top of page
  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Twitter Clean Grey
  • Instagram - Grey Circle

An honest look at the first trimester

Congratulations, you're pregnant.

I've worked with a lot of moms-to-be, but to be completely honest, most of them hire me after they're 12 weeks.


Because the first trimester can be F*king awful.


There's an outdated suggestion that claims newly pregnant mommies should not exercise during early pregnancy.

Now, you are reading this, which means you're smarter than most people. You probably don't fall for everything you read online (or at least without additional googling). PLEASE DO NOT take the personal experiences of other moms over your own health. I'm sure you won't.... but sometimes we all need a reminder that the "mommy blog trolls" are not doctors.

Here are the hard facts:

1) You do not need any additional calories in the first trimester

2) You do not need to modify your exercise routine very much in the first trimester, unless your body tells you otherwise. You can still be on your back, you can still do moderate cardio, and planking/ pushups are most likely fine.

3) You will need to start taking a prenatal as soon as you test positive.

4) It's also a good idea to modify your diet and eliminate foods deemed dangerous by the FDA. (Especially if you are like me and you accidentally went on a wine-sushi-brie binge ... unknowingly 5 weeks pregnant. Whooppss.) You know this already.

5) You may need to adjust your workout depending on your SYMPTOMS

Here are all of the Sh*tty things that can happen during your first trimester:

1) Morning/ All-Day sickness

2) Extreme fatigue

3) Sensitivity to smells

4) Dizziness, fainting

5) Racing pulse

6) Insomnia

7) Sore boobies

8) Having to pee aalll dayyy longg

There are others, but these are the biggies that will impact your workout schedule.

Here are my suggestions for modifying your workouts for the first trimester:

1) Sick? Nauseaus?

Skip it. Please do not show up and throw up all over your treadmill or yoga mat. If you do start feeling better, bring water, easily digestible snacks like crackers, ginger chews, or mints. A full stomach is a happy one, so you may need to eat more regularly than normal in order to prevent the pukies.

2) Extreme fatigue

Personally, I found that a little light exercise in the morning really helped my fatigue, but I know that doesn't work for everyone. Now is the time to sleep in, because you'll have wished you did in about 8 months. Keep your workouts light- moderate, and take naps when you can.

3) Sensitivity to smells

Guys, I love Yoga.... but the thought of doing yoga in a room of sweaty people makes me want to gag. It's a pregnancy defense mechanism to avoid things that could hurt the baby.... it's great when you're smelling flowers, but not garbage or sweaty people.

Give yourself a lot of room when you're at the gym or in class. Sneak in front of a fan if you can.

4) Dizziness, fainting


Okay, so I moved to Colorado at 9 weeks pregnant. But even before then, I was SO obviously knocked up while teaching my final classes. Every time I stood up a rush came to be like I had never experienced before. This is most-often caused by a drop in blood pressure that naturally occurs while your body is making and storing more blood to build your baby. You can definitely continue to exercise, but keep any up-down movements to a minimum. Breathe deeply, have lots of water handy, and a salty snack. I am a big fan of circuit training, but during my first (and so far my second) trimester it was out of the question. Stick to routines that don't involve lots of movement in between exercises and take lots of breaks between sets.

5) Racing pulse

You may have noticed that your heart rate has been a bit higher. As I explained before, this is because your body is pumping additional blood. You may feel out of breath faster than normal. Slow it down, sister.

The guidelines for heart rate have been refuted. Rather than "no higher than 140 bpm" we now like to use a 1-10 scale. If you're able to talk, breathe deeply and normally, and feel great, you can continue exercising. Just slow it down and take breaks if you're feeling your heart race.

6) Insomnia

Pregnancy is stressful AF. If you're experiencing some severe symptoms, this might also affect your sleep. Many new moms note their dreams become really intense. Get rest and skip the gym if you're on less than optimal sleep. Seriously.

7) Sore boobies

My poor running clients.

This was the only symptom that singlehandedly stopped them from running. This is a reason why I don't like to have my clients jump or do high-impact workouts while pregnant. Your body (already!) is starting to prepare your milk ducts. Invest in a rockstar sports bra and skip the jumping jacks, box jumps, and high intensity intervals. You can certainly modify, it's just not worth the OW factor, in my opinion.

8) Having to pee aalll dayyy longg

Couple that with drinking a new minimum of 12 glasses a day can be tough. Take bathroom breaks and do your kegel exercises. DO not hold it in, you are are a higher risk of UTI infection.

The GOOD News is that most of these symptoms mysteriously fade once you hit the second trimester (which, unfortunately is more like 14 weeks than 12....) and by then you'll have a beautiful bump and a pregnancy glow!

(Our first "bump pic" taken while en route to Denver at Yosemite National Park... It was a much different camping adventure than we had originally planned for...)

posts : 

bottom of page