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Surviving the first trimester as an outdoor mom

How to Battle Morning Sickness and Get Outside

Morning sickness is the worst. I felt like all the other amazing moms glide through the first trimester like pregnancy unicorns. However, that was not the case for me. My hope is by sharing my journey with raw honesty, other non-unicorn moms like me might find ways to cope with the dreaded first trimester and get outside while doing it.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional.  If you ever have concerns about your pregnancy please reach out to your doctor.  I am just one mama sharing her experience in the hopes that it will help other mamas. 

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Outside Kids are Happy Kids

Strong Body = Easier Pregnancy

For all of my pregnancies, the first trimester brought morning sickness.  Coming into my fourth pregnancy I knew it was important to prepare my body so that I was my best self and ready to tackle morning sickness with three other little ones requiring my constant attention.

I wanted to be able to continue doing my favorite things for as long as possible and be as comfortable as possible while doing them.

Before you get pregnant, make a fitness plan

I did my research and stumbled upon the amazing ladies over at Expecting and Empowered.  I immediately snagged their full pregnancy guide and began doing the workouts for weeks four and five of your pregnancy.  

Honestly, we had struggled to get pregnant with our fourth, and part of me hoped doing the pregnancy exercises would magically manifest a baby as well as strengthen my body.

Look for gains in unexpected places

Through this experience of preparing my body for a baby, I honestly became the strongest I have been since high school.  I noticed my back hurt less when carrying my toddler on long hikes because my core was stronger, I could bike longer distances pulling the trailer, and I could pull out the garbage bag full of diapers with one hand instead of waiting for my husband to do it. 

Those months of hoping and trying for our fourth prepped my body for a difficult first trimester.  

Surviving the first trimester as an outdoor mom
Letting the weeds grow in our yard created a beautiful opportunity for flower picking

The Dreaded First Trimester: Surviving Morning Sickness

Early Pregnancy Survival

This will not be an article about a superhero mama who hiked ten miles every day with her kids strapped to her back. Instead, this is a story of survival. 

It’s about a mom who laid outside on a picnic blanket while her 15-month-old used her as a jungle gym, trying her best not to puke again. 

It’s about a mom who slid her fuzzy socks into her favorite Birkenstocks (because bending over to tie her shoes would surely trigger another round of vomiting) and shuffled behind her kids who gleefully ran ahead, picking up sticks and rocks on a walk around the neighborhood.

Neighborhood park walks where we can find all the sticks

Ways to curb first trimester nausea

Seasick Bands

These came highly suggested by many friends, but actually just didn’t end up working for me.  When you’re sick, it is worth it to see if they might work for you. If they don’t, Amazon has a great return policy.

Ginger Candies

These worked great if I got hit with a sudden wave of nausea and were perfect to have in the car, my purse, and the diaper bag.

Ginger Beer

This was my favorite beverage to sip in the evening to settle my stomach.  Don’t let the name fool you; this is not an alcoholic beverage.  This brand is the only one I could find at my local supermarket that included real ginger on the ingredient list.  These are typically overpriced on Amazon but I included a link as a reference.

Preggie Pops

These sour hard candies were almost an hourly routine to keep nausea away, and I felt they did a pretty good job of it.

Watermelon Sour Patch Kids

These were suggested by a sweet friend who used them to cope with nausea due to her chemotherapy treatments, and I have to say these were my favorite.  Yes, the five-pound bag is necessary, and yes, I ate them all.  These were my go-to when moving because I could easily keep them in the cup holder of my stroller and munch as we went for walks.

Saltine Crackers

They are classic because they work.  I learned that buying the name brand is worth it.  Don’t waste your money on an off-brand; it just doesn’t taste the same.  These were waiting for me on my bedside table, and I ate them in bed before getting up in the morning.

Surviving the first trimester as an outdoor mom
Backyard DIY puddle for lots of splashes

Benefits of Outside: Why it’s worth it to drag your nauseous self outside

While in the throes of morning sickness I still made it a priority to do my continue my workouts three days a week even if all I did was the stretches and pelvic floor work. 

