How To Rock Your First Trimester. A Pregnancy Survival Guide

Tips how to rock your first trimester written by an L&D nurse

I’ve been wanting to write about the first trimester ever since I was pregnant! It’s such a roller coaster ride of emotions and physical symptoms and there is so much to share.

Mostly, I really want to help other mamas get through this crazy time, so read on for some great tips and tricks on how to rock your first trimester of pregnancy.

Now that my baby is three months old, it’s kinda fun to walk down memory lane. It makes me feel so nostalgic! This may be TMI, but this day last year was the first day of my last period before becoming pregnant with him! Perfect time to reminisce.

How to rock your first trimester. Learn from an L&D nurse!

OMG, The Test is Positive! All the Emotions

There is no way to describe the feeling of a positive pregnancy test. It’s fear, happiness and everything in between, all rolled into one!

I don’t know about you, but I had to take multiple tests just to convince myself that this was actually happening.

Pregnancy tests detect hCG in your pee (that’s just a hormone that’s present in your system about 2 weeks after ovulation if you’re pregnant), and technically, the darker the line on the test strip, the more hormone there is in your body.

 

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Many women take tests multiple days in a row to make sure the line is getting darker on the home pregnancy test.

Every few days the hormone doubles in your systems and if the line gets darker your pregnancy is likely progressing. Not a very scientific way of checking this, but very common.

I did it for sure!

Check out more from Babytalk: How to Pee on A Stick: Adventures in Trying to Conceive.

The best way to confirm a pregnancy is to see your health care provider and have a blood test done. Some doctors or midwives might order a sequence of tests, especially if you have a history of miscarriage. If the hCG in your blood is increasing according to schedule, the pregnancy should be progressing normally!

Once you are further along in the first trimester, somewhere around 7-9 weeks, your provider might schedule an ultrasound.

They will check whether everything is progressing normally and usually give you a due date at that appointment.

Learn all about your due date right here on Babytalk! Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Your Due Date

It Might Not Feel Real Yet!

It’s normal to go over and over the situation in your head and to keep reminding your self that you are going to have a baby.

Your body hasn’t changed at all and you have to be constantly telling yourself it’s true so that you believe it! You won’t be feeling pregnant at this point and it’s normal to worry that something might be wrong.

Unfortunately, about 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and it’s something that every woman thinks about. It’s normal to worry, but try not to let these thoughts consume you. Let go and just let things happen. You can’t change the outcome anyway, it’s out of your control.

Symptoms

The first few weeks of pregnancy are often very strange because you might not have any symptoms. You might have to remind yourself every so often that there is actually a little human inside of you!

It’s (usually) after about 6 to  7 weeks that the symptoms kick in full force and you feel like you’ve been kicked in the butt!

Marathon-Like Fatigue

All of a sudden you feel tired, tired like you’ve never slept your whole life! For me, I felt like I had just run a marathon and needed to lie down after every little task around the house.

It wasn’t just feeling tired. I experienced it as a lack of inspiration to do anything! I didn’t see the point in getting up to do anything except to get a snack.

Hungry Like The Wolf

So that leads to the next symptom, HUNGER.

Oh my gosh, I wanted to eat so much, but at the same time, I didn’t have an appetite for anything! It’s horrible. I ended up just eating super plain things like Cheerios or toast with jam (and lots of each of those things). I always had a feeling I was craving something, but could never really figure out what it was!

The worst was 3 am hunger. I’d get up almost every night to eat a bowl of cereal, I felt like I hadn’t eaten in years! What’s up with that?!

The scale becomes your worst enemy. Whatever you do, do not step on it unless you have to!

Check out more from Babytalk: Top 10 Things to Avoid During Pregnancy

Nausea and Grossness

I was lucky, I had some uncomfortable bouts of nausea but never threw up. The nausea was the absolute worst when I was working the night shift. Around 3 or 4 am, I felt like I’d die, it was so uncomfortable. You just feel gross.

Hello, First Trimester Boobies!

Boobies! All of a sudden none of your bras fit. Everything feels tight around your chest and it’s like bras were invented by the devil. I couldn’t wait to get home to take that torture device off!

