First Trimester Favorites

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As I shared earlier this week, M and I are expecting our first little one in October of this year. It's honestly been a pretty mellow pregnancy thus far, even to the point at times of making us double check the test result. (So bizarre that the absence of symptoms can be a cause for alarm, but when every article and book out there makes morning sickness sound like a pregnancy rite of passage, it's weird to feel not sick.) 

I consider myself very blessed to have felt so good over the last 15 weeks, save for my proclivity to take pretty solid naps anytime I laid down for more than a few minutes during the first trimester. Oh, and learning that pushing four hours without food while making a tiny human is not advised. (I still wouldn't call what I felt "morning sickness," as it wasn't nausea, but I definitely felt crummy if I went too long without at least a snack. Oh, and I also had to learn that eating giant meals plus snacks was not the best combo...it's just too much food. I don't need to be eating for two yet, so I found a balance and have felt great since.)

One of the strangest new developments though? I have developed an epic sweet tooth. Good. Night. I have never been one to crave sweets, though I would gladly take out a bag of chips or salty snacks as soon as I would look at them. But since Little Nugget showed up in my uterus, I could take down a full size Cinnabon in ten seconds flat. (And probably want another.) It's ridiculous. Thankfully, M helps tame the beast keep me focused on staying healthy so I continue to feel good, but he does sweetly let me indulge here and there. (And only once have I snuck a donut. But I told him about it later, so I think our marriage will survive.)

As a first-time mom, I am totally figuring all this out as I go, and I have loved scouring all the blogs and articles out there with great advice and tips for new mommies. So in the spirit of giving back, I'd love to share with y'all some of my early pregnancy favorites.

These are some of my clutch, must-have items for the first and second trimester (thus far)... 

1 // We found out we were preggers at 4 weeks, so it was a bit before we wanted to tell anyone. In the meantime, we had about a zillion questions, and I really didn't want to Goggle my early pregnancy. We spent an hour in the bookstore pouring over the eleventy thousand books about babies and baking them, and I was really excited to find I'm Pregnant! by Lesley Regan, MD. It's organized by stage, so the information is presented as it's meaningful, which contributed to me feeling more empowered and less overwhelmed. The author is also a doctor and a mommy, which was a great combo in my book (get it??) because I wanted to find that balance between enough info to know what was going on, but also the real-life mommy experiences that are also a very real part of this season. I didn't really even consider What to Expect, and I've survived just fine with this book and the input of my family, friends, and midwives (once I shared the news, obvi).

2 // As I mentioned, my cravings for sweets were insane. And while I knew I couldn't eat a donut cake every day (that's a pregnancy daydream, by the way...a donut cake, and I think they should exist), I found that my favorite vanilla greek yogurt hit the spot. The probiotics are an added bonus when your digestive system decides to be ornery.

3 // Because I couldn't go more than a few hours without something in my system, I always carried in my purse an apple or a small bag of pretzel sticks to munch on. (We bought those 100-calorie bags, and they were perfect.) Totally helped prevent Mommy from having a toddler-style meltdown while out and about.

4 // Admittedly, my belly is still small at this point (which given my pre-pregnancy weight is appropriate), but I noticed a few weeks ago that my skinny jeans were feeling pretty uncomfortable when I sat for long periods of time (like, say, an eight-hour workday spent in front of a computer screen). The Bellaband maternity band was the perfect way to continue wearing my existing clothes, while accommodating my ever-present-these-days burrito belly. I wear it folded in half for now so I can keep my jeans just unbuttoned, but it will eventually expand to cover my whole belly (as shown) to better keep my drawers up.

5 // While my belly hasn't grown much yet, I know from previous weight gain (I hate you, Junior High) that I am prone to stretch marks. I don't expect to come out of this deal scot-free, but I have started using Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter to get myself in the habit of keeping my tummy, flanks, and tatas moisturized. It feels sooooo good, and I love me some Burt's Bees products (their face wash and moisturizers are all I use these days).

6 // I know nothing about raising babies. Like, zero. I have only in the last few years realized that you can hold babies without them just, like, breaking. (So yes, you're in for some serious laughs at my expense as we mosey down this road together. And please start praying for Little Nugget, while you're at it.) That being said, I didn't want to dive right into American Parenting 101. I knew that I'd get plenty of education from my midwives, parenting classes, and insight from family/friends. So when I started looking for some good reads while baking the bun, I was quickly drawn to books written about other parenting perspectives. Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman was the first one I ordered, and given my huge crush on Paris, it was a delightful read for me! Druckerman's writing style is predominantly memoir (finding herself preggers in France as an expat married to a British Francophile), but it also has journalistic insights that inspired some neat conversations between M and I, as well as challenged some of the commonly held assumptions about little ones. (Turns out, there's hope for feeding Little Nugget something other than, well, nuggets for half of his childhood!) I really enjoyed it and devoured it in no time, and I love that the Bebe Day by Day addition in the back of this edition distills the main takeaways without all the commentary, so this is a neat way to let M catch up on the material without going through the whole thing. 

