First Trimester | Everything you need to know + tips

First Trimester of pregnancy

Hello Mama!

If you ended up here I am assuming you are either pregnant or want to be pregnant soon – either way – welcome! In this post I will talk about the feared first trimester in pregnancy: everything you should know from what is happening inside of you to morning sickness and tips, etc. Before you read the rest of this post just know that I talk out of personal experience and a lot of research, I hope this is useful to you!

First Trimester

Weeks: 1-12

What is happening inside?

A pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, but there is a process of 2 weeks since the moment of conception until the embryo is formed. Those first two weeks is when your egg is fertilized and divides in parts, making the “home” where your baby is going to live and forming the embryo(which is how the baby is called at that time).

During this first 12 weeks, the baby will grow super fast! And around week 10 the baby will be called “fetus” and it will have a heart, tiny bones, muscles and all the vital organs. You probably have heard about women having miscarriages during the first trimester (it happens often) so it is important to be extra careful because the baby is going through major changes during this time.

To put this in simple words, this is the trimester where the baby becomes a “tiny human” and the other two trimesters are for the baby to put on weight, finish up growing and fully develop the vital organs preparing him to come out to the world. 🙂

How are you feeling?

Crappy.

At least I felt super crappy. Some women can’t even tell they are pregnant or have any symptoms at all at this time (hopefully you are that lucky!) but if you are like the rest of us human ladies, then you are probably feeling pretty crappy right now. What do I mean by crappy…hmm…lets see, these are some of the symptoms you have:

  • Super sore breasts (and prepare, because your breasts will grow a size or two – that’s a good thing -you will end up looking like you had a boob job lol)
  • Nausea/Vomiting : This is the worst symptom by far. You might have this for months or a few weeks depending of the person. I highly recommend Gatorade, ice chips, do not go near eggs-yuck! (or anything that makes you cringe for that matter), have lots of patience and talk to your husband or loved one about it because maybe they can cook for a few weeks or be extra understanding with you. I had nausea from week 7 until around week 22, but vomiting happened from week 10 until week 21. If you have to vomit don’t try to stop it, just make sure you stay hydrated. Some people use lemon as a remedy. Try to look for tips online and stick to the ones that work for you, what worked for me was: 1-Check your vitamin pills and get ones with less iron if you need to do so, when I changed mine everything got a little better. 2-Drink chamomile
  • Bloated
  • Cramps: just the first few weeks. ATTENTION: If you feel a cramp you don’t have to freak out but it is not a good sign either so try to sit or rest whenever you feel a cramp, specially if you are tired. It might not be anything but it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Tiredness: Try to rest as much as you can. It is necessary for you and your body. If that means you have to go to bed at 8pm every night so be it.
  • Moody: (Man, while writing this I remember how bad I felt my first trimester! It was awful. I honestly hated being pregnant it was really overwhelming. But if you are pregnant right now don’t worry: IT GOES AWAY) Hormones go crazy. Your whole body is changing so have patience and talk to your husband about it, prepare him for some huge changes in your mood. You might even feel sad, depressed. Do not let it sink, it is a normal hormonal thing, hang on and things will get better. If they don’t get better by the second trimester then talk to your doctor about it.

Things to do once you find out you are pregnant:

I found out I was pregnant by week 4 but most people find out at week 7. Either way you should do this:

  1. Start taking prenatal vitamins with at least 400 mg of folic acid: You can get them at any pharmacy over the counter and these are good to take even if you are not pregnant and you are just trying to get pregnant. I got these:Rainbow Light – Prenatal One Multivitamin, 150 Count(They will last you for about 5 months)
  2. Look for an obgyn or midwife and get your first appointment (I got a midwife and I will be posting about why soon)
  3. Calculate your due date. You can use an online due calculator.
  4. Find out about foods you can’t eat and things that you shouldn’t be doing.
  5. Get a pregnancy app: I tried many, but my favorite (and the only one I ended up using) was Ovia pregnancy app. It is super useful because it tells you tips, the size of your baby, what is happening week by week and it has a food safety look-up tool and more.
  6. Make a pregnancy announcement (for the father and the relatives and decide when to tell them. Many people wait until the first trimester is over but I like to do it as soon as I find out. If I lose it, I want my family and friends to know and support me too)
  7. Get rid of unhealthy habits. (If you can, quit smoking and drinking-although you can have the occasional beer)

Weight gain:

Maybe a couple of pounds, around 2 to 4 pounds is the normal but less is okay. I gained 2 lbs in my first trimester with Catalina.

