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I'm Mara — I help creatives create and launch digital courses and profitable products. I love chatting about online marketing, design and goal setting!

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My First Trimester Must Haves and Favorites – Vitamins, Maternity Clothes, Workouts and More!

Image says First Trimester Must Haves across the top and then shows prenatal vitamins, the book "The Montessori Baby", Calm Magnesium, a pair of orange shorts, Preggie Pop Drops and a box of Kodiak Oatmeal

Oh my gosh you’re pregnant or at least exploring some snazzy new products to help make pregnancy as smooth as possible. The first trimester is such a weird and exciting time. You’re getting used to the idea of bringing a baby into the world while also battling exhaustion, sickness, weird skin issues and so much more. 

This is a list of my tried and true first trimester must haves – these are the things I absolutely loved that made my first trimester as easy as possible.

First Trimester Must Haves: Prenatal Supplements and Vitamins

Garden of Life Multi Prenatal +DHA

I started taking a prenatal vitamin before getting pregnant since it’s recommended to start one prior to conception. I quickly learned that while a lot of research will tell you that the vitamins that you have to take 2-3 a day are possibly better for absorption into your body, that was completely unrealistic for me. The more pills I have to take each day, the more likely I am to forget, which is why I have loved the Garden of Life Multi Prenatal + DHA. This one includes DHA too which means you don’t have to take a separate supplement for DHA. 

I also tried and loved Ritual’s Prenatal Vitamin, but long-term Garden of Life was more affordable and I like that I can just pick it up on a shopping trip to Walmart or Target. 

Natural Vitality Calm, Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium is a game changer while you’re pregnant – I highly recommend double-checking with your doctor that it’s safe to take and then adding it into your daily routine. Magnesium can help with a whole bunch of issues – like sleep troubles, muscle cramping and constipation (TMI- I know, but it’s a big thing during pregnancy). I noticed a big difference in how my body felt on days when I took magnesium vs. days I skipped it.

I like that this brand is drinkable and comes in a bunch of different flavors. I also have the Calm Magenisum gummies which I’ll take sometimes too if I’m not feeling like the drinkable version. 

Other Supplements:

I didn’t take a ton of other supplements during my first trimester. A lot of doctors will recommend Iron or Vitamin D, but at my early blood tests my levels of both of those were fine so I didn’t start adding them into my diet until late in the second trimester.

First Trimester Sickness

Like most other women morning sickness was one of my biggest symptoms during the first trimester. I didn’t end up getting it until close to the end of the first trimester and early into the second trimester, but the weeks I had it were rough. I got the fun new experience of throwing up in public multiple times and throwing up next to a stranger on an airplane. 

Weirdly drinking any sort of water was my biggest trigger and for awhile I had to get creative and drink things like Capri Sun and Gatorade. The Preggie Pop Drops helped a lot and at least made me feel better to have some in my purse at all times in case I started to feel sick. 

I also HIGHLY recommend carrying around a couple of plastic bags with you at all times and a packet of gum for the inevitable experience of needing to throw up in a place that isn’t close to a bathroom. 

First Trimester Exhaustion

Friends have told me for years that there is nothing like first-trimester exhaustion and they’re right! One of my best friends told me she knew I was pregnant because I kept talking about napping which is very out of the ordinary for me.

There doesn’t seem to be much that you can do to fix just how tired you are all the time in the first trimester, but I did find adding a short nap during the day to be really helpful and going to bed earlier.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that it’s ok to be tired because the exhaustion does go away. Second trimester energy was like nothing else I have ever experienced (in a good way!) So it’s ok to take those extra naps and lay on the couch. You’ll have time to make up getting things done in the second trimester.

Battling the First Trimester “I’m ALWAYS hungry” phenomenon

During the first trimester of my pregnancy, I was constantly hungry and if I didn’t eat every couple of hours I felt super sick. Increasing my protein intake and eating protein-rich foods like Kodiak oatmeal and protein bars helped a lot.

I also highly recommend becoming the person that brings snacks everywhere. Stash them in your purse and car. It’s so helpful to have a snack at the ready when you start feeling sick.

You can read more about my pregnancy cravings here!

First Trimester Must Haves: Maternity Clothes

Clothing during the first trimester seems to hugely vary for everyone. Some people start wearing maternity clothes early on and others don’t need anything different until the third trimester. I was in the second category where my body didn’t change much during the first trimester. 

