8 Tips to Help You Survive the 1st Trimester

Note: I am not a medical professional. I am merely stating my personal opinion. If you have concerns or questions, you should seek professional medical attention.

8 Tips to Survive the First Trimester when being pregnant isn't easy

I’ve only just entered into the “blissful” state of the second trimester, and since the challenges of those first 14 weeks are still very fresh in my mind, I want to share with you some things I have learned over the course of 4 pregnancies that might help you if you are…

  • preparing for pregnancy
  • are newly pregnant
  • in the midst of the first trimester or
  • still suffering first trimester woes but are well beyond those first 3 months.

Finding out you’re pregnant should be a joyous time, yet that often isn’t the case. For many women, the physical challenges of the first trimester can make pregnancy very difficult. Fear, guilt, and apprehension are common.Remember that the Lord “has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). He will see you through.

First Trimester Challenges

These are some of the health issues you may face in the first trimester of your pregnancy. Some women experience all of them while others never suffer from even one bout of morning sickness. Each woman and each pregnancy differ.

  • Nausea, vomiting, morning sickness {for some, like myself, this is an all-day sickness}
  • Food aversions and/or cravings
  • Fatigue
  • Breast tenderness
  • Heartburn
  • Mood swings

Here are a few things I’ve learned.

8 Tips for Surviving the First Trimester

1. Rest whenever you can.

Fatigue is very common in the first trimester. Your body is working very hard growing a new life, so inevitably you will feel tired. Find opportunities throughout the day to lie down and rest — when your children are resting, during read aloud time, when the kids are engaged in an activity, or give them 15 minutes of “room time” so you can close your eyes.

You may need to go to bed early or sleep in. I often fell asleep at 7:30 and didn’t wake up until 11 hours later. If you can, do it. Even a 10 minute power nap works wonders. The extra rest will give you a boost of energy.

Don’t feel lazy or guilty. God gives us times of rest for a reason; take advantage of them.

2. Let others do the cooking.

I’m the primary meal preparer around here, but during the first trimester, there were many nights when my husband had to step in and make the meals because the smells, even the sight of some foods, would send me straight to the toilet. If that’s the case for you, then at least set out the meat to thaw and have a plan, so your spouse knows what you were planning to make. Ease his load as much as possible.

If you have a friend or family member who offers to fix you a meal, let them. If they ask, then they want to help. Don’t let pride keep you from accepting if you could use the help. Those meals were such a blessing for me.

3. Lower your expectations — temporarily.

Because of the fatigue and nausea, you will most likely not be able to accomplish everything you once did. I went from tackling a lengthy 10-12 item daily to-do list to just barely getting the essentials done. Remind yourself that it’s only for a season, and give yourself some slack. If you homeschool, do it on the couch or consider taking a few weeks off until you feel a little better. That’s the beauty of homeschool; you can make it up later.

Also, don’t feel guilty if your kids watch some TV. I felt like mine were always in front of the screen, but I was doing what I had to do to survive. Remember, this is just a season. They will not suffer. However, if you can, make sure they’re watching something a little educational.

4. Use peak energy times to do “the most important things.”

The morning hours were — and still are — my “high energy” times. That’s when I prep meals, do household chores, and homeschool. Basically, I front load my days so that I get “the most important things” done during the time I have the most energy. Then, when my energy levels dropped, I would spend my time resting and wouldn’t feel guilty because I had gotten “the most important things” done.

If you have a list of “most important things” you must do each day (again, mine usually consisted of only 1-3 items), tackle those when you are at your most energetic. Getting even just a few things accomplished before you crash will help.

5. Eat when you can/what you can.

If you feel like eating, eat whatever sounds good. That may sound obvious yet not be. With my first pregnancy, I had a fairly easy first trimester, so I was able to avoid caffeine and eat healthy high-protein foods as well as fruits and veggies. But with subsequent pregnancies, that was definitely not the case. I knew what I should eat, but all of those foods made my stomach curl. The only foods I could fathom eating were junk foods, so when I craved a McDonald’s cheeseburger, I indulged.