Tip: Try to do some kind of light exercise or move at least 30 mins a day to keep somewhat fit, it will help you a lot.

Bump:

If this is your first pregnancy you are probably not showing yet. I started showing at 20 weeks more or less, but you will be bloated so maybe you can notice a small bump.

If this is not your first pregnancy then you will most likely be showing towards the end of the trimester.


I hope you liked this post. Leave a comment below if you have any questions and subscribe! I have lots of good things prepared!

Sincerely, Josie

My First Time Breastfeeding | A simple reflection

My first time breastfeeding

Experience makes perfect

When I was pregnant with Catalina I spent hours doing research about everything I needed to know for when my baby arrived. I read and read about labor & delivery, about parenting, about sleeping techniques and about breastfeeding. I wanted to know everything I could possibly know and breastfeeding was a big issue for me because my mother had tried to breastfeed each and every one of us (we are 12 children) and was never able to. So I wanted to be prepared and know if I had milk, how to breastfeed, how the milk had to be, how much milk my baby needed, pumping..etc.

Once I delivered Catalina, all the knowledge I acquired doing research went out the window. Clearly, I knew nothing. Nothing can prepare you for motherhood, except to be willing. Be willing to go through stuff you don’t understand or don’t want to go through, and do it out of love. That is the only thing that matters and the only thing that helped me to be okay during the times I had no clue of what was going on.

A week before giving birth I manually tried to pump to see if I had milk (and honestly, to try to induce labor haha it didn’t work at all) and to my surprise I had Colostrum which is the “pre-milk”, it looked like a transparent honey. After delivery I put Catalina straight to my nipple and I tried to get her to latch. To my surprise she latched instantly. Her latch was very good and strong. It wasn’t hurting me–Voila! I thought everything was over! Little did I know it was just starting!

During the 3 days I spent at the hospital I attended a breastfeeding class and once again they explained everything about breastfeeding and how I had to latch the baby etc. Then it happened. It started to hurt.

I asked for a nipple cream and I asked for help to latch her correctly because every time I mentioned it hurt me they would tell me it was because I was not doing it right. I felt it was my fault. The breastfeeding counselor told me that if it hurt it meant I was doing it wrong. Well, that stressed me out so much. Until today, I still don’t think that is true. I talked to a bunch of mothers and they all said it hurt them at the beginning so maybe it is the way it is. I am not sure, but one thing is for sure: If breastfeeding hurts you it is not your fault. It is nobody’s fault. You don’t need to feel like you are doing something wrong.

I went home and for a week and a half I was in pain. To the point that if the baby cried I would start crying too just thinking that I had to feed her. Also, postpartum hormones didn’t help. I was sore and I was bleeding and even if I put nipple cream on, it still hurt. The good news was that I did have milk, tons of it. The milk had come about 2 days after leaving the hospital. I sent my husband to buy all types of breastfeeding things, and after a week and a half I was ready to give up. I was going to start formula (and honestly, I don’t think there is nothing wrong in doing so if you can’t breastfeed). My mom had given formula to all of us and we are healthy and happy and nothing wrong had happened to us, so why not?

My aunt – who had a baby 3 weeks before I did – told me it also hurt her, but she had found a solution: A nipple shield. So I did more research. It didn’t seem like the best option since it was to correct latch and Catalina had an amazing latch. But it also said it helped to cure and prevent wounds so…what the heck, I tried it.

It saved my life. I wore it for about 2 or 3 weeks and after that I didn’t have to use it again. It was amazing. It still bothered me but it was nothing in comparison. I was able to continue breastfeeding (and I still am breastfeeding) and now I love it! Catalina is 4 months old and I can honestly say it is super convenient, relaxing and it connects you with your baby. Breastfeeding rocks!

