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7 Ways to Feel Better in Your First Trimester

When I found out I was pregnant last October, I was on the heels of a running kick. A week or so before I got my positive test result, I'd read The Newport Half . Earlier that year, in April, I'd run my first marathon in Boston.

I told myself I'd keep running while pregnant. After all, during pregnancy-assuming your doctor has cleared you for it-is not healthy but recommended. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise each week for a variety of reasons, like because it can help maintain or improve cardiorespiratory fitness. [19659003] Then week six came, and nausea like I never knew existed hit me hard. Exercise became difficult, especially running with all its pounding.

yoga classes, at-home workout apps, and low-impact spin classes helped me sweat without feeling frustrated (on the days I had the energy to move, that is). I just had to wait for my first trimester, and I feel I have to make adjustments to try to help myself feel better.

Everyone has their own strategies for making it through. It's something I'm realizing. Here are some of the parents who have come to grips with their pregnancy. "1961 ]1. Always be prepared with snacks.

"If I got even momentarily hungry, it was a day-ruiner," Jackie J., 31, tells SELF. Relatable.

It sounds pretty obvious, but it's true enough to be worth spelling out: "Frequently eating small amounts helps [keep] most folks from getting too full or too hungry, "Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale University, tells SELF. Both of these sensations can feel even more wildly uncomfortable and nausea-inducing than usual when you're pregnant . If constant grazing helps avoid feelings, have at it.

2. Never leave home without antacids.

heartburn which is even more likely when you're expecting. "In pregnancy, the valve between the stomach and the esophagus relaxes and [stomach acid] refluxes into the esophagus," Dr. Minkin says. Enter symptoms like a burning chest and bitter taste flooding your mouth.

Lauren W., 30, SELF says she really relied on antacids (Tums, specifically) to discuss these issues during pregnancy. Mayo Clinic explains.

Antacids often rely on calcium to do their job, so you should make sure you're not having so many that you're surpassing the medically established tolerable upper intake level for this nutrient. According to the National Institutes of Health the tolerable upper intake level of calcium for pregnant people is 19 and over is 2,500 milligrams per day , Regularly going beyond that may increase your risk of issues like calcium-based kidney stones-not something you want to deal with, but especially when pregnant.

Minkin recommends elevating your head while you sleep . She says.

3. Give yourself a break whenever you can.

"I closed my office door and put my head down on the cold desk to wait for the nausea every day," Jill F., 34, tells SELF. "Fun times!"

Pressing to breathe through pregnancy issues like nausea can be helpful if you're ready to swing it. Erin Dawson-Chalat, MD, at ob / gyn at Coastal Women's Health Care in Scarborough, Maine, tells SELF.

"Sleep disturbance is common in pregnancy." Dawson Chalat says. The reasons why can range from heartburn to leg cramps to more. Plus, fatigue is common in the first trimester thanks hormonal shifts and major physical changes like your heart working harder than usual. Point is, you might feel exhausted when you're expecting, especially to start. Taking little moments of rest for yourself whenever you can help.

4. Listen to your body.

Everyone's advice about morning sickness what to eat crackers and bread and simple carbs. But carbs made it so much worse for me, "Anna P., 32, tells SELF. "I realized it quickly needed a lot more protein, and the fattier, the better. Bacon turned out to be a lifesaver!

Experts do not fully understand why pregnancy cravings happen and what they might mean. But if it's a specific food helps you find relief from morning sickness, that's great. Minkin says. If your cravings are so intense that you're concerned about having too much of any food during your pregnancy, that's definitely something to discuss with your doctor.


Alexandra V., 30, tells SELF that she experienced a lot of anxious feelings in the first trimester, which is when miscarriage is most common. "Establishing a mindfulness practice in the first trimester was a great way for me to cultivate a meaningful connection and nurture the pregnancy and baby," she says. "I also found it helpful to have a good time"

mindfulness can be helpful in dealing with the new stresses of pregnancy, dr. Dawson Chalat says. Even if you're not big on mindfulness or mantras, she recommends doing some calming activities you can lean on feeling anxious, like listening to your favorite piece of music or reading some of your favorite poetry.

there is a difference there is a difference between typical anxious feelings in pregnancy and having an anxiety disorder that's really impacting your life. see a mental health professional for anxiety but are not sure where to find one, here's SELF's guide to find an affordable therapist.

6. Exercise actually helps me overcome the nausea, "Laura T., 31, tells SELF. "I've done everything from long walks to lifting at the gym. Maybe it's just a distraction, but it helps. "

The distraction factor can definitely be beneficial when all you can focus on is first-trimester suckiness. Plus, as we said above, regular exercise during pregnancy can help promote better physical and mental health as long as it's medically safe for you to do that. "Just remember to cut yourself some slack on that day you do not feel like you can do your full workout," dr. Dawson Chalat says. "All movement is good, whether it's walking, swimming, dancing, elliptical, yoga-it all counts."

7. Talk to your doctor about any medication that can help.

"The first trimester of both of my pregnancies were complete opposites. With my son, I felt so good. With my daughter, it was, unfortunately, a different story, "Sarah M., 33, tells SELF. Bark and a sleeping aid containing the antihistamine doxylamine succinate. It was the only thing that helped, she says.

Dr. Minkin explains that vitamin B6 and doxylamine succinate can be "a winning combination" for assuaging morning sickness . B6 and doxylamine succinates are the active ingredients in prescription morning sickness drugs Diclegis and Bonjesta . [19659031] As SELF previously reported these types of medications (including vitamin B6 and Doxamine succinate-containing sleep aids that you may combine yourself) should not be construed as being "pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting." They can be an option if you're really going through it, though. If your morning sickness is really affecting your life – or mentally – consider seeing your ob / gyn to discuss your options.


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