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Let’s face it – the first trimester of pregnancy sucks. At least for the majority of woman it is the hardest trimester. With the pregnancy hormones coursing through your veins, the increase in blood volume and your changing immune system… your body is in high gear to make healthy surroundings for your newly forming baby.
With all these changes happening, a whole list of symptoms and struggles often come about.
“Feeling like you have the plague a.k.a morning sickness! Headache for days! Energy for nothing!
Sometimes, it’s helpful to step back and remember why your going through all this. Your symptoms won’t be forever, and in the end you will get to meet the beautiful little person you helped create. In the end it is worth all those difficult moments you had to go through.
Today I want to go over some really helpful tips to help you get through the first trimester in one piece. Even though I have only had one child, this advice helped me through and I believe will be applicable to you as well. So I rounded up my best tips from friends, family, other bloggers and my own experience to help you stay afloat through the rough waters of your first trimester.
Disclaimer: To be transparent there are affiliate links in this post. There is no extra charge to you if you decide to purchase any of the products. I get a small commission so I appreciate it if you decide to. Also any tips here are not to be taken as medical advice. I am not a doctor and any questions or concerns should be discussed with your doctor or a medical professional. For more information check out my disclosure and disclaimer page.
Super Helpful First Trimester Wisdom
1. DRINK THE COFFEE
Is coffee your go to for an energy boost? Well you don’t have to stop just because your pregnant. Yes you should limit the amount you drink however, but you don’t have to quit drinking it.
Originally I stopped drinking coffee because of the caffeine, thinking that it was bad for my growing baby. As a result I ended up getting really bad migraines because I quit cold turkey. I was pretty much addicted to caffeine.
When my doctor told me it was safe to have 12 ounces a day I was so relieved and promptly went to Dunkins to get a cup.
- You want to limit your caffeine to about 200 mg a day or less. That is about 12 ounces.
- Speaking of coffee. I saw this super cute pregnancy reveal coffee mug. I am so going to do this to my husband next time I find out I’m pregnant.
- Also I found this brand of coffee with pregnant moms in mind called Mommee Coffee. Not sure how it tastes but, it has low acidity and comes in different amounts of caffeine.
2. USE PILLOWS FOR BETTER SLEEP
I had a long straight body pillow. I didn’t buy a pregnancy pillow specifically which is different. Honestly I didn’t even end up using the body pillow. I ended up sleeping on my side with a regular pillow between my knees and one with my arms wrapped around it.
When I eventually go through it again I will go with trying an actual pregnancy pillow.
Sleep is so important and seeing that when your pregnant you shouldn’t be sleeping on your stomach or your back pillows just make it so much more bearable.
3. NAPS ARE SOMETIMES NECESSARY
I would be the first to say I suck at taking naps. It is not natural for me to take a nap. I hadn’t taken naps since I was forced to as a child. However I noticed during my first trimester and throughout the pregnancy there were times I would get really tired, exhausted actually.
My first nap in the first trimester was on a Saturday or Sunday. I was feeling grouchy and a bit depressed. I didn’t understand why I felt so bad until I just laid down on my bed and quickly fell asleep for the next few hours.
Now I didn’t lie down because I wanted to take a nap. I laid down because I was being huffy and emotional. I basically wanted to be left alone to pout. Then it just happened I fell asleep. When I woke up a few hours later I felt so much better with a much more positive frame of mind.
That was the day I learned the power of taking a nap.
THE PLAGUE A.K.A MORNING SICKNESS
Morning sickness doesn’t always happen in the morning, it can strike at anytime when pregnant. Some woman are lucky enough not to have to deal with this crap but for most woman it is a reality. Somethings may work for one woman while it may not work for another. So you will have to figure out what works best for you.
4. CREATE A MORNING SICKNESS KIT
- Saltines- My Grandmother swears by saltines for an upset stomach. I found it did help.