I had no idea it was going to hurt like hell at the beginning (what a nightmare) but it was worth it. After 2 months or a month and a half I promise it doesn’t hurt at all anymore. My theory is that the mouth of the baby grows and your nipples get used to it. They say the first time breastfeeding its the hardest. Also I bet it depends on the baby. Never trust anyone that tells you that you are not trying hard enough. I tried breastfeeding Catalina in all positions possible, with all techniques possible and nothing. What no one told me was that maybe it was normal, and that it would go away.

So here it goes:

Don’t worry, you are a good mom! Try the nipple shield and pump to give it a rest. If the pain continues for a month, bottle feed your baby. IT IS OKAY. Obviously, it is better to breastfeed because it is the natural thing but it is also better to use formula rather than to be depressed and not enjoy the precious time with your brand new baby.

Here are some tips that helped me:

  • Nipple Shield when necessary.
  • think that It DOES stop hurting
  • Pump when you need a break and don’t worry about nipple confusion.
  • Use nipple cream (I used  the Medela Tender Care Lanolin Tube)
  • Use coconut oil (it also helps)
  • If pumping hurts, check the size  (there is different sizes)

 

 

 

BTW, In my experience (please, this is just my experience) nipple confusion does not exist. So use the pacifier if you are comfortable with it because it is amazing! My baby loves her paci.

If you liked this maybe you will like my labor & delivery experience and my postpartum tips.

Sincerely, Josie

 

24 Obvious signs that you are a mom

Signs that you are a mom

Congratulations! You are a mother!

And yes, whether we want to admit it or not, there is obvious signs that show to the world that we are in this amazing journey.

Here is a list of some of them:

1.The screen of your phone is mysteriously sticky.

2. Now when you go to the store you stop in every children’s clothing section.

3. Your phone’s memory is always full (due to the excessive amount of pictures you have taken).

4. You are no longer the protagonist of your profile picture.

5. You never say “I’m bored”.

6. Now you understand your mother.

7. A 10 min shower equals a 3hr spa.

8. If someone gives a gift to your baby you enjoy it more than if it was a gift for you.

9. Noise does not distract you anymore. In fact, if there is silence you start to worry.

10.Coffee is now your best friend. (and maybe now you even understand your husband’s addiction to red bull)

11.”Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is the biggest ‘hit’ in your house.

12.  Now your list of favorite shows include “Pocoyo” and “Baby Einstein”.

13.You understand the phrase “Time is Precious”.

14.You love your baby so much that you want more babies.

15.Your livingroom looks like 6 flags.

16.To put Makeup on takes you about 2 minutes now. Max.

17. You have something to talk about with any mother.

18. No one has better-looking children.

19. Your new name is “mom”.

20. You could be a doctor, a teacher, a P.I, a cook, a psychologist & a clown. All at the same time.

21. Some of your new conversations are about poop.

22. You cherish every second you are alone with your husband.

23. finger food is your new favorite food.

24.You are surprised of the many things you can get done in a day.

Sincerely, Josie

7 AMAZING ways to play with your 3-6 month old baby

7 ways to play with your baby

How to play with your baby:

Catalina just turned 3 months old two weeks ago and she is super awake already. Since I haven’t had time for anything (because time flies when you are breast feeding, taking care of your baby, fixing the house, staying awake all night…etc. Anyway, all things befitting a first-time mom), I did not buy her any toys! I am probably justifying myself, but I honestly didn’t think she would play with anything until she was at least 6 months old. I know, I should have known they play with things way earlier… But even if I spent my life surrounded by kids (I am the oldest kid of 12), it is NEVER the same thing when it’s your own child. And you have to learn everything from 0.

So the ONLY toys she has are a few stuffed toys we got when she was born.

I don’t know if the same thing happened to you or not, but I’ve had to figure out a way to entertain her and play with her, and the outcome of this has been great, because it has helped her a lot to achieve her milestones!

