I’ve wanted kids for as long as I can remember. As early as preschool, my ultimate goal was to get into the kitchen centre and establish myself as the mommy. My desire to have children only grew from there. From babysitting to peer counseling to studying developmental psychology, all of my big decisions were centred on one day being a mom.
The Reality of The First Trimester
Despite my hopes and dreams, my first pregnancy was a very rude awakening. I had spent my entire life excited for the day that I could start a family with the right person. And then BAM! The sobering reality of the first trimester hit. The summer of my first pregnancy, I lived on the couch watching TLC re-runs and longing to feel somewhat normal. I threw up about a half a dozen times a day. Nothing tasted great. Chicken, vegetables, coffee, and so many other foods I loved repulsed me. I was living off of the blandest of foods, smoothies, and Gatorade. My nutrition, when compared to what I was used to eating, was abysmal. One blazing afternoon, I remember sitting on the grassy hill in the heart of downtown a bawling, crumpled up mess. I can’t even remember what was wrong, but my very concerned husband looked me dead in the eye and asked, “Do you want this baby?” I didn’t blame him one bit for asking. My emotions were high, my energy was low, and I was the sickest I’d ever been in my life. But I wanted this little baby more than anything. This pregnancy thing, however, was already more than I’d bargained for. In fact, the first trimester was knocking me down in a way I couldn’t have foreseen. While I did ask mama friends for first trimester tips, I did get some good tips. Thanks to medication, my own experience, and the help of those around me, I’m a bit more of a seasoned vet when it comes to pregnancy. But because no two pregnancies or women are created equally, for the sake of this article, I asked my friends, family, and other bloggers for their best first trimester tips.
First Trimester Tips For Low Energy
- Listen to your body and forgive yourself. I am a fairly nutritious person. And so when I got pregnant, my intention was to eat even cleaner than before. I wanted the best for my unborn baby. Sadly, the idea of even my favourite vegetables left me wanting to run for the toilet. I also had visions of continuing to running and doing yoga for as long as possible. Into the second trimester, running no longer felt comfortable. I had to make concessions. Sprite, french fries, and channel surfing took up more of my life than I ever would have thought. But, I learnt to forgive myself and just be okay with doing my best at any given moment… even if that was eating Skittles and watching Netflix.
- Delegate and ask for help. This is especially pertinent when pregnant with a young child or children. Sleep and rest are important for mama and activity is required for young kids. Try and kill two birds with one stone by asking a friend or relative to take your little one(s) out once in a while so you can get some R&R.
- Be okay with the kids having a bit more screen time. Vera, mom of two, encourages parents not to care too much about plunking the kids in front of the TV or tablet when you just need a break. Life will normalize once Baby is here.
- Set up simple games or activities for your young kids to do while you rest. Tricia, mom of two and author of The Good Mama, suggests playing board games while Mom lies on the couch. Kristen Hewitt of Mommy in Sports shares her go-to activities for when she or the kids are sick here.
First Trimester Tips For Morning Sickness
- Eat bland foods. As stated above, I wish I was willing to eat as well-rounded as I do when I’m not pregnant. But with each pregnancy, this has not been the case. Arrowroot cookies, clear fluids including soda, candies, chicken soup, ramen noodles, apples, rice, plain bread, saltine crackers, and anything containing potatoes (ahem, french fries) have been staples in my pregnancies. Christie, mom of three, remembers sour candies being her saving grace.
- Stay hydrated. I try and have a litre or greater of water with me at all times. Meg, mom of one, swore by ice chips. It is thought that ice a great option for pregnant moms as it decreases swelling caused by anemia (a frequent symptom of pregnancy).
- Eat small meals often and try and get protein in when you can. While my aversion to poultry made this a little more difficult, a handful of nuts or hummus has helped keep sickness at bay. Meris, mom of one, recommends eating every 90-minutes even if you don’t want to.
- Have snacks accessible for the middle of the night bathroom breaks or for first thing in the morning. Jill, mom of three and author of Ripped Jeans and Bifocals, suggests having a snack on your bedside table for before you get moving in the morning. Meris, mom of one, suggests snacking each time you wake up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Know your triggers and rethink some of your staples. Regular toothpaste made me sick in my first pregnancy, children’s toothpaste solved that problem. Kate, mom of two and author at Twitchetts, found that her pregnancy vitamin made her sick and taking it in the evening made it easier to digest. She also identified foods she didn’t want to eat and avoided them.
- Drink/ eat ginger often. Of all of the pieces of advice I got from my mom friends, the recommendation of consuming ginger was the most popular. Whether you choose to drink ginger tea, suck on ginger candies, or make your own ginger ale, the consumption of ginger can help with nausea. Be sure to read precautions associated with ginger ingestion before making it a staple in your diet.
- Consider acupressure or motion sickness bracelets. Tove, mom of four and author at Mama in the Now, found the bracelets helped her greatly. Joanna, mom of four and author at Motherhood and Merlot, claims acupresser was her saving grace. It should be noted that both of these mediums have not been proven to help with vomiting, but have been shown to reduce nausea and dry retching.
Be sure to contact your doctor if you’re experiencing morning sickness to get the best medical advice possible. What are your own best first trimester tips?