Eating during the First Trimester

Let’s be HONEST about eating during the first trimester. This blog post is 100% based on my own personal experience, and hell, it is different for EVERYONE during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Prior to being pregnant, I practiced eating intuitively, meaning that I listened to my body and ate whatever I felt it needed. Most of the time that included lots of fruits, veggies, grains and a lot of homemade meals (and dark chocolate of course). The first 4-5 weeks of pregnancy I was able to stick with my normal routine. I was eating real food and whole meals, and I felt pretty damn good. Then I hit week 6 and EVERYTHING completely changed. The nausea, food aversions and sensitivities to smells came rolling in fast. I didn’t struggle with nausea in the morning, it would hit me in the late afternoon and evening.

I have a sensitive stomach in general, therefore I was already mindful of the food I ate prior to being pregnant. But this was a whole different ball game. It wasn’t just the usual upset stomach that I was used to dealing with, it was the hey, you could throw up at any moment if you smell this or eat that sort of upset stomach. Also, let me preface this by saying that throwing up is my LEAST favorite sickness - I cry every single time. So learning to manage it was a bit tricky for me. Snacks (MANY times a day) became my go-to, while the idea of full meals went out the window. Other things that went out the window - eating healthy, real food everyday, I basically had NO desire to eat fruits and veggies. This was a shock to the system for me. Having food aversions to the things I used to eat every single day - like avocado, dark chocolate, salads, etc. was bizarre and frustrating. I had to learn to navigate what my stomach could and couldn’t handle. Plus I wanted to avoid additional nausea (or any) at all costs, BUT that wasn’t as realistic as I’d hoped.

My new eating routine consisted of ALL THE CARBS, which was definitely an adjustment for me. Grilled Cheese - sign me up! Pasta - sure! Bread - absolutely! Mac and cheese - hell, let’s have it a couple nights a week! I felt like the eating habits I had when I was a child were coming back. I also wanted things like applesauce, chicken noodle soup, chicken fingers, yogurt, cheese and potato chips. (Yes, I used to be a picky eater and was VERY particular about what I ate for a LONG time). Oh and cue the cravings for junk food - sour gummy worms, sour patch kids, sweet-tarts, fudgesicles, cinnamon rolls, etc. The cravings would hit me at random times, a lot of the time it happened at night. The one thing that I did notice was that eating sour thing helped with the nausea, which was surprising to me.

I have a background in holistic health and nutrition coaching, so last Spring I began researching and studying nutrition during pregnancy. I read numerous books, taking detailed notes on each one and created an outline of a nutrition regimen I planned to follow once I became pregnant. For the first five weeks I was actually able to stick with it and I felt awesome. Then week six came around and it wasn’t possible because I simply didn’t want the food of the week and didn’t want to eat something that could make me feel nauseous when I already did. Was this ideal for me and what I had planned? Absolutely not, but when you’re pregnant, you learn to go with the flow.

So I’m here to remind you babes that even when you make plans, life can always come around, smack you in the face and change them. That’s just how it goes. Learn to go with the flow, embrace the craziness, the chaos, the frustrations, and the ups and downs. Especially you mamas out there - pregnancy changes things whether you’re ready for it or not. Do what works for YOU. At the end of the day, if you’re doing your best that’s all that matters. Being pregnant has brought things into a whole new light for me. My body is not my own anymore, there’s a little babe growing inside of it that I need to take care of. And if that means I end up eating grilled cheese for dinner every night for a week so I don’t feel nauseous, you bet your ass I’m going to do it.

The Benefits of Yoga during Pregnancy

I wanted to chat with you guys about yoga and how amazing it is for your mind and body in general, let alone while you’re pregnant. I started practicing yoga in high school and did it pretty consistently until college. During college I had convinced myself I was “too busy” and didn’t have time, when in reality I simply wasn’t making it a priority. I picked it back up again about four years ago when my sweet husband bought me a package at a local yoga studio. Since then, yoga has seriously kept me sane. It’s my “me time”, an hour where I focus on breathing, moving my body and relaxing my non-stop mind.

This fall, my sciatic nerve started acting up and was SUPER painful, so I stopped going to class like I normally do because I was afraid of injuring myself more. I thought taking a break from from working out and yoga would help it feel better, turns out it did the opposite - it made it worse. Sooo I started going back to yoga (and getting acupuncture done) and BOOM, it started getting better. I was bummed when I had to stop going to hot yoga classes due to this little babe growing inside of me. BUT I’ve learned that yoga is not just about sweating or getting a good workout. It’s about making time for myself and the journey of learning all about this changing body of mine. Let’s dive into why you should consider adding yoga to your routine!

Benefits

  • helps de-stress the body and mind by allowing you to focus on your breathing (which is even more important during pregnancy because baby can feel everything the birthing person experiences)

  • focuses on strengthening the pelvic floor which is important before, during and after pregnancy (it can be weakened by pregnancy and childbirth)

  • the modified poses increase strength, flexibility, balance and endurance (which will help during pregnancy and labor!)

  • helps you become more in touch with your body (and baby!) by focusing on the breathing, thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations that you may feel during your practice

  • prenatal yoga is specifically designed to help you work through the changes your body is experiencing during pregnancy

  • it is a great form of self-care, time just for you

  • decreases lower back pain and improves sleep

  • provides you with breathing techniques that can help you work through contractions or pushing during labor

  • is a safe and gentle exercise option during pregnancy

  • offers gentle stretching to multiple areas of your body

  • studies have found that expectant people who practiced yoga consistently during their pregnancy were more likely to have a healthy baby

  • provides you with a sense of community by allowing you to meet and connect with other people

Keep In Mind

  • always talk to your healthcare provider before attending prenatal yoga to ensure that it is safe for YOU to practice yoga while pregnant. Everyone’s bodies are different.

  • make sure your yoga teacher is certified in prenatal yoga

  • Hot yoga is not recommended during pregnancy, as you don’t want to raise your internal body temperature (it can negatively impact the baby)

  • prenatal yoga and restorative yoga are your best options during pregnancy

  • as always, make sure to LISTEN to your body and how it feels - don’t push yourself too hard. Simply do whatever feels best for you

  • any poses that require you to lie flat on your back or stomach or require a lot of stretching aren’t recommended during pregnancy (there are always modifications you can do instead!)

  • use blocks and props to assist with poses