Hello friends, as you might know by now, I am currently pregnant with my second child.

It has been a lovely experience so far, and now that I am well into my second trimester things are going really well! I loved being pregnant with my first one, but now I enjoy this even more. I think part of this is because I put less pressure on myself this time around, and I allow my body to soften and grow to make room for baby. I also recognize the magic that pregnancy and creating a life truly is, and I don’t take any of it for granted.

What will happen with my content?

Here we are at 13 weeks pregnant. My daughter told me I had a baby in my belly when I was 8 weeks along, so she was one of the first to know. 🙂

I have asked you on Instagram if you’d like me to share more information on the topic of pregnancy, preconception and postpartum and I received a lot of valuable input from you and realized there is an interest in this topic. I also know that not all of you are on the same journey and so I don’t want to make this the main focus of my content. I will continue to write about nutrition in general, share recipes and lifestyle tips, but you will notice some additional focus on women’s health, pregnancy and postpartum nutrition. These are topics that I have been really interested in, especially as I am currently in the season of pregnancy. I recently completed a course on pregnancy nutrition and lifestyle and do want to share what I’ve learned. This is not just a period where we as future mothers are more motivated to improve our lifestyle, but our lifestyle indeed influences not just us but our unborn child as well.

My personal experience

Besides the more general and research-based topics I will cover, I will also share with you my own experience. We all know that oftentimes what is written on paper as a general recommendation, is very different from the realities of everyday life. And so I want to put this into perspective. I have entered this stage of life consciously, and have prepared for it in advance, which I’ll share in another post. But as you will see, I listen to my body and my intuition first.

Pregnancy is a sensitive period, our emotions are heightened, our senses are elevated and anxiety and uncertainty can sneak in too. Please know that by sharing my own experience I am going out of my comfort zone, but I am doing it in the hope that it will serve some of you.

So here it is – my pregnancy diary for my first trimester.

My first trimester

Tiredness

My daughter snapped this picture while I was napping on the terrace while she was playing

There were aspects of this pregnancy that were very different from the first one. The biggest difference is the level of exhaustion I experienced this time around. I am sure it also had something to do with the fact that this time I was also running behind an almost four year old all day, and that we were all at home, because of quarantine. I felt particularly tired after lunch, and I tried to sneak in some afternoon naps however I could. Thankfully, oftentimes I was able to find an activity for my daughter where she would quietly play for 40 minutes while I snoozed on the couch. Other times, it wasn’t that easy, and it has happened to me that I once fell asleep while sitting on the floor during playtime. My daughter was far from impressed and I was honestly shocked this could happen!

Food and Cravings

I had no desire to cook during the first trimester, so my husband spent more time in the kitchen. I was only able to prepare food for assembled bowls like this one.

My appetite has been good in the first trimester. I didn’t suffer from nausea and morning sickness in both my pregnancies, so that made it easier. I ate the same way as before the pregnancy and didn’t have any cravings. The only change was that smoothies in the morning were not appealing to me, but they were ok in the afternoon.

I had no desire for coffee, and the smell was actually unpleasant to me. I already stopped drinking coffee a few months before I conceived, so there was no withdrawal. I used to drink matcha lattes in the mornings before conception and shortly after, but around week 8 the thought of something creamy in the morning really put me off.

I also didn’t have strong cravings for carbohydrates. During my first pregnancy, I remember craving plain carbs, such as white baguette and pasta all the time during my first trimester. This is not the case now and though I consume healthy carbs, it is about the same ratio as before pregnancy. I actually started craving sourdough, sprouted rye bread, also known as Ezekiel bread. I laughed when I saw in the package that two thin slices provide you with 90% of your regular folate requirements. I am in awe with my body and its intuitive wisdom. I am also really leaning into my intuition during this pregnancy, not just when it comes to food, but also movement, rest and my surroundings.

I also noticed that my body asks for more dairy. If before my pregnancy I hardly had any dairy, now I have some fermented dairy, such as hard cheese, goat’s yogurt or kefir about two to three times a week. I digest them well and actually feel good with them. To each their own, as they say. If in my first pregnancy I was resisting the urge to eat dairy when I craved it, because I didn’t think it is healthy, now I trust the intuitive wisdom of my body. We need to take into consideration our entire diet and lifestyle. And while some foods like dairy, should be consumed in moderation, they certainly can have a place in a healthy pregnancy in my books.

Digestion

My digestion suffered in the first trimester (thanks hormones!) and that was probably the most unpleasant symptom I had. Things were just very slow. I couldn’t eat a normal portion of food as if I did, I would feel completely stuffed. So I was not eating three meals a day, but rather had small meals every two to three hours. I found this really helped with digestion and it also somewhat relived the tiredness I felt after every meal. Drinking water, and eating more fiber and foods rich in magnesium were at the forefront for me, but even with all that, things were not getting that much better. I started taking higher does of magnesium after discussing it with my doctor, which helps draw water into the intestines and stimulates bowel motility. This helped me a lot.

Food aversions

Around week 10 I noticed that I had an aversion towards tofu. I didn’t like the look of it, so I avoided preparing it. We had an Asian dinner one night and it was ok, but my appetite was not there. I then again tried some tofu for lunch, and it really displeased me, so I took a notice and stopped consuming any soy products. My appetite was stable, and again, besides the above I had no cravings or change of diet compared to preconception.

Body changes

At 16 weeks and my belly popped

My body definitely looks different than the first time around. In my first pregnancy I only started showing shortly after 20 weeks, where here as you can see I popped already around week 15. 🙂 I honestly love it! I enjoy the growing belly and all the sensations that pregnancy brings. I feel comfortable and confident in my body, much more than the first time around. I haven’t been weighing myself much either, which is a big difference from the first pregnancy, where I recorded my weight every week. Now I just don’t bother. I think I have put on about 2,5kg so far, which is about the same as with my first pregnancy at this stage.

My first trimester menu – example

Below is a short example of what I’ve been eating during my first trimester.

Breakfast:

  • Oats with berries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax, and almond butter
  • Sourdough bread with avocado and eggs
  • Fruit with some yogurt (not that often) and homemade granola
  • Orange juice with a splash of cranberry juice

Lunch:

  • Green salads with olive oil and vinegar dressing, pumpkin seeds, dulse flakes, Ezekiel bread with avocado or cheese, raw veggies
  • Vegetable soups (potatoes, leafy greens, carrots, onions, celery, zucchini with sourdough bread and a thin spread of ghee)
  • Tofu terrine (with seaweed) with vegetables and brown rice
  • Black lentils, quinoa, leafy greens and veggie bowl with tahini dressing
  • Steamed asparagus with eggs and sourdough bread, green salad

Snack:

  • Fresh fruit, hard cheese, hummus, raw veggies, strawberries, melons, roasted nuts
  • Smoothie with berries, banana, spinach, organic spirulina, protein powder, brazil nuts, fortified oat milk

Dinner:

  • Jamie Oliver’s vegan shepard’s pie with minced tofu, sweet potato and lentils with a green salad
  • Chickpea pasta with pumpkin sauce and sautĂ©ed spinach
  • Wild salmon with oven roasted potatoes (with the skin), sautĂ©ed leafy greens or broccoli
  • Chickpea burgers with avocado and green salad; have been loving rucola salad this pregnancy!

That’s all from me for now. If you’d like me to cover any specific topics in the near future, let me know your suggestions in the comments below.

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