- Ginger candies with real ginger
- Ginger tea
- Lemon drops, sour flavors supposedly help with nausea. I found this did help me a little bit.
- Try sea-bands. I used to use these for motion sickness in the car and though it didn’t totally cure me I did feel a lot better.
- Barf Bags… gotta be prepared.
- Aromatherapy for nausea.
- Check out these 4 Star Plus Products That Help Fight Morning Sickness
5. STAY HOME AND HAVE GROCERIES DELIVERED
Instead of going grocery shopping when you feel exhausted or sick, just lie on the couch and shop online. This may be a good idea to use during your first few months with baby as well. It just takes some of the stresses out of your daily responsibilities. So save a trip to the store and try these out:
- Amazon Prime Pantry where you can order from a large selection of thousands of items including snacks, breakfast foods, beverages, beauty and personal care items, and household products and save a trip to the store.
- AmazonFresh where you can order fresh groceries and have them delivered right to your door.
6. FIND DISTRACTIONS
When you focus on how you feel it amplifies that feeling. So find something else to focus on as a distraction.
- Watch a Movie, TV Show, YouTube Videos
- Listen To An Audio Book or Podcast
- Read a Book, Magazine, Blog Post
- Color in an Adult Coloring Book. I love horses so this coloring book would be for me.
What ever you do, I suggest that it be easy and laid back, so you can try to relax.
7. STAY AWAY FROM STRONG SMELLS
Sometimes strong smells can cause a sudden onset of nausea. For example garlic is pretty strong. If you already feel nauseous, it can put you over the edge and cause you to upchuck.
As for myself eggs made me gag on the spot. It all started when I was cooking breakfast and I cracked open a rotten egg. It was so bad smelling.
After that incident I was done with eggs for the rest of my pregnancy. It didn’t matter if the egg was not rotting. The smell of eggs had become revolting to me.
8. GET SOME FRESH AIR
Go outside and get some fresh air. Maybe you should try going for a walk around the block. I worked at a horse farm throughout my pregnancy so I was outside a lot.
I definitely feel like the fresh air helped me from feeling nauseous too often.
9. DON’T TAKE VITAMINS ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
Make sure that you have some food in your belly even if it’s a few saltines. If you take your vitamins on an empty stomach you run the risk of feeling nauseous.
10. TRY EATING BLAND FOOD OR FOOD HIGH IN PROTEIN LOW IN FAT
Food high protein takes longer to digest, which means you will feel fuller longer, keeping you from having the empty stomach too quickly. Fatty foods can sometimes bring on the nausea which is why you should go for lean protein.
Bland food may also be more bearable for you to eat if you are sensitive to smells and flavors.
11. SMALL MEALS OFTEN
I found that for whatever reason I got full much faster than I normally would when I was pregnant. I kind of liked the change because normally I had a huge appetite. So naturally I started eating smaller portions.
If I kept eating the amount I used to eat, I would feel uncomfortably full. Then also run the risk of throwing it all back up.
12. DRINK BETWEEN MEALS
Drinking can fill you up. If you are already feeling full from your meals, drinking at your meal can cause you to have that uncomfortably full feeling. Basically similar issues like if you ate too much.
If you wait to drink between meals it give your belly time to make a little room. I found that carbonated drinks like seltzer water helped a bit when I had an upset stomach.
13. MOVE SLOW LIKE A SLOTH
If you are feeling sick the last thing you want to do is jostle your stomach around and make yourself feel worse. Just take it easy and take it slow.
14. FIND DISTRACTIONS BUT KEEP IT QUIET AND REALLY EASY GOING
So the distractions you use for a headache is a little different than what you would do for morning sickness. Here are some suggestions.
- Watch a Movie, TV Show, YouTube Videos with lights and volume level low.
- Listen To An Audio Book or Podcast with lights and volume level also low.
- Lie down or take a nap and listen to soft calming music!
