Nothing in life compares to that first trimester of pregnancy. Not even the other two trimesters. So many emotions come along with it, along with symptoms that you never knew were possible. It’s exhilarating, exciting, and yet can be downright depressing if you are so sick that you can’t function or the pregnancy was not planned. Even if you’ve been through it before, something may take you by surprise and leave you with questions. Who better to guide you than 10 experienced Moms from Sticky Hands Mommy Panel?
Please note that NONE of us are medical professionals. Contact your doctor or midwife for official medical advice before trying something that we suggest.
So just what is it that goes on during this mysterious time that is the first trimester of pregnancy? While it is talked about more now than it was in the past, there are still things that you may not have heard since a large percentage of women still keep their little secret to themselves until the trimester is over. (A few of us weren’t that patient, others were… I, for example, was always on the phone as soon as I found out… while the pregnancy test was still in my hand.) Read on to read the ultimate list of tips, advice, and facts that we feel you just HAVE to know!
The Ultimate Guide To The First Trimester of Pregnancy
- You’re not crazy. – You may feel like you are, but you are not. Your hormones are just jumping all over the place, causing you to cry about anything and laugh about everything… neither at an appropriate time.
- You may not get morning sickness. – Some people do, others don’t. That’s just how it is. If you don’t get queasy, that doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you or your baby… Nor does it mean that you won’t have it if you have another baby. Each and every pregnancy is as individual as each and every one of your children and will never be identical from one to the next.
- This pregnancy may be completely different than any you had before. – Read above. 😉 Yes, we are repeating ourselves, but it really is something that may be hard to realize even if you already know it. If things are not going this time like they were another time, don’t panic. Shani, who is expecting right now, has said that her pregnancy this time is completely opposite of her pregnancy last time. With her oldest she had nearly no symptoms and this time she could probably check off every one on the list.In addition, never listen to other’s horror stories, kindly ask them to save them for after the baby is born. The chances of you having the same thing happen to you are slim and you do NOT need those thoughts in your head. Keep this time as peaceful as possible.
- There’s a whole lot of discharge going on. – This is one of those things that most don’t talk about because it’s, well, gross. But it happens. TMI, I know… But you can’t really talk about pregnancy with other moms without involving TMI, as you will see more and more as we get deeper into this series. It may smell or look different than before. It is just your body doing what it’s supposed to do. However, if it has a foul odor or you have other symptoms of an infection, call your doctor or midwife.
- Cramps and spotting sometimes happen. – With any spotting or severe cramping, call your doctor or midwife just in case. But you will cramp, and it does not always mean miscarriage. Your body parts are moving around, growing, and adjusting. That’s not exactly comfortable, you know? But like we said, call your doctor or midwife if you have any concern. That’s what they’re there for!
- Constant trips to the bathroom. – Chances are you know this by now, but just in case, we’ll tell you any way. The bathroom visits will let up a little in the second trimester, and then get worse in the third. Warning: Your bladder may never be the same. There’s a chance it will stay just as it is, but the majority of us are not so fortunate. Just remember that when your little peanut is a teen and makes you laugh so hard you pee your pants, you’ll be able to joke “YOU did this to ME!” Okay, maybe not, but either way know that you won’t be the only one. Also, while you may be peeing a lot, that may be all you are doing in there… All thanks to slow digestion. More on that in a minute… If it gets bad, ask your doctor or midwife if you are able to take a stool softener or use other natural methods to get things moving.
- There are not enough hours in the day… for SLEEP! – You’re exhausted. Why? Because your body is working overtime to create that little person growing in you. That’s why you feel like you’ve just finished running a marathon when all you did was lay on the couch all day. (Well, when you weren’t running back and forth to the bathroom.) Give yourself grace and sneak in as much rest as you can. This can be especially hard if you have older children, obviously, but make time wherever you can. Your body and baby need all that rest you are craving. If you don’t rest now, you are going to be angry at yourself in the third trimester and when you are sleep deprived with a newborn, feeling as though you took rest for granted when you had the chance.
- When it comes to prenatal vitamins, try gummy or chewable over capsules or caplets. – This is not only because of morning sickness, though if you do have morning sickness this is a great option, but also because when you are pregnant your digestive system slows down to barely moving. (Which also means a lot of gas! BEWARE!) The easier something is to digest, the less trouble it will give you overall. Gummies and chewables absorb into the body at a higher rate as well. During my last pregnancy, I preferred using Vitafusion Gummy Vitamins and usually took them after a meal so that they felt like a treat. Win/Win!
