The first few months of pregnancy can have a significant effect on a women’s mental health because it is often fraught with four common, yet incredibly annoying, and sometimes debilitating, symptoms. With my first pregnancy, I experienced all of them but the most challenging were definitely extreme fatigue and queasiness that I thought would never end.
Here are a few tips for getting through the first trimester with your mental health intact:
Fatigue, while completely normal, is one of the most challenging of the early pregnancy symptoms to deal with because life, most often, doesn’t stop to give us a chance to rest. While the extreme fatigue of early pregnancy most likely won’t last forever the best thing you can do it let go of some of the things that aren’t absolutely necessary (i.e., housework) and take a nap, go to bed early, and exercise.
Queasiness, oh morning sickness how I loathed thee, was the worst of my symptoms and the tips aren’t much better (sorry). Experts agree that keeping food in your stomach by eating smaller meals more frequently is the best way to minimize queasiness. I know, who wants to eat when you feel queasy but it does help (not cure, but help). The good news for most (but not me) is that morning sickness often goes away by the second trimester.
Frequent urination, running to the bathroom in the middle of a shift or an important budget meeting is not very convenient, right! However inconvenient, don’t try to hold it in as this could lead to other problems which, I assure you, are much more problematic (and often painful – UTIs anyone?).
Tender breasts, while normal is sometimes painful and almost always unbelievably annoying. Water is a must during pregnancy (and always) to keep you well hydrated and believe it or not can help soothe sour breasts by flush the body. Also, minimizing salt during pregnancy will decrease the amount of water retention in the body which is what makes the breasts feel heavy and painful.
For some, these tips will do wonders and for others the challenges of early pregnancy and coping with these and other symptoms may be too much. If you’re struggling to cope with the reality of being pregnant don’t feel ashamed. Reach out and get the support you need so that you can not only enjoy your pregnancy but make sure your mental health is in good shape when your baby is born.
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