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5 Reasons The First Trimester Is Harder Than The Second In The Summer

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Being pregnant during the summer is hard. When I was pregnant with my first child, I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) — a chronic condition that resulted in constant vomiting, nausea, and even hospitalization — and the heat of that New York City summer made it all too much to bear. So while it might seem counterintuitive, my first trimester was the hardest in the summer. Yes, it was even more difficult than my second trimester.

Obviously, my experience is not the same as every other pregnant person's. Perhaps the second trimester will be the easiest for you, even when you're in the thick of those hot, muggy, garbage-smelling summer months. But for me, the first trimester was by far the most difficult trimester to endure, and I'm so thankful I made it through despite the HG and scalding summer nights. While it might not be obvious to people, because one usually doesn't have a big, protruding pregnant belly in the first trimester, pregnant people in their 8th, 9th, or 10th week of gestation are miserable! Especially when it's 90 degrees and you're sweating from places you didn't even know you could sweat from.

Again, no two pregnancies are alike. But I know I'm not alone, either. Other pregnant people find the first trimester harder than the second during the summer, too, and it turns out there are five distinct reasons why:

1. Morning Sickness Sweats

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Most pregnant people will experience the worst symptoms of morning sickness during the first trimester. For pregnant people with HG, like me, this may not apply to you since the vomiting and other complications tend to last much longer than the first trimester.

For everyone else, though, the first trimester is when you’ll deal with the nausea and vomiting the most. When it’s hot, humid, and you’re sweating all day the nausea and vomiting that come with first trimester morning sickness can make those months even harder. Whether your indoors or outdoors, the summer sun can make morning sickness much more tough to manage... because you’re also just trying to stay cool.

2. Heat & Hormonal Acne

For the people whose first trimester also means more acne than usual, the summer heat can make for added skin troubles. I never dealt with acne in my life until my first trimester ,and since it was a super hot summer, the early pregnancy hormones that increased oil production on my face merged with the summer sun and made me more prone to breakouts. I’d never experienced anything like it before! I had to take special care to make sure I had a skin care regimen in place to deal with the breakouts without also further messing up my oil production.

3. Extra, Extra Trips To The Bathroom

You’ll already be using the bathroom all the time, but during the hot summer months? Oh yeah, you're going to be visiting the commode a lot more often. All the water you’ll be drinking to combat dehydration from the summer heat will give your body even more of a reason to make trips to the bathroom. Your body is working extra hard to start growing a human, so your organs are putting in overtime hours to get the job done. Don’t be surprised if you’re going to the bathroom much more often than you expected.

4. You’re Ridiculously Tired

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You’ll already be tired from, you know, growing a human, but the summer heat will only add to your fatigue. If you’re like me, extreme heat makes you super lethargic and sleepy so when you add in first trimester exhaustion you have a recipe for a level of tired you never thought possible. It didn't matter how many fans were blowing in my direction, how cold the air conditioning was, or how many ounces of water I drank. I still couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep in that heat! Then I was even more tired.

5. Public Transportation Is Brutal

If you live in a city that’s super crowded and relies on public transportation, those summer months on the bus or subway get incredibly hot. Not only can the smell of sweat make you even more nauseous, but all of the body heat can make you feel like you're overheating.

I'll never forget the feeling of sweating on my way home from work, just a month or two pregnant, in a packed subway car wishing I could sit down or dive into a icy pool. But people weren't jumping to give me their seats because, of course, i wasn't visibly pregnant.

Then there were times where I would, unluckily, step onto a bus or into a train with no air conditioning and dread the commute, especially during delays. The level of helplessness was unreal.