There’s guilt attached to the foods you consume, especially when you’re carrying another life. My advice (and again I’m not a doctor) is that if you have to choose between fast food and nothing, your child will benefit more from that junk than you not eating anything at all. You need calories to grow your child, so get them wherever you can — even if it’s from foods you normally wouldn’t eat. However, when your appetite for healthy foods does return, get back on track.

B6

6. Take Vitamin B6.

When I couldn’t keep food down and feared dehydration, my midwife recommended 25 mg of Vitamin B6 per day. I had my doubts but once I started taking it, I noticed my nausea was less severe. I could stomach more foods and while vomiting was still an issue, it was much less frequent. {Consult your doctor before starting Vitamin B6.}

7. Drink, drink, drink.

Ever since I became pregnant, water was anathema to me because it added to the increased saliva and made me more nauseous (oh, the joys of pregnancy!). Even if you can’t drink it, your body still needs lots of fluids to support your growing blood volume. Plus, it will help you avoid constipation.

However, if thoughts of water make you sick, then find non-caffeine options to keep your body hydrated. Some of my favorites are decaf tea, 100% juice, sparkling water, and lemonade. Now, I can drink water but always with lemon or lime.

8. Pray & meditate on God’s promises.

None of these tips will help you as much as being in God’s Word and in prayer. Knowing people were praying for me truly helped during that grueling first trimester. Just when I felt like I couldn’t make it another hour, God would give me strength and peace in special, unique ways.

One time a friend brought dinner over when I couldn’t bear to think about fixing food. Once my children all napped for 2.5 hours, giving me an opportunity to sleep too. Other times I simply had a burst of adrenaline when I needed it.

If you are struggling physically, emotionally, or spiritually during pregnancy, I strongly encourage you to find people who will pray for you and with you. This post has 10 verses from God’s Word to encourage and comfort you. Write them on note cards, meditate on them, memorize them, whatever you need to do to be assured of God’s promises of protection and faithfulness.

Moms, what advice do you have for surviving the first trimester?

What was your biggest struggle and how did you deal with it?

Praying God’s blessings on you,

Keri.Signature

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. I agree with you Keri. You have to rest as much as you can, water intake is so important and I love what you said about front loading your days. That’s a good tip rather pregnant or not! So glad to hear you are feeling better. xo
    Morgan recently posted…Friday Fab Faves #44My Profile

    • Yes, I think when you eat the frog first thing in the day, you can just relax a little more later on. And by 2:00 who isn’t ready for a siesta?

  2. Hi Kei,

    I can relate to everything you shared. We are currently expecting baby number seven. I am almost seven weeks. I’m currently sitting on the couch with three little ones on me watching Curious George! You do what you have to do to survive.

    God is so faithful. He has literally saved my life through child birth. Pondering his miracles in my life gives me the strength to press on. You can read my “about me” page for our testimony.

    blessings to you~~angela
    angela recently posted…Fabric Tape NotecardsMy Profile

    • Thank you for sharing your heart, Angela. I was so touched by your story. God is so good, isn’t He?! I am constantly amazed at how He works in our lives for His glory. What a blessing to be carrying another life! You’re so right; you do what you have to do to survive. You do your best and you trust in the Lord. Sending a prayer your way today and thanking God for you and your husband’s relationship with Christ. Blessings!

  3. This is great advice! I’m currently in the third trimester, and a few months back I wrote up all the details of what helped me in the very queasy first trimester:
    http://articles.earthlingshandbook.org/2013/10/30/tips-for-surviving-pregnancy-nausea/

    Congratulations on getting through it, and best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy!
    Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook recently posted…A Real ManMy Profile

  4. During this last pregnancy, I tried to focus on eating the best I possibly could. For me, if I ate crappy food (processed, fast food, etc), I felt crappy — for days. I tried to get in high quality protein, as well as plenty of water, juice, milk, etc. Small, frequent meals worked wonders — kept my blood sugar on an even keel.

    If you Google “Conversion Diary+morning sickness”, Jen has some great tips there.

    Found you through Many Little Blessings linkup …
    Dianna @ The Kennedy Adventures recently posted…The Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop – Week #28My Profile

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