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First Trimester Survival Kit

Rachel O'Reilly



By Aaryn Leineke

I’ve been lucky to have had a very easy pregnancy thus far, but I know this is not the case for every woman. Many suffer from typical and not-so-typical symptoms and my heart goes out to them. I know that when you are suffering from all the symptoms at once it’s hard to imagine how to  go on each day. How do you get up,  put makeup on or do your hair so it doesn’t look like you just rolled out of bed when you show up at work? How do you not suffer from the blues when you are now harder on your ‘type-A self’ than ever when you cannot make it to the gym and only want to eat donuts and ice cream for dinner?

You’re not alone. It is common for many women to feel the blues of pregnancy during the first trimester and what’s most important is to know your body is beginning the very challenging task of growing a baby. During these first essential months of  growth it’s no wonder it takes all the energy out of you. It’s important to listen to your body during this time by getting all the calories you need, and the vital rest your body is begging for. Feel good about heading straight to the couch with a blanket once you get home after a long day at work. You have a whole other full time job happening inside of you now.

To help you through your first trimester, here are a few must haves to keep you comfortable, happy and healthy:

Bellybelt - When I was 6 weeks pregnant I wasn’t showing but that was a week that I could not comfortably wear my normal pants. I think bloating and gas was a real thing for me, and I just needed that extra space in my pants to help me get through my day at the office in comfort. I used a rubber band, but will absolutely purchase this bellybelt for my next pregnancy to get through the first few months when the true maternity pants are not quite necessary yet.

Ginger chews - Not everyone loves these, but I’d say they’re worth a try. Only caveat is that you may never be able to eat them again if you eat them daily for the first trimester of your pregnancy.

Sea Bands - These are nausea wrist bands that I personally haven’t needed to use, but when you’re not able to cope with your day to day life due to debilitating nausea, try these out. Try anything.

Essential Oils - A couple suggested combinations I've recently heard of are ginger and geranium behind the ears or grapefruit and peppermint as well. Both combinations or use of one or the other could be tried to help with nausea.

Rest - Sleep. Just do it. Have your husband get takeout for dinner or be the meal planner during those first few months. Throw that dreaded movie or show on for your toddler so you can sneak in a nap until your partner comes home. You have to sleep. I’m a firm believer that lack of sleep will increase  all of the first trimester blues and symptoms.

Mamas tea - There are many teas that are recommended during the first trimester; mint, ginger, nettle to name the top few. But when a great friend and the women my husband and I chose as our doula made me her special mama’s tea, let's just say it was a life changer. Her sisters both made this tea for each of their pregnancies and she gave it to me as a gift as soon as I shared the news that we were expecting. The delicious and nutritious ingredients are below, (look for upcoming post all about this mama’s tea coming soon!):

  • Peppermint

  • Alfalfa

  • Red Raspberry leaf

  • Nettle

  • Oatstraw

  • German chamomile

  • Rosehip

B12 happy hour shots - Weekly B12 shots the first trimester saved me! I got mine with extra boost of folate, vitamin D (for nausea) and sometimes the extra immune boost mixer. These B12 shots help balance your moods, allow for a deeper sleep, boost energy and completely cured my nausea. I did not suffer from nausea for long, but as soon as I got my B12 shot my nausea subsided, my sleeping balanced out after jet lag from my honeymoon, and my energy increased for a few days after each shot which helped inspire me to go on that walk after work with my pup.

Dr. Shannon Wood Gallegos helped me choose the best prenatals and additional vitamins to take during my pregnancy all of which my body has received very well! See below:

Tylenol - Headaches were what I had to overcome often during my first trimester, and one day when I was ridden by a migraine my husband did some research and saw that tylenol was safe for me to take. I have taken only a few tylenol’s in the first 6 months and I’m so grateful I had them in my emergency kit.

What has brought you comfort in your first trimester? We’d love to know!