Surviving the first trimester can be tough! But it is possible to get through it and actually enjoy it at the same time.
The first few weeks after finding out I was pregnant were far different than I’d imagined. The biggest thing that differed was how long you wait to see the doctor! After taking the test, I called the doctor and they scheduled me for sometime between 8 and 12 weeks. I don’t know about you, but as a first-time pregnant woman, I had no idea what to expect or even what to do now!
Of course, I took to Google (which is not recommended) but that was the only way I learned answers to questions like: What could I eat and not eat? What kinds of activities were prohibited now? What will my first appointment be like? And how do I deal with all these new, crazy symptoms?
So today I want to share some tips and tricks I learned as I went through the crazy and exciting first trimester. I’m by no means an expert, these are just some of the things that helped me get through it!
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Pregnancy is different for everyone. And if you have a symptom that is concerning you or if you have an important question, I do recommend calling your doctor. More than likely they will be happy to help you.
Tip #1: Get the Apps!
There are so many pregnancy apps and I literally have four that I settled on keeping. I loved seeing exactly what was developing in my growing baby and learning how big the baby is. And these apps have great symptom trackers, helpful articles and fun tips and tricks too. And the best part is, they're all free!
Here are my favorite apps (and a few reasons why):
This was my go-to at the start of each new week. Every week has an “Inside This Week” article. And inside there is a movable 3D image of baby and the detailed developing features. As a visual person, I love seeing things like this. It helped me feel connected to the tiny little baby inside so early on. This app also has a fun tidbit about how big the baby is each day, comparing it to something fun. It was fun to tell my husband, “Today the baby is the size of a bumble bee” or “a penny” or “a tennis ball”.
This app is great for tracking all things! I recorded my doctor questions here and tracked all my symptoms. Every day it gives you a little tidbit about the newest developing feature. And there were tons of helpful articles!
What to Expect
I loved the weekly videos that show a 3D rendering of what the baby looks like and detailed descriptions of each developing feature. My favorite was in week 10 and 11 where I could see the tiny baby’s kicks and flutters (even though I couldn’t feel it yet!).
This app has some really neat videos and images of the baby as well. WIth much of the same information as the other apps, I mainly use this one for the forum community. You can join your birth month community and read others’ questions and ask your own!
Tip #2: Morning Sickness Tips & Advice
Morning sickness sucks - let's be real. There are so many things out there about how to get over morning sickness and honestly, sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. Here are some of the best tips that have helped me and I hope that they can help you too! (Please note: You should talk to your doctor if your symptoms get really bad!)
Drink lots of water. And when you think you've had enough, drink more! You can also drink several other fluids like Gatorade, broth, popsicles, etc.
Always Keep Food With You & In Your Stomach
Don't let yourself get hungry! When your stomach is empty, morning sickness can be triggered. (That's why they call it morning sickness - because in the morning, your stomach is very empty!!)
Try to keep snacks on hand and in your purse. Stock up on granola bars and other snacks. I would try and eat at least every 2 hours, even if I didn't feel hungry. This helped me not to get to the point of miserable nausea!
I ate a lot of applesauce in the beginning of my pregnancy. It was easy to eat while feeling nauseous and easy on my stomach. And once I had that in my stomach, I could usually eat something else.
Find Your Aversions & Stay Away
This was really hard for me in the beginning beause I felt like I needed to continue to eat all the same healthy things I was eating before I got pregnant. But for me, all the things I developed strong aversions to were all the things I had been eating a lot of before (including my favorite food, popcorn!).
I recommend not buying in bulk because aversions tend to change. Figure out what those aversions are for you and stay away. When you avoid them, you may find that you have more of an apetite and can eat more. It's not worth tryign to force down kale and spinach if it's just going to make you sick. I had to literally throw away what was in my fridge because everytime I opened the door, I lost my apetite just looking at it!
Thankfully as the first trimester ended, these aversions grew more sparse. So hang in there!
Tip #3: Preggie Pops!
I suffered from extreme nausea for most of my first trimester. In fact at times I was sitting with a barf bag (stolen from an airplane) in the car convinced I couldn’t go inside without throwing up.
I absolutely hate throwing up, it’s one of my greatest fears. So I needed to find something to help with this symptom and fast.
So I heard of Preggie Pops through the grapevine and these changed my life! Well at least for these first few miserable weeks.
Going back to those moments in the car with the barf bag, I’d pop in a Preggie Pop and although everything in me wanted to spit it out, I forced myself to keep sucking. And after two small minutes, my nausea faded. After 5 or so minutes, I wasn’t nauseous anymore.
Try them here:
Tip #4: Give Yourself Grace & REST!
I struggled with this. I hated feeling like I was just being lazy or overusing the excuse of pregnancy when I would sit out an evening with people or let the dishes stack up. My husband was a huge help with some of the chores I could no longer stand (because of the smell).
But I’d silently berate myself for not doing more.
After some time, I realized how important it was to give myself more grace. After all, your body is literally creating a new life! That is hard work!
Hormones raging through you that aren’t normally leave you feeling all kinds of things. And that is okay.
It’s okay not to feel well and it’s okay to give yourself breaks. As many as you can.
I struggle to give myself grace in general, so this was definitely a growing experience for me. But I’ve gotten a lot better and it takes away a lot of unnecessary stress and pressure.
So will you give yourself grace as your body forms a new little life inside?
Tip # 5: Let Yourself Dream A Little
I really struggled with anxiety in my first trimester and throughout pregnancy. I feared getting excited or attached when something could so easily go wrong.
But this left me feeling stressed and disconnected from the major changes that were happening in my body and in our life. The advice from a great friend was to let yourself get as attached as you want. If something happens, it’s going to be hard no matter how attached you are.
This freed me, allowing me to start getting excited. Of course, I still knew the risk so I didn’t start decorating the nursery just yet! But I began to let myself think of the baby as just that - a growing baby that would soon join our family.
Let yourself get as attached as you want. Your pregnancy is going to be unique and it’s okay to get excited, even if it’s still early.