Therefore, I will leave some of the ideas I had in here. In case they are useful for you to stimulate and play with your own child and having as much fun as I have had with my little one. 🙂

Baby and teddy bear

 

1.Floor Time

Put your baby belly down on the floor. Place a few things around her (make sure those things are safe for her to put in her mouth and touch) and if you are up to it, lay on the floor next to him/her where she can see you and talk. You can read her a baby book if you want-or have one. Try to make your baby move towards you without your help. Catalina loves this exercise, she even started to move backwards on her own! Now, whenever I leave her on the floor, after 3 minutes she has moved from where left her. She is only 3 months!

 2.Airplane

Father playing with babyLay on your back and grab your little one between your hands and stretch your arms until you can see your baby face to face. Now, this one is important because you will be able to talk to your baby and get his/her full attention. I usually prefer to make different noises instead of just talking to her. This strengthens their muscles in the neck, abdomen, legs and arms.

3.Mirror

Sit with your baby in front of a mirror and let him discover himself. He will not know that he is looking at himself yet, but maybe will be able to recognize you and smile at your reflection. Catalina always tries to touch her hands in the mirror.

4.Faces

Lay your baby on her back (I usually do it on my bed in the morning), and then you get on your fours and have face to face time. You should let her touch your face, get close to you, sing a song to her, touch her legs and arms and cuddle with her. You can change positions and lay on your side too. This is GREAT for babies. I guess this is a natural thing to do with your baby, I don’t think you need me to tell you to do this, but in case you have not done it enough I can honestly tell you that this is the BEST exercise I do with my baby because she gets my FULL attention during this activity, and she knows it.Mother holding baby and kissing

5.Dog Time (If you have a dog)

I will talk more extensively about this one in another post, but if you have a dog it is super important to establish some baby-dog time! They will both enjoy it and it is super helpful for your baby to learn how to interact with your dog from early on.

The way I do it is this:

Make your dog lay down, on his side. Then carefully place the baby on her belly on top of the dog’s belly while you talk to your dog and tell him to be gentle, stay down. Of course, for this I have already introduced my baby to the dog since the baby came home, you cannot do this if the dog is not used to the baby already. Also, you need to do this for short periods of time and be there making sure everything is fine. This helps the baby also because it is a sensory exercise, she will be able to touch the fur of the dog and feel the gentle rhythm of the dog’s breathing.

*Also, I don’t think I would try it with other pets, but that is up to you and how much you trust you pet. Never risk the safety of your baby.

6.Daddy Time!

This is important! One of the mother’s most important jobs in the life of the baby is to make sure she knows who her daddy is! Now,this might sound obvious to you, but some people underestimate how important it is for the child to be introduced to the father. As the mom, the child recognizes you instantly and will instinctively lean on you for everything. But it is important that you leave some things up to the father, and you make sure they have some one-on-one time! My husband has a beard so it is helpful to stimulate the baby too when he talks to her, cuddles with her, etc. You can also join in the fun and spend some time as a family making the baby laugh, talk to her, talk about her.

7.Hanging blanket/ strings

Hang a blanket and place your baby directly underneath, she will entertain herself looking and touching it with her hands and will probably place it on her mouth.

Mommy kissing daughter

 

Now, all of this things will help your baby’s motor skills. Why do I say this things are so helpful for the development of the baby? First of all, time with the parents is ESSENTIAL at this time. I read once an article stating that if you gave a child 5 minutes of your full attention (no while looking at your phone or cooking dinner, or talking to someone else while helping your child do something, no. full attention) your child feels loved. And that, my friends, is in my opinion the best thing to help babies develop mentally and physically! The mind is totally related to the body, therefore psychology is related to physical activity.

Apart from that, each one of this activities stimulates a different part of the baby. All of the senses except taste (sight, hearing, smell and touch), muscles, and social skills.

This games/activities/exercises or however you want to call them are great and I will continue to do them as mush as I can! But also….I think is time for mommy to buy Catalina some nice toys too!

Sincerely, Josie

 

P.s: Two things!

  1. Please let me know if you liked the post and which one is your favorite activity. Do you agree or disagree with anything?
  2. (If you have toys for your baby) Please let me know which ones your baby likes the best, I would like to know about the toys your kids prefer!