Congratulations! You’re pregnant! Also, my condolences because if you’re reading this post, you’re likely having a rough time these first weeks. Or months.. Trust me, I understand. The microscopic amounts of food you can eat, the superhuman sense of smell, the overwhelming fatigue. But you’re in luck! There are ways to lighten the load on yourself and get through the sickest of days. Here’s a few things that passed the test with me.
Hydration is absolute key during pregnancy. Not only does it dampen symptoms like nausea and cramping, it helps your adapting body stay fluid and gets all the goodies to Baby! But if you’re anything like me, you’re not keeping anything let alone water down. For me, it almost seemed to magnify the nausea. One day, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t even bring myself to put ice in a cup. We happened to have some bottles of water we had bought sitting on the counter. Usually, I can’t even stand the thought of luke-warm water but I knew I had to try and get something down. Lo and behold, I found my tummy tolerating it more and it made me much less sick.
Disclaimer- Constipation is REAL during pregnancy. Before I knew what was even happening, I was waiting out 4-5 days without going, which was not normal for me. This only added to my nausea. I had convinced myself that there was no way a stool-softener could help me but my Mother-In-Law talked me into at least trying it (Bonus tip: try things at least once to see if they work for you! And don’t give up on them if they don’t work immediately, it may take a little time to adjust). Thank. The. Lord. I finally started getting somewhat regular again. I used and highly suggest Colace. Now these don’t just magically work on their own either. Back to tip #1, you need to be extremely faithful to your water to work in tandem with your softeners.
Mint-Essential Oil + Coconut Oil:
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, as mentioned earlier, your sense of smell is extremely sensitive and is another factor in adding to your nausea. Mint aids in relieving nausea (think back to when the school nurse would give you a mint hard candy for your tummy ache) and the coconut oil is to help dilute the concentration of the essential oil so it isn’t harsh on your skin. What you’ll do is mix a few drops with a bit of coconut oil (be wary, a little goes a long way so make a small amount and store it in a ziploc or mini bottle and not use your whole jar of coconut oil). I would rub a small amount right under my nose to block out most other smells. Then I would also put it on both wrists so if a particularly overpowering smell arose, I could just smell my wrists. I only had to use this trick for a few weeks when circumstances were extreme but I’m not sure I could have made it through those weeks without it!
Eat What You Can, When You Can:
Yes, eating healthy is important during pregnancy, but don’t stress that Baby isn’t getting enough this or that, especially when you can’t keep anything down. I consulted with my doctor about this because my (all-day) sickness was making it difficult to eat. He explained that the baby is more like a parasite in that it will take everything and anything it needs from you, regardless of what you’re putting in your body. No, that doesn’t mean stuff your face with junk food when you finally can eat, Baby still needs all the good stuff! But it does mean you don’t have to stress you and Baby out about forcing things down on the regular.
Taking a prenatal vitamin is highly stressed, but I found (like many others) that they also heightened my nausea. I discussed this with my doctor as well and he told me that taking two Flintstones multivitamins will suffice and give Baby the benefits without the same intensity of side effects. Now, I will still admit that, though they didn’t make me the slightest of sick in my First Trimester, I am finding that they put me a little more on the nauseous side during my Second.
Unisom + Vitamin B6:
Full disclosure, this trick did not work for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you! But it will make you sleepy! Unisom is a sleep aid and Vitamin B6 is meant to help with nausea. So if you’re going all-natural without the aid of an anti-nausea (confession: not I) give this little trick a shot.
That being said, feel free to pop on over to my Tips for Surviving Your Second Trimester post here if you’re like me and you need some inspiration for things to get you through the new and exciting Second Trimester! (Yes, my “morning sickness” has been ALL PREGNANCY). Do you have any tried and true tricks for getting through that First Trimester?