You just found out you are pregnant, Congratulations!! As much as this is exciting and beautiful news, it may also be daunting if it’s your first! My husband and I felt so overwhelmed and flooded with information that left us feeling like we needed to buy every book out there!
We simply just had to take a breath and choose what worked for us. Here are a few things we did and used though our first trimester;
1. Choosing your Obstetric Healthcare Provider
Choosing who will care for us during pregnancy and labour was very important. We knew we would be comfortable with an Obstetrician-Gynaecologist. We chose one who worked with my medical aid plan and one that suited our needs and personalities to guide us on this journey.
Midwives also offer maternity care through your pregnancy and after childbirth, working with OB/GYNs in complicated situations.
Although Doulas don’t replace your obstetric healthcare professionals, they are birth companions, offering emotional and physical support during pregnancy and birth. If you are thinking of hiring a doula, check out WOMBS.
2. Activating your Maternity Benefits
One of the reasons we chose our OB/GYN was to get full cover from my Discovery Health medical aid plan. We chose a doctor from their network who has a payment arrangement them. I also had to activate my maternity benefits through the ‘My Pregnancy Programme’. Consultations were covered and we are quite happy with the programme.
3. Vitamins & Supplements
Always take vitamins and supplements recommended by your healthcare provider. For me, the DS24 supplements have been amazing and I’ll definitely continue to use them after pregnancy. I get mine from Clicks and take one capsule a day. I must also add that my hair has never been thicker and my nails have never been stronger too!
4. Natural Nausea Remedies
As soon as we found out we were pregnant, I tried to stay away from taking other medication and pills and pushed for natural ways to treat symptoms.
At 10 weeks pregnant, we flew to Zanzibar and took the ferry between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam 3 times, so my nausea was tested!
When my morning sickness was acting up, I found eating ‘bland’ foods like rice cakes paired with a fruit helped. I also drank lots of water! Before pregnancy, I’d drink ginger, lemon and mint tea about 3 times a week- this changed to about twice a day during my 1st trimester and I found it eased the nausea.
5. Brushing your teeth after every meal
What I couldn’t stand in my first trimester was the after-taste of food in my mouth, this just insitgated my nausea. I found that brushing my teeth after every meal helped neutralize taste and smell. So carrying a tube of Colgate and a toothbrush in my purse was a must for me!
6. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
I think almost every woman I spoke to advised me to moisturize during pregnancy!
I continued using Dove body butter daily, continued with my Bio-Oil regime in the evenings and added the Clinique Smart moisturizer for my face to help clear a break-out after our trip. I also purchased the Sorbet Facial Cleanser to exfoliate my skin which has been great in leaving that smooth, soft feel on my face.
7. The Mobile App for You
We downloaded and tested quite a few apps before settling on two free ones.
The ‘Pregnancy Week by Week‘ app powered by Amilo splits information into General, Mummy and Baby categories, giving week-by-week clear, concise information. It’s also easy to use.
The ‘What to Expect‘ Pregnancy Tracker app is similar, but with an extra layer of information. It has weekly videos describing baby’s progress which we enjoy. It also has product recommendations and suggests questions to ask your doctor at every visit.
8. Your Pregnancy Journal
This has been both therapeutic and fun for both of us. We decided to buy a blank diary and write week-by-week notes to our future baby describing things that happen during our day, fun trips and outings, our hopes and dreams for our family and also pasting pictures in. This will be an amazing gift to your little! We also started taking weekly transformation pictures of my belly to keep a record of every stage. You can get the baby journals on quite a few websites in South Africa, try Takealot and Netflorist.
Take it easy, the first trimester is exciting! Most haven’t announced the pregnancy yet so it’s also special and intimate for you and your partner, enjoy it!