Monday, May 14

First Trimester Survival Guide

Surprise!



We are expecting again and I have officially, successfully survived the first trimester and am now enjoying the second trimester. Everyone always told me, "The second trimester is the easier!", and thankfully they weren't lying. I was pretty fortunate that my morning sickness wasn't too terrible (I only threw up one time) but the first trimester definitely was no picnic. Between the fatigue, heartburn, headaches, nausea, cramping, etc... I'm glad it's in the past! But if you're still struggling through your first trimester hopefully this little list will help you survive the worst of it. These are tips and tricks I learned having gone through two first trimesters in the past 6 months (I had a missed miscarriage at 12 weeks 5 days last November). I hope they help! I'll list the unfortunate symptoms with some potential cures underneath.





Morning (All-Day!) Sickness


  1. Gum! I didn't discover gum as a nausea relief until this pregnancy but it really did help me when I was at work, stuck at a register, trying not to throw up on customers! When you're chewing gum you produce more saliva and swallow it more often which helps reduce that feeling that you'll upchuck. If you can find it, gum with xylitol is recommended as it's best for your teeth (whereas sugar gum isn't so great for your teeth and aspartame is quite unhealthy to consume in any form).
  2. Anything with ginger. It's a well-known nausea reliever and it really works. From ginger beer (it's non-alcoholic!), to real ginger, ginger chews, ginger hard candy, and ginger tea, ginger really works wonders for an upset tummy. In fact, I consumed so many various ginger products during my first trimester that I honestly cannot stand ginger anymore. But it greatly helped me out at the time.
  3. Earth Mama Morning Wellness Spray. This amazing spray, which smells of refreshing citrus, will help mask any unpleasant odors which are aggravating your morning sickness. I currently work at a grocery store so there are a LOT of food smells as well as smelly customer smells. Whenever a smell started to churn my stomach I'd spray this spray everywhere and it really helped! They also make a body wash in the same scent.
  4. Morning sickness teas. These are great if you're sick of drinking all things ginger. There are loads to choose from but I really liked Earth Mama's Morning Sickness Tea. It's really tasty and sometimes I drink it even when my stomach isn't upset!
  5. Seabands. Some ladies swear by Seabands and others think they don't work at all. Maybe it's mostly placebo effect, I don't know. But I do know that they seemed to help me from feeling so nauseous at work. I found they didn't make me feel better if I was already feeling sick but I do think they helped prevent me from feeling sick so frequently. So I often wore these all-day while at work! 

Fatigue

  1. Naps. It kind of goes without saying but when you're tired, which you'll be a lot during the early days of pregnancy, you just need to sleep. Allow yourself to take a nap whenever possible. Let the lazy Sundays roll, take a cat nap before or after work, and just generally take it easy if you can.
  2. Caffeine. Many ladies swear off of caffeine when they're pregnant but you don't have to! You can safely have up to 200mg of caffeine a day, that's equivalent to about 2 cups of coffee. You'll very likely be grateful for the extra little boost of energy as well during the first trimester exhaustion.

Heartburn

  1. Tums. Many woman don't experience heartburn until later in pregnancy but if you're one of the lucky ones (ha!) like me, you'll experience earlier on and will want to invest in some Tums now! Not only can they help alleviate your heartburn but they're also a great source of calcium, which you'll be needing more of now that you're building baby's bones.
  2. Earth Mama Heartburn Tea. This delicious tea helps ease mild heartburn. I often drink it even when I don't have heartburn because it's a tasty drink anytime!

Constipation

  1. Prune juice. You may think it's only for old people but prune juice may just be your best friend now that you're pregnant! It will really help get things moving along. It's especially important to help keep yourself regular during pregnancy so you don't increase your chances of developing hemorrhoids! 
  2. Hydrate! You may think you're drinking a lot of water but did you know your water needs actually increase while pregnant? That's because your body is producing up to 50% more blood while pregnant and it takes a lot of water to make that extra blood. So be sure you're drinking even more water so you meet all your hydration needs and don't end up backed up.
  3. Pickle juice. Maybe it was all in my head but I swear once my cravings had me reaching for that empty jar of pickles to drink the juice stuff started moving. I've had other pregnant mamas tell me the pickle juice helped their constipation as well. So if you're cravings pickles, give it a try, maybe it'll help you too.

Headaches

  1. Caffeine. I mentioned it above but did you know you can have caffeine during pregnancy? If you're trying to cut it out now you may be more prone to headaches as you withdraw. Conversely, caffeine can actually help reduce headaches as it constricts the blood vessels in your brain which may be causing the headache. Just be sure to stay under 200mg (about 2 cups of coffee) a day.
  2. Tylenol. Ibuprofen is out and Tylenol is in during pregnancy. If you have any questions about what over the counter drugs are safe to take for pain relief during pregnancy, please talk to your doctor.

Frequent Urination

  1. Sorry but there's no cure for this one, you're just going to have to pee more often! Be sure not to drink less in hopes of peeing less, this will make it more likely that you develop a urinary tract infection. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and be as soon as you need to and are able.

Increased Vaginal Discharge

  1. No cure for this one either. Time to start wearing panty liners if it starts to bother you. And be sure to wear panties made of breathable fabrics like cotton.

Bloat (Your clothes don't fit anymore!)

  1. Pant extenders. Pant extenders will help give you that extra inch or so that you need to comfortably wear your pants before you need to switch into maternity clothes. Some ladies also use rubber bands or hair bands to give themselves a little extra room.
  2. Belly band. A belly band is a great option to wear when you can't button your pants anymore. It'll look like you're wearing a tank top or cami under your shirt and it's snug enough to hold your pants up completely unbuttoned.





There are even more first trimester pregnancy symptoms than these but these are the ones which effected me most and the tricks I found to deal with then. Do you have any other tips and tricks for first trimester mamas? Please leave them in the comments below!






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