First Trimester Recap | Healthy Pregnancy Tips

Healthy Pregnancy Tips For The First Trimester, what to expect, and my best tips! Sharing my experience and best tips with morning sickness, emotions, food aversions, sleep, bloating and natural remedies that have helped. 

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As I am writing this I am 14 weeks pregnant, and the baby is the size of a peach! I’m now officially in my second trimester (stay tuned for a second trimester update coming soon) and things are changing every day! But I want to share the real truth about what this journey has been like for me, as well as some useful tips to help you through your first trimester. 

I found out I was pregnant on March 2, 2020 – just 9 days before the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic. Being Pregnant for the first time during a worldwide pandemic has been an interesting time, to say the least. There are a lot of uncertainties in the world right now, and I’m sure that if you are reading this you have felt stress and uncertainty from current events as well. 

To be honest, I was hesitant to share this post and video. But I also don’t want to sugar coat my experience during the first few months of being pregnant. And most importantly, I don’t think anyone should feel ashamed or alone with their feelings. Which is why I want to share my experience, in the hopes of helping someone else and just letting you know that you are not alone. If you are in the same boat as me, I hope that this post and video is helpful to you!

The First Few Weeks

I found out that I was pregnant at 5 weeks along, when I was late for my period. Even though we were trying to conceive, I didn’t expect it! I was feeling cramps for the whole week leading up to missing my period, so I honestly thought that I was just in for another painful period. Once I realized that I was late, I started to suspect something was up so I decided to take a test. You can see my full reaction to finding out I’m pregnant in this vlog! As it turned out, I was feeling implantation cramping – not regular period cramps. This was the first “symptom” that I experienced. I was so overjoyed when I found out the news -definitely shed a few tears, and again you can see my real & raw emotional reaction in this vlog.

Nausea and Morning Sickness

My “morning sickness” aka “all day sickness” started at week 6. Almost overnight, I went from feeling great, to not so great. It was a lingering motion sickness feeling that felt a lot like being hungover all day every day. I didn’t feel good if I ate, and I didn’t feel good if I didn’t eat. This lasted from weeks 6 – 12. For the first few weeks of nausea, I was having a really hard time eating anything at all. Nothing sounded appetizing, and I just wasn’t hungry. Once I realized that eating small amounts seemed to help curb the nausea, I tried to eat more frequently. Broth, crackers, cheese, and easy to digest foods were all that I could stomach! Food is the last thing on your mind when you’re not feeling well, so it’s no wonder that it was hard to eat.

What  helped with nausea 

  • Eating, even if I didn’t feel like it. Small snacks throughout the day
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Sniffing peppermint essential oil
  • Raw ginger, sliced with hot water

Emotional Support

As I mentioned, being pregnant for the first time during a pandemic (and right at the start of the pandemic when things were really unsettling) was very hard. As someone who has struggled with anxiety over the years, I am no stranger to feeling big emotions! This was on a whole other level though, because I couldn’t tell if it was the stress of the pandemic, my pregnancy hormones, or everything combined – that was making me feel so anxious and depressed. Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy and blessed to be pregnant, but I don’t want to sugar coat it. In the first few weeks, I did not feel myself and I had to take a step back from everything. 

What helped with emotional support

  • Essential oils have been extremely helpful! Lavender, peace and calming, and valor in particular. For me essential oils have been a safe and natural way to support my body and reduce stress during pregnancy, as well as help with so many other symptoms! Lavender and peace & calming can be used topically or inhaled, and act as a nervine and calmative, which enhances relaxation.
  • Talking with close family, friends, and hypnotherapist
  • Continuing with my daily meditation (I do 30 min of self hypnosis everyday) 
  • Chamomile lavender tea (only 1-2 cups a day)

Food Aversions

During my first trimester, I quickly realized that certain foods were not for me anymore! Anything with a strong, pungent smell and flavour was a no-go. Especially eggs, salmon, pickles, olives, sour foods, garlic and onion, and acidic foods like tomato sauce. No thanks! I can’t even think about salmon. I couldn’t stomach a green smoothie during the first few weeks either!

Foods I’m Loving

Some foods that sit really well, and have been great nutrient-dense snacks are:

  • Dairy
  • Cheese (cream cheese and gouda)
  • Mama HealthNut’s chicken and rice or veggie soups
  • Citrus (Grapefruit, oranges, clementines)
  • Watermelon
  • Mango
  • Fresh guacamole (sans the garlic and onion)
  • Simple pasta with just butter and parmesan or sautéed rapini and mushrooms

Sleep Routine

My sleep routine started to change around week 10. I started to get really hungry when I woke up in the night around 1 or 2 in the morning! My solution: a little HealthNut picnic in bed with cheese, yogurt (cherry, or mango flavour), crackers… now I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! 

I also have experienced some insomnia, especially in the beginning weeks when I was feeling stressed and anxious! I have found that using Tranquil (a roller bottle essential oil blend for sleep) has helped so much! This blend contains calming essential oils such as lavender, cedarwood and roman chamomile. I ran out of it for a while and I was having such bad insomnia, so it is a staple in my night time routine now. 

