First Trimester (weeks 1-12)

Anxious in early pregnancy? Here’s your tool kit

The Ribbon Box editorial team   |   16 Apr 2023

You’ve done the test, maybe got the bloodwork and are still (a little) in shock. Once the news has had time to settle, it’s totally normal to start feeling a flutter of nerves. Being anxious in early pregnancy is all part of this incredible, rollercoaster ride.

At this stage, you’re likely to have a whole list of questions about your pregnancy, and how things are developing. From week six symptoms and how your embryo might be measuring, to prepping for the first scan and changing up your lifestyle, there’s a huge amount going on.

Early pregnancy requires a tool kit. A safe space you can tap into, when it can feel like very little is happening, pre-scans, appointments, and telling friends and family. Actually, the rapid development you and your baby are achieving is mind-blowing. But without the visuals, it can be hard to relax and trust the process.

So, here are five actionable things you can do, right now, to make early pregnancy a little easier on you, and your mindset. It’s about keeping busy, but finding calm. Booking things in, and writing stuff off. Focusing on nourishment, which comes in all forms.

You’ve got this. Let’s go.

Juno Diagnostics-nutrient-density

1. Think nutrient density

A great starting point, when you get that BFP (big fat positive) pregnancy test, is to take a look at how you’re eating, and do a bit of digging on where you can make tweaks or optimize.

Depending on where you are in those first 12-14 weeks of early pregnancy, any morning sickness may not have kicked in yet. If you’re feeling well and able, now is the time to pack a punch with your groceries list, focusing on nutrient density.

Whole foods and nutrition superstars we love for early pregnancy include:

  • whole fat dairy and eggs (especially the yolks)
  • folate-rich greens, including collard greens, spinach, cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli
  • antioxidant-rich foods, think berries, dark chocolate (yay!), pecans and herbs like parsley, and cilantro
  • good quality meat and fish (wild, grass-fed and/or organic, where possible)
  • lots of high-quality fats like coconut or olive oil, and butter

If you have room in the budget, speaking to a qualified nutritionist who specializes in early pregnancy might be a great option. If not, focusing on micronutrients is also a fantastic strategy in these very early weeks, including:

  • selenium
  • cobalamin (vitamin B12)
  • folate
  • omega-3
  • vitamin D
  • choline

Check your supplement labels, do a bit of research and aim to eat well at this time. Eat the rainbow, as they say, and pack in the healthy fats and proteins alongside.

2. Book in some gentle exercise

Whether this is blocking out the time in your schedule for a walk and your favorite podcast, or booking in to a gentle yoga or pilates class – we love these online sessions specifically designed for very early pregnancy by Element Pilates & Yoga – how you move is up to you.

Regular activity through low impact exercise like walking, yoga, and swimming can have an immensely positive impact on your health by reducing stress and improving blood circulation for a healthier pregnancy. It’s also a fantastic way to pass the time, which – in early pregnancy – is what we’re all about.

There’s nothing like booking a block of six restorative yoga sessions to put the next phase of pregnancy clearly in sight, so find what lights you up and schedule it in.

3. Take the early nights

Sounds obvious. But alongside propelling you through the early weeks, early nights do wonders for your overall wellbeing, wherever you’re at in pregnancy.

It depends on your starting point, of course. If you’re a night owl and 11PM average is your lights-out jam, consider jumping into bed an hour earlier with some chamomile tea and a book.

If you’re already clock-watching at 9PM, follow your instincts. Rest is a fantastic tool at this time, as it allows your body to jump start the amazing growth and development demanded by pregnancy.

In the same bracket as early nights comes de-stressing where possible, and taking it easy (again, where possible). On the team, we prefer to keep busy but set boundaries – prioritizing a sensible finish time for work and heading to that yoga class, for example.

Juno Diagnostics-scans appointments NIPS

4. Sort out your scans, appointments & NIPS

This is the first trimester and, if you were starting to wonder when things would feel ‘real’, don’t worry. Alongside eating well and putting to-dos in the calendar, there’s nothing like that first prenatal appointment and clearing your schedule for scans, to help time fly by.

Scans and appointments will sound familiar, but for parents-to-be looking for an extra layer of reassurance in early pregnancy, NIPS can give you just that.

Next generation NIPS (non-invasive prenatal screening), uses a small amount of blood from a finger prick, rather than a traditional blood draw. It can be conducted as early as nine weeks into pregnancy, and screens for trisomy 21, 18 and 13, plus your baby’s gender (fetal sex).

All of this, from the comfort of your own home and with results ready in two to four business days of the lab receiving your sample.

5. Identify your support network

Whether you plan on sharing your pregnancy news now, in the first trimester, or a little later on, you can still begin leaning into your support network.

Whether that’s your partner, for extra support with day-to-day practicalities, or a trusted friend or family member for buddying up on a gentle walk, or heading over for tea and distraction tactics, now is the time to work out who fits where.

Our team here at TRB have personal understanding of the zig-zagging emotions that come with early pregnancy, especially after a fertility journey.

Community is so important for many of us, at this time. So for a support network who truly get the space you’re in, do reach out – we’re here to support you at every step in your journey, and our Instagram DMs are always open, here at TRB HQ.

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