I did find anything that was extra comfy super helpful. I loved these linen shorts from Old Navy that are extra stretchy. I wore them all throughout the first trimester and I’m still wearing them in the third! These pajama shorts from Target were also amazing and have gotten a lot of use throughout my entire pregnancy.

Compression Socks:

I want to give a special shout-out to compression socks! These socks were by far one of my best purchases during the first trimester. I bought them early on for a couple of airplane trips where I knew I would be sitting for long periods of time and I’ve used them nearly every single day of my pregnancy. They’ve helped a lot with blood flow and all of the weird swelling you experience while pregnant. 

First Trimester Workouts

In full transparency working out during the first trimester was HARD. You feel so tired and sick all of the time. Instead of doing structured workouts, I focused on walking often and a bit of prenatal yoga when I could. I loved Pregnancy and Postpartum TV’s yoga and workout videos. I wasn’t very consistent at working out in the first trimester but was able to pick it back up during the 2nd and 3rd.

Favorite Pregnancy Books

I love reading and so I’ve been absorbing all of the pregnancy books to help me feel more prepared. Here are a few of my favorites: 

The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth – This is one of the few pregnancy books that I actually bought over just checking out at the library. I’ve found the Mama Natural Youtube channel super helpful over the years as I started to think about having kids. I love that this book breaks things down weekly. It’s super easy to read a chapter a week and great for my husband to read too.

Babies Are Not Pizzas: They’re Born, Not Delivered! – This one focuses more on the author’s story of pregnancy and birth, but it still gave me a lot of great things to think about. I also highly recommend The Evidence Based Birth Podcast which is hosted by the same author as the book!

The Birth Partner – I technically wasn’t supposed to read this one as it’s for the person who will be attending the birth with you, but I still loved this one! It gave me a bunch of great ideas for things to talk about with my husband on how I might react to pain and how he could help. 

The Montessori Baby – This one isn’t pregnancy specific but focused on newborns. When you’re pregnant it’s really fun to read books about ACTUAL babies to get excited! The Montessori method gave me a bunch of new ideas on navigating the first few months and I love how easy this was to read. 

Things I would have done differently

I’m currently in my third trimester and looking back there are a handful of things I would have done different in those first few months of pregnancy.

1. Start figuring out maternity leave sooner and mapping out all of the tasks that need to be done 

Since I run my own business, planning a maternity leave and taking a break from client work involves a ton of extra planning. I did start planning early, but if I did things over again I would have started even earlier because this part was the most time-consuming for me and the farther you get alone in your pregnancy the more things take away your time like doctor’s appointments, birth prep classes, etc… 

2. Start taking a Hypnobirthing class earlier

If you’ve never heard of Hypnobirthing it’s not as weird as it sounds! It’s just a class focused on helping you relax during labor. I’ve found the one I’m taking super helpful and if I did things over again I would start earlier so I had more time to work through the class and implement the strategies. 

3. Worry less about exhaustion

I felt guilty during the first trimester for feeling sooo tired and I had a lot of worries that it meant my entire pregnancy was going to feel that way. In reality, most of my energy came back after the first trimester and taking a break to nap during the day or going to bed earlier didn’t have a negative impact on my business.

Things I did right

1. Planning a Babymoon trip

Third trimester Mara was sooooooo happy we planned a weekend away to relax, rest and recharge. I almost didn’t plan anything but having that dedicated time to be excited about becoming parents, talk about names and just have fun was wonderful. You really do not need to do anything fancy either – we went to a local resort for a couple of days and it was perfect! 

2. Reading and learning a lot so I didn’t feel overwhelmed later on

I tried to front-load my pregnancy with books and podcasts to learn more about pregnancy and delivery, which for me worked out really well! I had a lot more time for reading in the first trimester and it made me feel more prepared and relaxed throughout the rest of my pregnancy.

3. Creating our baby registry 

We ended up working on ours super early and I’m so glad we did because deciding what you need for your baby is a HUGE task and people are super opinionated. It takes a bunch of time to research and organize all of the products you want. Also it’s really nice to have an exact list of what you want in case you see a sale or someone asks what you want.

That’s a wrap! I hope these products are helpful in your own pregnancy! Have questions? Comment below or send me an Instagram message! If you want to see all of my pregnancy and motherhood content click here.

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