The first symptoms of pregnancy are completely exciting. They fill you with this reassurance of hope that things are going well – that you really are pregnant and that peeing on a stick and having a positive result means nothing in comparison. But as time goes on, the pregnancy symptoms can make you feel like utter rubbish and start to impact on your everyday life. It becomes a constant battle in your head between being happy that you are clearly still pregnant and that your little bean is growing well and wanting the symptoms to stop at the same time so that you can function in your daily life.
What makes it even more of a challenge is whether to tell people or not. This is an individual choice and there is no right or wrong in these cases. The beginnings of parenthood and decision making begin from this moment onward and it is a unique choice to make.
On the one hand why shouldn’t we shout it from the rooftops? I have been lucky enough to make a baby who is currently making me sick, nausea daily, lightheaded, dizzy, give me horrendous bowel symptoms and make me extremely tired to the point of dozing off mid workload and I want the world to know about it. I am going to be a mum! And my partner is going to be an amazing father! There is a theory that if we began disclosing our pregnancies early then the taboos surrounding miscarriage and pregnancy loss will begin to dissipate.
And that reason right there is why many women and partners choose not to tell people. Because the constant doubt is in the back of your head saying ‘what if I am that 1 in 4?’ What if I have told lots of people that we are expecting our child and then something happens? Do I want to face that conversation every time I see my friends or family, do I want that to be the ‘elephant in the room’, do I want to see the pity in their eyes if this one isn’t strong enough?
And so the social isolation can begin. You begin getting nervous that if you go out that you are going to let the cat out of the bag when you begin heaving uncontrollably at the mention of cat food, or a whiff of something unpleasant. You begin to arrange your social life for times where you think your body will allow you to be normal for a few hours: and cancel people when the really bad days hit home. If you work then people begin to make assumptions and guesses long before you are ready to tell people. Early pregnancy can be incredibly isolating and lonely in these cases.
As I have said; there is no right or wrong – tell the whole world if you want or keep it quiet – it’s your choice. But confiding in someone that you can trust who won’t announce your news to the world is vital to making these early days more tolerable. It won’t last forever and there is plenty of support out there to help you get through the first trimester of your pregnancy. You are ‘allowed’ to get your hopes up and begin making plans: You are also ‘allowed’ to let yourself feel completely miserable on the truly awful progesterone and HCG induced days at the same time.
Things that can help in the early days to help you get through:
- Sea bands
- Sleeping when you need to sleep – tiredness makes pregnancy sickness worse
- Eat little and often of whatever you fancy – the healthy eating can always come later in the pregnancy. Try and take a pregnancy multivitamin with food where possible. Many sites will tell you that Bread, Rice, Apple sauce and Toast are comforting on the stomach. Just be aware of the things that aren’t advised during pregnancy (Certain cheeses and fish)
- Try and have a packet of biscuits (plain) by your bedside to nibble on before you get up
- Vitamin B6 is meant to aid morning sickness
- Ginger is a contentious ‘treatment’ but it needs to be prescribed by a herbalist to be effective. A ginger biscuit is not sufficient and I can tell you from experience that if anyone recommended this to me I’d chuck it back at them as ginger is currently a no go in my books.
- Probiotics have really helped my bowel motions sort themselves out which has made me feel a lot better
- Avoid certain smells or activities if these are triggers for your nausea or sickness.
If you are unable to tolerate food or fluid at all then speaking to your GP for medication or referral is definitely advisable. There are antiemetics (anti sickness) treatments available if you require these. It’s better to take them and you remain hydrated than anything sinister happen.
Remember this phase will end and it won’t be too much longer before you feel better again. And then the more exciting symptoms of pregnancy will shortly follow.