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How To Survive the First Trimester

Photograph by Twenty20

I'll confess, I'm one of those annoying mamas who gets pretty nauseous during the first trimester, but otherwise, weathers the beginning stages of pregnancy well. I'm queasy throughout the day and opening the refrigerator can put me in a tailspin, but thankfully, I never actually lose my cookies. I need tons of extra sleep and I'm a super ambivalent eater. But I think that's all typical of first trimester woes and are no doubt on the lighter side of symptoms when I compare them to some horror stories that my fellow pregnant friends have endured on their road to the second trimester.

And that's what spurred my collaboration with a group of moms who have been there and done that. These gals have all survived the first trimester—some as many as five times! Their wisdom is impeccable and is sure to help many moms currently in the throes of first trimester symptoms. Here are some of the best pregnancy-saving tips and tricks that you may not have thought of yet:

"For the working mama, there is no shame in taking short cat naps in your car during lunch break." -Diane H.

"I had a 14-month-old when I was in my first trimester, and still nursing. I loved using nursing as our snuggle time and as a way to catch a breather. Some mamas think that pregnancy means it's time to start weaning but it was such a lifesaver for me. We increased our daytime nursing frequency and I slowly weaned her for night time so that I can get more rest at night. Finding a pregnancy tea you like is also helpful. My first midwife always had a cup of Earth Mama Angel Baby ready for her clients when they arrived. The memory of anise and chamomile calmed me down right away." -Bianca T.

"Eating protein every two hours and drinking tons of lemon water saved me from morning sickness! Also, taking an iron supplement helped me make it through my 10-hour work days and coming home to cook dinner!" -Katie M.

"Ice cold water, carbs and fresh air!" -Christi S.

I talked with my boss at the time and asked if I could shut my door for a 10 minutes cat nap at my desk twice a day.

"NEVER let yourself get hungry or the nausea is unbearable. Even when you feel like you simply can't eat, make yourself eat a snack. I also had to get up around 3am and drink some chocolate milk so that I didn't pass out in the shower the next morning from not eating for so long (I just couldn't force myself to eat at that hour so my doctor suggested chocolate milk - it worked great!)" -Jennifer N.

"My nausea was mostly kept at bay by eating protein every two hours. I generally ate a serving of greek yogurt with cinnamon and sweetened with a few stevia drops. Sometimes I added natural applesauce (no sugar added). I also prepped little crustless quiches or egg bake muffins with veggies." -Lorna W.

"My hubby would buy fresh ginger and make "tea" with it. Just steeped it in hot water. Even the smell would calm my sickness and it helped a lot. Funny that now the smell of ginger makes me nauseous!" -Heather F.

"I didn't really pack a lunch, I just packed a ton of snacks. Like string cheese, fruit snacks, almonds, protein bar and pudding. I would snack about every hour and a half." -Naomi N.

"Getting outside in the morning helped me. Nothing beats fresh air in the mornings! I also kept almonds and water on my nightstand so I didn't have to get up and go to the kitchen for a snack in the middle of the night." -Kristine H.

RELATED: The Real Reason the First Trimester Sucks

"One of the best survival tips I would offer is to have an open, honest conversation with your hubby about how you feel and the extra support you need. The truth is, they really don't know how your body is changing and the challenges of morning sickness, tiredness, and hormones. Come up with a plan that includes some give and take—give up some stuff so he can help take it off your plate. Maybe you don't fix dinner every night anymore, but work on a meal plan together. Maybe he can vacuum or help fold laundry more because the exhaustion is just too much. It's just a season, but worth talking about proactively instead of waiting until you are overwhelmed. Learning how to communicate well through this season of life will benefit your marriage so much as you continue on through parenthood together." -Deborah W.

"I talked with my boss at the time and asked if I could shut my door for a 10 minutes cat nap at my desk twice a day. We talked about accountability and making sure work got done, and my boss was very supportive. I would take one around 10am and the other around 3pm. I was amazed at how much it boosted my energy and productivity." -Charissa F.

What helped you survive the first trimester?

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