Surviving the first trimester is the first of many rites of passage into the world of motherhood. It ain’t easy! But it is important to know that you aren’t alone and more importantly – the first trimester will end, you will feel better and it is worth it. I promise. And that’s why I am sharing 5 tips for surviving the first trimester.
5 Tips For Surviving The First Trimester
In partnership with Winter Park Memorial Hospital, I spoke with Dr. Lindsey Koss, a Winter Park Memorial Hospital Baby Place OBGYN physician from Contemporary Women’s Care, about first trimester survival. I asked her to share tips that she gives her patients about surviving the first trimester. As a mom of twins, she talked candidly about her own challenges during the first trimester.
Eat what you can
For many moms, the first trimester is plagued by morning sickness. While it is important to remember that morning sickness (even morning, noon and night sickness) is very normal, that is not very reassuring when it is hard to keep anything down.
There are certain foods that should be avoided throughout pregnancy, but outside of those foods Dr. Koss emphasized the importance of eating whatever you can during this time. Don’t stress if your diet consists of chicken nuggets because that is what you can tolerate. Just keep taking your prenatal vitamins and making sure you get at least 400 mg of folic acid daily. When the worst of the morning sickness passes later in your pregnancy you can concentrate on rounding out your diet. By the way, Dr. Koss also mentioned that vitamin B-6 can also help morning sickness.
For more food tips, be sure to check out my post 11 Pregnancy Food Rules.
Sleep, sleep and more sleep
Sorry Superwoman, you are going to have to allow yourself to sleep — even take naps — or you won’t make it. First trimester exhaustion is the real deal, and you are going to need all of the extra zzzzzs you can get. Go to bed early, take a nap, whatever you can do to get some extra sleep even if that is a 10-minute snooze on the couch before dinner. You will be healthier and happier if you just give in and allow yourself extra sleep.
Know what’s normal
I was only a couple of weeks pregnant when I called my OBGYN to make my first appointment with my oldest, and I was shocked when they told me I had to wait until 8 weeks. It seemed so far away, and I couldn’t believe they didn’t need to see (and educate me) before that time.
Before that first appointment, it is your job to educate yourself. Don’t freak yourself out, but educate yourself. Weekly progress emails comparing the size of your growing babe with a fruit are fun and helpful. It is reassuring to know that your symptoms are normal and what to expect. For example, Dr. Koss pointed out that spotting is very normal in the first trimester while heavy bleeding is not and warrants an immediate call to your OBGYN.
Pregnancy is not the time to start a new exercise routine, but if you were already active before you got pregnant, keep it up. You might have to tone down your routine if you are too tired, but keeping yourself moving can also help battle fatigue. Dr. Koss said running, biking and even aerobics are all ok throughout your pregnancy if you are accustomed to them. But if you aren’t up to your normal routine, give yourself a break. Even a brisk walk can be beneficial.
Get dad onboard
Some moms are ready to shout from the rooftops the moment they discover they are pregnant, while others wait out the first trimester before sharing the news with friends and family. While waiting to share until 10-13 weeks is often recommended by doctors, including Dr. Koss, it is hard to do it alone.
While you are experiencing nausea and exhaustion waiting for that pregnant glow it’s time to enlist dad for help. You will need dad’s support getting daily chores done and reassuring you through your raging hormones. This is dad’s time to shine, so let him. You go take a nap.
As your first trimester comes to a close and the second trimester begins, many of the first trimester symptoms will being to wear off. Pregnancy still isn’t a cake walk, but you should regain your energy and start to feel more like yourself.
For more tips from pregnancy through birth check out the classes offered by Winter Park Memorial Hospital’s Baby Place. And don’t miss 4 reasons you want to have your baby at Winter Park Memorial Hospital.