Easing the Symptoms
It’s no wonder you’re sick and tired in the first trimester. “An entire formed fetus develops during the first three months of pregnancy from a mere sperm and egg,” Dr. Binkley says. “Although the baby gains the most weight during the last three months of pregnancy, the first three witness the most dramatic organ formation.”
There are steps you can take to ensure you’re taking care of yourself and your growing baby. “Don’t be surprised if you get home from work every day and want to take a two-hour nap,“ Dr. Brinkely says. “Indulge yourself. And don’t use your weekends trying to catch up on all of the house cleaning or activity you missed during the week. Listen to your body, and if it tells you to sleep – sleep!”
To help with your urinary urges, drink a lot of water to prevent bladder infection, Dr. Binkley says. This also may help to ease the “urgent” feeling. To relieve breast discomfort, make sure you buy bras that fit your changing size and shape, Dr. Rubin says. Avoid underwire bras that can dig into your skin. “For additional relief, try soaking in a warm bath, or applying a cool, wet cloth across your chest,” he says. “Most breast tenderness will improve after the first trimester.”
To minimize morning sickness, try eating smaller and more frequent meals. “Crackers and toast are usually well tolerated, but you may have to experiment to find which foods work best for you,” Dr. Rubin says. “The scent and taste of lemon and peppermint are known for their ability to sooth nausea and upset stomach.” Your physician also may consider prescribing an anti-nausea medication, Dr. Rubin says.
Talk to your doctor immediately if vomiting becomes severe or persistent or is associated with dizziness or weakness. Annette Rubin found it was helpful to suck on lemon or peppermint drops and slowly drink white soda. “I had a much better chance of keeping a meal down if I ate small portions and kept the food bland,” she says. “My favorite meal was white rice and maybe a bit of chicken.” She also massaged lemon-scented hand lotion on her hands. “The aromatherapy of lemon would often keep the vomiting at bay,” she says.
For acne, try gentle, effective cleansers. Look for those with pregnancy-safe ingredients, such as lactic acid. “The good news is that in most cases, pregnancy acne tends to clear up after the first trimester,” Dr. Rubin says. “If your symptoms are particularly severe, you should speak to your dermatologist, who may be able to recommend prescription antibiotics or other treatments.”
Annette Rubin used an acne-clearing facial wash, along with a facial brush introduced by her aesthetician. “The combination of the wash and facial brush has kept most of the breakouts under control,” she says.