Today’s post is written by contributor Chelsea Becker
If I had to describe the first trimester of pregnancy, I’d choose two words: grateful and brutal. On one big hand, I was excited. I felt beyond thankful that it happened for me when so many friends have struggled. And on the other, I felt nauseous at all hours, spent a lot of time hugging the toilet, and I struggled hard with being kind to myself.
Now, well into my second trimester (reminder, Chelsea here!), I’m luckily past the hard times of the first tri and feeling a lot better. But I wanted to share a list of things that got me through the beginning. Because even though your hormones are taking a toll and things are changing rapidly, securing even a bit of self care is incredibly important.
Geri loves the ice roller as much as I do, and I found it to be my BFF during that first trimester. Whether I was sick, tired, or blah, I’d ice roll my face, neck, chest, and even my arms/legs to cool down. I could do this while laying flat and I found that it was one of the only things that semi woke me up. You can try it under your feet too if they’re sore or tender.
Speaking of caring for your body, I kept up my monthly massages during the first trimester. I thought of it as a little self-care present to myself! Definitely talk to your doctor because some aren’t as comfortable with this, but it was one of the only things I looked forward to.
My masseuse was extremely gentle. She’d work a lot of my head and neck which were full of pressure that first trimester. If your body or head is aching and your doc gives you the go-ahead, please consider this for yourself. Or at least ask your partner for regular rubs!
A minimal skincare routine
Pre-pregnancy, I loved my morning and nighttime skin routine. It was calming and something I spent a good 15 minutes on 2x a day. Once I got pregnant (and sick), I obviously didn’t have the energy or stomach to go through that, but I did find peace and confidence by sticking to something quick. For me that meant this face mask here and there, moisturizing daily, and Herbivore’s Lapis oil – and that’s about it! Oh and a jade roller when I felt extra bloated from that carb diet I was on.
I’m an avid exerciser, but once I got pregnant, it was the LAST thing that sounded good. I was tired, I was sick, and I definitely didn’t feel motivated for my usual routines. The only thing I could get myself to do was walk the dog here and there. It never sounded appealing, but once I got walking, I always felt better and came with a burst of energy. I got a pair of Avocado maternity leggings early on (since I felt bloated right away), which were more forgiving than my regular workout leggings.
Releasing guilt around working out was a mind-shift, but one that is SO important for the newly pregnant. Do what feels good and know that you’ll get your energy back by that second trimester. Likely a workout routine, too! Don’t force anything until then.
All the comfy sleep
This was another tricky shift for me. I’ve personally always felt lazy going to bed really early or sleeping in. I like to get up early and start my day! But when you’re pregnant, you need so. much. sleep. especially in the beginning. Letting myself take long naps and go to bed at 7 pm felt fantastic once I got over the guilt of it – so I’d recommend trying the same.
I’d also recommend investing in loungewear a size up from the beginning to accommodate not only a growing belly, but growing boobs (oy vey!). I’ve lived in this ThirdLove set and bra since then. They’re uber comfy and it was something a fellow mama suggested early on. Clothing that fit plus crackers next to my bed, and I was out. Find what makes sleep feel even better, and invest in that comfort.
P.S. If you’re OK telling your boss or someone at work, it might be a lot easier to sneak off to your car or head home early for a little shut eye, too. People are incredibly understanding of this – at least that’s what I found to be true.
How do/did you practice self care during your first trimester? Any mamas going through it currently?