If you are reading this because you are pregnant, congratulations!! You are in for quite a ride! I am writing this 25 weeks pregnant, and am excited to share this time with you.
Soon after I found out that I was pregnant and the fog of excitement started to clear, I realized I had a ton of questions. One of the first big questions I started to wonder was what is safe for me and my baby, and what is not. Of course, I want to take the absolute best care of myself and my baby while I’m pregnant. Although I found a ton of resources online regarding safety and all of those big questions I had before our first doctor appointment, I came up empty with any information on managing food allergies in the first trimester.
I understand that the demographic of pregnant women that also have life-threatening food allergies is smaller, but I was still disappointed to not find any resources.
Now that I am in the second trimester and feeling much better, I wanted to share my experience of managing the first trimester of pregnancy with life-threatening food allergies. If I wanted to hear a few tips as I was starting the first trimester, this is what I would want to hear!
** I understand that pregnancy is a very sensitive topic. I am not a doctor, and am not giving medical advice. This post is shared simply based off of my experience of my first trimester of pregnancy. For actual medical questions, please contact your medical provider.
Here are 5 tips for managing the first trimester:
- Find a safe prenatal vitamin – Unfortunately, many vitamins can contain a number of allergens or are produced in plants where they may come in contact with a number of allergens. This can pose some problems for those of us with food allergies, however, with some invested time, I was able to find a great prenatal vitamin that is safe for me. One tip I got from some of my friends that have been pregnant before is that the gummy vitamins can be easier to take when you’re suffering from morning (or in my case, all day) sickness. This is the prenatal that I have enjoyed during my pregnancy – I love the lemon and raspberry lemonade flavors!
- Take time to research foods that you will and will not be able to eat – Unfortunately, my diet is pretty limited with my food allergies, but this became even more of a challenge when I found out I was pregnant. Who knew there were so many foods to avoid while pregnant? Sure, I knew that I was going to have to take a break from wine, but lunch meat?? Another issue is that almost nothing sounded good to me to eat during the first trimester. Sure eggs are a good source of protein that I can eat, but the thought of eating eggs at 8 weeks pregnant would send me running to the bathroom. I suggest making a list of go-to options for food and making sure you are stocked up on it. I was grateful to have the hubby handle the grocery shopping for those few really bad weeks, and he was able to help keep me fed (as fed as my stomach would allow). I plan to share some of my go-to food items and recipes soon – so check back on the blog for that!
- Find a good doctor – Pregnancy is HARD, like seriously hard, and you want as much support as you can get during that first trimester. Because of my added issues with food allergies, it was important for me to find a doctor that was really caring, understanding, and helpful. My first trimester was really tough, food allergies aside, and it felt great to know that I had a good doctor and nurses that cared for me, and were available to help. If you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor, if you can’t get your questions answered, or if anything seems off, I highly recommend finding a new doctor. I cannot stress enough what a world of difference a great doctor makes!
- Practice self-care – If you couldn’t tell by what I’ve shared so far, I did not find the first trimester to be a wonderful experience. Honestly, I spent a lot of my time crying and puking. I had to take a few weeks off of work, even, since I was so sick. Hopefully, this is not the case for you – but if it is, it does get better (even though you think it never will). Along with physically feeling awful, I really struggled with anxiety and panic attacks (something I’ve shared about in other posts on the blog), and I am so glad I surrounded myself with people that could encourage me, take care of me, and just let me cry. My husband and mom are absolutely wonderful and were able to help a lot. I also reached out to a few close friends to share the exciting news of the pregnancy, along with the struggles that came along with it. Simple things even like painting my nails or sitting outside in the sun helped me feel a little more human during the first trimester. So again, take care of yourself, and if you can’t, find a few people that will.
- Be smart and careful when using the internet – I should have known better – and my husband will probably laugh when he reads this, but man I should have had my phone taken away during the first trimester. The internet is filled with scary stories of pregnancy and the first trimester. I read countless stories that scared me half to death, and fed the growing anxiety I was feeling each day. My advice – if you have a pregnancy question, ask your doctor or a trusted (note that I said trusted – not just any friend or family member) friend or relative – DO NOT GOOGLE IT.
Do you have any other suggestions for surviving the first trimester of pregnancy? Leave a comment below!