I’m over twelve weeks pregnant with what will be our fourth child. This is not my first time around – it’s actually my fifth since one pregnancy ended in miscarriage, so I pretty much know what to expect. I’ve had boy pregnancies and at least one girl pregnancy and I know what is typical for my body for each trimester and for delivery. So, that being said, I wanted to compare and contrast what I have noticed to be different now that I am a pregnant Trim Healthy Mama. (You can read my THM testimony and why I love it so much here.)
My first three pregnancies
So, first let me explain what has been normal for me in the first trimester of pregnancy before becoming a THM over two years ago.
Nausea – I am one of the lucky ones who does not have much morning sickness or nausea. In fact, I can completely avoid being sick if I follow one simple rule – never let my blood sugar drop too low. So, that equates to eating almost constantly (even though food isn’t too appetizing). I would snack on things all day long, because even with over an hour between snacks, my blood sugar would drop and I would feel sick. I even got up in the middle of the night to eat. If I didn’t, I was guaranteed to wake up feeling sick and I would often throw up.
Weight gain – One of my earliest signs of pregnancy is a 4-5 lb weight gain, seemingly overnight. This happens before any nausea sets in and before I have to start eating every hour. I’m okay with this sudden increase, because it doesn’t seem to be due to anything other than extra blood, fluid, growing boobs, etc. However, about week 7 or 8 I have to start eating constantly to avoid being sick and the real weight gain starts. By 12 or 14 weeks I am usually up about 15 lbs from my starting weight – not too cool, but it beats being sick, in my opinion.
Headaches – Oh, how I hate headaches during pregnancy. Something about the hormones in the first trimester would give me frequent headaches. It seems like Tylenol doesn’t help much to dull the pain, and I really hate taking any medicine during pregnancy. So with my non-THM pregnancies, I would suffer through headaches several days each week.
Fatigue – got to love the exhaustion that comes with growing a tiny baby. This is my most prevalent symptom in the first trimester. I am so tired from about week 6 through 12. An afternoon nap helps, but the constant fatigue is frustrating, especially when there are little ones running around that must be supervised. Thank you Netflix for filling in for me when I can’t keep my eyes open any longer!
My THM Pregnancy
So, what is different this time around now that I eat a low-glycemic and sugar-free diet? (Not low carb, please note – I still love my carbs.)
Nausea – So, I cannot say that this time around I have not had any nausea. I still have had nausea if I do not follow the rule of keeping my blood sugar stable. However, with THM, I have the perfect tools to keep my blood sugar level. The Trim Healthy Mama Plan: The Easy-Does-It Approach to Vibrant Health and a Slim Waistline (which is a lifestyle, not a diet) is designed to keep blood sugar levels stable. That is important even for those of us who are not even close to being diabetic. Not only does stable blood sugar help to keep nausea away, but it also equates to a safer pregnancy, less risk of miscarriage, and numerous other benefits!
In this pregnancy, since I now know how important protein is in stabilizing blood sugar, I make sure to have at least a little with each snack and meal. This means I can go longer between meals without eating (not more than 2 hours, but that is twice as long for me) and I can even make it overnight without having to get up and eat! I am eating plenty of good healthy carbohydrates which are important for growing a healthy baby, but I no longer eat processed sugar, which is very helpful in stabilizing my blood sugar.
Protein is still hard for me in the first trimester since I really have an aversion to most meat and eggs. However, I eat a lot of cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese and that helps. I also have been using THM Collagen, which I love, but the smell, usually unnoticeable, is too much for my pregnant super smeller. But, if I mix it into a THM Trimmie, it does the trick. I forced myself to eat chicken – about the only meat I could stomach. Thankfully, at 12 weeks, I’m able to eat a larger variety of protein, which my poor family appreciates, I’m sure!
Weight gain – I still gained the initial 4-5 lbs of weight I always gain each pregnancy at about week 4 or 5, but I’m thrilled to say that I have not gained more than that this time! My weight has fluctuated a bit, but at twelve weeks pregnant, I was just at 4 lbs over starting weight!
Is this because I eat 100% on plan? I wish I could say I do, but I don’t! Food aversions made eating on plan all the time unrealistic for me. However, I do believe it is mainly due to the fact that I don’t eat processed sugar anymore (something I used to eat a ton of during my previous pregnancies – thank you sugar addiction!) I eat mainly crossovers – I have not been even trying to separate my fuels (carbs and fat) since I found out I was pregnant. I have also mainly survived off fruit and cheese sticks. Occasionally, I will eat an off-plan food like chips or whole grain crackers, or plain whole wheat bread (instead of sprouted). I eat more raw honey and some dried fruit (we were camping a lot this summer and it was easy to get trail mix). These are all choices that I am personally okay with on occasion and they are foods I feed my skinny family all the time.
Headaches – This has been a dramatic difference this time around. I have had only two headaches this pregnancy so far and both were due to dehydration after hiking in over 100 degree heat. Praise God! The headaches that plagued me for several days each week in previous pregnancies are gone! The only way I can explain this is my diet changes.
Fatigue – This is something that really didn’t change this time around, except to say that I got over it a little earlier! I was still exhausted from about week 6 to 10 (but not 12 weeks this time!). I was camping, hiking, getting ready for homeschooling, chasing toddlers, etc. during that time, so I certainly had enough energy to make it through – and even thrive – this summer. However, that hammock at camp was really, really wonderful!
Since I know I will be asked this question – let me include it here. I am really happy with the Best Nest Ultra-Gentle Prenatal Vitamins I am taking this time. This is not sponsored – I just really happen to like this company and their products. I’ve actually been taking them all year and I love that they are all natural, organic, whole food based, and include probiotics and herbs! Often prenatal vitamins will make me feel a bit sick after taking them, but these really are ultra-gentle. I’ve not felt the least bit sick after taking them. The price is what convinced me, though! Less than $40 for a 3 month supply – sign me up! You can get them at my Amazon affiliate link here: BEST Nest Prenatal Vitamins, with Methylfolate (Folic Acid), Once Daily Multivitamin, Contains Whole Food, Organic Blend, and Methylcobalamin (B12), Easy to Swallow, 100% Natural Vitamin, 90 Count
I have really enjoyed my first trimester of pregnancy as a THM. I always enjoy pregnancy – I’m one of those annoying happy pregnant ladies, but by eating THM, everything has been easier so far! And now that I have my energy back, I am excited to start my second trimester soon!
Have you noticed any differences when you changed your diet in pregnancy? Are you a pregnant THM, as well? I’d love to hear from you! Like my Facebook and Instagram if you haven’t yet, so we can connect!
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