Mama Mondays: First Trimester Musts

Mama Mondays: First Trimester Musts on
18 weeks!

Hello, Bare Beauties!  I hope you had a great weekend.  As I mentioned in my California Recap, Richard and I are expecting our second child.  I’m 18 weeks along with a little boy, and we are thrilled.  Annabel is so excited to be a big sister; she has named the baby Moses (I don’t think that will really be his name) and already knows his due date.  She wants to talk to him and hug him and tries to hear his heartbeat every morning, which totally makes me tear up!  She is such a sweet soul, and I know she will be (mostly) kind and helpful when he arrives.

It has been three years since I’ve been pregnant, and boy, do I feel three years older – times 10!  To the women who do this at 40, my hat goes off to you.  Last time, I was also still teaching Pilates and working out like a maniac, so I’m also feeling less fit this go-round.  However, I was so nauseous with Annabel, that I could’t take ten steps without lying down or eating a few saltine crackers.  I’ve never wanted to puke so badly.  This time, other than being tired (and what mom isn’t?) I feel great, which I am SO grateful for.

Two of my best friends are pregnant with their first babies, and I’m so flattered that they come to me for advice on the things that most western medicine doctors don’t tell you (all the natural stuff).  I learned so much during my first pregnancy, but I didn’t document it on the blog because, well I was learning.  I was no expert at carrying and birthing and raising a healthy baby, and I’m still not.  However, I can draw from my experience now, and if that somehow benefits some of my readers, that’s great!  The whole point of Bare Beauty is to share and promote healthy options and choices, so I figured I’d write about a few “musts” for the first trimester.

For me, it’s mostly business as usual during the first trimester.  I try to remember that pregnancy is not a medical “condition”; it’s a very natural state for the female body, and the best habits to keep are eating healthfully, getting enough rest, and limiting my exposure to environmental toxins.  I do become more diligent about taking the right supplements, however.  This is what I add in during the first trimester:


prenatal supplements on

A food-based, bioavailable prenatal vitamin is crucial; most prenatal vitamins are full of synthetic garbage.  You especially want to be careful that yours contains Folate (found in whole foods) instead of Folic Acid (the synthetic form usually found in supplements).  Read this article for a more detailed explanation.  I like Designs by Health Prenatal Pro, which I buy from my naturopath, Dr. Sherri Jacobs.

Omega-3 fat and its derivative, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), is so essential to a child’s development that if a mother and infant are deficient in it, the child’s nervous system and immune system may never fully develop, and it can cause a lifetime of unexplained emotional, learning, and immune system disorders.  In addition, omega-3 fats have been found to be highly effective in combating cardiovascular disease and depression. With hormones fluctuating so wildly during this time, many women find themselves dealing with some depression, especially postpartum.  Get a leg up on this make sure you’re body isn’t depleted!  I take Nordic Naturals DHA.

With everyone working and playing indoors so much these days, it is no wonder that almost 80% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient.  Getting an adequate amount of vitamin D can help prevent premature birth, low birth weight, diabetes, high blood pressure, and pre-eclampsia.  It also reduces the risk of infection in both mothers and babies (colds, flu, etc.)  I take 2,000 IU’s of Designs by Health Emulsi-D3 per day.

It’s so important that pregnant women be mindful of their gut health, as it greatly impacts the health of their baby.  Microorganisms in your gastrointestinal tract form a highly intricate, living “fabric” that affects body weight, energy, and nutrition, among other factors.  Just as taking a probiotic strengthens your own immune system, it will help build a strong one for baby, too.  I take Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Factor 6.  It’s pricey, but I was constantly on antibiotics as a young adult, and after taking these for 5 years, I rarely get infections anymore.  I’m sticking with it!

Did you know that about half of all Americans are deficient in Magnesium?  This magical mineral counteracts stress, improves sleep, and keeps things – ahem – regular without the side effects of a laxative (constipation is a common problem among pregnant women.  So is stress.  So is lack of sleep.)  I take Designs by Health Magnesium Chelate, as it is highly-absorbable and doesn’t have any unfavorable gastrointestinal side effects.  (Look for Magnesium Citrate, Chelate, Glycinate or Taurate, as they are the most easily absorbed by the body).

I once read a similar article to this one, and it made me JUMP on the iodine train during my last pregnancy.  I take Standard Process Organically Bound Minerals.

Yum Earth Organic Lollipops:  Huh?!  I know, it’s random, but they are great for nausea.  While I haven’t been sick this time around, I do keep these in my bag in case my blood sugar gets low between meals.

Your doctor and just about every pushy friend and relative will tell you all of the “Pregnancy Don’ts”, (many of which I think are total BS) so I’m going to mostly stay away from that topic.  I would, however, urge you to take a hard look at your cleaning supplies, and please, please switch to fragrance-free everything (unless it’s 100% naturally derived fragrance from essential oils, then fragrance is usually okay).

Did I miss any of your first trimester musts?