The first trimester of pregnancy is an exciting time for any new mom; however, it can also be difficult with overwhelming symptoms that are sometimes hard to combat. But take heart! There are lots of ways to cope with the changes that are brought about by a pregnancy. Here are six tips for surviving those first twelve weeks:
Tip #1- Be Prepared for Change
Most women don’t show at all in this stage, but that doesn’t mean that life goes on just as before! As pregnancy hormones are produced, many changes begin to take place within the female body, including growth in breast size, nausea, bloating, fatigue and mood swings. Sometimes these types of changes can be unsettling, especially when they prevent you from performing everyday tasks. During this stage, try your best to embrace these changes, as they are simple reminders that your little one is growing and preparing to enter the world!
Tip #2- Transition Slowly
Caffeine, junk food, heavy lifting, and even a good night’s rest are just a few things that moms are forced to give up during pregnancy. While some habits, like the ones mentioned above, should perhaps be given up immediately to help ensure a healthy pregnancy, you may be able to transition into giving up other things. For example, if you’re an avid runner, you may want to try cutting back to a light jog a few times a week rather than intense running every day. This goes for maternity clothing as well. During your first trimester, you may not have to make a sudden switch from your regular clothing to maternity clothing. Try incorporating one or two maternity items into your wardrobe at first, then maybe you can add additional pieces as needed.
Tip #3- Allow Time for Rest & Relaxation
Some newly pregnant moms tends to place the same expectations on herself as she did before she was pregnant–pushing through the symptoms to accomplish her normal workload. But this is not always realistic. Too much exertion can only cause symptoms to worsen and increase the amount of fatigue that a new mom already feels. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, taking a break, or saying no to a draining commitment. The priority now is a healthy and happy pregnancy. Schedule time for rest and relaxation, and make sure your daily tasks don’t become too much of a physical burden.
Tip #4- Stay Active
Studies have shown that moms who stay active during pregnancy have shorter, easier labor and delivery, healthier babies, and a better prenatal experience. Even just 10 minutes of brisk activity can yield benefits like better sleep, less fatigue, and even help alleviate constipation. There are also options like prenatal yoga that are specifically designed for moms to be. Staying active can make a mom feel better and improve both her and her baby’s health. It is important to remember that there is a fine line between staying active and overdoing it. During your first trimester, and throughout your entire pregnancy, be sure to remember that moderation is key.
Tip #5- Sleep
As soon as the first trimester begins, fatigue can hit like a ton of bricks. It is not uncommon for a woman to feel like she needs midday naps, extended nighttime sleeping hours, or more frequent rests throughout the day- and that’s okay! Staying active and ensuring that you’re getting the proper amount of iron and vitamin B can help, but the best thing for this doozy of a symptom is sleep! Taking a nap or going to bed early is always the best remedy for first trimester fatigue.
Tip #6- Be Prepared for Morning Sickness
Along with fatigue, morning sickness is one of the trademark symptoms of the first trimester. It affects 75%-85% of all women, and varies in severity from mild nausea to a frequent need to vomit. Sickness may be reduced by little tricks like eating frequent, small, high protein snacks throughout the day, eating ginger chews or mints, and using acupressure motion sickness bands. When all else fails, stay near a bathroom, and remember that the second trimester brings relief to most women from this not-so-fun experience. It is also important to note that although this symptom is commonly referred to as “morning sickness”, it can, and often does, occur during various parts of the day.
Tip #7- Find an Oasis
For some women, it’s their bed and a certain arrangement of comfy pillows. For others, it’s a hot relaxing bath or a certain cozy chair. Whatever it is, it’s important for a woman in her first trimester (and all throughout her pregnancy), to find a spot where she can truly relax- and use it!
Ultimately, the first trimester can be especially difficult and tiring, but it’s most certainly worth it. It goes without saying that the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is just the beginning of a long journey. However, the first trimester is perhaps the most important part of that journey, because it is during this time when you kick bad habits, learn new habits, set new routines, and get use to the feeling of being pregnant. With the proper care and the right mindset, the first trimester can be the beginning of an exciting and healthy pregnancy.