The first trimester of pregnancy can be ROUGH. You want to feel happy and excited about this baby, but it can be hard sometimes when all you seem to be doing these days is worrying and spending hours leaning over a toilet.
8 tips for surviving the first trimester of pregnancy (when it sucks)
Some women breeze their way through their pregnancies. And then there are other women who do not.
I expected that I would have one of those breeze-right-through pregnancies when I was around 7 weeks pregnant and still proudly morning-sickness-free. Little did I know it was waiting for me just around the corner.
Don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy pregnancy (really – I don’t want to complain), but some days are a bit tougher than the others, and that first trimester was definitely the hardest part of my whole pregnancy.
Whether you’re having a difficult first trimester in the form of morning sickness and other unpleasant pregnancy symptoms, or you’re just not loving the first trimester because of all the mental struggles you’re going through, I get it. It can be tough.
You’re excited to be pregnant (you might be a little terrified, too. That’s totally normal – you have the next 9 months to get used to the idea of being pregnant. You have time to warm up to it.), but you’re struggling to be excited about it allthetime since, frankly, sometimes you just feel like plain crap.
I know the feeling – you want to be excited and you want to be happy all the time, and you feel guilty when you’re not. Aren’t you supposed to LOVE every moment of this whole experience? Cut yourself some slack, mama. Some days aren’t going to be easy, and it’s okay to admit that. Here are a couple tips to help you survive the first trimester of pregnancy. (I promise, it only goes up from here.)(THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE. YOU CAN READ OUR DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE.)
8 tips for surviving the first trimester of pregnancy
1. Take naps
Nap when you can, where you can. This early in your pregnancy you shouldn’t be feeling too uncomfortable, but pregnancy insomnia can hit women early on, so while you CAN sleep, DO sleep.
Don’t feel guilty for being so tired that your body is literally shutting down. It’s okay – you’re growing a baby. Your body is going through A LOT of changes right now. You need your rest.
Before I even found out I was pregnant I was struggling to make it through a day without falling asleep sometime in the afternoon. That was one of the first trimester symptoms that got me wondering if I was indeed pregnant.
If you spend your days at work, use your breaks to take a quick snack then head somewhere quiet and sneak in a little nap – even if that means sleeping in your car.
Don’t worry, this pregnancy fatigue should go away once you hit your second trimester. It’s right about then that you should get that big energy boost that you hear people talking about all the time.
If you hear people talking about having loads and loads of energy in pregnancy, there’s a really good chance that they’re meaning they got that in the second trimester. I haven’t heard of very many pregnant mamas who have been bursting at the seams with energy during the first trimester.
If you ARE already having a hard time getting comfortable while you’re trying to sleep (that’s nothing to feel guilty about. Different pregnancy symptoms hit ladies at different times), you can grab a FREE pregnancy pillow here with the code deliberatelyhere50 at the checkout.
2. Give yourself a break
You’re growing a human being in your body – that’s no small feat. If you’re beating yourself up because you cried over crumbs on the floor (or carrots, in my case), or you find yourself worrying about all the things the first trimester can bring, or you can’t believe you lashed out like you did.
Maybe you feel guilty because you’re not loving being pregnant.
Whatever the case, you really need to cut yourself some slack. Your hormones are all out of whack right now and it’s completely normal to not be normal right now.
3. Find some morning sickness remedies
Even if your morning sickness hasn’t started yet, 85% of pregnant women struggle with morning sickness. That means there’s a really good chance that you’re going to struggle with it, too, at some point.
If you are feeling good still now, take this time to go out and grab a couple morning sickness remedies to keep at home so you’re prepared for when it hits you. You can also find a couple ways to prevent morning sickness here.
A couple morning sickness remedies include:
- Vitamin B6 (talk to your doctor before taking any new vitamins
- Preggie Pop Drops (these contain vitamin B6 which helps with pregnancy nausea. Learn more about vitamin B6 and morning sickness here.)
- Freezies (yes – freezies)
You can find the complete list of morning sickness remedies here.
Morning sickness is not fun. At all. If you have struggled with morning sickness, you know by now that whoever gave it the name “MORNING sickness” has led many mamas and mamas-to-be down a misleading path.
BUT – morning sickness typically tapers off around 14 – 16 weeks pregnant, so that’s something you can look forward to.
4. Get some maternity clothes
You’re most likely not going to be showing yet, or for quite a while, but buying some maternity clothes now is still a good idea.
