So, you’re newly pregnant (or someone you know and love is) in St Pete! May I be the first to welcome you into this – sometimes overwhelming – world of pregnancy information, tips, and advice 😅 Whether you’re here to support a loved one or want some simple, practical, tips for yourself, I hope you find this list as a helpful starting point as you dip your toe into all that is pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting related.
1. Bubble Bath and/or Epsom Salts
The first trimester is the best time to start to implement practices and rituals that are going to help center, ground, and relax you. A warm bath with some bubbles or bath salts sounds cliche, but it can actually help you cope with the physical discomforts of pregnancy and labor, as well as give you space to clear your mind, pray, reflect on your feelings, and even take a little snooze! Epsom salts have the added bonus of providing you with an added boost of magnesium, a nutrient that is essential for growing a baby but most women are deficient in. Baths are especially effective for relaxation when paired with…
2. Lavender Essential Oil*
Pregnancy is a very sensual experience, meaning one becomes more aware to all of your five senses, especially smell! Lavender has been proven to help ease anxiety  and, personally, I love the combination of lavender and orange (maybe because I’m a Florida girl?). Drop a few drops of essential oils in the running water to help set the mood for a luxurious, tension-relieving bath.
*Some essential oils are contraindicated for pregnancy, please consult your healthcare provider before using!
3. Variety Pack of Hot Teas
Making a cup of tea can be another practice to add to your routine when you are craving a hot beverage but might not feel like drinking coffee. There is just something about the steam rising out of the kettle, pouring the hot water into a mug, and feeling the warmth of the mug in your hand, you know what I mean? Red raspberry leaf tea (not just red raspberry flavor) is not only nutritious, but has been associated with improved outcomes during pregnancy in labor . You can even pair your tea with some local honey for added benefits! If you’re not feeling a hot beverage, you may want to look into getting a…
4. Water infuser pitcher or water bottle
Drinking straight water can feel like a chore, especially in the first trimester. But we know that it is important to stay hydrated (especially if you’re newly pregnant in St. Pete where it feels like 1,000 degrees outside!). Adding some fruit or different fruit blends to infuse in your water the night before can give your water the extra kick of flavor you might need to hydrate your body effectively.
5. Sleep Mask
Making a human being from scratch has a way of zapping the energy out of you and makes you long for your bed. A sleep mask can help you block out the light at night to get a more restful sleep. Keep one in the car in case you want to sneak some winks on your lunch break!
6. Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols, RDN
This is one of the books that I recommend for every single woman who is pregnant. Lily Nichols is the leading perinatal nutrition expert in the United States and her heavily/thoroughly researched (and cited!) book is a must-have to learn about essential nutrients that we’re lacking (that your healthcare provider may not know about/tell you about), what to look for in a prenatal vitamin, how to eliminate toxins from your home, as well as the importance of a postpartum meal plan (something often overlooked in our Western culture). Follow her on Instagram @lilynicholsrdn!
7. A Home-Cooked Meal
Now that you’ve read Real Food for Pregnancy, you can go ahead and start making one of the many (delicious, healthy, simple) meals that is featured in her book! Or better yet, give one of the recipes to a friend or family member so they can make it for you 😇
8. Belly Band and/or Pants Extenders
For when you are in that awkward stage where you’re too bloated for regular pants but too small for maternity clothes. They work great for postpartum, too!
9. An appointment with an awesome doula!
It is never too early to start thinking about your birth and transition to parenting a new baby, whether this is your first time or not. What’s more, a doula can help you all throughout your pregnancy to help educate you and make you feel more comfortable and at ease in your newly pregnant skin. Wait, what even is a doula? Read about it here, in my own words. 🙃
10. Lots of grace, love, and support 💗
I definitely saved the best, and most important, for last. During pregnancy SO MUCH is changing in such a short amount of time (though it may feel like an eternity, it is a relatively short period, when you think about it) and it requires much of you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Not only is your body preparing, but your mind is preparing to care for another human being and there are a lot of unexpected twists and turns along the way! Be thankful that your body is able to do this good, beautiful work and remember to give yourself grace when you have to make changes in your routines or in the routines of others to accommodate your new state of being. Taking care of yourself is taking care of your baby. Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel supported and cherished will go a long way.
Do you have any other hot tips or must-haves for newly pregnant people? Let me know! Karaman, Karaman, Dogru, Tapar, Sahin, Suren, Arici, and Kaya. Evaluating the efficacy of lavender aromatherapy on peripheral venous cannulation pain and anxiety: A prospective, randomized study. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 May; 23:64-8.  Holst, Lone, Svein Haavik, and Hedvig Nordeng. “Raspberry Leaf – Should It Be Recommended to Pregnant Women?.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice 15.4 (2009): 204-208