Getting Ready for Pregnancy & Tackling The First Trimester
First of all… Surprise! I’m Pregnant! 26 weeks pregnant now, and I thought this was a helpful post to share, since I just went through these parts of the journey in Fall 2021. My husband and I got married in June of 2021 and I decided to quit birth control in August. We knew that we were open to getting pregnant whenever the good Lord blessed us with a baby, so I wanted to be prepared for it to happen any time. To my surprise, we hardly waited (and I know, not everyone is this lucky) but I believe my lifestyle facilitated the process. Well… and other things *wink*
Getting Ready to Become Pregnant
I acquired a book over the summer titled “I’m Pregnant,” and it was a guide book for pre-pregnancy all the way to postpartum. To a degree, this book was overwhelming as it contained so much information including dietary guides. But I felt this was too much. As helpful as it was later on (and I did continue to read it) I felt it was important to highlight the most important takeaways from the book, my personal experience, and friendly advice I received on how to get your body ready to become pregnant, but with NO PRESSURE.
Getting pregnant should be an exciting journey that happens when the time is right. So never put any pressure on yourself to become pregnant. With some self-care and good, frequent sex, it happens. Especially as newlyweds freshly off birth control!
I was on the NuvaRing for years and loved my experience. As someone who struggled with severe PMS, it was a relief to be on. I also enjoyed the minimally invasive method of inserting and removing myself with little to remember except once every 3 weeks. When I decided to take it out for the last time and let my cycle go on its own, we immediately conceived. I wasn’t aware of this then, but apparently since birth control keeps your system so regular, your first month off is the easiest time to pin your cycle and shoot your winner. Again, I can’t emphasize enough how we weren’t actively “trying,”, but I couldn’t believe how fast it happened.
I think another big contributor to my speed in conception was my overall health. Prior to quitting my birth control, I had wellness checkup at my doctor to make sure there was nothing I needed to know about myself before allowing a baby to come along. The doctor tested me for specific vaccinations that are very important and you must have before pregnancy. Secondly, I was very active. I had a healthy gym routine with my husband 2 or 3 days per week that made me feel good! And I was cooking wholesome dinners for us 2-3x per week as well: ie. chicken, vegetables, potatoes… etc. On top of it all, my husband and I live a sober lifestyle, absent of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana for both religious and wellness reasons, which can be harmful to pregnancy or becoming pregnant.
I had heard before that you should begin taking a prenatal vitamin as soon as you are trying to become pregnant. While I’m sure this is true, I was not yet trying. I just wanted to have overall wellness for whenever the day may come, as I was under the impression it could take a few months. Having a well rounded multi-vitamin for women containing folate, the most important vitamin for a fetus, is very helpful in prepping the body for when the time is right. Just having that folate built up into your system aids in conception and early development.
My favorite vitamin that I was taking was SmartyPants Women’s Formula Gummy Vitamins, but after later research about gelatin (which I abstain from for religious purposes) I have found Nature’s Way Alive! Women’s Energy Multivitamin as the most comparable and I will certainly resume after the baby.
Probably the most important thing you can begin once you find out you’re pregnant, is begin those prenatal vitamins. My favorites were OLLY Prenatal Multivitamin Gummies, but again, after gelatin research I had to find an alternative. My favorite is now Nature’s Way Alive! Complete Premium Prenatal Gummy Multivitamins which have all the amazing benefits of OLLY but are gelatin free!
My first heads-up symptom that I was pregnant was my breasts were very tender. Specifically, the nipples. Everything from bras, to showers, to sex was uncomfortable for my boobs. I learned about this nifty trick a little too late for my first trimester discomfort, but found immense relief in my third trimester from Lansinoh’s TheraPearl Breast Therapy Packs. You will find many uses for them throughout your baby-journey but in the beginning, keep them in the freezer and use them in your bra when discomfort strikes, especially in the nipples.
First Trimester Nausea
I was reluctant to realize that nausea is not confined to mornings at all. From week 6 to week 13, pregnancy nausea was not fun. It struck at all hours of the day and the only things I could eat were saltine crackers, grapes, and mac and cheese. Somehow these food were the only ones that curved my hunger but didn’t stir my nausea. I also really enjoyed the thirst quench of orange juice whenever water couldn’t hit the spot. But above all, the trick I discovered to keeping my nausea more mild and manageable, was simply B6. I took a B6 supplement daily, broken in half, taking one half every 12 hours to keep the vitamin releasing in my system. I found this very effective! I used Nature’s Bounty B6 Vitamin.
For Both Parents…
One of the best preparations of a baby that both parents can do, whether its pre-pregnancy, or early pregnancy, is de-stress. Do things together and spend quality time: get a couples massage, go on extra dates, take a vacation. Omar and I took our honeymoon in October 2021 to Paris, France. At the time I had no idea I was already pregnant (I was riding through my 4th week while we were there) but all my symptoms started to appear throughout the trip. I was convinced I needed to take a pregnancy test when I arrived home and behold… I was pregnant.
I hope you found this advice helpful. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments. Wishing you all the best and the happiest and healthiest of outcomes in your relationships with your partners. Not all couples have it easy in their efforts and if the advice here does not help within 6 months to 1 year, I advise you seek professional opinions.
Stay tuned for my post on Pregnancy Hair Changes and Beauty Concerns!