For some women the first trimester of pregnancy is a breeze full of happiness and the start of a pregnancy glow. But for many, it isn’t so easy. Some of us battle “all-day” sickness, exhaustion, constipation, headaches, and even acne. Read on for tips on coping with some of the more common symptoms of the first trimester.
It is not uncommon to suffer from extreme fatigue during the first trimester. Your body is in overdrive, surging with hormones, as the cells of your baby multiply at an exponential rate. Battling exhaustion when you are already a parent to young kids or working every day isn’t easy. The most important thing you can do is squeeze in as much rest as you can.
- Go to bed an hour or two earlier than you usually do. Cleaning, laundry, and your favorite TV show can wait. It won’t be the end of the world.
- Take advantage of any breaks you are given at work or throughout the day. Kick your feet up for a while. Let your eyes close. Even if it is only for 15-20 minutes, it’s better than nothing.
- Take a brisk walk in fresh air. This sounds counter-intuitive to resting, but if you really need the extra energy to get you through the day, get those endorphins pumping a little bit. A few minutes of fresh air and exercise can buy you an hour or more of productivity.
Nausea & Morning Sickness
Oh, the dreaded morning (or more accurately, any-time-of-day) sickness. This is probably the toughest thing you will have to manage during your pregnancy. Add it in on top of working or taking care of a family and you’ve really got a lot on your plate. Here are a few tips that may help you get through bouts of nausea and vomiting:
- Snack frequently and eat several small meals each day instead of 3 larger ones.
- Wear a Sea-Band Acupressure Wristband.
- Eat ginger. We love these ginger chews for a sweet and spicy treat that keeps nausea at bay.
- Suck on hard candies like lemon drops or give Preggie Pops a try.
An increase in the hormone progesterone, which spikes during the first trimester, can often slow down digestion. To avoid constipation, or at least help ease it, give these a try:
- Increase your fiber intake. Think whole grains and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also incorporate a daily serving of dried prunes in to your diet.
- Water, water, water. Make sure you are consuming water all day long – even more than you usually do. Invest in a new, fun water bottle to carry with you everywhere. If water isn’t sounding appealing to you at the moment, try doctoring it up with some added fresh fruit or citrus, or give flavored sparkling water a try.
- Make sure you're getting exercise. This can be tough when you aren’t feeling well or you're struggling with fatigue, but it is so important to keep things moving through your body. Even just a 15 minute brisk walk each day can do wonders.
If you find yourself suffering from severe headaches during pregnancy, you may feel like there’s no hope in overcoming them. Ibuprofen, the key ingredient in Motrin, is off limits during pregnancy and for many it is their go-to pain reliever. However, your options don’t stop there. Talk to your doctor about safe medicinal options, like Tylenol, or give these natural alternatives a try:
- Treat yourself to some caffeine. Many women stop drinking coffee cold-turkey when they find out they’re pregnant, but small amounts of caffeine each day won’t harm your baby. Caffeine actually opens up blood vessels to allow blood to flow more freely, which can sometimes relieve headaches. So, make yourself a cup of black tea or coffee and see if it eases the pain.
- Peppermint essential oil. Apply a couple drops to a diffuser and breath it in, or massage into your temples or neck for some relief. Peppermint oil may actually ease any nausea you are experiencing, too! Always invest in a high-quality oil like this one from DoTerra.
- Rest and apply a cold/hot compress to your head to ease pain.
- Make sure you are well hydrated and have eaten a well rounded diet that day. If not, make yourself a high-protein snack with a tall glass of water.
Skin issues while pregnant are no fun at all. Not only can acne pop up on your face that’s worse than anything you experienced during your adolescent years, but there really isn’t much you can do about it. Most topical and medicinal acne treatments are out of the question, so here are a few alternative options:
- Go makeup shopping. Seek professional help from a beauty consultant to find your perfect skin match and invest in a good concealer to hide any problem areas.
- Once again, water, water, water! Stay hydrated.
- Remember that your baby is worth it. Acne will probably not be the last scar you are left with from your pregnancy and childbirth, so learn to embrace it. All are earned marks of what you went through to grow a healthy child. And once baby is here, you can work on getting everything back in line.
From one mom to another:
This too shall pass. That’s what I told myself continuously as I battled horrendous nausea, exhaustion, and acne during the first trimester of my third pregnancy while continuing to work full time. Some days I didn’t think I would make it, but I always did. I remember lounging on the couch while my kids ate crackers and cheese for dinner in front of the TV and feeling like an awful mother. But, sometimes you just have to rest and let things slide. Ask for help from friends and family. Cut yourself some slack. You are growing a human being inside you! It’s a HUGE job. Whatever negative pregnancy symptom you end up with, know that it will pass. Before you know it, you’ll be holding that sweet bundle of joy in your arms.
Photo Credit: Dreams To Do