Whatever you decide to do, it helps to keep the lights dim and volume down low. You don’t want to be too stimulated which can cause your headache to get worse
15. TAKE TYLENOL
There are a lot of medications you need to stay away from when you are pregnant. When I get migraines or headaches my go to is ibuprofen. However you should not take ibuprofen when your pregnant. It really sucks because I think it works so much better than Tylenol.
Tylenol is supposedly safe to use when pregnant and it is better than nothing. However make sure you consult with your doctor to double check you personally are safe to take it.
Here are some other things you can try:
- Have some caffeine.
- Go outside for fresh air.
- Ice pack on head.
- Hot pack on head.
- Massage head, neck, temples.
16. BOOK OR MAGAZINE IN THE BATHROOM
Anyone who has been constipated before knows that you’ll be in the bathroom for a while. Why sit there twiddling your thumbs bored when you could entertain yourself. You could also just bring your phone in, just be careful not to drop it in the toilet!
17. DRINK PRUNE JUICE REGULARLY
If you are struggling with constipation try drinking prune juice daily. Another wonderful side effect of the increase in hormones. Drinking prune juice daily can help you stay regular.
18. TAKE MYLANTA
I was told by my doctor that it was safe to take if I was constipated. I only took this medication as needed and I can’t say it didn’t work. Again double check with your own doctor it’s okay for you.
MOOD SWINGS & OVERWHELM
19. HAVE YOUR SPOUSE BE YOUR SUPPORT
It’s nice to not go through this alone. Though your husband may not exactly understand what you are going through he can be supportive of you through out the journey. It can be nice to have a shoulder to lean on when things get tough.
Related Blog Post: 51 Ways To Get Your Husband Involved With The Pregnancy
20. IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO
Don’t over-commit yourself. You don’t have to say yes to all your friends and family. Whether it’s helping them out or hanging out.
Don’t feel guilty if you say no.
Remember you’re pregnant, you need rest and don’t need the extra stress. Your growing a being inside of you, that is zapping your energy and causing hormones that make you feel emotional and maybe overwhelmed.
21. REMIND YOURSELF
Try to remember that your moodiness is being caused by the increased hormones. You will not always be this way. Here are some things you can do to help combat the moodiness.
- Get as much sleep as you can.
- Take relaxation breaks throughout the day even if they are 5 minute breaks. When ever you can fit it in. Even if its just to focus on your breathing and take deep breaths or sit and look out the window, have a cup of tea whatever.
- The better you eat the better you’ll feel. But aside from that remember food in the stomach is better than an empty stomach.
- As long as it’s safe to do so, do some physical activity because as you probably know it releases endorphins. For example swimming, YouTube pregnancy workouts or going for a walk.
- If you like massages, treat yourself to one, once in a while.
- Spend quality time with your spouse.
22. INVEST IN A COMFY SUPPORTIVE BRA
Having a comfy bra with soft material and that will still support will make your life better. Like this bra.
23. WATER IS ESSENTIAL
My husband says it, my dad says it, my mom says it, my doctor says it and other bloggers say it. Drink Water! Lot’s and lot’s of water. Go pee and drink more water. Personally I have never been good with the whole drinking water thing but I forced myself during my pregnancy… at least most of the time.
WHY DRINK MORE WATER
- Water helps deliver vitamins, minerals and needed hormones to your baby.
- Water can help with headaches, fatigue, overheating and swelling.
- Water can help prevent UTIs and constipation.
HELPING MOTIVATE YOU TO DRINK
- Water too boring? Check out this post from the Food Network: How to Make Water the Most-Delicious Thing Ever
- Forgetting to drink? Try out my FREE water tracker I created and see if you can making drinking enough water a habit.
- Need a new water bottle? Check out this super cute pregnancy water bottle I found. It is marked with times to drink, has a motivational quote and even has pregnancy stickers to stick on weekly. I am going to buy this for my next pregnancy.
FREE 30 DAY WATER TRACKER
Keep track of how much water you are drinking everyday with my FREE 30 Day Water Tracker.
