Pregnancy is such a huge blessing. Every stage of pregnancy is beautiful in it’s own way. It is truly God’s greatest gift to women. But with that said, surviving the first trimester is tough y’all! I struggled a lot more in the first trimester with this pregnancy than my first. Not sure if it’s because I am having a boy this time or what, but all I do know is that I was barely human.
If you’re finding yourself in the same boat, I’ve got some tips for surviving the first trimester for you! Now, I want to say that what helped me might not help you. I tried A LOT of different things to ease nausea and exhaustion, and not everything worked. And sometimes things that did work, stopped working, or only worked for 5 minutes. So, just know that each pregnancy is different. But it surely doesn’t hurt to try these tips out!
I’ve also sprinkled in some toddler tips! Because I know all too well that the first trimester can be a little tougher when you have kids to chase after!
*DISCLOSURE* PLEASE ASK YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL/OB-GYN BEFORE TRYING ANY MEDICATIONS OR SUPPLEMENTS I SUGGEST IN THIS POST!! THANK YOU!
The nausea I had during this pregnancy lasted from 6 weeks until 14 weeks, and it was not just “morning sickness”. It was ALL. DAY. LONG. And honestly, I am still taking medicine to help because it peaks through every now and then (I’ll talk about the medicine later on).
Several things listed didn’t cure the nausea but helped make it more tolerable!
Eat the second you wake up
I always kept either Ritz crackers or blueberry breakfast biscuits by Nature Valley right by my bed. I would try to eat them while still in a somewhat lying position. My doctor explained to me that sometimes when you stand up, your body produces a physiological response that triggers the nausea or “morning sickness”, specifically on an empty stomach. So, this is why you should try to eat something as soon as possible.
Eat frequent, small meals
I found that eating small meals throughout the day was better than trying to eat three larger meals. And since I had a lot of aversions, I found it easier to tolerate food this way.
I wouldn’t worry about eating all your protein and vegetables. I know these can be huge aversions to pregnant women. I think just focusing on getting some sort of food in your system is the best outlook. Plus, if you’re taking your prenatal vitamins, your body should be getting most of the nutrition it needs.
Ritual prenatal vitamins are by far the best I’ve ever had. They have a lemon scent/taste and the coating is specifically made to decrease the chance of upsetting the stomach.
Ginger + lemon
Gingerale never did much for me, but ginger + lemon tea worked wonders. I would add a little honey which helped the taste. I also found drinking any type of tea and adding lemon and honey to it alleviated some of the nausea.
Another beverage favorite of mine is lemon seltzer water mixed with a splash of lemonade. Since lemon seltzer is unsweetened I like to add a tiny bit of lemonade to sweeten it up without getting the entire sugar content of a full glass of lemonade.
You can also try eating ginger cookies/crackers or other products that have ginger or lemon in them.
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I recently started diffusing, and it was mainly to help subside my nausea. There are so many benefits to diffusing oils. It helps eliminate toxins from the air and certain scents can also help with certain types of mental and physical health issues.
I found that diffusing peppermint oil or lemongrass oil helped alleviate my nausea. You can also add some essential oil to your wrist and neck by diluting it in a carrier oil (like coconut or olive oil) so you can constantly smell the scent all day.
I use and love this diffuser.
B6 + Unisom SleepTabs
This is the main product combination that saved my nausea. They are the same ingredients that are in the prescribed medication, Diclegis (vitamin B6 + doxylamine). Buying B6 vitamins separately and combining it with Unisom SleepTabs is way cheaper and over the counter.
Make sure that it is Unisom SleepTabs (not the gels). The gels are not recommended during pregnancy.
The dosage that worked for me was 25mg B6 three/day. Then 12.5mg Unisom at night (a whole tab) and half a tablet (6.25mg) in the late morning. My doctor recommended to start with just half a tab at night ONLY with vitamin B6 three/day. If you still have nausea, increase to a whole tab at night. If this still doesn’t work, add half a tab during the day. Everyone is different, this is why it’s best to ask your doctor their recommendations for you before taking the medication.
