8 tips for surviving the first trimester

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Well, I’m finally beginning to come out of the fog that is the first trimester. As you likely read in my post detailing all the super fun happenings of the first trimester, it was full of things like nausea, exhaustion and other not-so pleasant stuff that I’ll leave in that post. And I can’t even complain too much because while it’s been unpleasant in many ways, I know a lot of women who’ve had much more difficult pregnancies than me. Suffice it to say I realize how blessed I am.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share a bit about what I learned in my 2 pregnancies about how to survive the first trimester.

These 8 tips for surviving the first trimester seriously saved me- it's such a hard time but these simple tips definitemy made it a lot easier to get through! Click on the photo to read more...

  1. Keep food next to your bed to head off morning sickness- While this was more of an issue during my first pregnancy, I found that I could avoid the early morning puke-session by eating a couple bites of something a couple minutes before I got out of bed. I personally couldn’t handle saltines, but I found that a couple bites of a peanut butter cracker or a pretzel would save me from having to vomit during my morning shower.
  2. Eat often- This actually walks hand-in-hand with the last tip. I realized pretty quickly how backwards pregnancy nausea truly is. Because you feel terrible pretty much all day and nothing even sounds appetizing, but the best way to feel at least a tiny bit better is by making sure you eat consistently. I found that if I didn’t eat at least a little something pretty often throughout the day I would start to feel even more sick.
  3. Eat whatever you can- I know that the minute I found out I was pregnant, I really wanted to try and eat tons of healthy foods to get as much nutrients in to my baby as possible. But then my symptoms truly began and the idea of eating anything was horrifying to me. I’m still grossed out by that fact that I had a week during A’s pregnancy where the only thing I could get down was Easy Mac. I mentioned my concerns about healthy eating to my Doctor and she was very quick to tell me that the first trimester is about survival and to eat whatever I could stomach. You can focus on cleaning up your eating once the aversions and nausea (hopefully) subside in the second trimester. I’ve also heard that ginger candies, Preggie Pops and the usual BRAT diet can be helpful in settling out upset bellies.
  4. Drink lots of water- I am the absolute worst with this. I don’t dislike water, but I don’t drink nearly as much as I should. I can honestly say that the days that I didn’t focus on staying well hydrated were so much more exhausting and uncomfortable than the days that I made an effort to guzzle the water. This becomes even more apparent as your pregnancy progresses. Trust me on this!
  5. Diarrhea- If you’re a special snowflake like me and get this lovely symptom, I encourage you to try and eat a banana or two to tie things up so-to-speak. But, if you get the usual constipation, please disregard this tip (now that I’m in the second trimester and the diarrhea has switched to constipation I’ve had to cut the bananas).
  6. Slow down- This should go without saying but in practice it’s sometimes quite hard to remember. Many of us live busy, active lives. That’s great but remember that you are now growing a human. It takes a lot out of you. You likely cannot do as much as you did before. Know when to slow down and take a break. Trust me, you will know when you overdo it and it won’t feel good. Give yourself permission to relax. You can’t do it all and that’s ok.
  7. Don’t be afraid to call the Doctor- Every pregnancy is different, so even if this isn’t your first rodeo, you may find a whole slew of new things happening with your body. Don’t be afraid to call the Doctor. Best case it’s worth the piece of mind to hear that the weird symptom your experiencing is pretty normal, worst case it’s a situation that needs medical attention right away and so you did the right thing by calling. There truly are no stupid questions.
  8. Handling the bloat- Even though you technically won’t be showing (at least not the actually baby since it’ll still be pretty tiny for much of this time…that burrito on the other hand…) the first trimester if full of bloat. I’ve heard the bloat bump lovingly referred to as the “blump.” Seriously. The struggle is real. It’s highly likely that you may not fit into your pants at some point during the first trimester. If you want to make your pre-pregnancy pants last longer you could go for the rubber band trick or if your pants don’t have buttons (like all of my work pants) you can also pick up a cheap belly band like this one. You may also notice that your shirts seem shorter, particularly at the end of the first trimester. It’s an odd transitional time because some maternity shirts may also be too big. You can find great in between options at places like Marshalls and TJ Maxx. I also recently had great luck at Forever 21 by searching out the term “longline”. It’ll show you all of the options for their longer, tunic-style shirts. Additionally, Bra Extenders and comfy, cheap sports bras may also save your life depending on how quickly your ribs expand and if that causes you pain. My cup size stayed that same, they were just much fuller and my ribs expanded to the point that it was painful to wear my regular bras without an extender and later I had to switch to sports bras in much larger sizes completely.

Every pregnancy is different for every woman, so I’m sure I missed something. Hopefully these tips work as well for you as they did for me. I’d love to hear any tips that you have to add in the comments. What helped you get through your first trimester of pregnancy?

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Alyssa
    October 1, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    This is all new to me since with Dalton I had no symptoms whatsoever. I never felt that crushing exhaustion you hear about. Well, it’s HERE. I go to bed before my one year old quite frequently. My survival so far has been telling my husband that I can’t function and he needs to do everything, and telling my boss not to be concerned if I look miserable in the mornings because I probably am, but it’s nothing to do with work. So far, so good. And I can’t even complain! I can’t imagine puking every morning. Horrible!
    Alyssa recently posted…Breastfeeding: a year in reviewMy Profile

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 4, 2015 at 8:32 pm

      Isn’t it crazy how different they all are? Thank goodness for these amazing partners we have! I have so much respect for single moms because I can’t possibly imagine how hard it would be without a teammate in this! Hang in there!

  • Reply
    Scott
    October 2, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Great tips! Now we need one for helping us guys survive it too!
    Scott recently posted…If It Is Broken, You Fix It. Right, Domino’s?My Profile

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 4, 2015 at 8:30 pm

      Thank you…spoiler alert, my husband may or may not be working on that…

  • Reply
    Autumn
    October 3, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Congratulations on your pregnancy!! Apples help a lot too in the way of bananas. Maybe this is TMI, but I used to struggle with many IBS symptoms and apples really helped a lot!!
    Autumn recently posted…September gratitude journal |#KeepingTheGood linkupMy Profile

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 4, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Thank you 🙂 Totally not TMI, I have a pretty weak stomach in general, I’ve always wondered if it could be something like IBS, but I never looked into it. I never would have guessed apples, although it makes sense considering that the A in BRAT diet stands for applesauce, but silly me, I never put that together. Brilliant!

  • Reply
    Nikki
    October 4, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    These are some great tips! I don’t think I have many tips. Carbonation really helped my nausea in the beginning – I preferred sprite or ginger ale.
    Nikki recently posted…Up in the City with ChristinaMy Profile

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 4, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      THank you- you’re absolutely right- now that I think of it, I had a seltzer every day during my first pregnancy to help me get through my ride on the way to work! I completely forgot!

  • Reply
    Aspen Jay
    October 12, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Hi Jessy!

    I second the eating often, especially if you can stomach protein. Thankfully my first semester isn’t too bad, it is in the recovery after having my babies that I struggle with. Thanks for sharing your tips with us at Talented Tuesday. Hope your day is going well!
    Cheers,
    AJ
    Aspen Jay recently posted…Talented Tuesday Link Party #49My Profile

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 12, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Thank you! It’s always so interesting to me how everyone’s bodies handle pregnancy and birth differently. Postpartum wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible either. Hopefully I don’t tear this time around because I think that’s what contributed to much of the pain the first time around.

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