Oh the first trimester of pregnancy … feels like just yesterday. Just kidding, I don’t know if covid is making the months (and days!) drag on or if it’s because I am in my third trimester (!!), but the first trimester is an experience. Especially if it’s your first baby … and being pregnant in a pandemic is a whole different story. You learn a lot!
At the beginning of the year, I convinced my husband to join a gym with me (new year, new us…or so we thought). We joined the gym on a Wednesday and I found out I was pregnant that Friday. Literally two days after we joined (so predictable for the year of 2020, although we didn’t know it yet). I really wanted to join the gym for the sauna and cycling classes. Well funny thing about pregnancy you might not know (or at least I didn’t), you can’t sauna while pregnant (or elevate your body temperature). Luckily in the two days we had been gym members, I hadn’t visited the sauna yet. And apparently starting hardcore cycle while being pregnant is also frowned upon if you haven’t been cycling before pregnancy (the body can only handle so much). So moral of the story, don’t join a gym. Totally kidding.
I knew there are a lot of “rules” about what you can and can’t do pregnant, so I wanted to round up the top seven things no one tells you about pregnancy (from my experience).
- You don’t see your doctor until you are 8 weeks pregnant
(This is from my experience so make sure to check with your doctor because yours may want to see you earlier or later). There are a lot of rules of what you shouldn’t do or shouldn’t eat (like soft cheeses! and then you have to figure out what’s a soft cheese) during pregnancy and you’ll start questioning every single thing. So for two months, you are “on your own” googling what you can and can’t do or eat while pregnant. Luckily, there are a ton of apps out there (what to expect and the bump are two I use) and tons of books you can read, but this was a surprise to me.
- You are strongly discouraged to use a sauna, heating pads or take hot baths.
As I mentioned, I joined a gym specifically for the sauna, but luckily didn’t use it. That was one of the first questions I asked my doctor. It’s also not advised to use heating pads or take hot baths (one of my favorite things!). Basically avoid anything that elevates your body temperature. Once my baby is born, you better believe I am taking a hot bath (and drinking wine… and using a sauna!).
- Your depth perception may be off
My husband still laughs at me about this one, but I seriously felt like everyone in the grocery store was going to hit me in the stomach with their cart. It felt like everyone was going faster or I was just more cautious of my stomach. There’s definitely a motherly instinct that comes out. I still don’t like going to the grocery store when it’s crowded or very busy. When you get further along and have that big ol’ baby bump, your perception will definitely be off. I run into everything and can’t always see the floor over the bump. My husband calls me his blindfolded, delicate wife because I bruise like a peach!
- Only one sleeping position is considered “ideal”
Sleeping on your left side is the most “ideal” position. I was a stomach sleeper before and had to train myself to sleep on my left side. I was able to sleep on my stomach before I had a bump and before it became uncomfortable. Even in my third trimester, I do my best to sleep on my left side but sometimes I wake up on a different side. There’s a whole science behind this (something about keeping the uterus off of your liver), but this is the preferred position. Pregnancy pillows definitely help keep you on one side. Highly recommend!
- Morning (and evening) sickness is real and may not end in your first trimester.
You may be one of the lucky ones and not get morning sickness, but I was not fortunate in this area. I had morning and evening sickness through my first trimester and half of my second trimester. Some people are just nautious all day, I definitely threw up at least once a day, sometimes twice. Keep brown bags with you at all times. This was a key for me. I got really lucky and never got sick at work, but had a couple of close calls. I tried a bunch of remedies and the only thing that helped was preggie drops. You won’t be hungry and then all of a sudden you’ll be STARVING and if you don’t eat right away you might throw up. Not to mention even though you are so hungry, nothing will sound good at first. Everyone talks about cravings, but I had more food aversions than any cravings. I still have them in my third trimester!
- Your nose will smell everything. e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
The smells are STRONG! I could smell my husband from across the room and he thought I was crazy. I went down the laundry/detergent aisle in the grocery store and phew, I never realized all of the smells on that aisle! I felt so bad during my first trimester, my hubs and I finally decided to try HelloFresh and we were so excited so we ordered a month membership (it was a deal we got for a birthday present). My husband had to COOK and EAT all of the food we ordered. I had to leave the room every time my husband cooked or I’d start throwing up. I also thought I had super sonic hearing, but it was just smells. My mom bought a super sonic sensor to deter squirrels from climbing on the house and she couldn’t hear the sensor…but I could. So then I started thinking I had super sonic hearing! Turns out the older you get, the less high pitch tones you can hear! Not a pregnancy thing, but still interesting to share 🙂
- You don’t have an ultrasound at every doctor appointment. Now this was a surprise! I thought I’d get to see our little nugget at every appointment, but you really only get 4-5 ultrasounds the whole time (unless you request more/have any issues). #thanksinsurance. After the big 20 week appointment, you won’t see your baby again until 38 weeks. You will get to hear the heartbeat at every appointment, which is nice! Keep those ultrasound pics close by.
Some other common symptoms you may get:
Dry skin and some peeling. I had and still have very dry skin on my head. It looks like dandruff and starts right after I wash my hair. If you have dandruff, talk to your doctor before you use any shampoos. Some have harsh chemicals that may not be the best for pregnancy.
Face acne. Getting pregnant in your 30s can also bring out your “adult hormones” or that’s what my dermatologist calls it. I always laugh and think, does that mean I wasn’t an adult before? You could get a mix of pregnancy acne and adult acne including new moles, spots or skin tags.
Fatigue. First and third trimester fatigue is real. As much as I love naps, I have never taken this many naps in my life. I am soaking it up as much as I can before baby arrives because I know naps won’t be a thing anymore. But you may feel fatigued after minimal daily tasks or working all day! Hang in there mommas!
Headaches. You may have headaches throughout pregnancy. They might come and go or be really intense. Your doctor will let you know any medicines that are safe to treat headaches.
Heart burn. This really sprung up for me in my third trimester. It will start before I even eat and gets stronger at night. Again, talk to your doctor about any medicines that are okay to treat heartburn. I take pepcid. Probably a wives tale, but I heard if you have heart burn, your baby will have hair! We will see if that’s true, very soon 🙂
Whether you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, hope you found these tips are helpful! I’ll have a separate post about pregnancy must-haves! What is one thing you didn’t know before getting pregnant?
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