Tuesday Tips: how to survive the first months of pregnancy

how to survive the first months of pregnancyI’ve been very lucky during my pregnancies — they have always been fairly easy. I was (of course?) extremely tired in the first months, and feeling nauseous here and there (especially when brushing my teeth or when I smelled the exhausts of cars), but overall, I have actually always really enjoyed those nine months.

But it’s not so easy for all of us — over half of the pregnant women suffer from worse pregnancy sickness. Feeling nauseous during the entire day, vomiting even. (And then there’s Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a rare but extreme form of morning sickness, characterised by uncontrollable nausea, vomiting, and dehydration.)

Our lovely Helen, who runs the Babyccino Kids Shopping Portal, is currently 21 weeks pregnant with her third baby, a little girl. (See photo above!) I’m so excited to have a little baby joining our Babyccino Kids team this summer!

Helen did suffer from pregnancy sickness until a few weeks ago, so I asked her to share her experiences and tips to cope below. (I would love for you to share your advice in the comment field below as well — it’s always so helpful to know that you’re not alone!) So here goes:

– For me, the mornings were the best. Around 10ish the nausea would kick in, getting worse through the day to a peak in the evening. Everyone is difference but ‘morning’ can be a bit of a misconception. If you do suffer the classic symptoms in the morning, apparently having some crackers on the bedside table, ready to eat before you rise, is the way forward.

– For me morning sickness lasted past the first trimester, until week 17/18, but many people feel relief as they get to the second trimester. If you really struggling, finding you can’t cope and especially if you’re vomiting often, don’t suffer in silence and don’t be afraid to go to the doctor.

Eating little and often. Plain, not too oily and definitely not too sugary. Lots of plain carbs seem to be what the body wants — bananas, avocado on toast, plain toast.

Fresh air

Rest (!)

Drink a lot. Helps avoid headaches too.

Ginger. Specifically fresh ginger and lemon tea helped me. (Peel and thinly slice ginger, pour boiling water over and add some slices of lemon.) Ginger beer or ale is a perfect treat, especially if you do manage to make it out to a social function and don’t fancy ordering mineral water all night. And although some can find it a bit much, but I found that mint tea helped to settle my stomach.

– For me the biggest challenge of the first few months – especially when it’s not your first – is getting dinner on the table. Thinking about food is awful. And then you have to eat it! Make life easier for yourself with services that provide you and your family with healthy food options – be it a service providing home-cooked meals or visits to your local deli.

Floradix ( It could be a coincidence but I have suffered less from exhaustion this time (and I discovered floradix after I had my second baby).

– If you are working mum and IF you feel comfortable with it – you could tell your employer in confidence in these early days. Often we don’t want to tell before 12 weeks because what if it goes wrong? What then? With the knowledge of your situation your employer can help make sure you don’t get any additional concerns in those first tough few months and frankly, if things don’t end up happening as you hoped, you’ll probably need to tell them at that point anyway!

Thank you, Helen!

xxx Esther


Comments (6)

April 14, 2015

Thanks so much for the tips, next time I’m pregnant I’ll definitely look them up again. Last time around the only thing that really helped was getting it all out. 🙁 I think the worst thing for me was opening the dishwasher before it had run. Yuck! I still feel slightly uneasy thinking of it.

April 14, 2015

Such lovely news for Helen! Congratulations and wishing you an easy and smooth rest of pregnancy.
I’ve had 3 children and had awful morning sickness for each. During my third pregnancy, I was diagnosed with hyperemesis and was actually so relieved to know exactly what was going on with me. My advice is that if one’s morning sickness and aversion to smells, tastes, etc, seems severe, I recommend asking one’s midwife to check one’s electrolyte levels.
My hoping that the nausea would just fade worsened my health. There’s no need for a brave face at such a time. The constant retching and the body pains resulting from it required me to also seek an osteopath’s care, too.
Just eating what I could actually keep down was the only way for me to survive. Floradix was especially helpful. Being an inpatient getting fed through tubes helped me recover, but was such a lonely time.

April 14, 2015

Congratulations to Helen! I wish her a smooth and happy pregnancy!
I was nauseous throughout the day with all three of my kids. And somehow got the feeling it lasted longer with each pregnancy. But lemon scented chewing-gum was doing the trick for me.

xxx Diana

April 14, 2015

I am so thankful for my two very easy pregnancies, especially after seeing two of my best friends suffering from the most horrible nausea during their pregnancies.
One of them was sick until week 30. Her body seemed to react always at the same time which helped her “to get ready” and get bucket and towel ready. She tried to structure her day around that time, so she could have a good rest after.
My other friend was pregnant with triplets and pretty much nothing helped. She could not eat or drink without getting sick. She organised babysitters for the other two kids and stayed in bed. A lot of mothers would worry abot their developing children in such a case, especially when they lose 10kg in the first trimester. She knew through regular checks that the babies were fine and kept that in mind. She focused on herself to get better and ate what she managed to keep in her body (in her case crisps) rather than eating a varied diet that her body rejected. As soon as she got better she ensured to eat well again. It is so important to put away unnecessary stress and she did it so well. I am still looking up to her.

April 14, 2015

Thanks so much for the congratulations and kind wishes! Thanks for sharing your tips, it’s so good to pool suggestions! I’ve always counted myself very lucky that my symptoms are managable, for some women things can be sooooo tough as you mention. It’s a good job the little ones we get at the end are so worth it!!

May 31, 2017

[…] PPS: You might like to read Would you let your children watch you give birth and How to survive the first months of pregnancy. […]

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