Morning sickness. Probably the biggest misnomer if I’ve ever come across one. More like morning, afternoon, night time, anytime sickness. Honestly.
I’m currently experiencing my second pregnancy, 18 weeks today actually, and I’m finally shaking off my bout of morning sickness. Just in case you don’t know what it is, it’s a condition where a pregnant women suffers extreme nausea that may be accompanied by puking, usually during the first trimester, although some women only shake it off later during their pregnancy. If you’re really one of the unlucky ones, you might have it right up until the day you give birth.
Experts reckon up to three quarters of pregnant women have at least some nausea or vomiting during the first trimester, and about half have only vomiting. It’s not known exactly what causes it, but it has to do with all the physical changes that take place within the body, which can include a rise in estrogen, an enhanced sense of smell and sensitivity to certain odours and a genetic predisposition to morning sickness. I.e. if your mother or sister experienced bad morning sickness you’re bound to experience it too.
Can I at this point just take a moment to express my jealousy at two of my close girlfriends who did not experience any morning sickness whatsoever? All three of us had boys with our first pregnancies and they sailed through it completely unscathed.
One thing that’s for sure though is that if you’re going to experience it I don’t believe there’s anything you can do to prevent it, but there certainly are things you can do to help ease your way through it.
Here are a few of the things that helped me cope.
Eat before you get out of bed in the mornings
In other words have snacks on hand on your bed side table because at some point you will wake up in the middle of the night nauseous and hungry. You’ll need food quickly to help prevent throwing up and sometimes you just won’t be able to get to the kitchen quickly enough before you’re overtaken by the urge to puke.
Eat small meals often
Long stretches in between eating will cause your blood sugar to drop, which can lead to headaches, dizziness and yip, you guessed it, more severe nausea and vomiting.
Try to drink lots of water and black rooibos tea, but also snack on fruit and vegetables that have a high water content, as it can be difficult to get your full eight glasses of water in. Food such as watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, strawberries and peaches are great for this. Water also helps to stave off debilitating headaches, which is another symptom or morning sickness.
Drink ice-cold water or suck on little ice cubes
I honestly don’t know what it was about the temperature of the water straight from the tap, but I just couldn’t handle it. Iced water, on the other hand was no problem. In fact I craved and loved it, so I managed to get decent amounts of that down.
Eat plain foods
By this I mean eat food that doesn’t have any particular strong flavours. E.g for me plain crackers, bananas, plain full fat yoghurt, baked potatoes, toast with just a little butter on and raw almonds worked like a charm.
Sleep and rest as much as you can
Chances are you’re going to feel knackered most of the time – and that’s completely okay and normal as you’re busy making a human being – so get in as much rest as you can, even if you’re just spending it in bed binge watching your favourite series on Netflix (for me it was The Good Wife). And definitely sleep if you’re able to because at least being in dreamland means that you’re not actually feeling the nausea.
Put your phone / iPad / computer away
I found that the constant flicker of the screen often made my nausea worse. So when it got too much I would opt for reading magazines, or the newspaper instead.
Get lots of fresh air
Driving in the car I seriously thought I was going to be sick once, so I stopped as soon it was safe to do so, got out and walked in circles a few times, inhaling as deeply as I could. It worked wonders. I was able to drive home still feeling nauseous but without the threat of puking in my car. And on my lap.
Get some exercise
Coupled with getting lots of fresh air is going for a nice walk or run. I realise it’s difficult because when you’re feeling horribly sick the last thing you feel like doing is exercise. But it works amazingly well. Nothing hectic, just taking your dog for a walk or getting on your stationery bicycle can do wonders for your mood.
Eat whatever you can keep down
Of course nutrition in the body is very important, especially so during pregnancy, but if you feel like all you can keep down right now is a packet or potato chips, I say eat it. It’s better than nothing and a little something is always better than nothing at all.
Eat and/or sniff ginger and lemon
As much I love incorporating these two foods into my diet on a regular basis they’ve done absolutely nothing to ease my morning sickness, during either of my pregnancies. But I’m including it in this list as it’s often touted as an aid for morning sickness and it might help some of you reading this.
So there you have it – my guide to surviving morning sickness the natural way. Of course there is medication you can get from your health care provider, but I try to manage as much of my health in the most natural way possible, which is why I wouldn’t really consider taking medicine for morning sickness. Be that as it may, we’re all free to do what works best for ourselves, so let me know how you made it through morning sickness? Did you use any of these tips or did you basically sleep your way through it? Please share with me below. I’d love to hear from you.