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How to Survive if You Are REALLY Struggling with First Trimester

It’s all fun and games until nausea, exhaustion, food aversions, or constipation take over your pregnancy. The good news is that there are things you can do to help your symptoms, so you can get back to enjoying this special season. No matter what you are dealing with, you can survive (and thrive) even if you are really struggling with the first trimester.

Why My Two Pregnancies Were SO Different

I can vividly remember the first trimester of my first pregnancy like it was yesterday. I felt like I couldn’t do anything. I was taking multiple naps a day, eating carbs only, and steering clear of mushrooms and Chinese food. It was so difficult for me to enjoy the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

When I got pregnant with my second, I was so fearful of the first trimester symptoms coming back because I now had a 2-year-old to care for.

But to my surprise, I barely had any symptoms. There were many things I did differently before trying to get pregnant with baby #2 and I believe that nourishing my body and replenishing my minerals had a lot to do with it.

My hope in writing this post is that it will help other women to thrive in their pregnancies. I wish someone would have told me that I could survive the first trimester even though I was really struggling with all the symptoms that come along with it.

How to Survive When You Are REALLY Struggling with the First Trimester

Before we get into all my tips on getting through the first trimester, I want to thank Genate with SNP Therapeutics for sponsoring today’s post.

Over this past year, I’ve become really interested in how our food and environment affect our health. So when Genate reached out to me about their Prenatal Screening and Nutrition testing.. I knew I wanted to partner with them.

I highly recommend taking Genate’s Prenatal Test because this will help you to customize your diet, so that you and your baby are getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that you need. I found that when my body was undernourished, I experienced more nausea, food aversions, constipation, and fatigue.

What we are fueling our body with is directly impacting not only the way we feel but also your baby’s development.

I wish this test was around for my pregnancies. But, I’ll share more about that later in this post.

If you’ve been around for a while you know, that I do not support, review, or promote anything unless I wholeheartedly believe in it. So please know that this is all my honest opinion after using Genate (read my sponsorship disclosure here).

At Bless Our Littles, we like to talk about things we love and think you might enjoy too.  Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links (see disclosure here). This means we will receive a commission if you click on a link and make a purchase. This is no extra cost to you. There are some products we have tried and others that we haven’t but think would be helpful to you! 

How to Deal with Nausea During the First Trimester

This is by far the most common symptom moms experience during the first trimester. It’s important to note that some women will experience nausea despite the fact that they are nourishing their bodies well.

What I’m sharing in this section is mostly from my own experience and what has worked for me. I hope something here helps to lessen your morning sickness.

During my second pregnancy, read tons of studies in hopes of finding answers as to why I was so sick. This study here was really helpful in helping me to pinpoint what may be causing my morning sickness.

1. Focus on your Minerals

I found that increasing my salt intake, was really helpful when I started to feel nauseous. I typically had an adrenal cocktail around 9/10:00 (way before I started feeling nauseous). This really helped and I felt a huge difference on the days I had these.

My midwife also recommended making this tea daily to replenish my lost minerals and keep my energy up. This blend helps with increasing your trace minerals, iron, and calcium!

The last thing I started implementing was adding Trace Mineral drops to my water. Just including 2-3 drops in my water throughout the day was super helpful!

2. Eat Protein First thing in the Morning

This sounds too easy… but I tried my best to prioritize protein first thing in the morning. I noticed that the days I did not have it, the more nauseous I felt in the evening.

3. Choose Foods that Fight Nausea During Pregnancy

Before I share some foods that can be really helpful when it comes to nausea, keep in mind that you need to listen to your body. If you are noticing food aversions, try not to beat yourself up over what you can/can’t eat. This will only cause more stress on your body!

Food that may help with Nausea:

  1. Rice
  2. Bananas
  3. Sourdough Bread
  4. Peanut Butter
  5. Watermelon (This was one of my favorites during pregnancy)
  6. Oranges
  7. Avocados

Enjoy foods that are bioavailable (meaning easy to digest), so your body doesn’t need to do quiet as much work.

Here are some of my FAVORITE Foods to eat in the first trimester.

4. Try Smaller More Frequent Meals

If I went too long in between meals, I would start to feel queasy. It’s important to stay on top of your hunger, so that your blood sugar doesn’t drop causing you to feel nauseous.

5. Choose Drinks that Help with Nausea during Pregnancy

  1. Coconut water
  2. Bubbly Drinks (I loved this Natural Drink)
  3. Peppermint Tea
  4. Ginger Tea
  5. Homemade Gingerale

Dealing with Fatigue in Early Pregnancy

Your hormones are changing fast and your baby is growing even faster! Even though your baby is still tiny, your body is working overtime to help this sweet little baby grow.