- Drink as much water as you can stomach. – You may be nauseous and constantly peeing, but if you become dehydrated you’ll feel so much worse. Being someone that does not like water, I added a splash of juice to my water to make it more tolerable. Another great option would be water drops.
- Pregnancy brain is real, so keep a journal. – Right now you might think that you will never forget anything about this pregnancy, but you will. Between pregnancy brain (Oh, it’s real alright! Just wait!) and the sleep deprivation coming in a few months, you’re going to forget a lot of things that later you will wish you remembered either for the sake of a memento or what you meant to ask your doctor or midwife about.
- Invest in a good body pillow. – The type of pillow depends on your preference, but as your body shifts (even before you are showing!) you will have a hard time getting comfy. It also aids in keeping you from laying on your back. The options are endless from a wedge type support to a full blown total body pillow. Whatever you decide on, use one. You’ll see why once you start using it, and thank us for insisting on it.
- Belly bands are awesome! – Self explanatory. 😉
- So are books and apps! – And they are great to have for all that time you’ll be spending in the bathroom… Just sayin’. Some of our favorites are What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Pregnancy For Dummies, The Healthy Pregnancy Book, and the BabyBump Pregnancy App. Shani loves The Business of Being Born and it has inspired her to have a home birth this time around.
- Morning sickness is brutal. Sadly, there is no cure. – Things that help? Oh yeah. But completely take it away? No. Morning sickness can range from as mild as queasy feeling here and there or just vomiting at the same time every day to needing a medication to keep you from becoming dehydrated/trips to the hospital for IV fluids/permanent PICC line/etc. Here are some tips we have to help with it. Once again, check with your doctor or midwife before doing any of these:
- When feeling terrible, breathe in your nose and out your mouth.
- Eat throughout the day and keep crackers (or something that is appetizing to you) next to the bed for when you wake up. An empty stomach is an angry stomach! It will revolt! Once it’s empty, it’s hard to reconcile with it. It has a mind of it’s own at this point, and it’s just as hormonal and moody as you are.
- Eat what you are craving. – Whatever it is may seem weird, like a lunch time food for breakfast. Go with it. Some believe that there is something in your craving that your body needs, and I believe that to be true… most of the time. Once again, remember that you don’t want an empty stomach. So if what you are craving feels like the only thing you can eat, go with it. But don’t be surprised if you hate the food tomorrow and never want to eat it again. Silly hormonal mood swingin’ stomach… It never knows what it wants.
- Be careful with homeopathic and natural remedies! – Always ask your doctor or midwife before trying anything! Just because something is natural does not mean that it is okay to use while pregnant. While we suggest awesome things like ginger capsules, sandalwood and/or ginger oil, and Pregnancy Herbal Tea (LOVE this stuff! So good!) or Ginger Tea, still check with your medical professional before using them. The “rules” of pregnancy are constantly changing, you know… Just ask your Mom what she was allowed or not allowed to do while pregnant.
- If your doctor or midwife approve, stock up on antacids and sour hard candies. – It may sound silly, but they really are a life saver… No pun intended. Those of us that have have been pregnant since their invention all insist that Preggie Pops have to be on this list, though old fashioned lemonheads (and similar type candy) will work in a pinch. Preggie Pops are not as loaded with sugar so they are a little easier to stomach. Antacids have a variety of benefits, but be careful because too many will just contribute to your constipation.
- Try to avoid sights and smells that will trigger nausea. – Easier said than done, right? Especially if you have kids. But do explain to your husband, family, and friends the importance of keeping these things off your radar, and whatever you do, avoid commercials! Blech!
- Acupressure wrist bands help! – Whether you choose Psi Bands, Sea-Bands, or another type of band, they will help. Best part? No worry about putting something in your body that’s bad for baby.
- Buy/recycle a canister or pitcher with flip top lid. – My Mom came up with this when I was pregnant with my oldest. She had a brand new car and was afraid I would ruin it, so she bought me a pitcher with a flip lid and small trash bags. Insert a trash bag into the pitcher as you would a waste basket, snap on the top, and when you get sick just open the top. After, close it up until you reach a trash can. Keeps things a little less messy, the smell somewhat contained, and your mom’s new car still smelling new. I would suggest though that if you choose to use one that you have used in your kitchen that it does not have a lingering odor in it, because you won’t like that. Trust me.
Wow, that’s a lot of information, I know. But don’t be overwhelmed. Also remember that if you are in need of prayer, you are always welcome to submit a message to the Mommy Panel, email, message us on Facebook, or comment with your request.
If you are just finding out that you are pregnant and are in a predicament you were not ready for, please know that some of us have been there. There is nothing too big for God, and we are always here to talk if you need someone to chat with.
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