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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?