Want a stress-free pregnancy? Follow these tips to make sure you don’t feel overwhelmed by the journey.
What should I expect in my first pregnancy?
At the beginning of your first pregnancy, there are many changes to your body that you will experience for the first time. According to Mayo Clinic, some of the body changes you may feel include:
- Tender, swollen breasts
- Nausea (with or without vomiting)
- Increased urination
- Food cravings/aversions
First trimester (what is it and how long)
The first trimester is characterized as the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy, beginning on the first day of your last period. The good news? If you are feeling all the first trimester symptoms now, you are probably 3-4 weeks into your pregnancy, which means you only have about 2 months left before you get to the second trimester.
Things to avoid in early pregnancy
According to Healthline, these are the top foods to avoid throughout your pregnancy, but especially in early pregnancy:
- Undercooked/raw meat and fish
- Unpasteurized dairy products
- Raw/runny eggs
- Deli meat
How to stay healthy
Staying healthy during pregnancy may seem impossible and it may even seem like it’s an unrealistic goal, with all the changes you are currently experiencing. But speaking from experience, it is in your best interest to strive to stay healthy during your pregnancy. Staying healthy will allow you to recover faster postpartum, and will also give you the stamina you need to be able to get through the sometime long, and intense labour. With that said, here are my top tips to staying healthy during your pregnancy:
Keep a regular exercising regime
Although you may want to do everything else but work out, trust me on this one. Working out not only helps you feel good during pregnancy, but it’s also going to help you prepare for the long marathon that is labour and giving birth. Labour for first time moms can take hours, and having a regular work out schedule will help you have the stamina and the energy that you will definitely need to get through labour.
Just a caveat: unless you were a body-builder before you got pregnant, I’d stay away from high intensity workouts. Instead, here are simple, great alternatives that you can do during pregnancy:
- Prenatal Yoga
- Brisk walks indoors or outdoors
- Walking up and down stairs
Swap the junk food for fruits and vegetables
I know you probably hate me for saying this, but you should seriously consider it. Junk foods contain empty calories and are mostly carbs, meaning what you eat will go straight to your baby. In my case, my baby was on the larger side, which meant I had a harder time pushing her out, and I also teared when she finally came out. If you want to avoid having a large baby, swap out the junk food for fruits and veggies. This will also help make sure your baby has all the nutrients she/he needs in utero.
Meditation and positive affirmations
There’s a lot of uncertainty that goes along with pregnancy, and anxiety levels surrounding labour tend to go up as the pregnancy comes closer to an end. Meditation and positive affirmations are all great ways to reduce stress and anxiety levels for mommy and baby as labour comes closer.
Related Post: 9 Simple Tips to Help You Thrive During Your Pregnancy
What to Expect in Each Trimester
Here are things you should expect to happen in each trimester. Some of these items may seem wild, but it will (most likely) happen!
You don’t think your belly is big enough, so you skimp out on maternity wear
You check your belly every week, but nothing is happening. Is that bulge from the baby growing, or is it just because of all the carbs you ate last night? You don’t think your belly is big enough, and the logical side of your brain is telling you that of course your belly will get big overtime, but you don’t listen, and convince yourself that you won’t need maternity clothes. You will just make use of what you already have.
Check back on this post in a few months, and if you find that your belly has indeed gotten bigger, here are my favourite maternity dresses:
Everything irritates you
The smell of your husband. The smell of your favourite foods. How your husband breathes. How your mom is always checking up on you. Ugh. They are all so annoying.
If you are annoyed by everything right now, know that it is normal. Heck you may even hate the things you’re reading in this post right now.
I hated the smell of my husband during the first trimester, and was annoyed at a lot of the little things he would do. But you know, eventually, he started smelling better (to me anyway), and next thing I knew, my sensitivity to a lot of things just went away. (It really does seem like it goes away overnight!)
