The physical effects of the first trimester can vary greatly for everyone. Some may only notice feeling tired, but notice no other changes. Others may not notice any symptoms at all. Then there are those that get hit with all of the symptoms, like major fatigue, morning (or all day and into forever) sickness, emotional highs and lows...I’ve been there and it is rough.
While scouring the internet for information on first trimester hacks, I noticed that everything revolved around advice for combatting nausea which can be helpful, though admittedly I had very little success with a majority of the tips I found. This was disappointing to me because after having gone through some difficult pregnancies the one thing I remember struggling with is feeling frustrated that I couldn’t just feel normal and how suddenly ordinary tasks felt like climbing mountains. I was sick, exhausted, and felt defeated as life seemed to pile up around me when all I really wanted to do was just feel well, be excited, and enjoy my time growing a human.
So, out of this need of my own I felt compelled to share my own tricks on surviving the first trimester or you know, the portion of pregnancy that is really, really hard...even if it’s the whole thing.
First things first:
Rest as much as possible
Sleep in. Take naps. Even if all you can sneak in is a cat nap here and there. Listen to your body when it tells you that it’s tired.
Accept help, or delegate out tasks
It’s ok to be vocal about being tired or not feeling well and needing others to do more. When someone offers extra help, say yes! If no one offers, ask for some extra help. If it’s in the budget, consider hiring someone to help with household tasks.
Let go of the guilt
Be kind to yourself! While it may not feel like much right now, your body is hosting and fueling the growth of every essential structure that is present in a human being. That is amazing, and it really is ok if you didn’t check anything else off your to-do list for the day. Take advantage of your good days and enjoy any victories, no matter the size of them.
Honor that body
It really is important to fuel and care for your body during this time of growth and change as much as you can. I know food can be a tricky one, but nutrient dense foods in small, but frequent amounts and staying hydrated can be helpful. I will say the one thing that has made a difference with nausea was trying to get ahead of it by eating high protein foods first thing in the morning before my morning (all day and into forever) sickness had a chance to realize I was awake. When you’re feeling restless treat yourself to a nice epsom salt bath. If you’re feeling up to it, try some gentle stretches and get some fresh air.
Communicate with your provider
Talk with your provider openly about how you are feeling. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations on ways to cope with feeling ill. It’s okay to acknowledge your struggles and to want relief. You’ve got this. -Aubrey Thayer, Evergreen Valley Doula Services