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Wednesday 14 July 2021

The first trimester vs the Third trimester - which would you rather?

First trimester or third trimester?....It’s a tricky question isn’t it? And one that you can’t really debate without inevitably spiralling down a path of negativity around all things pregnancy related…BUT…if you’ve been there and you’ve SUFFERED through pregnancy rather than glowed your way through it on a cloud of rainbows, you’ve probably earned the right to have a little moan.*

              *(I have earned this right. I love my children dearly, but I definitely get to have a moan now)


There are many wonderful moments throughout pregnancy. Feeling the first kick, hearing the heartbeat, having a positive scan, watching your bump grow and sharing the excitement with family and friends. Most parents-to-be find that the second trimester is the easiest to cope with, as energy levels return and news is generally ‘out in the open’, with a manageable sized baby bump and plenty of time left to plan. Before and after this portion of pregnancy is where some parents can struggle though. Let’s have a look at some of the delights that await, before deciding which you would rather…


The First Trimester:

The months of morning sickness. Oh yes. If you’re really unlucky you may notice this before you even find out you’re pregnant, although many mums-to-be report that week 8 on average is when things tend to feel a little worse. For many, it is believed that week 12 is when things start to improve – but for me (and most people I know!) this didn’t happen until around week 23. Some unlucky parents have sickness the entire way through.

Morning sickness isn’t just sickness in the morning, despite what the name suggests. In fact, it isn’t always actual sickness. Sometimes you may just FEEL sick, or like you’re on the verge of being sick…constantly. For many, it actually gets worse as the day goes on, with late afternoon and evening being the peak ‘sickness time’. Tiredness definitely makes it worse, so this could be why.

My first pregnancy saw me constantly wretching, and I could never be sure whether I would produce an output or not. I will never forget helping one of my little Reception class students to get changed for PE when suddenly a wave of sickness hit me and I wretched in a way that a person does when they have extreme food poisoning but nothing left in their tummy – LOUDLY and dramatically. Poor little boy looked at me and said , “ Errrr Mrs H, was you just gonna be sick on my ‘ed then??”

Food tastes ‘off’ ( I once spat ham out of my mouth in front of my mother in law thinking it was bad), and you may have an insatiable desire to eat salty food. It is one of the few times in my life I didn’t eat chocolate every day (yes, I do this now). You may start to have weird cravings for things like bowls of broccoli covered in salt, chips dipped in milkshake or the smell of petrol.

Energy levels really dip and the sheer exhaustion of growing a tiny human means you have to rest your head much more frequently and for longer than usual.

Trimester 1 is basically like having an extended hangover that stays with you for 3 months. Awful.


The Third Trimester:

This can be a real struggle, especially if you end up with a condition called PGP or SPD which makes your joints unstable due to the extra ‘relaxin’ hormone in your body. Diastasis Rectii can occur where your stomach muscles separate to accommodate the size of your baby bump, weakening your core and adding on other issues such as pelvic floor weakness and loss of core strength. Fluid retention can make your feet and ankles swell, making footwear difficult, and staying on your feet for too long can be a challenge. New challenges occur such as managing to get off the sofa without help, fitting through narrow doorways and getting in and out of the car when you’re in a tight spot!

An active baby can lead to sleepless nights as they pummel away at your ribs and have a dance party on your bladder. Toilet breaks occur almost as frequently as involuntary blinks and suddenly, your bump becomes a free for all touch pad for every passer by.


BUT….you are SO much closer to meeting you baby!!


Personally, for all of its difficulties, I would still take the third trimester over the first. I cannot stand the sensation of feeling like I’m going to be sick, it affects your life, your activities and how much you can get done throughout your day much more than an inability to walk very far. How about you?

PS: I'm completely aware that you don't actually get to choose to do just one or the other!


Sarah x

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