24. OUT WITH THE OLD IN WITH THE NEW
Change your personal care products. Out with the harsh chemicals in your hair care, skin care and beauty products and in with healthier more natural options. When you are pregnant you may be more sensitive to harsh ingredients and could develop a rash or a reaction of some kind.
The everyday products you use can have ingredients that are harmful to your baby as well. Some may have the ability to cause birth defects or worse… miscarriage. Make sure you read ingredient labels because a product that says it is natural or organic may still have ingredients harmful to your baby.
25. PRENATAL VITAMIN CURED MY ACNE
Start taking a prenatal vitamin. In order to develop properly your baby needs to be getting enough of the necessary nutrients such as calcium, folic acid and iron. I tried several different prenatal vitamins and my favorite one by far is the one GNC makes with DHA.
It is packed with all the essential vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants your baby will need. But I also found that it cured me of my acne. I have always struggled with acne from preteen years to adulthood.
With this prenatal my face cleared up fully after a few weeks to a month of taking it. To be honest even after having my son I am still taking it. It is my miracle pill. (When I stop taking it or use a different prenatal my face flairs up with acne again. So there is obviously some nutrient I am lacking that this is providing.)
26. CONSIDER TAKING ADDITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS
Along with the prenatal consider taking Vitamin B, Omega 3 and Probiotics. Consult with your doctor before you decide to take these vitamins to decide if they are right for you.
- Vitamin B can help reduce upset stomach and also helps with your mood if you are lacking in this nutrient. Nuts, legumes and seeds contain Vitamin B6 if you would rather get it through food.
- Omega 3 is an antioxidant and helps to fight free radicals in your body. But to reduce mercury intake instead of getting a fish omega 3 supplement, you can get flax seed.
- Probiotics help provide good bacteria in your body which help to fight off Candida (yeast). Which can present it self as thrush in your baby’s mouth if you have excess candida in your body.
27. EAT HEALTHY WHEN YOU CAN
When your pregnant especially in the first trimester it’s common to be turned off by a slew of different foods. For me there was a point where nothing was appealing to me except potatoes. I wanted everything potato… baked potatoes, hash browns, home fries, french fries, chips.
Maybe you are craving something and that is the only thing that can sit well with your stomach but its not the most healthy food. Not the end of the world. If you can eat healthy and feel okay definitely do that but it is better to have food in your stomach than an empty stomach, which contributes to the nauseous feeling.
The baby is pulling out nutrients from the food you eat but also from your body. Which is why it’s important to eat nutritious food for the baby but also for yourself.
ANXIETY ABOUT PREGNANCY
28. BE AWARE OF THE RED FLAGS
- Vomiting for 12 hours or more
- Vomiting blood
- High Fever
- Weight loss
- Bleeding and cramping
- Mood swing last longer than 2 weeks
- Bleeding gums
- Leg Pain
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty urinating
29. IF SUPER ANXIOUS CONSIDER GO TO OBGYN MORE FREQUENTLY
I heard this one from a blog post I don’t remember where. But basically this is if you are super anxious about your pregnancy. Go to the doctors more often.
Then you can keep tabs on how the pregnancy is going on a more regular basis and hopefully feel more reassured. Negatives with this may be taking time off of work and extra costs, but you have to decide if it’s worth your peace of mind.
30. GET COUNSELING
Another option is counseling just to have someone to talk to. Even having a friend or family member to talk to about your worries can be helpful but make sure whoever you talk to is going to be encouraging and uplifting.
FREE 1ST TRIMESTER CHEAT SHEET
So that you remember these tips, I have made a cheat sheet called 30 Tips To Surviving The First Trimester Cheat Sheet. Print this cheat sheet out so you can reference it as needed. Hope you find it helpful.
I’d Like To Hear From You!
Which tips do you find the most helpful? Share your favorites tips with me in the comments.