If you have recently discovered you are pregnant, then prepare for a roller coaster ride of emotional ups and downs, random persistent nausea and strangers offering unsolicited advice. The first trimester can be a confusing time, especially if you’ve never been pregnant before. Here are the top hacks for getting through those first 12 weeks:
Nausea Kit. It’s the first lesson of pregnancy – morning sickness is not just limited to the morning! Some women feel pretty good during the first 12 weeks, while others are throwing up morning, noon and night. Since you can’t just stop your life and stay in bed all day, you need a plan for what happens when you feel ill in public. Make a nausea kit with those disposable toothbrushes, facial wipes, a small hand towel, hard candy, breath fresheners or gum and your makeup compact. This will give you some peace of mind as you face the day.
Car Kit. If you do a lot of commuting, whether by car, bus or train, have a portable nausea kit at the ready just in case. You may never need to vomit in your car, but if you do, make sure you have a red solo cup in the console so you avoid a much more heinous situation. If you commute by public transportation, an airline paper bag will do. Avoid the bus bathrooms if you can, since the smell might unleash a new wave of sickness.
Develop Shorthand with Your Partner. Alert your partner that you will be feeling many different emotions, some of which are hard to control or express. If your emotions are gushing, say a word or phrase to let your husband know that you are having a little pregnancy-related breakdown. Otherwise he may step in and try to “fix the problem” when this problem isn’t fixable. This shorthand will let him know you just need a minute to vent.
Prepare to Tell Your Boss. If you are working then you are probably dreading having the “I’m pregnant” talk. The best way to handle your boss is to come in with a plan that includes your probable due date, what duties will need to be temporarily reassigned and a list of things you will do to prepare your workplace to live without you while on maternity leave. This will put your boss’s mind at ease.
Bland foods and Small Meals. Dealing with the nausea, bloating and headaches that come with the first trimester of pregnancy is a learning curve. When you aren’t feeling well, stick to bland foods. That means toast and chicken broth at home, and crackers and ginger ale when you are out of the house. Eat small meals several times a day. That makes you feel less bloated since you are less full. It also helps ensure that the vomiting is minimal.
Listen to Your Body. This is a big one, girls. If you feel like taking a nap, nap. If you don’t feel like doing housework, ignore it. Now is not the time to try to do everything and be superwoman. And remember, you’ll feel much more energetic during the second trimester. Ask your partner to take on more housework, hire some outside help or just learn to let small things go. Think of this as good training for the demands of raising a child.