Saturday, 2 September 2017

SURVIVING THE FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY


The first trimester of pregnancy can often be described as the worst trimester.  I'd say I'd have to agree.  It's long, tiring and draining and if you're following the general rule of not telling a soul until 12 weeks it can be a bit of a nightmare to hide.  I mean there are only so many times you can be on antibiotics, have a cold or ditch your wine Friday's with the girls before someone catches on.

As well as conjuring up all sorts of white lies, there's sickness, and tiredness, looking like a bag of crap and generally just feeling like you've been run over by a truck repeatedly.  It's a tough 12 weeks, but as the superwomen we are we battle through it and we make it out alive!  If this is your first pregnancy and you've come here for a little support then please know you're not alone.

This is my second pregnancy and this one isn't much different from my first.  The nausea this time round has been shorter but the tiredness has been far worse (or at least I feel it has), this could be because I have a 3 year old who likes to get up at 6am most mornings and has me on my feet till 7pm at night.  However, I'm now 14 weeks and I've made it to the 2nd trimester and I'm hoping that second trimester glow finds me soon.  Here's my top tips on surviving the first trimester.


1. TELL YOUR BEST FRIEND
Ok, so you might not want to tell anyone until your 12 weeks but believe me you're gonna need a friend, and although your husband/partner may be a great support he just doesn't understand pregnancy or female bodies as well as us gals.  So save yourself the hassle and tell your best friend.  Telling your best friend will also be a great support especially when it comes to conjuring up those excuses not to attend wine Friday or other social events (she'll support you on your white lies!).  I've found it much easier to rant and moan about girly body stuff to my friend than trying to explain the in's and out's to my husband.

2. FIND YOUR SAVING GRACE - FOOD / DRINK 
Morning sickness (although it can strike at any time) is a real pain in the butt!  With both of my pregnancies I had early morning sickness starting around 7 weeks.  The first time round it last until around 14 weeks, this time round it only lasted until my 11th week, pretty lucky all things considered. When your feeling sick you'll usually be recommended ginger biscuits or ginger tea, Im not a huge fan of either of these and really sickened myself of them first time round.  This time I found that salt & vinegar crisps were my thing and once I'd devoured a pack I would feel well enough to carry on with the day.  So, whatever you find works for you go with it.  Even if its 8am, if crisps work have them, do whatever you need to get by and don't feel guilty!

3. SLEEP!
This may seem like a pretty obvious one and I know everyone will say sleep when you can! Yeah, Yeah!  It's not always possible but my advice is to go to bed early!  Get your hubby/partner on board and get him doing the evening chores, bath the kids (if you already have some), look out the clothes for the next day, make a list of things you want them to do and then slip off to bed.  Even if you can't sleep, relaxing is a must!

4. STAY HYDRATED!
When your tired and feeling run down it's really easy to forget to stay hydrated and often mild pregnancy symptoms can be in part due to mild dehydration.  This time round I have been so thirsty and water really isn't tickling my fancy BUT I am forcing myself to drink plenty of it as I know I need it and diet coke isn't the best thing for me, even though I crave it.

5. DON'T SUFFER!
There isn't much you can take during pregnancy but paracetamol is always recommended by the GP or Midwives.  Headaches and migraines are often common in early pregnancy and there is nothing worse than trying to ride it out alone.  I've also found this time round that stretching in my stomach is pretty sore and so I've had to reach for a paracetamol on a few occasions.  The NHS recommend that you take the lowest dose, I'm not a doctor so if you're not sure seek medical advice before you take anything.

6. HEARTBURN BUSTER
The dreaded heartburn, another wonderful symptom that comes with pregnancy.  Although the old wives tales would have us believe that heartburn is caused by a baby with lots of hair, its in actual fact caused by a pregnancy hormone that relaxes the muscles in our stomach which usually prevents acid reflux.  If you were to ask me what I'd reach for first it would always be cold milk.  I drank it by the gallon load in my first pregnancy and it did soothe it, however Gaviscon was always with me, by the bed, in my handbag, at my desk at work and I literally drank from the bottle - make sure you get a bottle and take it everywhere JUST IN CASE!.  Someone told me the other day that milk can make it worse but it's never had that effect on me, or maybe it did and that's why it kept coming back.  Either way, heartburn is something that is very common in pregnancy and it goes once the baby is born. If your heartburn is severe then you can ask your doctor to prescribe something a little stronger and they'll usually give you omeprazole, but again seek medical advice.

I think I've covered the essentials!  The first trimester is a bit of weird one., you feel awful but can't tell anyone, your dying to tell the world your news but you have to wait.  I find that once you get past those 12 weeks its a much easier ride so hang on in there, it'll be over before you know it.  YOU'VE GOT THIS!

How did you survive your first trimester? If you have any other suggestions, tips or remedies please do share.

Kirsty x
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