Out of all three trimesters, I’m sure that the first is the least fun but experienced moms can correct me if I’m wrong. Whilst most pregnant women experience most of their unpleasant symptoms within these first three months, it’s definitely no reason to stop travelling completely –unless your doctor says so.
I travelled to Vietnam when I was 8 weeks pregnant and here are some of the ways I survived the symptoms and still enjoyed the trip. I’m no medial expert so before doing or trying anything consult your own doctor.
1. Combatting nausea.
I really don’t like the term ‘morning sickness’, as my nausea came around 11am and just got worse until I went to sleep. I was dreading the flight there as my nausea had hit an all time high but surpisingly the flights were fine thanks to a little help. My best friend was ginger.
Ginger tea, dry ginger to make into tea and preserved ginger sweets. Ginger truly is one of the best ways to settle your stomach so if you’re going to be experiencing motion on boats, planes or even in cars, ginger may do the trick. Mint sweets and ice lollies also saved the day for me many a time as you often just need to get a certain taste out of your mouth.
Another tip I found online was that taking vitamin B6 (10-25mg) in the morning, afternoon and evening has been known to curb nausea in some women. It certainly seemed to make life more bearable for me in those tough weeks and I did notice a change when I didn’t take them.
Some women experience such intense vomiting and nausea that they cannot eat. I was lucky in that I only vomited once. For me, eating really helped the nausea. When I was eating, especially comfort carbodydrates which my body crave while nauseous, I didn’t feel it. It’s always best to keep something in your stomach like dry crackers to keep your stomach from being completely empty, the nausea will always feel worse under these circumstances.
Image by Pixabay.
2. Coping with constant headaches.
Headaches and migraines are a drag on the best of days but when missioning around South East Asia in scorching conditions, they can be your worst enemy. Constantly drinking water and staying hydrated was not enough to ward them off and it is said to be an effect of the mass amounts of hormones flowing through your body. Consult your doctor on which pain medication is safe to take, but Tylenol is one that has been recorded as safe to use while pregnant.
I suffered in Malaysia as they don’t stock it there, but thankfully Vietnam did. If you suffer from tons of headaches tylenol can help tide you over when the pain becomes unbearable on the road or at home. With your new superhero scent, be mindful of scents which could trigger migraines such as perfumes, deoderants, cleaning agents and of course horrible bright lights and certain kinds of movement.
3. Mind-boggling fatique.
Whilst I’m quite ctive and adventurous when it’s just me alone, the beginning stages of growing a human forced me to slow down a lot. The shattering fatique that makes you feel like you’re hung over and have just run a marathon and surviving on no sleep is usually worst in the first trimester. It’s important that you do slow down and don’t attempt to climb as many mountains, cycle through as many cities and sightsee everything all at once.
I initally felt so lazy that I was lying down so often and skipping out on city explorations but my body needed it and believe me, you’re not lazy. You are making someone amazing within you, so frankly you’re enough. Chat to your doctor about natural ways to get energy and just adjust until you’re usualy energy returns. Go to spas, enjoy gentle walks and cycles and enjoy activites that aren’t as taxing.
4. Keep active.
Despite the nausea, headache, bloating and debilitating fatique you need to find ways to keep active. Exercise can actually help curb nausea or at least make you forget about it and give you endorphins for a natural boost.
Whether travelling or on the road, exercise such as walking, swimming and yoga are well recommended for pregnant women as they are low impact but still help you to strengthen and tone your muscles. Walking and swimming are easy to do when you’re on holiday and they don’t even have to feel like exercise, just check with your doctor first and go easy.
I have done yoga for awhile, so prenatal felt really good to me and one of the only things I could cope with when I wasn’t trying to recover in bed. Throughout your pregnancy yoga is splendid for getting brillant breathing techniques and getting oxygen to you and your baby, building strength especially in your legs, toning and helping you to stay relaxed. With the correct prenatal yoga routines, you can enjoy many positions which are said to serve you well in labour and recovery after.
5. Energy is around the corner.
Chin up, the first trimester is only 12 weeks long and most women ( me included) say goodbye to the horrid symtoms in the second trimester and gained quite a lot more energy. If your doc okays it, travel in your second trimester should be way more fun but there’ll still be some activites you can’t do. I was not permitted to get my diving certificate ( as they don’t know how nitrogen affects the baby), adventure companies did not permit me to go jetskiing or parasailing ( which is quite a relaxed activity) purely due to the risks associated.
So even though I’m in the early stages of my second trimester I did a lot of beach chilling, spa treatements, photography and reading than usual while my active hubby went wild. Small price to pay for a safe baby.
Your Superhuman sense of smell
Smells that you usually loved or didn’t mind at all suddenly become disgusting and unbearable especially during the first trimester. My husband’s anti-perspirant, the air freshener in our home, the scent of tom yam,tuna and any kind of curry were just some of the things which repulsed me. When travelling, strange and strong smells can be especially difficult to avoid ( especially in many parts of Asia) so even if you’ve never worn a face mask before perhaps its time to invest in a few especially for the plane where there is no escape and as my gynae says to stay safe against airborne diseases.
Did you travel in your first or second trimester? What was it like and do you have any other tips for expectant mothers?