May 2, 2015
Tips for a Healthy First Trimester
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You’ve done taken a pregnancy test 12 times to be sure. You’ve planned when and how to announce it. You’ve hugged your spouse, kissed your spouse, and started talking about baby names. Then, it’s week 8 and you’re nauseated, your mood feels like a foreign invader ready to strike at any moment, your breasts are sore, a nap sounds good at any time of the day, and eating…forget it…”I thought pregnancy was supposed to make me hungry!”

Besides the fact that there are 1 million thoughts now racing through your head about how to be a good parent, you also have to navigate through the first, albeit not the most glorious, 13 weeks of your pregnancy. None of this comes with a handbook, and there is certainly no instruction manual, but if you stick with me through this, you will walk away feeling empowered! Not only do I empathize with you. I know what you’re going through!

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GrowBaby approaches pregnancy differently. Sure, we have guidelines to eating, guidelines that we know are proven to give you a healthier child and a healthier pregnancy, but we also carry along in our diaper bags, a healthy whopping dose of grace. What I am about to outline for you are not “have to’s, need to’s, or should’s.” They are simple our way of helping you through the first part of a phenomenally miraculous journey that will surely test you. Not everyone is ready to accept what pregnancy means, but it is our hope to help you make each day doable

 

Nauseated? Check. Moody? Check. Fatigued? Check. Hungry? NOT. Have to eat? Yes.

 

Yes, I feel like I’m on a boat.

There are a few theories about why nausea seems to come along for the ride. Although no one knows for sure, it may be a combination of things. We do know that the hormone hcG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin: that tells us if you’re pregnant or no) rises during pregnancy inspiring your nausea to wake. It is also thought the estrogen, which rises in early pregnancy, could also be a culprit. Some would argue that it is a magnesium deficiency, or a sensitive olfactory system, or gastrointestinal tract, or because your husband thinks pregnancy is nuts. Case and point?

Nausea and food don’t go together, however, they are often a cause of one another.

Eating often and throughout the day, can curb the waves of nausea that start in the morning. Not sure what to eat? Choose foods with protein, such as nuts and seeds and nut butters, lean animal protein, vegetable protein like miso soup or tempeh, and fermented dairy like yogurt, kefir, and hard cheeses. If you want to eat a soft cheese like mozzarella, just make sure it’s pasteurized, or heat it up before eating. Eating Frequency: small amounts and often. Magnesium Rich Foods: dark leafy greens, and pumpkin seeds. Vitamin D: sunshine, 15-20 minutes daily. Alkaline Rich Foods: blueberries, lemon, clementines, bananas, most dark green leafy vegetables, almonds and Brazil nuts. An alkaline environment in your gut, allows you to better absorb the nutrients from the foods that you are eating. Food still not sounding pleasant? There are delicious herbal tea options that are both alkalizing and hydrating. Try mint, rose hip, lemon verbena, lemon, raspberry leaf, and nettle teas.

 

No, I’m not moody, stop asking me that.

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Eating infrequently can lead to low blood sugar, and low blood sugar can lead to moodiness. It’s not your fault that your mood is sky high only to come crashing down. There’s a lot going on inside of you, and inconsistent eating is not the only culprit to your less than perfect mood. However, there are certain foods that can improve your mood. Foods that contain the essential fats, Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), ‎Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and Docosohexaenoic Acid (DHA) are all great candidates. EPA and DHA are converted from ALA, however, a potent source of DHA is found in cold water fish. DHA has known associations with decreasing the risk of depression. Not into fish? No problem, there are plant based sources of Omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) that will eventually convert into DHA. Try foods like flaxseed and flax meal, walnuts, almonds, algal oil, chia seeds, and cruciferous vegetables. A little known fun fact? Blue foods help fight the blues! Try blueberries, eggplant, purple/black grapes, plums, dates, raisins, huckleberries, purple cabbage, purple carrots, and purple broccoflower to help ward off the unwelcomed grumps. Think complex carbohydrates with lots of phytonutrient colors, like red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple, and white/tan. Oh, and did I say protein? Adequate protein intake is required to help you make neurotransmitters that make you feel good.

 

Naps aren’t just for cats.

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Nausea and moodiness can make us all tired, but I promise you that you are tired for a different reason. Jealous of your cat? Cat naps are a small life saver for any pregnant first trimester mom, heck, for any mom! We fully support and encourage small naps throughout the day, or at least one larger nap. Simply resting your eyes if naps are not an option will also be rejuvenating. Stop feeling guilty for taking space for yourself. Besides, you have the best excuse ever, and here is it: “I’m taking a nap today because I am growing one of the four chambers of our baby’s heart, oh, and did I mention I will grow all of our baby’s organs in the first 10 weeks of this pregnancy? Thanks for pulling down the shades, Honey!”

So, all in all is the 1st trimester perfectly glamorous? No. But it is going perfectly? Yes. Even if you follow the GrowBaby way of eating for the first trimester, you may still feel like the 1st trimester couldn’t end soon enough. You are laying the foundation, Mama. Sit back, put your feet up, grab a cup of herbal tea, and some healthy snacks, and know your body is doing exactly what it was made to do.

Have a happy and healthy day,

Emily

GrowBaby Health