PREGNANCY: Tips to survive your first trimester

If you haven’t already guessed from the title of this post… my husband and I are expecting our first baby!! As this blog post goes live I’ll be nearly 18 weeks pregnant and counting – that makes the baby the size of a Pomegranate.
The last few months have been a complete and utter whirlwind. From finding out I was pregnant to my first bout of morning sickness. And finally, that all important first scan.
If you’ve read my latest post on writers block then this post might help to explain part of my motivational loss. For those of you who haven’t been pregnant before – the first trimester is considered the worst of the three with a high percentage of women experiencing symptoms such as sickness, nausea and tiredness.

Discover my top tips to surviving your first trimester below.

Learn how to beat nausea 

Nausea is a bitch. Whether it’s full on morning sickness or a nauseous feeling in the pit of your stomach from morning til night. It can be the worst part of your first trimester.
If you’ve not suffered to date then congratulations… but if you are suffering, all is not lost. I found the following three things the most helpful.
– Getting something into my stomach first thing – be it a rice cake or a bowl of cereal, it can help to stave off any sickness.
– Ginger – try some ginger tea or a ginger biscuit (no-one said it had to be healthy!).
– Eating small, frequent meals. It can be hard to keep down a full meal, so to keep your blood sugar up try eating smaller meals throughout the day.

Just Eat

I had visions of being the picture of health during pregnancy – and although I’m starting to get back into a healthy routine, the first trimester didn’t quite fit my ideals.
I was in the ‘nauseous from noon til night’ camp and, believe it or not, eating was the only thing that brought me back to life. And by eating I don’t mean green juices or nutritious salads – I’m talking beige food, out of a bag.
In her book, How To Grow a Baby and Push It Out, Midwife Clemmie Hooper says that it can be ‘difficult to eat healthy foods when most of them make you gag… if you manage to get one piece of fruit or veg into your daily diet then you are doing better than most… so try not to worry too much as you’ll make up for it later in pregnancy when your body will be saying ‘I’m starving’.

Get some shut eye

You will feel tired during your first trimester, think about it, your body is going through a lot of changes. You’re making the placenta and your hormone levels and metabolism are changing each day. And don’t forget all that sickness taking away your energy resources.
So don’t feel guilty about getting an extra forty winks in the middle of the day or going to bed whilst it’s still light. Just listen to your body and give it what it needs.

Get moving 

Exercise might not be the top of everyone’s list – it certainly wasn’t on mine – but it’s important to keep moving throughout your first trimester. And by exercise I’m not saying you should be in the gym busting your ass in the free-weights, but you should be keeping active during the week.
I can count on both hands the amount of times I made it to the gym in those first 12 weeks. Instead I tried to walk as much as possible. That means at least 30 minutes walking during the week, and longer, more brisk walks with the family at the weekends (Yoga and swimming are also great forms of exercise during this period).
But, if you do feel up to the gym then why not. But please, make sure you consult a doctor or your midwife first and don’t take up a new exercise routine if you’re body isn’t used to it. And, the thing I’ve found most important… listen to your body!

Don’t panic  

Easier said then done, I know. Up until my scan date I was constantly paranoid (& still am even) – taking pregnancy tests on a weekly basis to reassure myself it was real; checking my toilet roll for blood every time I had a wee, and Googling my symptoms to an unhealthy level (sorry if that’s tmi, but it can be comforting to know someone is going through the same things as you).
Try to remind yourself that it’s normal to have some anxiety during pregnancy, especially if it’s a new experience for you. But, too much stress isn’t good for you, or the baby. So if you are worried or suffering from any unexplained symptoms then get in touch with your midwife or doctor straight away. At the very least they can help put your mind at ease or offer you an early scan to check that everything is okay.

If you’re experiencing your first pregnancy I’d love to hear from you in the comments below to start a little ‘fit mums’ community.

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