First Trimester Pregnancy Recap & Must Haves

I am so happy & relieved to be past the first trimester of my first pregnancy!  It was a physical, mental, and emotional rollercoaster- but I made it to the other side, and our baby is healthy.  That's all I can ask for!  We have our anatomy scan in July & will find out the gender- I cannot wait!

Now seemed like the best time to take a pause and reflect on the first trimester.  I'm 16 weeks as of today (and as of these pictures!), but this post will be all about weeks 1-12.  I used your questions to format this post- so I hope you find it helpful or at least interesting!  I'm so happy to have you all along for this journey with us.

You all know I'm far from an expert on this topic, but I'm learning as I go and happy to share what I've done & what I've experienced so far!  Pregnancy is so personal to every individual woman, and no two pregnancies are the same.  Keep that in mind, and take my two cents for just that- my opinion.

(a sort of timeline!)

  • Years prior to trying for our first baby, I stopped hormonal birth control pills.  This was for many personal reasons, some of which include how they might later impact our baby, and also how they might affect our ability to conceive.
  • I focused on getting my diet under control and defining my own Food Freedom through several rounds of Whole30 and figuring out what worked best for me (generally a Paleo diet with some grass-fed dairy sprinkled in & the occasional grains, plus maybe a glass of wine or two).  I focused on regular light to moderate exercise.
  • 6 months prior to trying, I began taking prenatal supplements while maintaining my previous supplement routine for my best health support.  You can see that full routine in my blog post HERE.
  • My husband takes supplements regularly as well and also eats a Paleo diet.  I can do a post in the future on his supplement routine if that's something you or your significant other would be interested in!  Let me know!
  • As our wedding day approached (when I knew we would start trying), I decreased the intensity of my workouts and bumped up nutrient dense foods and healthy fats in my diet.
  • When we were actively trying, I eliminated all alcohol (yup- even on our honeymoon!) and focused on Paleo-based nutrition and regular, gentle exercise.  
  • We were lucky enough to get pregnant on our first try, the week after our wedding in March!  Of course I would never claim that all of these things are the reason, but I know none of them hurt, and if anything- helped!  It also just made me feel more "in control" of my body and a very emotional situation, knowing I was doing everything I could.


I was one of those people who "just knew" I was pregnant, within days.  I took a pregnancy test on the earliest day I could get a positive, and I did!  My symptoms in the first weeks were primarily nausea, sore boobs, major fatigue, and breakouts all over my back.  Fun stuff, right!?  Ha- but really, with all of this added up, I knew I had to be pregnant!

The nausea, appetite issues, food aversions, and fatigue are what persisted throughout the rest of the first trimester for me.  I spent my days doing the best I could with a mix of products, foods, and whatever knowledge I could get my hands on to battle through as best as I could!


I take several supplements daily, always at night in case they upset my stomach.  I have noticed longer, stronger nails & hair while taking these, and just an overall boost in my energy levels- even despite the pregnancy symptoms!  I really believe that your supplements are SO important!  I went for raw food based for most of my supplements, which is what I prefer.  Here's what I've been using!

(click the name to go to the product)

  • Raw Prenatal Multivitamin  (a raw, whole food vitamin with Vitamin D, ginger, probiotics, and zinc- so much good stuff in these capsules for mama AND for baby!)
  • Prenatal DHA  (fish oil for brain & vision development in baby, and mood support for mom)
  • Grass Fed Beef Liver  (for Vitamin A, B12, and folate)
  • Raw Iron  (so great for energy levels, headache/migraine prevention, and overall reproductive health;  I go back & forth between these capsules and the liquid iron I've mentioned before)
  • Raw Probiotic  (for digestion & immune support, for now and to pass on to baby!)
  • Calcium  (for building strong bones in baby, and keeping mom healthy too!  This was important for me in the first trimester since I don't eat much dairy (at all) and wasn't getting in all of the leafy greens & veggies I should!)

When it comes to diet, mine wasn't perfect.  But I did the best I could!

In the rare moments I wasn't feeling sick, I ate as healthy as I could with lots of micronutrients (vegetables, greens, sweet potatoes, etc) and plenty of protein and healthy fats.  I stuck to Paleo and always tried to get in a large breakfast, even if it took me a couple of hours to warm up to it.

When I was feeling too nauseous to function, and just the thought of eating made me want to puke (even though I was hungry), I "did what I could".

Some days that meant a paper plate of Simple Mills crackers or a cup of bone broth.  Other days it was gluten free pizza.

I'm not thrilled about the number of gluten free pizza or "find something from takeout" days, but I did my best each day, one day at a time- knowing it all would pass.  And eventually it did!

