Let’s be HONEST about eating during the first trimester. This blog post is 100% based on my own personal experience, and hell, it is different for EVERYONE during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Prior to being pregnant, I practiced eating intuitively, meaning that I listened to my body and ate whatever I felt it needed. Most of the time that included lots of fruits, veggies, grains and a lot of homemade meals (and dark chocolate of course). The first 4-5 weeks of pregnancy I was able to stick with my normal routine. I was eating real food and whole meals, and I felt pretty damn good. Then I hit week 6 and EVERYTHING completely changed. The nausea, food aversions and sensitivities to smells came rolling in fast. I didn’t struggle with nausea in the morning, it would hit me in the late afternoon and evening.
I have a sensitive stomach in general, therefore I was already mindful of the food I ate prior to being pregnant. But this was a whole different ball game. It wasn’t just the usual upset stomach that I was used to dealing with, it was the hey, you could throw up at any moment if you smell this or eat that sort of upset stomach. Also, let me preface this by saying that throwing up is my LEAST favorite sickness – I cry every single time. So learning to manage it was a bit tricky for me. Snacks (MANY times a day) became my go-to, while the idea of full meals went out the window. Other things that went out the window – eating healthy, real food everyday, I basically had NO desire to eat fruits and veggies. This was a shock to the system for me. Having food aversions to the things I used to eat every single day – like avocado, dark chocolate, salads, etc. was bizarre and frustrating. I had to learn to navigate what my stomach could and couldn’t handle. Plus I wanted to avoid additional nausea (or any) at all costs, BUT that wasn’t as realistic as I’d hoped.
My new eating routine consisted of ALL THE CARBS, which was definitely an adjustment for me. Grilled Cheese – sign me up! Pasta – sure! Bread – absolutely! Mac and cheese – hell, let’s have it a couple nights a week! I felt like the eating habits I had when I was a child were coming back. I also wanted things like applesauce, chicken noodle soup, chicken fingers, yogurt, cheese and potato chips. (Yes, I used to be a picky eater and was VERY particular about what I ate for a LONG time). Oh and cue the cravings for junk food – sour gummy worms, sour patch kids, sweet-tarts, fudgesicles, cinnamon rolls, etc. The cravings would hit me at random times, a lot of the time it happened at night. The one thing that I did notice was that eating sour thing helped with the nausea, which was surprising to me.
I have a background in holistic health and nutrition coaching, so last Spring I began researching and studying nutrition during pregnancy. I read numerous books, taking detailed notes on each one and created an outline of a nutrition regimen I planned to follow once I became pregnant. For the first five weeks I was actually able to stick with it and I felt awesome. Then week six came around and it wasn’t possible because I simply didn’t want the food of the week and didn’t want to eat something that could make me feel nauseous when I already did. Was this ideal for me and what I had planned? Absolutely not, but when you’re pregnant, you learn to go with the flow.
So I’m here to remind you babes that even when you make plans, life can always come around, smack you in the face and change them. That’s just how it goes. Learn to go with the flow, embrace the craziness, the chaos, the frustrations, and the ups and downs. Especially you mamas out there – pregnancy changes things whether you’re ready for it or not. Do what works for YOU. At the end of the day, if you’re doing your best that’s all that matters. Being pregnant has brought things into a whole new light for me. My body is not my own anymore, there’s a little babe growing inside of it that I need to take care of. And if that means I end up eating grilled cheese for dinner every night for a week so I don’t feel nauseous, you bet your ass I’m going to do it.