Healthy Pregnancy: First Trimester

Education.

Sam and I are expecting the newest member of the Wiley family this summer. We are expecting to welcome our second child and our daughter is expecting to be a big sister. I can thank my daughter for pushing me to a healthier lifestyle over the last three years. We’ve made many small changes to our diet that have resulted in a rather large change when added together. I feel like this pregnancy I’m eating, exercising, and sleeping better. It important for both mother and baby to have a healthy pregnancy.

The first trimester can be really tough with morning sickness, weird food aversions, and exhaustion. I like to think of needing to double up on all the healthy habits while pregnant to make sure I am getting enough nutrients, exercise, and sleep.

Healthy Eating

  • Morning (or all day) sickness can really disrupt all those healthy eating habits. I don’t have much personal experience with this and not all women get morning sickness. My friends that did have it all said the best way to combat constant nausea was eating plain crackers or almonds first thing in the morning before getting out of bed and never letting their stomachs go empty.
  • Eat your colors! You need even more nutrients to grow a baby. You know a balanced diet with 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables is going to get you more nutrients, but really who shops and cooks in servings? I much prefer to eat my colors everyday rather than counting vegetable and fruit servings. I go through the produce section and buy greens, reds, yellows, oranges, and blues. You’ll quickly add all sorts of wonderful new and super healthy (i.e. superfoods) to your diet.
  • More protein! I thought you only got hungry all the time in the third trimester when the baby took up so much room, but I feel hungry all time, well, all the time. Including protein in every meal and snacks will help you feel fuller, longer. I really like eggs for breakfast, on salads, and as snacks. I can hard-boil a bunch for the week to take to work.
  • More fish (you knew I was going to say that)! You may be concerned with eating fish while pregnant because of cautions over mercury contamination. Fortunately, there are plenty of low mercury fish options like wild Alaskan salmon and pollock, Pacific cod, and wild hake. Fish is a great source of healthy protein and omega-3s that shouldn’t be missed during pregnancy.

Sleeping

  • Take naps and go to bed early. Pregnancy really knocks all the energy out of me and this time around I have a toddler to chase after, too. The first trimester seem to be the worst for tiredness. Your body is working really hard to make another person and you need the rest. So, take that afternoon nap and go to bed early. You earned it! 

Exercising

  • You should still be exercising even when pregnant. Exercise can be hard to fit into the day between your normal work and home activities and that afternoon and early bedtime. But, it can really help keep your energy level up throughout the day. I fit in exercise at lunch and after dinner. Even 20-30 minutes a day is worth the benefits.

Supplements

  • Fish oil! Unless you plan to eat a couple cans of salmon everyday, you should be taking your fish oil. I am really excited about the new Prenatal DHA product launching this spring! The Prenatal DHA will get you 600mg of DHA per serving, which is a dose that many experts are now recommending to provide enough DHA for both Mom & Baby. In the meantime, I am taking four Minis to get 540mg of DHA a day. 
  • Prenatal multivitamin. I think I tried about every multivitamin out there with my first pregnancy and they all turned my stomach except for the whole food multivitamins.
  • Supplements can be hard to keep down right now (along with everything else). Take the supplements with food and don’t sweat it if some days you just can’t stomach them.

This is a really exciting time in your life and it is important to stay healthy for yourself and your baby. It’s much easier to enjoy all the little baby kicks and hiccups when you are feeling your best. Start making healthy living changes now for yourself and your baby.

Additional Resources:

DHA EPA Omega-3 Institute article on Pregnancy

Alaska Seafood article on Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies

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