What really helps ease morning sickness and fatigue in the first trimester

chinese medicine nutrition pregnancy
Orange flowers

I recently emerged from the abyss of the first trimester of pregnancy. Now I feel I'm in a more clear and grounded place to share what I've learned both from my own personal experience and from supporting other women who are making this bold initiation.

Pregnancy is still mysterious in many ways and I believe it will remain that way. Many are reaching for the perfect remedy for morning sickness, fatigue, emotional ups and downs and more that come with a new pregnancy. While I fully support women finding ways to take care of themselves during pregnancy and beyond, I also realize that our need or desire to be in control of this process only extends the suffering. 

Surrender is key. In fact, I think that cultivating surrender is the most vital way a woman can support herself in the first trimester. Conception itself is a reminder that we are not in control of this process. It rarely happens on the timeline that we expect or desire it to. Or the way that we imagined it would be. 

So, what does surrender look like in early pregnancy? It looks like going to bed early or canceling appointments and other obligations unexpectedly. It looks like letting go of some dietary restrictions and ideals that you might hold yourself to. It looks like slowing down enough to really listen to what the body needs and surrendering to the fact that it may be radically different than your non-pregnant state.

This is challenging. There is no way around it. It was a challenging descent for me during my first pregnancy, so I really get it. However, it is so worth it to allow this deep, transformative process to unfold. 

In the first trimester, rest is sometimes your best medicine. I personally have a long relationship with deepening my capacity to be at rest. It's a journey for sure. The first trimester is like the crash course on what it means to embrace rest. For many, there just isn't another option. The body will not go on. There is no forcing left. The abyss calls you into a deep sleep and you have to follow. 

For me, this really helped and it was also really frustrating to be sleeping or resting so much and still feel so tired. Back to surrender. Again and again. As this was unfolding, I didn't have the same level of insight that I have now. Trust that the insight is coming. Radical transformation in body, mind and spirit requires deep, undisturbed rest.  

When you're not sleeping or simply day-dreaming, develop a mantra that supports your process. Nothing lasts forever and take it a day at a time. Those were my favorites, along with vedic chanting or playing mantra based music. 

The spiritual aspect of pregnancy is often neglected in western-centric culture. It doesn't have to be. You can create rituals to support yourself that reflect your personal beliefs.

Surrender, rest and mantra are key ways to support yourself in the first trimester. These pieces often aren't discussed among the many other tips and tricks out there. However, that doesn't mean that the other tips and tricks aren't useful. 

Here are some of the other tips that I found actually worked: 

  • Weekly acupuncture 
  • Slow, gentle yoga sequences that are very centered on the breath
  • Milk thistle (tincture ideally). I used capsules by Jarrow and within a few days I felt a difference in nausea and food aversions. 
  • Homeopathics. There is a lot of easily accessible information out there about different remedies that can be useful during pregnancy. Do your research or talk to a homeopath. 
  • Flower essences. Again, there is a lot of great information out there about flower essences. I had someone I trust make a formula for me. You can find out more about that here.
  • Eating often and also always having a protein rich snack close by. 
  • Eating before getting out of bed in the morning and occasionally eating when I got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  • The TCM formula in the Womb Medicine shop called Rise and Shine

We each have a unique path to walk and I fully support you in finding what works for you. 

In many ways, the first trimester is like an extended dark moon time. Everything is shifting and you are being called back inward towards yourself. Progesterone is higher than you regularly experience it during the luteal phase {dark moon} of your cycle. If you were tuned in to the ever changing waves and rhythms of your cycle before pregnancy this might already be very clear to you. If not, that's ok too, you are now on the fast track to embodying this wisdom! 

Be gentle with yourself. Go slow. Find your own way and reach out for support. You deserve it. We all do! 

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