“A grand adventure is about to begin” – Winnie the Pooh
Congratulations on your pregnancy. It is so exciting and has the potential to be easily overwhelming. Maybe this pregnancy is long awaited or maybe it is a surprise. Either way it can be one heck of a ride!
The first trimester is the time to set the stage for the rest of the pregnancy. There is a lot you can do to help set you on the course for a normal and natural pregnancy and birth during early pregnancy and before conception.
Even if this is not your first baby remember ever pregnancy is different. For instance with my first child I had hardly any morning sickness. With my second child- I required IV nutrition due to hyperemesis. Both pregnancies resulted in healthy babies but could not have been more different.
Fatigue, Extreme Fatigue
Often the first symptom of pregnancy that women notice is extreme fatigue. This is not the kind of fatigue that comes from doing too much or not sleeping enough. Pregnancy fatigue is in a whole new class. Fatigue hardly even covers it. It is okay. It is normal.
Knowing it is normal will not make it easier to get through days, but at least you will not have to worry that something is terribly wrong. It is best to try and rest. A mother’s body is building a person- the first trimester is when some of the most important work gets done, this takes energy.
If your body is telling you to rest, listen to it- if at all possible. I would often take naps during the day when I was expecting or fall asleep before dinner- making a person takes a lot of work.
It is tempting to try and counter the fatigue and exhaustion with caffeine. Save the caffeine for when you need to stay awake once your baby is born. While small to moderate amounts of caffeine are usually perfectly safe- over indulging can be harmful. There have been studies that have linked high amounts of caffeine to increased risks of miscarriage, premature birth, or low birth weight.
Admittedly, I am a tea drinker, and if I cut out all caffeine I would get terrible headaches, so I had enough caffeine to prevent or treat a headache which was usually two cups of tea (sometimes three) a day.
Superhuman Sense of Smell
My husband could usually tell I was pregnant before I could because I would be picking up scents that our dog would miss (an exaggeration, but not by much).
There is some evolutionary theory here. When food goes bad it smells. Mother’s sense of smell may be heightened to prevent her from eating anything that could harm her baby. Smelling every possible scent often can lead to headache or nausea.
Pregnancy was one of the few times I was thankful for allergies. To counter unpleasant smells put a few drops of an essential oil that you find pleasing in scent on a hanky and put it in your purse. It will be handy if you find your nose being assaulted by stinky things.
Early Pregnancy Preparation
I found myself becoming very eco conscious when I was pregnant. I did not want to expose my baby to any toxins. I wanted to ensure the world I left behind was in better shape than I found it. Thus I started researching and exploring green options for everything. I switched household cleaners (vinegar is amazing), changed soaps and shampoos, started buying reusable things instead of disposable.
Many people asked me what I wanted for gifts to prepare for my baby, I often suggested money to put towards diapers or furniture. Those things can really add up.
Why not actually buy diapers? Babies come in all sizes even newborns! Often a hospital or midwife will supply the first week or so- by which time your baby may have grown out of one size already. Having money on and to purchase what I needed was a big relief.
An active and fun loving grandmother, Christobel lives in London, England, and has learned about motherhood the best way possible: by doing it. Now she aims to help other mothers avoid some of the pitfalls by sharing her knowledge. Smart woman she is, Christobel quickly realized the value of the internet for reaching large numbers of people.
Like any grandmother, she believes one of the cutest things in the world are photos of chubby happy babies in diapers. Christobel enjoys showering her family with love and affection.