As most of you know, I had a really tough first trimester (I’ve mentioned it a few times here in my blog). Like, really miserable. I mean, I was aware of early pregnancy symptoms before getting pregnant, but in a way I always thought it was bearable. I never, never thought in a million years that it would be difficult. Of course, a lot of my mommy friends kept telling me, “oh it will get better, then it gets worse, then a lot worse”, so I really dreaded what’s to come but at the same time kept my focus on the, “it gets better” part. That kept me going. The second trimester.
For me, all-day morning sickness was the killer, which meant having that nauseous feeling ALL THE TIME. I threw up every day, when I was hungry, when I was full, when I smelt something I didn’t like, oh and I always threw up at around 2am (I still don’t know what that means but yeah, it was horrible). With this came bouts of dizziness, a bionic sense of smell and extreme exhaustion. I kind of liked the sleeping part because that was the only time I could escape from the nausea, but other than that it was so difficult. I would wake up tired and zapped of energy, which took a lot of getting used to because I could not work. Thankfully, it was gearing up to November-December-January, when all the holidays happened, so work was somewhat slower than usual. And for the days when I managed to get myself out of bed, dressed and out somewhere, I immediately wished I were home so I could lie down and sleep. It really was quite an experience–showering made me tired!
Now that I am on my second trimester (16 weeks this week) I feel SO MUCH BETTER. I have energy again! Of course, its not like pre-pregnancy energy, but its a huge improvement from these past few weeks. I can now look back at my experience (though its still bittersweet) and kind of make sense of what happened. And it just hit me this week that yes, I survived the first trimester, and really, I am so proud of myself for getting through it.
So I wanted to share with you the little things that made the experience better and more comfortable for me. Because they really made a big difference! I can only hope this will reach another mommas-to-be who are struggling as much as I did. Please know that you will get through this, I promise. Just take it day by day, and soon you’ll be on your second trimester.
Stock up on crackers. I survived munching on SkyFlakes all-day, all-night. My stomach was super sensitive and acidic during the first trimester so I needed something to calm it down. Crackers helped, big time. I would keep a stash of it everywhere: on my night table, in the car, in my purse–I would seriously start to panic when I didn’t have a packet in arm’s reach. This was my security blanket for anti-nausea.
Get yourself a set of acupressure bands. I found this when I was shopping online. A friend of mine was coming home from the States and asked me if I needed anything, so I immediately researched on what preggy ladies use to combat nausea. Search results led me to these amazing acupressure bands. These bands use pressure to stimulate the P6 acupuncture point. This point is located about two finger-widths from the crease on the underside of the wrist. The one I got is called SeaBand (I purchased it from Target), which fit snugly on both wrists like sweatbands. When you look inside the band, it has a raised surface that applies pressure on the wrist. Practitioners of acupuncture and acupressure believe stimulation of this point may stop nausea and vomiting. This worked especially well for me when I travelled. I would usually get carsick or seasick, but when I wore it I didn’t feel dizzy or nauseous. I wore it on most days, though I have to admit there were some days when my morning sickness would hit me hard and I would still get a little dizzy. The sad part is that I only discovered this during the last few weeks of my first trimester. This would’ve really helped in the beginning of my pregnancy, like the first few weeks.
Sweet-sour candy is your friend. I discovered this from Patty Laurel-Filart, who is also expecting (can you believe, our due dates are BOTH first week of July). We were on our way to an event when she offered me the most amazing candy ever–its called ICE BREAKERS SOURS. It was sooooo good. I don’t know what it is about being pregnant, but I suddenly love anything sour. Anyway, this saved me from nausea so many times, I had to stock up on this. Like whenever I would start to feel dizzy, I would pop one in my mouth and immediately I forget about the dizziness and zone in on the sour goodness. Sour Skittles also did the same for me, as well as sampaloc. The Ice Breakers was more handy though–I always left a pack in my purse so I can suck on it whenever I needed it.
Hydrate. I confess, I didn’t drink enough water before getting pregnant. I don’t know why I didn’t. I guess I just forget when I’m zoned out with work. So of course I found out you cannot do this when you’re pregnant. Your body needs water now more than ever, because you’re making a person and that requires A LOT of water! Of course, I had to learn it the hard way and found out I wasn’t drinking enough through some tests my OB/GYN made me take. As I found out, not drinking enough water did contribute to my nausea and dizziness and when I drank a lot more I felt better. So, don’t forget to drink water, ladies.
Instead of big meals, snack throughout the day. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I could not finish a plate of food. So instead, I portioned my meals into snack sizes or kiddie meals, which I would eat every 2-3 hours. I tried to be creative, but you really can’t when you’re pregnant. Its either you love a certain food or you hate it with a passion, so find out what you’re craving for, stock up on it and eat it in small, frequent meals.
Immerse yourself in a good book or television series. This is the best kind of distraction because it takes up a lot of your time, and for the next few weeks that’s all you have on your hands. During my first trimester, I got into Downton Abbey, Scandal and Breaking Bad; I also watched a lot of movies and read books. These made me forget about my morning sickness, and it made snacking more fun.
Take Vitamin B6 and B12. Before anything, you will need to get the okay of your doctor for this so you get the proper dosage. I found that taking this really helped me with my morning sickness. It gave me some energy and allowed me to get out of bed and do a little work.
Go to YouTube and watch feel good videos. I remember there was this one night when I felt incredibly dizzy, nauseous and emotional and nothing seemed to work. I needed to lift my mood so I got on YouTube and searched “laughing babies” and found hundreds of adorable babies laughing. I began crying and laughing uncontrollably while watching the videos and you know what, I felt better after watching them. Now I make it a habit to watch a feel good video a day. Puppies, kittens, babies, you name it–I suddenly love watching these videos (and mind you, I never used to watch these before).
Ask your OB/GYN about your prenatal pills. It might be your prenatal pills that are making you nauseous. I’m not sure if its the iron in the pills or another thing that might be causing it, but these tend to be a little strong and can cause these symptoms. Talk to your OB/GYN about it–she might be able to prescribe milder prenatal pills for you.
Avoid caffeine. I never really drank tea, coffee or soft drinks before I got pregnant, because they always seemed to trigger my vertigo. But I would have it once in awhile when I felt like it, and during the times when I would indulge I would have to throw up after. I’m not sure if this is applicable to just my pregnancy or to everyone else’s. Anyway, you’re not allowed to have a whole lot of these as these are bad for the baby. But for me, it caused nausea.
Best of luck on your pregnancies–I hope these tips help. I will be updating you on mine as the weeks/months go by. Sending good, happy vibes your way!