the podie people: Pregnancy: tips for surviving the first trimester

Pregnancy: tips for surviving the first trimester

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Now I'm not claiming to know it all or saying that what works for me works for everyone. I whole heartedly believe that every woman experiences pregnancy a little bit different, but I think for the most part we can ALL agree on some major key points. This being my 3rd go round, I have found a few things to make pregnancy a little more comfortable so I wanted to share. Whether this is your first pregnancy or last it is special and you still have to go through alllll the changes. So, with that being said let's break it down.

The first trimester in my opinion is probably the hardest. Everything about your body changes from the moment you conceive. Your boobs will either grow or be very tender. Your belly will go soft, pudgy and you will just look like you've gained more weight. (No matter your pre pregnancy size your body will feel foreign) You will be exhausted, peeing all the time, and having crazy hormonal changes, which might include breaking out and feeling exceptionally emotional. And never forget the dreaded "morning sickness" which in reality can be at any time of day or even last all day for months. I've had a few blessed friends who have not experienced some or any of this which is rare but I think we can all agree we feel different and that can be hard physically, and mentally. 

The first trimester has always left me feeling the "baby blues" some women experience AFTER baby. My clothes don't fit, I'm not sure who I want to share my pregnancy with or when, and of course I have no appetite and then binge on things I shouldn't and feel shame! But I have a found a few things that have helped me feel a little more normal and get through the rough stage...

Find an outfit that you feel good in no matter what. This might sound dramatic but trust me when your belly starts to get mushy and round and none of your clothes fit. Your hips feel wide and your boobs are busting out of your bra, you will DREAD getting dressed and feel so self conscious. I hate wearing jeans in general (personal opinion), and maternity jeans just don't quite fit right yet so I have stuck to leggings to feel tucked in and secure. Find a GOOD pair. The kind that fit tight all the way through the legs and have a high rise over the new belly. Maternity leggings are an absolute MUST for me later on because I get so big but some women manage without them. I can't wear regular leggings after 1st trimester they literally dig into my hips and belly so bad. Point is, wear what makes you feel comfortable. If you like to wear dresses and don't mind the belly looking a little pudgy and not pregnant then girl wear that and own it. 

Find a comfortable bra if you have (uh hem) grown a bit. I always go back to my nursing bras when I'm pregnant because well they fit and they're comfortable. It will make you feel so much better to have things fit right as your body changes and comfort is absolute key. 

My favorite maternity clothing item is a white maternity tank. If this is your first pregnancy you probably won't "show" for quite a while but if it's your 2nd or on, you'll probably want to pull out or go buy a new maternity tank. They're long, stretchy and super comfortable and will grow with your body. I wear them under loose fitting shirts to kind of disguise the belly and cover the space where it can kind of stick out. You'll wear it the rest of your pregnancy and post-partum so it's worth it! (The really stretchy spandex kind don't turn yellow in the arm pits!) or just buy black. 

DO NOT TRY TO FORCE YOURSELF INTO OLD CLOTHES THAT DON'T FIT. I repeat. DO NOT. I've known girls that have tried to squeeze their bellies into their old jeans as long as possible and they end up cramping or feeling uncomfortable. It's not a competition of who can stay the skinniest the longest. Do I even need to say that?! Embrace the changing body no matter how hard it is. You can look in the mirror and say wow I don't recognize myself, but just adjust. Wear loose fitting tops and go up a size in underwear. Nothing is worse than clothes squeezing you in your lower belly or hips when they are growing and already feeling huge. 

Make yourself a smoothie or milkshake with the nutrients you might not be craving. In the beginning it's so hard to want to eat and you won't have an appetite for most foods so it's important you are taking your vitamins (I take a prenatal multivitamin, omega oils, and vitamin D everyday) and getting some greens in your diet. I like to make a protein shake with spinach and peanut butter and chia seeds. It's super important to make sure what you are NOT supposed to eat so talk to your doctor or midwife about that as well. 

Stick to your regular routine as best as you can. If you have no motivation to work out, go for a walk and get some air. If you don't feel like getting anything done, go at your own pace but don't stall out. I have done this for weeks and end up feeling miserable, unproductive and stuck. It helps to have a friend to call or to hang out with other moms who know exactly what you are going through. 

If you're tired. REST. The number one complaint of women even over sickness during pregnancy is exhaustion. NO KIDDING! If you are needing to go to bed earlier or take a quick 20 minute nap in the middle of the day it can really improve your mood and energy. Treat your body good even when it's hard. You're sharing it with someone else! And I'm not just saying this I napped today with my toddler and have no regrets. I wasn't able too with my first two pregnancies so I'm taking full advantage.

Drink lots of water. It sucks to pee all day but it sucks even more to feel dehydrated, lethargic, or grumpy so keep up your intake of water. It will improve your skin, appetite, and energy! I need to do more of this for sure! (If water makes you feel sick try adding lemon or fruit slices) Find a good time of day to take your vitamins. If you feel sick in the morning take them with lunch. But I don't recommend taking a bunch of vitamins before bed. I made this mistake with my 2nd pregnancy and complained to my midwife I quit sleeping. She reminded me of course I was giving myself a little energy boost right before bed! (try not to do this!)

Get yourself something nice or do something for yourself. With the changes your are experiencing emotionally it can be really hard. A few times I have escaped during bedtime(thank you Dylan)  to go take a lavender bath when I have felt stressed out and uncomfortable. (free!) But my mother in law paid for me to get a pedicure and it made my entire week. It felt so good to have a massage and clean feet even though I felt sick and miserable inside. It totally lifted my mood. The other night my girlfriend and I put our kids to bed and took turns foiling each other's hair and just hung out. 

Document everything. Even if all you are writing is "sick and sad today" "sick again" that's okay. I have written that many days when I had nothing to say. I have taken awful post-shower belly bump pics and I always laugh looking at them so maybe try to do it on a day where you got half way ready but I love looking back at my journals from previous pregnancies and realized how different they were or what I might have been experiencing. I wish I would have taken weekly bump pics but never felt good and always put it off so this time I'm choosing not to feel bad about it but do it if I remember too for sure!
I'm getting a Promptly Journal this time around and wish I had-had one for my first 2 babies! This is a fool proof way to remember and document your child's life from in the belly to 18 years old!

I hope some of these tips helped you or gave you some motivation to get through this time of pregnancy! I plan to do tips for the 2nd trimester and 3rd so look forward to those and of course please share with me if you have your own tips or something that has made you feel good!