1st Trimester Must Haves for a Natural Pregnancy

1st Trimester Must Haves for a Natural Pregnancy

My Second Pregnancy

This is my second pregnancy, and thankfully, I have felt less fatigued and barely sick! I think having a very nutrient dense diet before pregnancy was very important. I have been so thankful to be able to keep up with two kids (7 and almost 2) and train for a half marathon.

Not everything has been easy, but it has definitely been physically incredibly easier than last time. My husband definitely picked up the slack taking care of the house in the evenings though when I would crash on the couch after the kids were in bed.

Our body is doing some major work though! So, some changes and fatigue are expected. We can definitely take some steps during pregnancy however to feel the best and have the easiest pregnancy possible.

Important Nutrients

Probiotics – from foods!

Probiotic and fiber-rich foods are so important in keeping things moving, especially when digestion is slowed down due to progesterone. Your body is putting a tremendous effort into growing a baby, building a placenta, and maintaining a pregnancy. You will absorb more nutrients with these as well.

So, incorporating these foods really helps out. You can even add a probiotic supplement, but I personally find that probiotic foods work so much better. Plus, they are less expensive.

Some of my favorite probiotic foods are raw apple cider vinegar, unpasteurized saurkraut, kombucha, raw honey, and kefir. If you can tolerate dairy you can do a raw cheese or a yogurt with live cultures.

For fiber, fruits and vegetables are important. At this stage, your body is going to do better with cooked vegetables because it is a lot more work to break down raw vegetables. You can also incorporate chia seeds or flax.

Ideally, you should be having a bowel movement within 20 minutes of getting up in the morning and possibly one in the afternoon. If this is not the case, even when pregnant, you are having a form of constipation and are not properly detoxing and eliminating waste.

Magnesium

Magnesium is important for progesterone production. It also aids in sleep quality and digestion. Many pregnant women experience constipation or leg cramps. Magnesium can help with both of those.

Food Based Prenatal

Prenatals are not just about what we ingest, but more important, it is what we digest and absorb. For about half of my pregnancy, I took generic prenatals and didn’t feel great. Once I found food based prenatals, such as Vitamin Code’s RAW prenatal, my stomach felt better and overall I felt better because I was getting more nutrients.

Ultimately, a nutrient dense diet is the most important, but I think prenatals are important as a catch-all to make sure your baby is getting everything it needs. With two kids in the house and many responsibilities, I have noticed that this pregnancy that I have been forgetful in taking them because I am running around and stuff my breakfast in my mouth rather quickly. So, now I have set reminders every morning at 7 am so I make sure to grab them.

Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil is a great source of vitamins A, D, K2. These are essential growing nutrients for every system of the body. These our also nutrients we struggle to get in the modern diet with low fat foods, less consumption of liver, pasteurized dairy, and spending more time indoors.

Iodine from Kelp Extract

Big factors in our pregnancy and the development of our baby is detoxification. I found that because I had detoxed before this pregnancy and incorporated iodine in food form and a kelp supplement. I had way less fatigue. When we sleep, our body uses that time to process out toxins. Last pregnancy, I was sleeping during the day and crashed at 8:30 pm that first trimester. This time, I didn’t need naps (not that I had an option with a toddler), but I also didn’t go to bed quite as early. It was probably more like 9-9:30 pm this time.

Iodine supports our thyroid health, which supports our metabolism and energy. It is also important in the development of breast tissue for breastfeeding. We use a ton of iodine in the production of breast milk, and if our iodine levels are not monitored some women find they have hypothyroid after breastfeeding.

This could also play a role in why many women with autoimmune issues see a flare up after pregnancy. Without the resources to properly detoxify, these women’s immune systems struggle.

Listen to Your Cravings and Aversions

Want to dig into that ice cream and cheese? Downing that jar of pickles? Can’t stand the smell of chicken? I hear ya. Between my two pregnancies, I have been through all of that.

In my first pregnancy, I craved french dip sandwiches, blue cheese, and Frank’s hot sauce. I think the important take aways from that were:

  • salt – your body is increasing its fluids rapidly and electrolytes are really important
  • beef – with the increased blood volume your body needs a ton of iron
  • blue cheese – (Yes, I know soft cheese is frowned upon in pregnancy but I am a rebel sometimes. It is a personal choice.) I think cheese and ice cream are important for K2 sources, calcium and fats needed for the growing bones and the brain.

In my second pregnancy, I had more aversions. I could not stand meat, seafood, and vegetables for awhile. I felt crazy since that makes up my normal diet. I think my body wanted the most easily digestible foods.

Now, for my cravings:

  • sushi – (I know, I am a rebel again. My rule of thumb was get the best quality.) The rice and raw fish digested really well and gave me omega 3s, healthy fats, and healthy carbohydrates.
  • raw honey – contains enzymes that help with digestion, vitamins, minerals, B vitamins, and carbohydrates
  • paleo sweet treats – I was all about that carbohydrates for easy digestion and energy to run and make a baby.
  • yogurt – great source of calcium
  • fruit – I felt so great when I would get a good amount of vitamin C

I list these cravings just to give you my personal experience and what worked for me. I was able to make healthy choices with the cravings and aversions to give my babies what they needed, which is the most important. You have to do what is right for your body and choose the foods you like.

I mainly tell my stories because it is so important to be aware of what our bodies are telling us. They are so smart and can help guide us.

Acupuncture

I will be writing a whole separate post on my experience with acupuncture, but with this pregnancy I found myself needing some emotional help. Unlike last time, I have deal some extreme mood swings and little ability to emotional cope with some stresses I have had.

So, together Brendon and I decided to send me to acupuncture. Within one session, I felt more balanced and able to cope with every day things. As I have continued to go, it has really help balance me hormonally and deal with emotional issues. I think reducing stress and being happy is extremely important for you and the baby.

 

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