Other go-to foods when I couldn't stomach meat (one of my biggest aversions- especially chicken) or many other things:

Some foods (and drinks) I intentionally cut out once becoming pregnant:
  • caffeine:  I cut out all coffee cold turkey for the first trimester, and swapped it for lemon water or caffeine free, organic teas.  This was way easier than it may sound, because it really didn't even sound good!  I guess my body knew it wasn't something I needed.
  • kombucha:  due to the alcohol content, I sourced my probiotics from foods & supplements instead.  I'll add this back into my diet later in small quantities!
  • raw fish:  this is an obvious one that you hear about, but was actually a little bit tough for me!  I LOVE poke bowls and sushi as a weekly indulgence.  But I found fully cooked alternatives and will just look forward to it come December!
  • fasting:  I stopped my intermittent fasting routine and have focused on smaller, more regular meals to keep my energy level up and to avoid feeling nauseous or dizzy.  I didn't really have to think about this one- my body let me know that I needed to eat.  Now I'm following more of an intuitive eating pattern, and only fast on the mornings when it "just feels right"- and not for long periods of time like I used to.


From a bloated tummy, to a growing chest, to the beginnings of a baby bump, my body definitely changed in the first trimester!  I started out with sticking to my normal clothes, but choosing the best fits that still worked with my changing body- and by the end of the first trimester, began transitioning to a few maternity pieces!  Here's what worked for me:

  • Zella leggings are my favorite all the time- for every day wear, for workouts, even for work with a nice top that's a little longer!  I'm still able to make these work because of their forgiving, flattering fit.  
  • By the end of the first trimester, I purchased my first pair of Blanqi maternity leggings- and I am obsessed!  They are so comfortable, and I love how they give support in the right places while still having a flexible, ultra-stretchy fit over the belly.  I can see these fitting throughout my pregnancy!
  • My Express jeggings were my saving grace for "jean days" in the beginning.  They're nice enough to wear for work, but also stretchy enough that they didn't constrict my tummy, even in my regular size.
  • Once my belly grew beyond the button/zip situation, I switched to a couple of pairs of Target maternity jeans from their Ingrid & Isabel brand.  They are seriously just as comfy as my leggings!
  • Bralettes have replaced all of my underwire bras- but to be honest, I wore them a ton before pregnancy too!  I use these little "covers" to avoid a revealing situation.  The cropped camis from Free People are my fav & offer more coverage but less support than the bralettes from Yummie.



Hormones took a toll on my skin almost immediately in the first trimester- primarily in the form of back, upper arm, and chest breakouts!  Perfect timing for summer, right?

Between fighting hormonal acne & preventing stretchmarks, I changed up some things with my body care to keep things under control.  I've also got a few bonus products, for the tub, and for mornings/nights when you're feeling plain awful!

  • Charcoal Cleansing Bar has been a game changer- I use it all over my body, and also on my face a couple of times per week to really clear out my pores.  Just make sure to moisturize after!
  • For stretchmark prevention, a duo of lotion & oil has been best for me.  I use the Countermatch Body Lotion all over, because it sinks in SO well and really nourishes my skin.  I layer the Baby Soothing Oil over top to lock in the moisture and give my skin a hydrated glow.
  • My hands & feet got really dry in the first trimester, so I started keeping my Citrus Mimosa Body Butter in my nightstand drawer to slather on before bed.  It's also great for the belly & hips- and smells amazingly fresh.
  • My Organic Brushing Rinse became my best friend for days when I couldn't quite keep things down, or when a toothbrush was gag-worthy.  I love the ingredients, and use it daily as a mouthwash even when I'm not feeling sick.
  • One Step Face Wipes became a go-to for me at night when removing makeup & doing a quick cleanse.  Nighttime was generally awful for me in terms of nausea, so these made the process quick and easy without stripping my skin or layering on harmful chemicals.
  • Speaking of quick fixes- Dry Shampoo.  Need I say more?  Hair-washing was often a battle I didn't pick.
  • Warm baths were my best friend when nothing else felt good (not too hot- don't worry).  And these Lavender Epsom Salts made me feel even better about taking them.  It soothed any aches, pains, cramps, or anxiety just enough to get me relaxed.


  • My two favorite apps have been Ovia (I used to track my period & fertile window when TTC, and it also switches to "pregnancy mode" which I have loved) and What to Expect (can be overwhelming- but great forums to read through with other women at the same stage as you!)


  • This body pillow from Amazon has helped me get so much more comfortable in bed.  I even love it propped up behind me on the couch while I work on my laptop- like I'm doing right now!  So glad I didn't wait on this.
  • I started to taste EVERYTHING at the beginning of the first trimester, and had to have an extra filter to get out any aftertaste from our already-filtered refrigerator water.  This water filter pitcher has been great & easy to use.
  • doTERRA Peppermint Beadlets were my saving grace at work when I was nauseous- and easy to pop in during meetings or therapy groups when I couldn't run to the bathroom.

I hope this helps you, or is at least interesting for you to read!  To shop the post, click on the product names in the lists above, or scroll through the pictures down below.

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MakingSpace said...

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing this journey with your followers. All the best.

Dani Anderson said...

Congratulations, Jessie! I look forward to using more of your recipes during my pregnancy :)