Unisom can make you drowsy which is why they recommend starting off slowly, in smaller doses, so you aren’t as tired during the day.
Another popular product are these Preggie Pops. They also include some vitamin B6.
Another product people swear by are the Sea Bands you wear on your wrist. It kind of looks like a hair scrunchie. They use accupressure to help alleviate nausea. Sometimes it worked for me, sometimes it didn’t.
Being dehydrated can also trigger an upset stomach. I know it can be hard to drink water while pregnant. I have been getting a really weird taste in my mouth this pregnancy that is accentuated if I drink a lot of water.
So, if its not water, I will either drink the lemon seltzer combo I talked about earlier, or drink Body Armor. I swear by this stuff! It tastes so good and also has the electrolytes you need to help with hydration. (It’s also my secret weapon for increasing breast milk supply 😁) You can buy them at pretty much any grocery store.
Go for a walk
I also find that when I’m stagnate, the nausea increases. I’m not sure if it’s because by just sitting there I think about it more or what. But, if I start feeling the nausea come on strong, I try to grab my toddler and go for a walk!
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There really isn’t anything like first trimester exhaustion. It feels like a bus just hit you and you cannot move from off of the couch. I remember while pregnant with my first daughter it was so much easier because I could nap all day. Now that I have a toddler, that’s pretty much impossible for the most part! Here is how I (sort of) survived!
Lots of coffee/tea
I think this goes without saying right? The recommendation is about 200mg of coffee per day. So, this is about 2 mugs full of coffee. Now here is the kicker…I was SO disgusted by coffee from 6-13 weeks. I only recently started drinking it again. Occasionally I would drink green tea, but they don’t recommend consuming too much of this because it can prevent folate absorption.
I know it’s hard, but joining a gym and getting in a workout at least 3-4 days per week saved me. It naturally stimulates endorphins that last longer than just your workout session. You don’t have to do anything crazy. Just taking a brisk 30 minute walk helps! Plus you can’t fall asleep if you’re walking! 🙂
I’ve been loving these home workouts by fitness YouTuber, BodyFit by Amy. She has great options for pregnant and postpartum women.
Toddler tip: I joined a gym that had daycare so I could get in a workout without worrying about what to do with her. I know gyms are closed because of COVID, so now I just include her in my workouts! She watches (and imitates) me doing a home workout, or I push her in the stroller.
Take naps if you can!
Sneaking in a couple 30 minute power naps is ideal! Sometimes nothing can cure the exhaustion except sleep! Your body is working hard to produce a human, so it’s well deserved!
I know this isn’t possible for everyone if you have kids, especially now during a quarantine if you have no childcare.
- On the weekends, ask your husband, partner or other family member to PLEASE watch your child/children for 30 minutes while you rest.
- Nap while your kids nap!
Go to bed earlier
I struggle with this one honestly. My daughter goes to sleep around 7pm, so I love having a few hours to myself or with my husband. It’s hard to cut that short by going to bed at 8! But when I was pregnant with my daughter, that’s the time I went to bed. It always helped!
Toddler tip: (or more like a husband tip) but normally my husband leaves for work around 745am. My daughter wakes up at 630-7 everyday. My husband is always the one to wake up with her so I can get just a few extra minutes of sleep!
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I don’t know about you, but part of the reason why I’m always exhausted is because I struggle with sleeping at night. Mediating before bed has helped me tremendously! I highly recommend the Insight Timer app. It has thousands of different meditations, relaxing music, nature sounds, and sleep courses.
Meditation is great for sleeping and reducing anxiety! Especially during this extremely high anxiety provoking time being pregnant AND dealing with a global crisis.
It is not lost on me how blessed I am to be pregnant. Everyone who gets this chance should appreciate every milestone of pregnancy, including the not so great parts! I hope these tips will help you gain a little more control over your life. I know that it can be hard, especially during these tough times of quarantine life.
If you ever have any questions please reach out to me! I love to help others or just chat! And subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss any pregnancy tips!