7 // Along these same lines, I just started reading Parenting Without Borders by Christine Gross-Loh, which essentially expands on Druckerman's journey by looking at parenting styles across the globe. It's more on the journalistic side, but equally interesting as Gross-Loh also discusses her experience raising kiddos and traveling throughout the world with her little ones. The commentary about Japan in particular is so interesting, and in general I was fascinated to hear about so many parenting styles outside that US that seemingly agree on key aspects of raising kids, such as the fact that children are far more capable than we give them credit for, and that excessive attention and praise are not doing kids any favors. (Yes. This feels true.)

8 // I didn't want to lug around my sizable copy of I'm Pregnant! on the regular, but I also wanted some kind of resource at my fingertips as needed. I heard great things about the Sprout App, and after the trial period, I was hooked. It tracks how far along you are (because yes, it's possible to forget, and sometimes math is too much), provides tidbits of advice and info corresponding to the baby's current development, allows you to save questions for upcoming doctor/midwife appointments, etc. Very helpful tool, and I can imagine the To Do and Hospital Bag lists will come in very handy as I think of things for later in the pregnancy along the way.

9 // As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I dropped caffeine. I know that it's OK to have in moderation, but I frankly was fine letting it go. Still, I sometimes tired of just drinking water, and before I learned how to balance my meals and snacks better, I'd find myself feeling a bit fussy in the afternoons. Enter: San Pellegrino Limonata. M and I were fans already, but when I read that this sparkling lemon beverage is a great remedy for nausea, I bought a six-pack to have on hand just in case. We bought the glass bottles so that I could just take a few sips and save the rest for later (the screw-off caps can also go back on to save it, FYI), and it was the perfect refreshing fix when I felt meh.

I know there are countless other awesome items out there to make it through the early weeks of pregnancy, but these were my personal faves (and they all continue to be awesome into the second trimester).

What are your first trimester and/or second trimester favorites?


  1. First, congrats! I'm pregnant as well (due early July) with my first so I totally feel where you're coming from.

    I agree, the Bellaband was super helpful, although sometimes I just grabbed a ponytail holder and wrapped it around the button on my jeans. I wasn't as lucky to not have morning sickness so sometimes the band just made things worse. Now that I've hit 3rd trimester I can officially say that I really like the Palmer's cocoa butter (solid) for preventing stretch marks. I have the Burt's Bees body butter also, and I'll use that sometimes but the consistency/smell really isn't my fav. If I put the cocoa butter on at night even after I shower the next morning I still feel moisturized. :-)

    Other things that have helped have been peppermint water (Metromint) for nausea as well as to drink more water overall. Same thing with Benefiber, as you grow your whole system starts slowing down. And apps are my friend, Ovia's been my fav, but I have the ones for BabyCenter, TheBump, Nuture and What to Expect because I have a problem. ;-)

    Best of luck in your pregnancy!

    1. Thank you, Cassandra! Congrats to you too! Wow, July is coming up quick. That's so exciting. :)

      I also tried the ponytail holder for the first week or so that my jeans felt snug, and it definitely bought me some time. Haha. I've always heard awesome things about Palmer's, so I have no doubt it's a winner. Cocoa butter is hard to beat!

      And yes, amen, and true story on the Benefiter! We take Acacia Fiber, and I can't get enough. If I'm not watching my fiber intake, it's only a day later before I feel terrible. Great recommendations on the apps! I have't explored too many others, but I will definitely check these out.

      Enjoy your bump as well, girl!

  2. Burt's bees for everything! I loved the mama belly butter and now we use the diaper rash, shampoo and lotion for Emerson! Don't forget hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Oh and vitamins.

    1. Yes! I'm glad to hear you like the baby products, too, because I'd love to use those. I've just had really good luck with Burt's Bees, and love that they're mostly natural. And yes, I've been chugging water (which, with a baby on board makes for a busy bladder, lol). I just ran out of vitamins, but they totally give me peace of mind that baby has all the right stuff to develop big and strong!