Fighting Morning Sickness
I felt like I had the flu for three months straight. I told my husband I couldn’t do it for the nine weeks left in my first trimester. I was lucky enough never to throw up, but on some day could hardly get off the couch.
‘Morning Sickness,’ which most women know is in dire need of a new and more accurate name, can be a rough time. There are many tips and tricks to help alleviate the unpleasantness, although none are miracle-workers.
The scent of peppermint, ginger, lavender, watermelon, and lemon are reported sources of relief. Drinking and eating items with these ingredients may help quell the churning seas.
An excellent piece of advice is not allowing your stomach get either too full or too empty; rather, eat small meals throughout the day (if you can stomach it), as food in your stomach tempers stomach acids. If you seem to be hit hard in the morning, keep saltines, or some other carbohydrate, and water by your bed and ingest these about fifteen minutes before you actually get up. Your stomach will be empty from the night before, which can make things worse. Eating a high protein and complex carbohydrate snack before sleeping will help keep your stomach full throughout the night.
Avoid fatty, rich, spicy, acidic, and fried foods; some of these take longer to digest and others will irritate your digestive system.
Just like when you have the flu, it’s important to stay hydrated. Dink small amounts of fluids throughout the day. My mother taught me to drink small cups of vegetable or chicken broth. (This sound disgusting, but it isn’t! The broth is actually really good for you and will provide a small amount of calories when your body really needs them.)
Check out acupressure bands, available at drug stores, which sailors take to avoid sea sickness. Or, try ‘Preggie Pops,’ hard candies that claim to ease morning sickness. I searched every drugstore in my area in desperation for Preggie Pops, and finally found them a few months later at a maternity boutique. Online you can find them at the Morning Sickness Help website.
Remember to continue taking your prenatal vitamin!
Finally, don’t freak out. Even women who have severe sickness during their pregnancy deliver healthy babies. It is important, however, to talk to your doctor about how you’re feeling. There is a condition called Hyperemesis gravidarum, which is characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and sometimes electrolyte disturbance. Mild cases are often treated with dietary measures, rest, and antacids. Severe cases might require a stay in the hospital to receive fluid and nutrition through an intravenous line.
If you need more information on morning sickness, check out these books:
* Managing Morning Sickness: A Survival Guide for Pregnant Women
* Take Two Crackers and Call Me in the Morning
* The Morning Sickness Companion