Bloating and Indigestion

When you are pregnant, it takes longer to digest food because your body is slowing down digestion to soak up and use as many nutrients as possible! With a growing baby, this can cause a lot of uncomfortable bloating – making it hard to eat large portions. 

Tips for dealing with bloating:  

  • Eat in small potions, regularly throughout the day
  • Digize essential oil has helped so much to relieve that tight bloating feeling. This is a natural way to get some relief and feel better without any toxins! Just roll in a clockwise motion on your stomach. 
  • Ginger and peppermint tea
  • Yoga stretching and walking

Hormones and Mental Health

As I mentioned, I experienced a lot of fear and anxiety at the start of my pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones definitely triggered some old feelings of fear and anxiety, and I felt very sad and depressed for a few weeks. The hard thing with anxiety is that you feel very distant and alone.  Which was especially hard with the pandemic, and not being able to see friends and family during March, April and into May. I took a step back from work, and was totally out of my routine. Pregnancy hormones made me irrational, emotional, and I was not thinking straight. I even felt very scared about being pregnant. 

Things That Helped: 

  • Talking to my Hypnotherapist 
  • Confiding to friends and family about how I was feeling
  • Going for long walks with my pup, Cashew
  • Gentle exercise! Walking was a way to move my body in a low impact way. This movement also helped to release energy from resting all day, and helped with my insomnia. Read this Instagram post for my full experience with exercise during pregnancy.
  • Pick up a hobby! I started reading the Harry Potter series!
  • Ask For Help. I can’t stress this enough that if you’re not feeling well talk to your doctor, a Therapist or people around you for support. 

It Gets Better 

If you are early on in your pregnancy and feeling ALL the feels, just like I did… I want to tell you that it gets better. You will feel better, you will get through this, and the symptoms will subside.  It took me a while to accept that I was pregnant, and I think it is normal to be scared if it’s your first pregnancy. Fear of the unknown is a normal, human thing. I was afraid of my body changing, and the anticipated discomfort of my belly growing larger and just all of the thoughts that race through your head about starting a family and being responsible for a human being. 

I started switching my mindset and instead chose to stop fighting what was out of my control and remind myself that it is a gift and that I am grateful for this experience! Have a positive mindset – accepting the reality will help to develop a healthy relationship in your mind and body. And of course, enjoy the process. It goes by surprisingly fast! And the silver lining is, at the end you get a baby! I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and that this baby came at the exact right timing. Already, I have learned so much about myself and I feel so much stronger just knowing that I was able to overcome the challenging weeks at the beginning. 

Doctor Appointment & Ultrasound 

We had our first doctor’s appointment over the phone, because of the pandemic there was no in person visits at the time. But I was able to do my blood work and ultrasound a few weeks later ( Mr. Matt wasn’t allowed in but he was able to FaceTime from the waiting room). Seeing the baby for the first time and hearing the heartbeat was amazing, and just made everything worthwhile. Baby is healthy and doing well, and my due date is November 3rd, 2020! We have a baby Scorpio on the way! Wish us luck… Haha just kidding 😉

Vitamins & Supplements 

Incase you are wondering what I have been taking for prenatal vitamins and other supplements, here is my full list! I have been taking the NFH Prenatal SAP for a few years already, in preparation for conceiving. My naturopath suggested these prenatal vitamins, and if the NFH one is not available, I do take this Thorne Basic Prenatal. Keep in mind that everyone’s body is unique, and it is always best to speak with your Naturopath or Doctor to find out what supplements will work best for you & your baby!

I am so excited to continue to share my journey being pregnant with you #healthnuts! Hopefully you enjoyed these Healthy Pregnancy Tips For The First Trimester, and find them useful! I am sharing frequent bump updates over on instagram @healthnutnutrition so be sure to follow along for all the pregnancy content and belly dancing!

Also, I would love to know if you’re currently pregnant, or have been pregnant – and one thing that really helped you out throughout your pregnancy! Let me know in the comments!

Your guide to the first trimester of pregnancy, what to expect, and my best tips! Sharing my experience and best tips with morning sickness, emotions, food aversions, sleep, bloating and natural remedies that have helped. 

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    5 comments
  1. This was SO helpful, thank you! I was really struggling anxiety-wise my first few weeks and feeling so guilty about those thoughts/fears. Just knowing someone else experienced this made me feel so much better.

  2. Thank you for your advice. I actually have a pregnancy journey very similar to yours. I just found out I’m pregnant and my due date is early November!

  3. Hi Nikole, I enjoyed reading your pregnancy journey. Bloating and indigestion is a common problem between many ladies because it takes longer to digest food because your body is slowing down digestion. Thanks for the tips to get rid of this, I will share your blog with my sister. Keep writing!

  4. I’m currently in my first trimester and can’t get enough strawberries right now!
    Your cookbook was already one of my favorites, but it’s been adding some great flavors for my constantly changing tastebuds!

    • Aww, so glad to hear Mama! Enjoy and hope you continue to enjoy lots of healthy recipes from the cookbook throughout your pregnancy!