Confession: I secretly despise pregnant women who don’t get morning sickness. I know, I know. It’s insane and unreasonable but y’all…I get morning sickness SO BAD that when I hear a woman say cheerily, “I feel amazing when I’m pregnant! I never feel nauseous for a minute!” it takes all the willpower I have not to slap her perky little face.
During my first pregnancy I threw up every day (usually twice) for 5 months and I still had 24/7 nausea until month 7. My second pregnancy was much easier but I still had the nausea well into the second trimester. So, that makes me some sort of expert on feeling terrible. I am not, however, any sort of medical professional so keep that in mind as you read my advice for coping with morning sickness. And please call your midwife or doctor if you think you are experiencing symptoms beyond the limits of normal pregnancy morning sickness.
OK, here’s my tips:
1. Snack, snack, snack. Eat little snacks all the time. ALL THE FREAKING TIME. If it’s been an hour since you ate a bite, it’s been too long.
2. Get lots and lots of protein. I know that dry toast is all that sounds good but TRY to sneak in protein wherever you can. It will keep your blood sugar more regulated. Protein is your friend. Make sure you get some to start out the day and have some right before going to bed. Otherwise you’ll wake up feeling like a truck ran over you.
3. Sugar is your enemy. I get such a sweet tooth during pregnancy but DON’T GIVE IN. Sugary foods will make your blood sugar spike and crash and you will feel miserable. If your morning sickness is really dreadful, even cutting out fruit might be necessary for a time.
4. Don’t even think about getting out of bed before eating. Set a high protein snack on your bedside table before going to sleep so that you can grab your bag of almonds or peanut butter crackers or whatever seems to help rather than exacerbate your nausea. Munch for awhile before lifting your head off the pillow. Hopefully, this will help you not vomit immediately after your feet touch the floor.
5. Try to get plenty of sleep. If you’ve got young children in the house, this might just be wishful thinking but do TRY. Anytime I skimp on sleep during the first few weeks of pregnancy I spend the entire next day puking.
6. Beans. I don’t know why but I always crave beans (esp. tacos) when I’m pregnant and ill. I looked it up and apparently there’s some sort of scientific mumbo jumbo about beans helping remove toxins from your system that might be contributing to the nausea. I don’t know if that’s true. All I know is beans.
7. Frozen snacks. Sometimes by eating frozen blueberries or ice chips I can pull some sort of Jedi mind trick on my body so that it forgets that it was about to throw up. I’m just awesome like that.
8. Change your prenatal vitamin. During my second pregnancy I took a small Folic Acid and B vitamin and several other vitamins that are important for pregnancy through out the day instead of taking them all together in one big prenatal multivitamin. I think this helped a lot. Every time I try to swallow one of the giant prenatal horse pill vitamins, it comes right back up. Sometimes prenatal vitamins with lots of iron can be especially difficult to keep down during morning sickness. Your midwife or doctor might be able to recommend a different vitamin until the morning sickness improves.
9. Call a Fellow Sufferer. Sometimes when nothing physical helps keeps the nausea at bay, the best thing to do is call a friend who is part of the same Puking-all-the-time Club or has been there before who can sympathize and listen to you rant and rave about your misery. They can also reassure you that you won’t be a pregnant-forever medical anomaly and that this too shall pass.
10. Ease your mind: talk to your Health Care Provider. Get reassured by your midwife or doctor that baby is still thriving even though you can’t keep anything down. Like many other women, I wasn’t able to gain anything in the first trimester (and some women even lose a few pounds) due to morning sickness. It always helps to hear your midwife assure you all your puking isn’t hurting baby.
11. Keep Your Eye on the Prize: A fellow pregnancy puker and dear friend keeps her baby’s ultrasound picture on the bathroom mirror so that she’s reminded of her precious one every time she experiences another bout of vomiting misery for his sake. I promise your baby will be worth it no matter how many times you throw up. I promise that when you feast your eyes on your new baby you will think to yourself, “I would have gone through much worse for you, little one. I would do it again, a thousand times over.”
Do you experience morning sickness during pregnancy? What helps you cope?