How to Deal with Feeling Lousy during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time. But the first trimester can leave you feeling lousy. Jeanne Faulkner, Registered Nurse and author of "Common Sense Pregnancy," stopped by with some helpful tips to feel better.

The first trimester of pregnancy is rarely much of a party. You might be excited and happy to be pregnancy but if you're like 50-90% of newly pregnant women, you also feel lousy. You're sleepy, exhausted, queasy, weepy and intensely sensitive.

Why do so many women feel lousy during the first few months of pregnancy?

Because the pregnant body is undergoing a complete hormonal overhaul

We're growing somebody else's body and a placenta and those are physiologic processes we don't engage in often (or ever for first time moms)

Blood sugar can be unstable as we adjust to new energy needs, which is why many women feel the worst in the AM.

Most women feel better once they're past the 12-16 week mark but 15 to 20% feel queasy the whole nine months.

What should you do to feel better?

Before you go to sleep - put a package of crackers, some dry cereal or some other snack next to your bed along with a glass of water

First thing in the AM, have a few bites and let it settle before you get out of bed.

Munch on bland foods throughout the day and avoid going too long without food.

Eating a healthy diet is your ultimate goal but if you can't stand the sight of anything other than dry toast - don't worry about it. Just eat what you can during the gross weeks and work towards a better, healthier diet as you feel better.

What about the fatigue?

Sleep, rest and frequent breaks are the ultimate cure for the draggy, saggy feeling many women feel during the first trimester. This is normal. Your body is dong the most important work it has ever done. Honor the cues your body is sending you as much as possible.

Don't fight it - give in and rest whenever you can.

Conserve your energy for the obligations and responsibilities you can't get out of - like your job and taking care of your family

Take breaks when you can and then, as soon as you get home or as soon as your partner or another support person gets home - go to bed. Forget about vacuuming, shopping, cooking a four course dinner - go to bed.

And exercise?

Frankly, I think this is a design flaw in Mother Nature's pregnancy plan, because most women don't feel the least bit like exercising, but it's essential that you get some exercise every day. A walk, a swim, a yoga classwhatever you can - just do it.

Exercise helps you create the healthy blood vessels and nerve synapses you need to grow a great placenta and have a healthy pregnancy. It stabilizes blood sugar, your mood and sends your body the message that it is not sick, even if it feels lousy.

Bottom line: Feeling lousy in the first trimester is normal. Take care of yourself, take it easy, eat what doesn't make you vomit and keep your eyes on the prize - the second trimester when almost every woman feels pretty good.