You have a newfound love for carbs
Carbs, carbs carbs! If you are like me, I had tried the very hardest to stay away from carbs pre-pregnancy. I could blame the keto/low carb craze we’re living through right now. But either way, once I got pregnant, I forgot all about eating low carbs. Breads, muffins, bagels, and rice tasted like heaven to me, and I couldn’t eat enough of it. When I’d get hungry, I’d gravitate towards carbs. So much so that I became afraid later on in my pregnancy that I might develop gestational diabetes.
Honestly, I’m not here to tell you that eating excessive carbs during your pregnancy is right or wrong (although we should always lean towards the old saying, ‘everything in moderation’. All I know is that in my pregnancy, I craved carbs more than I wanted to eat broccoli or even meat, so hey, if it happens to you…. know that you are not alone!
Related Post: 16 Awesome Gift Ideas For Your Newly Pregnant Friend
Congrats! You’ve made it to your second trimester! Do you feel like wonder woman yet?
You forget you’re pregnant sometimes
At this point, you are most likely starting to see that bump in your belly already. For me, I started to really show around the middle of my second trimester. But you know what’s weird? I sometimes would forget I’m pregnant. I’d walk up to a window and see my reflection and I’d let out a giggle at my growing belly, because it reminded me that I am, in fact, pregnant.
And honestly, up until the third trimester, you will look with wonder at your growing belly and just be amazed that your body can change so much to create life. Savour those moments! And if you forget here and there that you’re preggy… don’t worry, soon enough you will have little kicks in your belly from your little one reminding you that he/she is right there!
Your feet have gone up in size
Another thing that changes during pregnancy: your feet will swell. Your feet will also go up in size. Yes, it’s totally normal, and I bet something that you didn’t expect to happen!
You feel invincible when you get to the second trimester
Oh, the second trimester. Yes, you feel tired sometimes, but there will be days when you have sooo much energy, you’ll let out a little waddle dance with your growing belly. What a wonderful time to be alive!
Everyone’s excited for you, but all you can think about is the upcoming labour
Everyone, and I mean everyone will be super excited for you. They talk about all the good ways that your life will change, but in the meantime, all you can probably think of is the impending doom that is labour. Honestly though, don’t worry so much about it, and certainly do not lose sleep over it. What I do is recite affirmations that my baby will come out healthy and that I will have a smooth pregnancy. That’s what helps me stay calm even with the thought of going through labour.
Another thing: your body is built to birth. I watch positive YouTube videos that talk about how to have a positive birthing experience and it really truly helps. Click here to watch my favourite YouTube channel on preparing for birth.
Yay! You’ve made it to your third trimester! Here’s what to expect in the final stretch.
Everyone wants to touch your belly
By now there is absolutely no way you can hide your pregnancy. And hopefully you’ve already told your work that you’re going to be on maternity leave soon. Because your belly has now found its way to being the center of attention in whatever room you enter, you will find that everyone, strangers and friends alike, will want to rub your belly.
Now it depends on you if you want to let strangers rub your belly, but for me, I was very happy to let everyone touch my belly if they want. It’s a growing human, and they are just as excited as I am!
The Pregnancy Waddle
Waddle waddle! If you’re like me, you promised yourself that you would never waddle during your pregnancy. But here we are, waddling everywhere we go.
One thing that causes the pregnancy waddle that caught me by surprise was the hip pains. I realize not all pregnant ladies experience this, and if you’re one of the lucky few, congrats! But for us regular humans, the combination of a growing belly and loosening muscles will definitely cause some sort of hip pain, which in turn, will cause us to waddle
You were excited to feel the first kicks, but by the end of the pregnancy, each kick and movement makes you tired
I loooove seeing my belly move, and feeling the little kicks in my belly. Earlier on in the pregnancy, I would wait for the kicks and be so happy when I catch a movement! Honestly, I probably spent one night just trying to see if I can catch a belly movement.
In your third trimester, each movement is more pronounced, and one thing you should expect is that your baby’s movements at this stage will probably make you tired.
No one wants you to exert too much effort but everyone is telling you to stay active
What a contradiction. Your parents, partner and friends will tell you to be careful when you walk up and down the stairs, an that you should take it easy, but another day, they will tell you that you should stay active and maybe lift light weights and walk around the neighborhood.