Pregnancy

Coping with the first trimester

First trimester

When Natalie found herself pregnant for the first time she was thrilled. After the initial euphoria had worn off however, she found herself dealing with a range of issues that most women face during pregnancy. These ranged from disguising her pregnancy, at least initially and finding ways to dress comfortably, through to dealing with the dreaded but very common morning sickness.

Natalie isn’t alone. Many women find themselves coping with these issues in the early stages of pregnancy. Fortunately there are many practical strategies for coping with them.

Disguising your bump

Sometimes it’s a secret you want to hug to yourself a little bit longer, or maybe there are health or work related reasons as to why you don’t want the world to know you are pregnant just yet. So how do you disguise your bump?

Well while some women don’t start showing any signs of a bump until the third or fourth month, many do. And particularly if it is a second or third pregnancy, you tend to start showing sooner.

Practical fashion choices are shirts that are more fitted round the bust line and flow over your tummy. Another useful tip is to use accessories to draw the eye, like a colourful scarf or necklace. Mum of three Lucy, used layering to disguise her bumps during early pregnancy. She’d wear a fitted t-shirt as a base and add a light button down shirt over it. Long or flowing cardigans are also useful.

Another excellent alternative are shirts that are ruched down the side, or empire line tops accessorised with scarves. Sticking to dark colours as your base is also very helpful.

Dressing for comfort

At home it is easy to dress for comfort using drawstring pants and loose flowing tops. Yoga pants or elastic banded pants also come in handy throughout pregnancy.

When it comes to dressing for work, it is much easier these days to dress smartly and comfortably without breaking the budget.
As Natalie herself soon discovered there are some wonderful maternity lines that range from those in chain stores to designer fashion. Often the difficulty becomes knowing what items are must haves in your maternity wardrobe.

A staple is a pair of black maternity trousers with a waistband that will comfortably accommodate your growing bump. Designer and mum Nadine Newell recommends: “Another must for your maternity wear wardrobe is a wrap top that is flattering, easy to wear and comfortable. This can take you to work or a casual outing, slip under a singlet for a different look. Choose a great basic colour that works with both black pants and you can dress your top up or down and gets lots of wear out it. Team a wrap top with an envelope opening singlet and you’ll get so much more wear from your wrap top long after bub arrives.”

A maternity bra is an absolute must as well. The team at HotMilk, the makers of maternity bras, have guidelines that suggest your bra avoids underwires but uses breathable fabrics like cotton. It should fit comfortably round the back, rest comfortably on your shoulders and sit comfortably over your breasts and provide good support. A professional fitting for a maternity bra is a good investment in ensuring your breasts are supported and comfortable throughout pregnancy. For more information on getting the best out of your bra during and after pregnancy see Maternity Bras

Coping with morning sickness

Like the vast majority of mothers Natalie had to contend with morning sickness. This condition varies in severity from essentially feeling nauseous to a condition so severe that sometimes hospitalisation is required. Fortunately this condition, Hyperemesis Gravidarum is rare, but it is extremely debilitating.

Like many women Natalie needed to avoid certain food and drink that triggered her nausea, including red meat, fried food and coffee. Staying hydrated and ginger crackers helped her stave off the nausea. Other suggestions that prove helpful for many women are to suck on barley sugar, stick to bland foods and eat little and often. For more information see Morning Sickness.

Like most women, by the time Natalie hit fourteen weeks the nausea had begun to subside a little and she was ready to share the news of her pregnancy with the world. But having some strategies to cope with all the changes to her body during the initial stages of pregnancy, made that time far more enjoyable and reduced her stress levels considerably, which was excellent news for both mum and bub.