3 Ways to Love Yourself During the First Trimester
by Chelsea Becker, Editorial contributor
To say that the first trimester of pregnancy kicked my ass would be an understatement. I was honestly too worried about getting pregnant that by the time I saw those two lines, I realized I hadn’t even thought of actual pregnancy. But there I was, pregnant, sick within days, and just a tad emotional.
Like so many expecting mamas, I spent the first 14 weeks close to a toilet and totally drained. While self-care felt like the last thing I had time or energy for, I knew it was a priority. And I learned this because on the days that I gave myself that practice, the sickness felt a little more manageable. I actually felt sort of alive - if only for 5 minutes. Here’s what helped.
I never knew how hard I was on myself until I got pregnant. After a couple weeks of being down for not working enough or being a good friend/partner/everything, I was reminded of grace. Grace to give myself a break – mentally and physically. Grace that my friends/family/clients understood and that this would pass.
2. Self care
I won’t even pretend that I had some blissful self-care list during my first trimester. Anything that involved movement or energy went out the window, except a few things. I found that a facial ice roller gave me life (and helped with inflammation). Meditating and focusing on deep breaths got me through some sick moments (I like the apps Headspace & Calm). A burst of cold water at the end of showers subsided nausea and felt refreshing, as did adding lemon to everything. Ginger tea was also incredible, and I tried to accompany it with a gratitude practice. Plus so. much. sleep.
3. Release food guilt
One of the things I struggled most with through the first trimester was the guilt of nutrients for my growing baby. All I could down were carbs (particularly ones that had zero nutrients). I started stressing. My doctor reassured me that my prenatal vitamin was there to back me up, and not to force foods. Mom guilt had already set in, but hearing that reassured me that I was in survival mode. I did find some peace of mind in eating cold, fresh fruit, which usually tasted decent. Smoothies for the win.
Now at 16 weeks, I’m still sick here and there but it’s passing. I’ll be posting updates on self-care I find helpful as the baby and I progress through the rest of this pregnancy.
Was there anything that helped get you through the first trimester? Specifically surrounding self care? Would love to hear.
Chelsea Becker is a San Francisco based writer, creator of becker editorial, and on the editorial team at MU. She’s expecting her first child this spring.