I was exhausted during my first pregnancy. Although I was still fairly tired with baby #2, I had a lot more energy even though I was chasing a 1.5 year old all day. Here are some things I did to help with fatigue:

1. Eat Enough Calories

I was so fearful of gaining weight, so I definitely didn’t eat enough. But the second time around, I focused on nourishing my body and giving it more calories. This helped immensely.

2. Eat Enough Protein

I’ve noticed that the amount of protein I eat has a HUGE affect on my body and how I feel. In Lily Nichols book, Real Food for Pregnancy, she recommends that moms aim for 100g of protein a day! Isn’t that insane?!

3. Get More Sleep

Prioritizing your sleep is going to help your body be less stressed. This is important during pregnancy because our bodies are already stressed out just by growing a baby.

If you can aim for 7-9 hours of sleep and here is your excuse to enjoy a mid-afternoon nap.

4. More Minerals

As I mentioned earlier, minerals play a huge role in how I feel (even now as I breastfeeding). Here are my favorite ways to increase my mineral intake:

How to Stop Constipation in Early Pregnancy

If you are struggling with constipation in the first trimester, I totally feel your pain. It’s not only uncomfortable but then can cause issues like hemorrhoids – which is no fun at all!

Here are a few simple things I’ve done to help with constipation:

  • Eat Watermelon
  • Take a Walk/Get Active
  • Raw Carrot Salad
  • Lower Your Stress
  • Less starches and grains, more fruit
  • More sodium, potassium, and magnesium

How to Ease Anxiety in Early Pregnancy

There is one simple thing you can do to ease your anxiety during early pregnancy and that is to educate yourself. Whether you are anxious about miscarriage, birth, or simply becoming a mom, feeling prepared and informed will help to ease your anxiety.

This is why I HIGHLY recommend taking a birth course. My two favorites are Mama Natural’s and Bridget Tyler’s Buit to Birth Course. They are both wonderful!

With that being said, I truly believe that diet and nutrition play a huge role in my anxiety. When I’m consuming enough calories, minerals, and sleep, I feel a whole lot better and I worry a lot less.

I also have an entire blog post (you can read it here) on natural remedies for anxiety during pregnancy.

How to Know What Your Body Needs during Pregnancy

Like I mentioned earlier, I did a ton of research during my first pregnancy to try and figure out why I was having such horrible nausea, constipation, fatigue, and food aversions. I really wish I had Genate’s Prenatal Screening test to help me figure out what my body needed.

When your body is undernourished and depleted, you are more likely to struggle during the first trimester.

Although my midwives during my second pregnancy were great, I felt that they lacked knowledge on what “diet” would work best for my body. It was frustrating because they treated me as if food was a one size fits all.

I actually had poor liver function (that is genetic), but my midwives advised to eat foods that were actually making it worse. I learned a lot from taking Kori Meloy’s Freely Rooted Course, which is how I became so familiar with ancestral eating and the pro-metabolic lifestyle.

With all of this to say, Genate takes the questions out of what your body is deficient in by testing your genes. You can then bring your results to your midwife or OBGYN, so they can help you incorporate foods and supplements to support you throughout your pregnancy.

How Does Genate’s Test Work?

Genate’s Prenatal Screening Test helps you to understand how your metabolism is affected by your genes, so you can give your body the nutrients it needs to help you grow a healthy baby.

Essentially their test looks for one or more common genetic variants, called single nucleotide polymorphisms(SNPs). If a woman has these, they will need more of certain nutrients because their body can not efficiently metabolize them.

Without these nutrients, you are not able to support healthy fetal brain development. They primarily are looking for choline, DHA, and folate. It also tests for the MTHFR gene!

If I’m being completely honest, when my second was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect, I wondered if it was because of a lack of folate. Although the doctors have reassured me that there is nothing more I could have done, I can’t help but believe that there is some correlation here.

When I got my test results back, several of my SNPs were moderate and one was high.

I wish I knew about this test BEFORE I got pregnant. I’m grateful that I have this information to help me navigate any future pregnancies…. so I can be sure that I am eating the right foods and taking the right supplements!

I believe that this test should be standard for EVERY pregnant woman. The information that Genate gives you will not only improve your own health but will ensure your baby gets everything it needs to grow properly.

My Thoughts…

I hope this post helps you to get back to the fun part of being pregnant. Although I know you will survive it, I hope that these tips help you to thrive even if you feel like you are really struggling with the first trimester.

Below is a Pinterest friendly photo… so you don’t lose this post!
17 ways to survive the first trimester

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