Everyone knows that the first trimester in pregnancy can be one of the trickiest. If you’re not talking to the porcelain Gods, you’re sleeping and hoping you won’t feel so exhausted. If you’re not sleeping, you’re debating whether you want something to eat. You tend to feel awfully rotten and parent your other kids from the sofa! So what can you do to make yourself feel better? Quite honestly, zilch. I tried everything to help with my nausea, but it hardly ever caved.
This time round it was quite different to my first pregnancy. During the last one, if I felt sick, I normally ended up being sick and would get a bit of relief from it, and it lasted between weeks 8-14. This time, I had it almost a week after I first found out, around 4 weeks, right up until 13 weeks or so. It literally got to point where I thought I’d be better off feeling as though I was dying because it was beginning to get unbearable. Now I’m fine and dandy and in week 16.
Here are some of my top must haves to keep you going!
- Plenty to drink. I am absolutely terrible for my water intake, but found that drinking little and often really helped. I usually kept something a bit more sugary around too. When I don’t feel well, I find the fizz of a nice cold cherry Coke felt lovely against the back of my throat!
- Sleep. Wherever and whenever you can! Catch a cat nap, zonk out in your lunch hour at the desk or get an early night because the first trimester can drain you down to the last of your stores. Not only will you be the mother of all bitches when you’re tired and you’ll have a zero tolerance approach to everyone. Send out a warning to all partners early so they know not to take it personally!
- Take folic acid and vitamin D (or an all round pregnancy supplement that contains them). They’re not absolutely mandatory, but both come highly recommended by most healthcare professionals. Folic acid to protect against the chances of a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida and vitamin D to regulate the calcium and phosphate in your body, for healthy bones and teeth! In turn, your baby will have those super duper pearly whites when they finally pop through. Can’t be bad, right?
- Food. Whatever, whenever, within reason! Don’t go completely stuffing your face, but if you can ever pull your head out of the loo and face it, then have something to eat. Don’t worry too much about dieting right now, just get it in. I had to have whatever I fancied, but whatever I fancied had to be quick, otherwise I’d already feel sick again. This time round, my body has led me to the eating little and often route. As soon as I’d eaten, I’d feel better almost instantly.
- Lip balm and Lansinoh. My absolute God send. In both pregnancies I’ve suffered with ‘angular cheilitis’ – an inflammation of one or more sides of the mouth. Mine tend to go very dry, and this is mostly due to an iron deficiency, although my iron levels this time round are pretty balanced. I’ve tried everything from Vaseline to Chapstick, none of which has worked. It only stops them from getting too dry and cracking. Needless to say I’ll be visiting the loft on Thursday to find out that tube of Lansinoh. Nothing wrong with a bit of nipple cream round your mouth.
- Apps. I had so many pregnancy apps last time round, but have managed to only have two this time. My favourite one has to be ‘Pregnancy+’. Admittedly I started out with the free version, but soon upgraded to the full version. Not only do you get a daily and weekly update on what your baby can now do, you get partner’s info too which is something you don’t find a lot of. Men are often left to kind of ‘deal’ with stuff, so it’s a great way for us to connect. I usually read it out to him in bed every night.
- The number to your midwife. Just because anything can happen in the first twelve weeks. Lots of which could just be you panicking, but also something which could be equally serious. Even if you just need some reassurance, there’s nothing like being able to phone up the midwife for her to tell you it’s normal!
What are your must haves in the first trimester of pregnancy? Did you really suffer with morning sickness, or were you a lucky one who sailed easily?