Liezel Fourie
6 February 2020  *  10 min

Totally rock your first trimester

First off CONGRATULATIONS! An amazing thing has happened inside of you and life has been created.  

Perhaps you have been waiting a while for this to happen, or you were expecting it. Perhaps you are just like me who was completely overwhelmed at the thought of being responsible for another life. 

So let's get you started like an absolute PRO of a mom and get you to simply rock your first trimester with a couple of practical tips.  I have been complimented on these, so I am happy to share it with you.

Have you confirmed your pregnancy?

First things first, let's make sure that you are indeed pregnant.  If you suspect you might be pregnant, confirm it.  Think about how your body feels.  Typical indicators include:

- Is your period late?  Like I mean by at least 3-4 days...

- Sensitive breasts

- Feeling VERY tired even though you get enough sleep (this was my trigger)

- Do you perhaps feel warmer than you remember?

- Feeling nauseous. Especially in the mornings, but could be during the day. I recall feeling like that even though I knew I wasn't going to be ill.

- Potentially urinating more frequently

- you might be more peckish than normal

If any one or more makes you think twice, go and do a little test. Go to your local pharmacy and get a pregnancy test. You get simple ones that will indicate if you are pregnant OR you now even get digital ones that estimate how far along you are.

What you choose is a personal preference.  

If your home pregnancy test confirms your pregnancy, next you want to call up your Gynaecologist.  She will most likely want a blood test as they are more accurate. Be sure to ask what blood test to get.  You get 1 that confirms pregnancy and one that confirms how far along are you.  Have your last days of period handy as they will ask this. If you are unsure, be honest about it. Be sure to add the referring Dr Practice number on the Pathology report/invoice so that you can claim hassle free from your medical aid.

Caution - I have heard personally from friends on false positives and false negatives.  Trust your body and your instinct and repeat the test in a couple of weeks if you don't agree with the result. Your body's hormones might not be working at full tilt to give the result yet depending on how far along you are or medical history.

Your good doctor confirmed your pregnancy!

So what now? Very important!  Call your medical aid or use one of their online platforms to register the pregnancy.  You will need this to cover some extra benefits just for the pregnant mommy and baby, for instance when you only have a hospital plan.  

Perhaps you have, perhaps you haven't. But right about now is a great way to tell your partner that you are expecting.  With all the hormones, we tend to get more emotional and he needs to understand that you are not yourself right now and support you.  And of course! He needs to share in the happy news.  

Interestingly, some men also start getting pregnancy symptoms!  YES! Now isn't that a lot of fun to enjoy together!  From feeling bloated, to nuesea to food cravings.  I have personal experience with just this!

Don't do what I did with my first pregnancy and just blurt it out in an emotional wreck when he asks you a simple question. Get a cute unisex onesie, with the pregnancy test and perhaps a cute something else.  Place it in a. box and give him the gift.  Perhaps you want to tell him alone or with family or perhaps you want to record it.  It is totally your choice to make depending on your family involvement. 

Next up, you want to get some awesome free goodies. 

Where do you get that?  In South Africa, the most awesome gift is the Dis Chem baby bag.  It is free if you gather enough points.  Be sure to click on their website for more details about this.  But in essence you get a bag filled with mom and baby products. I especially like the sample size bottles and containers and refill them when they are empty so that when you have a baby in your arm and a bag over your shoulder it is lighter than most.  Even if you are getting a pretty other little bag, it really is awesome having a bag on standby for when you visit Ouma or just need to get out of the house. 

Our next helpful article will be on where to get the best freebies and goodies for you and baby. So be sure to subscribe if you want to get the article.  You can become a subscriber by clicking on the button below.

You will also get the FREE New Mama Insider's Guide that has specially negotiated discounts

from some pretty awesome baby places including a discount for our maternity wear range.

Now you need to ensure that you are doing the best that you can.  I am referring to the best nutrition for baby and you.  

If you are reading this article before you are pregnant, get some Folic Acid tablets from the pharmacy.  These babies will help with the crucial first stages of development of baby should you become pregnant and don't even know it yet!

Get a pregnancy multivitamin. these are great to ensure that baby is getting enough nutrients. Personally, I don't believe there are radical differences between the bunch. But perhaps I also don't have the full info. I will say that this second pregnancy I opted for a Chela Preg.  It is formulated for each trimester, meaning it has vitamins based on the stage of growth your baby is at. I like this approach as your baby has different developmental needs in first trimester vs. third. 

Also - if your family has a history of osteoporoses (ask your mom) up the calcium tablets. Chat to your pharmacist as to what your best combo will be.  Baby takes a lot of nutrients from your body, and bone density cannot be repaired later on.

Be cautious with medicines in general during your pregnancy. Ask your pharmacist for help and guidance.

Suffering from nausea?

Believe it or not, one of the things that can trigger vomiting during pregnancy is your preggy vitamin.  Test it out, take your preggy vitamin in the evening instead and see how you feel. This little trick made one major difference to me. The first pregnancy was a rollercoaster of feeling like I am going to vomit now.  And I did a couple of times, even in public spaces.  

The second time around I hardly felt it at all, except when I took it in the mornings.  

Personally, something in is always great.  If you are one of those unfortunate individuals who simply cannot hold anything down, chat to your Gynea. She can perhaps help you and has your best interest at heart.  Don't suffer alone, ask for for help.

Some foods might also become a trigger and you might even develop an allergic reaction to foods you could eat before. And only during your pregnancy. For me, it was my dear old friend Weet Bix... True Story...

If you are prone to feeling ill, keep a packet of plain biscuits in your handbag and car cubbyhole. That way they are within easy reach at all times.  Something like TUC is a good choice. Trust me on the car cubbyhole.  I had more than one personal experience which I would rather not relive again...

Which leads me to drinking...

During pregnancy it is advised to stay away from alcohol and drinks rich in caffeine.  Lukily there are some great alternatives in terms of decaf coffee and alcohol free drinks that can easily be substitued. 

Do however read up about alcohol free claims.  Some beers and beverages claim alcohol free and by South African law it is permitted to advertise as such. In South Africa the Liquor Products Act defines an alcoholic beverage as one that contains more than 0.5% alcohol by volume.

For beer lovers, try out Castle Free. For cider lovers, Savannah Non-Alcoholic Lemon and for the Gin folks try out Vergin.  If you are not at all in the mood for a replacement, then dry lemon at a braai fools people in thinking you have liquor in there without asking.  It's not that we don't mind people knowing, it's just that you might still be enjoying your little secret.  

If you are in a public bar, buy a green bottle anything, decant the contents and replace with something of your choice. The bottle hides the contents well and can only be seen when you have . next to each other. OR find a waiter/bartender that will refill your bottle with a soda or drink of your choice and understands that when you order a beverage that is what it means. 

Ginger ale and soda water makes a great whiskey look alike and cranberry juice and soda water a great wine alternative..

For now, make the most of this time in your first Trimester, time flies and stands still all at the same time.  You might not yet feel baby move, but something incredible has definitely happened and I hope this article helps you to navigate some of the earliest obstacles.

Keep a lookout for some of our next articles that we have in mind. We will be looking at awesome freebies and goodies for mom and babe that you can sign up for and we will be looking at some pregnancy apps that you might want to check out.  Also troubleshooting some typical pregnancy symptoms - are they normal or not?

If you would like to have anything special featured, feel free to let us know in the comments below.  Or feel free to share some helpful tips for other mommies on this road.

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South Africa. e-mail: liezelfourie@foxymama.co.za
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