Gluten-Free Pregnancy: The First Trimester
Told from the perspective of a first-time mother living gluten-free
I consulted with a lot of doctors before I got pregnant to make sure there were no lingering effects from my years of gluten-induced sickness. It was 2012 and five years had passed since I began living gluten-free. By all accounts, I was healthy and there was no reason I couldn’t safely carry a baby to term.
But I was worried. Years of my body not working properly taught me hard lessons about the fragility of health and the importance of wellness. I had no idea if I would have trouble getting pregnant or how pregnancy might affect my body. I spent six months preparing myself to get pregnant—I was taking (gluten-free) prenatal vitamins, eating a nutrient-rich diet, exercising regularly, and trying not to worry about the unknown.
I was ready—or as ready as I could be for such a tremendous life change. Thankfully, I had no problems getting pregnant quickly.
But those first several months were rough. I was working full-time and battling near-constant nausea. I was elated…but also miserable. I wish I could provide insight about
morning all-day sickness remedies, but the reality is that I just had to survive that period of time. A few things that helped me survive:
Located on my person at all times.
My dedicated gluten-free toaster
To provide gluten-free toast on demand (see above).
The only time I wasn’t actively nauseous. Plus, I got to eat gluten-free toast in bed when I woke up.
Work, although emotionally demanding, really helped those first several weeks pass by without too much time to think about my personal misery (this also helps in the last few weeks).
When I realized my prenatals were making my morning nausea worse, I started taking them at night. When I realized I needed to sleep, I slept—even if that meant 10 minutes in my car between appointments. When I needed gluten-free toast, I plugged my toaster in and made it. When the second trimester of my gluten-free pregnancy began and I was still battling morning sickness, I held out hope…