASY SNACKS
My hunger was absolutely insane for the first 12 weeks, so having a snack handy at all times was a must. Personally, I have always loved Larabars, and they proved to be a perfect pregnancy snack. Made of nothing but fruit, nuts and spices, they’re natural, vegan, and satisfying when you’re in need of a quick snack. My favorite flavors are Apple Pie, Cashew Cookie, Lemon Bar and Coconut Cream Pie. Also, since I couldn’t stand the taste of vegetables (but fruit was immensely appealing), easy peel mandarins were a go-to for me and still are! They made snacking on fruit simple, portable and accessible—they seriously can just go right into your purse for when you’re ready to snack. Plus, pregnancy has given me a serious love for the tangy/sour taste of citrus.
There you have it! Now I want to hear from those of you who have done this before: what were your first trimester must-haves?