Supporting your mind and body through each trimester of pregnancy

November 3, 2021
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The best medicine is prevention so ideally, you’ve already started to work on your health prior to conceiving. Either way these tips may help ease your pregnancy symptoms and help you enjoy your journey into motherhood. It’s also important to make sure you get lab testing done throughout your pregnancy to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby so I’ve also given a list of labs to check in on throughout the trimesters.

1st trimester

Growing a human takes a lot of energy so there will likely be shifts in your health throughout your pregnancy. Common symptoms that can be prevented are nausea and morning sickness. You may also experience fatigue, mood swings, digestive issues like constipation and/or bloating, and breast tenderness. You may also begin to have some food aversions and cravings. Most symptoms usually begin around 6 weeks as that is when your baby starts to grow rapidly. This is when a significant portion of the brain and organ systems begin to develop which can lead to a whole host of experiences in your body.

1st Trimester Labs:

Pregnant GIF - Find on GIFER
  • Urine Culture
  • Rhogam
  • HCG
  • TSH
  • fT4
  • fT3
  • Progesterone
  • CBC
  • Vitamin D

Tips to alleviate 1st trimester symptoms:

  • Nutrition: Eat small meals more frequently to help prevent nausea. Avoid food aversions and allow yourself to indulge in some cravings.
  • Sleep: Sleep as much as you need. As I stated earlier, it takes a lot of energy to create a human which means you likely will need more rest. Listen to your body and allow yourself these wonderful sleep-in days!
  • Meditation: Whether planned or unplanned, once you find out that you’re pregnant it may provoke some stress and meditation will help alleviate this stress now. Creating this habit will also support you throughout the pregnancy and even during labor.
  • Activity: Stay as active as you can but it may be difficult to do the same workouts you were once doing before so stay tuned with your body and don’t push yourself beyond what is comfortable. The general rule throughout pregnancy is that if you’ve been doing the activity before it is likely safe to continue but don’t start something new now unless they’re pelvic floor exercises recommended by your Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist. Walking, yoga, and dancing are great for pregnancy and can be supportive of labor.
  • Supplements: It is essential to supplement with a prenatal with methyltetrahydrofolate as folate can often lead to more nausea for many women. Along with a prenatal to support your mood and overall health of your baby it is essential to take a fish oil and Vitamin D. Here’s a post on why these supplements are important.
  • Herbs: Ginger in candy form which is delicious but be mindful not to have more than 3 a day. However, most effective to alleviate nausea is in ginger in capsule form at about 1000 mg three times a day.

2nd trimester

This is generally the favorite trimester for most women as most will experience little symptoms and will be able to function as they were before pregnancy. This is also the time where the baby is physically growing which means you will likely begin to grow, gain weight, and start to show a bit more. It might start to become more uncomfortable to lie on your stomach and back during this trimester and sleeping on your side may become your new normal. Your breasts and nipples will continue to grow preparing for nursing postpartum which may lead to some breast tenderness. You may experience some back pain since your abdomen is being pushed out putting more pressure on your lower back. You may also experience some sinus issues, breathlessness, frequent urination, leg cramps and maybe even Braxton Hicks contractions.

2nd trimester labs:

Queen Latifah GIF by VH1 Hip Hop Honors - Find & Share on GIPHY
  • Urine Culture
  • Vitamin D
  • CBC
  • Ferritin
  • TSH and fT4 (if diagnosed with Hypothyroidism)

Tips to alleviate 2nd trimester symptoms:

  • Nutrition: Adequate protein and electrolytes are essential throughout pregnancy. Make sure you are eating foods high in protein, healthy fats, and getting all the veggies you can in.
  • Sleep: You may notice sleep patterns revert to pre-pregnancy patterns but either way it is important to allow your body to get as much rest as possible.
  • Meditation: This will always be important and again will help you prepare for labor.  
  • Activity: You may be able to go back to your activity as you were before pregnancy during this trimester. Either way, it’s always important to listen to your body and do what it is asking you to do. Certain exercises like planks, squats, and glute bridges may actually help alleviate back pain.
  • Supplements: Continue three from first trimester. During this stage, NAC and Magnesium may be helpful in reducing sinus issues and body achiness respectively.
  • Herbs: Certain herbs are safer for anxiety, depression, and sleep during this trimester. Saffron, passionflower, chamomile, and skullcap are a few of my favorites to help support mental health throughout the second and third trimesters.