Hey, your body is preparing to feed a tiny human for the better part of a year! Be kind to your breasts 🙂

Wacky Dreams and a Changed Sleep Pattern

For whatever reason, you will all of a sudden start to have crazy dreams.

For me, almost the exact moment I found out I was pregnant, I started having just the most insane dreams!

In addition, you might start waking up in the middle of the night for no reason whatsoever! This continued throughout my pregnancy, unfortunately.

More Emotions

In the first trimester, it’s so hard not to google everything! You might get crazy symptoms one day and then the next they are gone.

That doesn’t mean anything! Your boobs might stop being sore so you think something is very very wrong. It means nothing!

Note to self, stop googling 🙂

The other side of the coin is extreme happiness! Seeing that heartbeat flicker on the ultrasound screen for the first time is the best feeling in the world!! It’s an overwhelming mix of joy and reassurance that everything will be ok.

Tips to Rock your First Trimester

Now to get to the meat of this article, how to deal with all the pesky nuisances of the first trimester!

#1 Don’t let your emotions take over

It’s totally normal to feel emotional and scared in the first trimester of your pregnancy, but try not to let the fear take you over. Something that really helped me during my pregnancy and while trying to conceive was meditation.

I meditated every day, even if it was only a short meditation. Just temporarily “checking out” made me calmer and more grounded.

Expectful is an awesome app that you can use during your pregnancy and birth journey, and I loved it!

Read more about meditation and its amazing benefits for pregnancy and birth: Expectful. Meditation for Fertility, Pregnancy and Motherhood

#2 Eat whatever makes you feel good

Obviously, you want to eat as healthy as you can. But if you just can’t stomach salads and fruit, indulge in the bread and other carbs! There’s a reason your body is craving carbs! It’s making a new human.

You’ll have plenty of time to feel guilty about your diet once your baby is here.

Also, enjoy your changing body! So what if you’re gaining weight? Your body is so beautiful making another beautiful human. Enjoy the process of this miracle.

#3 Small snacks for nausea

Try to keep your stomach full in the first trimester. It will really curb your nausea. I liked having plain cookies or crackers. Even though you’ve probably heard it multiple times before, ginger ale really helps!

Every woman is different, find out what helps your nausea and stick with it. Some like to eat before they get up and have some snack by their bedside, others swear by anti-nausea bracelets.

Your doctor might prescribe you an anti-nausea medication, take it if it helps!

If you are experiencing extreme nausea and vomiting, see your health care provider. You might have hyperemesis gravidum which is a serious pregnancy complication that might need treatment.

It’s when you cannot keep anything down to the point of dehydration! So please don’t wait to be checked out if that is happening to you.

#4 Sleep when you can

This is a pretty tough one if you have other little ones running around, but I’d recommend many naps if you can squeeze them in.

Get someone else to watch your older kids, and sleep!

Again, your body is making another human and needs that extra sleep to get the job done properly.

Sometimes I’d take a short cat-nap during my lunch break. Even 10 – 20 minutes made a huge difference for me.

I found often that the nausea was the absolute worst when I didn’t sleep enough. Please, mama! Lie down.

#5 Listen to an audiobook or podcast when you can’t sleep

This was my best trick when I couldn’t sleep. The soothing voices would distract me and put me right back into a slumber!

Then the next day I would have a nice long nap after lunch.

Sometimes I’d put on one of the meditations in the Expectful app which would relax me to the point that I could sleep.

#6 Invest in good quality bras

Yes, your boobs will continue to grow a bit, but get some nice nursing bras as soon as you can. Go to a maternity store and get fitted. They know what they are doing there and if you get a quality bra, it will be less of a torture device than your regular ones.

#7 Don’t google too much!

You are going to read so many things that are not helpful for your mental health and stability. If you are worried about anything, talk to your health-care provider.

They are the ones that can answer questions relative to YOUR care, not Dr. Google.

#8 Enjoy the process – it’s out of your control!

This one explains itself. You have no control over what might happen. As scary as that seems, that’s life! Pregnancy is a great reminder of the uncertainty of life and teaches us to live in the moment.

Right now you are pregnant and everything is OK! That’s all that matters.

You’ve got this mama!

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