Month two Con­quer your first trimester

What to do, what to stop do­ing: take a deep breath and plunge into the world of preg­nancy, says Mar­got Ber­tels­mann

Your Pregnancy - - Contents - YP

YOU’RE PREG­NANT AND you’re feel­ing all the feel­ings, and we do mean All. The. Feelz – the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s true, along with the ex­treme joy you may also be feel­ing ex­treme con­fu­sion, ex­treme worry, ex­treme panic… and ex­tremely ill, too. In many ways, these first three months are the most in­tense of your whole preg­nancy. Your body changes very rapidly, and ev­ery­thing hap­pen­ing to you is new and pos­si­bly scary. Rest as­sured that you and your body will set­tle into this new state of be­ing: it will just take some time. There’s an old say­ing about fac­ing big chal­lenges: How do you eat an ele­phant? One bite at a time. So ap­ply these bite-sized chunks of ex­pec­tant moth­ers’ wis­dom to your life. You’ll soon be the boss of this preg­nancy thing.

THE PHYS­I­CAL STUFF NAU­SEA AND VOM­IT­ING

This is the first-trimester big­gie, and very few women man­age to dodge this calamity en­tirely. Sud­denly you go green at the thought of food. For most women, it’s worst in the morn­ings and can be im­proved by eat­ing a ginger bis­cuit or drink­ing ginger tea. Your morn­ing sick­ness will probably set­tle by 16 weeks of preg­nancy, lat­est. It’s not pleas­ant, but you can be sure that it will pass even­tu­ally. If there’s a lim­ited up­side to this, it’s that you may not be in­ter­ested in overeat­ing, which can be help­ful if you think you are go­ing to strug­gle to stay within the rec­om­mended weight gain lim­its for your preg­nancy. (These dif­fer from per­son to per­son, de­pend­ing on your pre-preg­nancy weight, so ask your doc­tor or clinic sis­ter).

FA­TIGUE

“Bone-tired” doesn’t be­gin to de­scribe how you are feel­ing, right? Some women think there is some­thing wrong with them, that’s how ex­hausted they are. You can lit­er­ally fall asleep in the mid­dle of your din­ner. This is ac­tu­ally a won­der­ful preg­nancy symp­tom: your body is show­ing you just how hard it is work­ing at build­ing a new per­son. It’s an in­cred­i­bly com­plex task: you wouldn’t be­gin to know how to build a per­son in a fac­tory, yet your body is ca­pa­ble of do­ing it, lit­er­ally in your sleep. So grant your­self the rest. You re­ally, re­ally need it. Fa­tigue can work along­side nau­sea in forc­ing you to take it easy in these early months, so curl in on your­self, look in­ward, and trea­sure these few short weeks where your preg­nancy be­longs only to you. A pe­riod of en­forced quiet also helps you get your brain around the idea of preg­nancy, be­fore your grow­ing bump an­nounces it­self to the world. See how clever your body is?

AS­SORTED PHYS­I­CAL NIG­GLES

Ten­der breasts can be one of the first signs of preg­nancy. If you get any weird food crav­ings or aver­sions, or you be­come hy­per­sen­si­tive to smells and tastes, it’s an­other good sign of how hard your body is work­ing to pro­tect your grow­ing baby from any dan­gers in the world – even if it over­re­acts just a tad (who ever said your favourite rib-eye steak, which you now can’t even stand the thought of, was a risk?) Thank your body for be­ing the orig­i­nal pro­tec­tive mama bear.

THE EMO­TIONAL STUFF

You don’t even have to have been sur­prised by an un­ex­pected preg­nancy to be feel­ing anx­ious – it’s com­pletely nor­mal to have days where you are burst­ing with joy­ful an­tic­i­pa­tion, and then days where you are ter­ri­fied of what the fu­ture holds. One com­mon worry is what kind of par­ent you and your part­ner will be, or how your re­la­tion­ship will change. And the only ad­vice here is this: your re­la­tion­ship will change, be­cause ev­ery­body’s re­la­tion­ship changes when they be­come par­ents. But it doesn’t have to be all bad. You can work to­gether to let it evolve in a good way into a close, co-par­ent­ing sort of part­ner­ship. Will you be a good mom? Of course you will. You are al­ready the best mother your lit­tle baby could ask for – be­cause you are you. Keep look­ing af­ter your­self and your baby in the next few months. Fol­low the check­list on the right for some prac­ti­cal starters. If you’re scared, get pre­pared. Use that lit­tle motto to help you plan fun – and less fun – tasks to keep you busy and help you through the emo­tional ups and downs of the first trimester. For in­stance, you might dis­cuss how to tell your par­ents the news that they will be grand­par­ents. Maybe you can plan a gen­der re­veal party if you’d like to know the baby’s sex be­fore he or she is born. De­cide when you are go­ing to tell your boss – prefer­ably be­fore you tell col­leagues, and cer­tainly be­fore your preg­nancy is ob­vi­ous. Money is a ma­jor worry, and hav­ing chil­dren can be ex­pen­sive, but you can also be clever about not spend­ing more than you can af­ford. Plan ahead, buy a few baby goods every month, and start a sav­ings ac­count for your lit­tle one. If you don’t have a monthly budget, make one. In­ves­ti­gate se­cond-hand items, and think about what baby goods you can do with­out (many are gim­micks). Keep­ing busy and good plan­ning will help you take con­trol back over a time that can feel full of free-rang­ing fears. Soon, you’ll have con­quered that first trimester!

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