Growing a Tiny Human: First Trimester

Congratulations! You’re growing a tiny human inside of you. It may not feel like it now, but sooner than you think you will start to revel in the awe of the miracle you created by just plain “doing it” with your partner. Your life is about to change in big ways; and I’m not talking about 9–10 months from now with diapers and this new life you created. I’m talking about “morning” sickness, changes in your relationships, and changes in your body.

Old Wives Tales & Do’s and Don’ts

Family, friends, co-workers, the Internet, strangers — anyone and everyone will have advice to give. Make sure to fact check when possible. Many “old wives tales” or even medical procedures from generation to generation have been disproven and recommendations change dramatically.

Emily Oster, author of EXPECTING BETTER, uses research to explain why it’s ok to drink while you’re pregnant.

One of my favorite resources during this time that I used to debunk some myths I was most curious about from just about the moment we knew I was pregnant (mostly surrounding what I could eat and drink), was Emily Oster’s “Expecting Better”. While most media coverage surrounding this book and the video above, focuses on Oster’s research findings on the consumption of alcohol, there is so much more in this book. I go into it a bit more in a past post: Coffee, Coffee, COOFFFFEEEE.

Whether it is food or activities, always check with your medical support team. The golden rule here tends to be not to do more than you were before you were pregnant. You regularly drink a cup of coffee in the morning, great; just don’t start drinking 3 or 4 now that you are pregnant. You go for a run every evening when you get home from work, even better! But now is not the time to start training for a marathon.

There are some foods that should be completely avoided, but the list is short: soft cheeses like feta and large, old seafood like swordfish. Deli meats should be cooked to a boiling temperature before consumption like in a fried bologna sandwich. Your body and your baby’s will react to bacteria in very different ways. One recommendation I found strange, was to not garden while pregnant. This is mostly due to the potential of interacting with animal feces (similar to avoiding scooping the cat litter box). You may choose to be more or less cautious depending on what your doctor and your research shows.

Sharing the News

I’m not going to say much on this topic. Honestly, it is completely up to you and your partner(s). Many people wait to share the news with their families until about the 12 week mark when the chances of miscarriage have reduced to about < 2% (for women who have never miscarried) and many women begin to “show” around this time. When and how you share the news with your family, friends, co-workers, and the world is a lot like choosing the “perfect” time to have a baby. There is no perfect time. You just make the best decision for you and your partner(s) as you can and stick run with it. Good luck!

Screenshot from the Ovia Pregnancy App

Looking Ahead

Take some time throughout the pregnancy to look ahead at what is to come. Evaluating birth plans (hospital vs. home), prenatal screenings, feeding your baby (formula and breastfeeding), work, and changes in your body and family dynamics. Do your best to do this in small doses throughout the months to come. Don’t procrastinate, but try not to overwhelm yourself either.

Products:

  • Water: Just keeping drinking, just keep drinking.
  • Burt’s Bee Mama Bee Belly Butter: Your body is about to undergo an amazing journey and it is going to change. A lot. Help prepare it by keeping it supple and moist starting now and throughout pregnancy. Alternative product: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks.
  • Powerade: Up until I was pregnant, I hated Powerade. Too sweet, too artificially colored, too yuck! But, when it came to packing in those electrolytes, and the B vitamins — it helped to keep me from puking all day long and replenish some of what I had lost when I inevitably tossed my cookies. Note: watch your sugar intake here. Recommendation from a friend: separate one bottle into two and water down to help with flavor and hydration.
  • Ovia Pregnancy App by Ovuline: Track the changes in your’s and your baby’s growing bodies. Helpful medication look up and tips throughout your pregnancy.
  • Preggie Pops & Drops: Although not a product that I used, it was much acclaimed by friends and co-workers for settling upset stomachs.

Additional Resources: