Leah F's first trimester tips

Posted by  | Friday, December 10, 2010  at 8:39 PM  
Meagan gave wonderful tips for the first trimester earlier in the week, and I cannot agree with her enough! Praise the Lord for how He uses difficult circumstances in our lives (like continual first trimester nausea) to bring us closer to Him, to draw us into new relationships, and to glorify Him.

I am currently 37 weeks pregnant, and though I was not anywhere as sick during my first trimester as Meg was, I still had obstacles to overcome (like CONTINUAL exhaustion). Below are some of my tips for those going through this wonderful stage in their pregnancy. Please feel free to add your advice in the comments!

*Drink your water early in the day. Staying hydrated keeps away many pregnancy 'ailments', but if you wait until later in the day to drink, you will spend your entire night in the bathroom. I tried to consume most of my water between mid-morning and late afternoon so that I could cut back on the bathroom visits (I still went regularly!)
*If at all possible, adjust your budget to have room for more groceries and eating out. Your appetite will change, what you want to eat will change, and you may even have times where you plan a meal and then realize you don't want to eat it! You can quickly drain your budget if you do not allow yourself some wiggle room during the sick times.
*In addition to napping when the kids nap, my kids play in their room by themselves for 30-45 minutes in the morning, and I could use that time to rest as well. If your child does not do that yet, start out small and slowly increase the time spent in the room alone. This will allow you to rest, shower, or accomplish a few household tasks.
*Exercise when you can, even when you are tired. This will help you increase your energy, and keep your body healthy for the 'long haul' of pregnancy.
*Know that your hormones will fluctuate, and some things will be really weird, but it will probably pass. With this pregnancy, my skin broke out terribly in the first trimester, and not just on my face. I was bumpy and itchy on my face, upper chest and back and it drove me NUTS! I paid close attention to body wash and lotion products (fragrance free all the way), gave it some time and it went away, thankfully.
*Swap childcare with a friend. It seems strange to encourage you to watch someone else's child during your first trimester, but I find that an extra playmate is often just what my kids need to keep them entertained. Then I had some freedom to rest or work around the house, and on my day without kids I could rest and recuperate as much as I wanted.
*Avoid caffeine, as it can aggravate your already existing symptoms (restlessness, breast tenderness, sleeplessness). On the opposite side, though, there have been occasions where a little caffeine helped ease a headache, so use your best judgment.
*Meditate on Scripture even if you don't have time or energy to extensively study God's word. Put Scripture in prominent places for you to see it (bathroom, perhaps? :-). Pray in small snatches, while doing the dishes, or showering, or throwing up in the toilet. Pray aloud in front of your children for God's strength to make it through the day.
*Begin to make adjustments in the first trimester that will affect your pregnancy and life later. Limit carrying your toddler downstairs (this is hard for me when Baxter says "Mommy, hug!"). Move child/ren into different rooms or beds or carseats early to get them used to that setup. Encourage your child to sit beside you to read books rather than in your lap, as that will get very uncomfortable as your belly grows. Refer to the older sibling as big sister/big brother, or big girl and big boy, and not 'little' and 'baby'.
*Don't be afraid to ask for help (Meg hit on this!), and don't hesitate to hire it either! Pay someone to clean your house, or watch your children, or even run errands for you. Hopefully the Lord has placed you in a church or community that will support you and help you without you hiring anyone, but if you must, just DO IT!!

Now for my disclaimer--what works for me might not work for you. And quite frankly, I don't always follow my own advice very well; for instance, I have not exercised much this pregnancy and I can feel the difference in my body. As always, these are suggestions that I have, and it is my prayer that they might be helpful to someone. Please feel free to add any suggestions or thoughts in the comments!

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