I had plans of just wearing my regular clothes (then leggings and sweats when I outgrew my jeans) all through my pregnancy.
It was a bad plan.
Even if I could have fit in my regular clothes all through my pregnancy, there is no way I would have wanted to. With all the changes going on, you deserve to be comfortable.
I didn’t even make it through my first trimester before I went out and got some maternity jeans and shirts. I wasn’t showing yet, but I was so bloated and uncomfortable that any amount of pressure from my jeans on my abdomen was extremely comfortable.
Off to buy maternity clothes I went.
5. Eat what you want (and can) when you want (and can)
Forget what your friends and family are telling you to eat to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients right now.
Throw that out the window and find something you CAN eat. Then eat that.
If you’re feeling so nauseous that you struggle to keep any food down, don’t worry about nutrition right now. Eat what you can eat, because any food is better than no food.
Don’t force that salad down your throat if you know it’s just going to come back up or if it will make you feel miserable for the next few hours. Find some kind of food that you can eat without wanting to vomit, and eat it.
You can start worrying about nutrition and healthy eating when you’re actually able to eat. For the first few months of my pregnancy, I lived off of grilled cheese. I got a craving for it one day, so I gave it a try. Surprisingly, I could eat it with no issues. It was a kind of food I actually enjoyed, and those foods were few and far in between during my first trimester.
When my morning sickness left and I was finally able to eat again, I of course started focusing on eating healthier foods then, but for those first few months just find something you CAN eat.
6. Know that it will pass
The first trimester nausea, anxiety, guilt, and hormones will pass. You will get through this tough part of pregnancy, and you will realize it was all worth it when you can finally hold your precious baby in your arms.
All of these pregnancy symptoms may not go away for everyone after the first trimester, but they will go away eventually (if not sooner than when you have your baby).
Find stuff to do to help you pass the time. If you’re struggling with morning sickness, stock up on a few essential morning sickness remedies and your favorite TV show and binge watch. If you struggle with pregnancy anxiety, know that you’re not alone. 1 in every 10 pregnant women struggles with pregnancy anxiety. It’s not as easy as “finding something to distract yourself”… but that can be a good place to start.
Find something to do to keep you busy, whether that be working, hanging out with some friends, watching movies, exercising, or whatever helps you take your mind off your anxieties. Try to think of the joys that await you at the end of this pregnancy, rather than dwelling on the anxiety.
7. Stay hydrated
Getting dehydrated is never a good thing. Getting dehydrated in pregnancy is really not a good thing. Dehydration in pregnancy can cause a lot of pregnancy complications, and may even cause birth defects. (Source)
You’ll definitely want to stay hydrated during pregnancy. I wasn’t able to drink water during my first trimester, anytime I did I would throw it – and whatever else was in my stomach – back up. (I could sometimes get down a small glass of water in the evenings, but almost any water before that came flying back up faster than it went down.)
Now that I’m past the nausea stage, I can drink water without it making me throw up. I’ve always been bad at drinking water and keeping myself hydrated, even long before my pregnancy, so now I always try to carry a reusable water bottle (like this one) around with me. I find when I have the water right by me, I tend to drink it more throughout the day rather than if I actually have to go to the kitchen to get a glass of water.
Do whatever works best for you to keep yourself hydrated throughout your pregnancy. If you find you’re not able to drink water without throwing up, substitute it for a low-sugar juice, some Gatorade, or a Mio water enhancer. (That’s what I did.)
8. Don’t stress over stuff
You may feel like you need to have piles of baby clothes washed and put away already, diapers, a crip, a stroller, and everything else baby that you can think of.
You will have plenty of time to get all this stuff done over the next few months. Take these first three months easy. You don’t need to add getting all the things onto your plate right now when you’re already feeling overwhelmed with pregnancy hormones and struggling with morning sickness. Stuff will fall into place – stressing over it doesn’t help AT ALL.
Trust me. I thought I needed to get all the things right from the get-go. What I didn’t realize was, 1) I’m going to have plenty of time in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters to do this, and 2) when people hear you’re pregnant, often they feel inclined to give you stuff. Lots of stuff.
There’s a good chance you will get most of what you need given to you – so there’s no point in making yourself go out and buy it now, especially while you’re feeling terrible.
That’s your complete list of ways to surviving the first trimester. It can be brutal – but it will be worth it. (And it’s totally okay to NOT feel like it’s worth it right now.)
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