I found it felt good to care for myself and I decided to make getting outside every day another care item for both me and my kids.  When outside my kids’ moods would instantly shift.  They were happier, they played better together, and they listened better. 

I felt my dreary outlook was also boosted after some time in nature. Plus being outside is scientifically proven to make you feel better.

How to get out the door when you’re not feeling well

The only way to get outside daily worked was because I prepped.  I found I felt best in the late morning before lunchtime.  This time every day I would prepare for the next morning.  I would fill water bottles, get snacks ready, and put any nausea tools I needed into the stroller

Then the next day after the worst of my nausea was gone, and my kids had reached their Peppa Pig limits, we would head outside.  Sometimes the farthest I made it was to the front yard, and sometimes we made it all the way to our local park. 

The goal was an hour a day, and most days we hit it.  Everyone came back refreshed, and my kids also started taking longer naps!

Quick and easy outdoor activities with kids

Water Table

Add water beads or ice cubes to a water table. Bonus points if you add food coloring to the water before freezing. During colder months put it in your garage (or, if you are as brave as my friend, right in the living room) and add rice or beans along with some measuring cups and serving spoons.

Kids Gardening Set

Pick all the flower (aka weeds) in the yard and make a beautiful bouquet. Or put ask your kids to water all the flowers with their kids-sized Watering Can.

Double Hammock

Set up this easy-to-use lightweight hammock between some trees in your yard or at a local park and take turns swinging. Or bring some books to read (here’s a bunch we recommend) and have a snuggle party.

Kids Car Wash Kit

Give the kids buckets of water and sponges and let them clean everything. Toys, scooters, rocks, etc.

Rock Painting Kit

Find some fun-shaped rocks and create one-of-a-kind lawn decorations. If your kiddo doesn’t have the patience for painting find as many rocks as you can and see how high you can stack them to create unique lawn sculptures.


Create a color sorting activity. Draw big chalk squares in different colors (brown, green, orange, etc.) and have your kiddos search for things that match those colors to add to the box. This can easily be a timed activity or a race to get older kids involved.

Throwing Rocks

I have yet to meet a toddler who doesn’t love throwing rocks into the water. Head to your closest body of water and let them throw leaves, sicks, and rocks in.

Surviving the first trimester as an outdoor mom
Prepping ice cubes or water beads the night before made our water table fun last much longer

Create an accountability buddy

You are much more likely to make it outside when someone else is part of your plans. I had a great group of moms that I would meet with once a week to go hiking. We changed locations every week and knowing that other people were waiting for me helped me keep those plans.

When you just can’t do it yourself

Some days you just can’t do it. When that happens, send your partner out with kids or ask a grandparent to come over and play with the kiddos. Getting those kids outside and playing with someone they love while you hang out in a hammock is still a major outside win plus you get to enjoy the smiles on their faces while someone other than you chases them around.

How to ask for help when you’re pregnant

It can be hard to ask for help. My husband knows this season is hard for me but doesn’t always know how to help we learned we need something scheduled to make it work best for us. We started “Dadurday” on Saturday mornings where my husband takes all the kids on a mini adventure before he going to work later in the afternoon.

Having it planned and in the schedule gives me relief to look forward to and gets the kids super excited for their special day with dad. Plan a regular special day for your kids to have with your partner, with their grandparents, or with a friend so you can get a regular break.

Dads are best for longer adventures outside while mom stays home and takes a nap

Give Yourself Grace

Now that I have officially exited the first trimester, I am slowly starting to feel more energized and ready to do more outdoors.  I am no longer puking every morning.  For most, the second trimester allows mamas to get back to feeling themselves.  Some even get the “glow” and a boost of energy. 

I have started hiking and running again, and my kids have bounced back into their adventurous selves.  Just know that this is a season and whether you get the “glow” or whether you’re sick throughout your entire pregnancy.  You are strong and the absolute best mama for your kids. 

Care for yourself and ask for help when needed.  You got this!

Bright future ahead in the second trimester

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Surviving the first trimester as an outdoor mom

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