3rd trimester

This is where things start to ramp up again. You’ve likely already begun feeling your baby move around and if your baby is like mine, it may feel like they’re swimming laps and beginning their careers as acrobats. All of your baby’s internal organs are maturing and preparing to function on their own for birth. Your baby is starting to look more like they will at birth and gaining a lot of weight. This means you’ll also gain some more weight and grow significantly in bump size. This means less room in your abdomen for all your other organs like your stomach which may lead to some heartburn and quick feelings of fullness and hunger. There’s also increased abdominal pressure potentially leading to some back pain. Insomnia is also quite common during this trimester but some of the tools we’ve obtained throughout the pregnancy will be helpful here. Other common symptoms include round ligament pain, breathlessness, sinus congestion, and swelling.

3rd trimester labs:

Friends - Rachel is Late, Get Out Part on Make a GIF
  • Urine Culture
  • Vitamin D
  • CBC
  • Ferritin
  • TSH and fT4 (if diagnosed with Hypothyroidism)

Tips to alleviate 3rd trimester symptoms:

  • Nutrition: Make sure you are getting a lot of healthy fats and protein to support yours and your baby’s growth. You may also need to eat smaller meals more frequently again to prevent heartburn and reflux. Swelling in legs and ankles can also be exacerbated by processed foods so try limiting those and consume more anti-inflammatory foods to prevent this.
  • Sleep: Sleep hygiene is even more important this trimester as hormone-related insomnia is common. Make sure you have a good evening wind-down routine, you’re turning off all electronics, journaling, engaging in breathwork practices, and allowing your body to rest as much as you need.
  • Meditation: This is even more important now as we transition to labor. Hypnobirthing practices have been shown to help reduce C-section rates and support women throughout labor. It’s time to start visualizing a healthy labor, delivery, baby, and YOU!
  • Activity: It’s likely becoming more difficult to do certain exercises now and again it is crucial to listen to your body’s needs. If anything ever feels uncomfortable even though you’ve been doing it for years, its time to let it go. (That’s sprinting at 12 mph for me…) It may also be helpful to start sitting on a yoga ball during work to alleviate back pain and strengthen that core for labor. Another great trick is to put legs up against the wall to help reduce swelling.
  • Supplementation: Outside of the previously mentioned supplements, it may be helpful to include an additional protein powder to help increase your calorie intake during this trimester.
  • Herbs: 3rd trimester tea consisting of raspberry leaf, nettles, spearmint, lemongrass, rosehip, cinnamon, dandelion, and alfalfa can be helpful throughout this trimester as they contain minerals like B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium as well as antioxidants like Vitamin C and E.

Pregnancy does not have to feel overwhelming and does not have to be a time where we’re suffering. Women have been going through pregnancy, labor, and postpartum since the beginning of humankind.

Her Golden Goddess Light

Our bodies were meant to create life and they were NOT meant to suffer in the process. So let’s get you feeling like the GODDESS that you are!

If you’re pregnant right now, let me know if this post was helpful. Let’s be friends on Instagram. Send me a message and tell me what trimester you’re in and when your due date is! And make sure to share this with your pregnant friends to help support them throughout their journey.

Looking to get additional support? Schedule a complimentary consult with one of our Mahan Health doctors and we’ll get you started on your preconception, pregnancy, and/or postpartum journey!

*This blog is for educational purposes only and is not meant to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before trying any supplements or herbs to ensure they are safe for you.

written by:

  • I aspire to see a world where great health is not only achievable but the norm. For most of my life, I dealt with constipation, abdominal pain, asthma, allergies, joint pain, back pain, irregular menstrual cycles, chronic nasal congestion, dry skin, migraines, fatigue, inability to focus, and memory issues. I thought all of these things were just the reality I had to live with until I discovered Naturopathic medicine.

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