Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tab's Top 10 Tips :: Morning Sickness Helps

Morning sickness can, of course, strike at any time and even last all day. Some women get none while others throw up all day, every day for their entire pregnancy.

I had "evening sickness" with my first son. I was teaching 4th grade at the time and felt OK all day. I'd get home at about 5:30 and barely get through dinner before collapsing into bed. Sleeping was the only thing that made me feel better and for several months, I slept at least 12 hours every night.

With my second baby, I had "all day sickness" that lasted a couple of months but was just a mild nausea. Later in my pregnancy, I was experiencing anxiety and had a decreased appetite for several weeks resulting in weight loss and lack of energy. I had to do whatever I could to cope.

Based on my experience and tips I've collected over the years, here are my best suggestions. Feel free to leave yours in comments!

1. Eat frequent, small meals throughout the day. Try to get a good combination of "good carbs," protein and fruits and vegetables. Avoid common stomach irritants which is easy to do if you stick to whole foods and good grains. If you feel yourself starting to get shaky, try a handful of almonds or walnuts. Carry nutritious snacks with you when you're out, too.

2. Stay hydrated. Drink whatever goes down easily.

3. Eat a snack before bed, like cheese, peanut butter crackers or yogurt with granola. It may even help to have a little snack in the middle of the night so you don't wake up famished. I use to get up to use the bathroom at about 3 a.m. and would throw back a meal replacement shake, just so my blood sugar wasn't as unstable when I woke up.

4. Sometimes the chewing action can be nauseating so at your most "icky" times of day, try a fruit smoothie or the aforementioned meal replacement shake. Add protein powder to your shake to make it that much more nutritious. I liked a combination of milk, yogurt and frozen fruit.

5. Try starting your day with a boiled egg. I found that I could get one down easily and the protein really helped.

6. Try switching prenatal vitamins. Some are easier on the stomach than others.

7. Ginger is a tried-and-true nausea buster. You can eat candied ginger, add grated ginger to foods, drink gingerale or try ginger tea.

8. Peppermint is another great way to treat nausea. Sucking on a peppermint (the Starlight mints have actual peppermint oil) or sniffing peppermint essential oil on a hanky can help immediately. Peppermint tea also soothes the stomach and is a nice way to end the day.

9. Get plenty of fresh air. A stroll around the block can work wonders. Just sitting outside can help you feel better.

10. Acupressure is worth a try! Here's a good article.
At www.altmd.com

I also like to remind mothers-to-be that your nausea is trying to tell you something. Our bodies never lie! Listen to your body. Rest, rest, rest!! Avoid the foods that aren't appealing and eat what IS appealing--even if it isn't perfectly nutritious.

I am not one to recommend popping pills but there are new anti-nausea medications out there that can help--talk to your OB about your options.

More than anything, my best recommendation is to take it easy and take good care of yourself! Give yourself permission to "slack off" and get the rest you need. Sometimes our body is just screaming, "Lay down!!!" Obey!

One last note. I believe pregnancy is a great time to drawn near to God and to seek what He is trying to teach you during this miraculous process. So when morning sickness strikes, ask God, "What are you trying to show me?" Draw close to Him for comfort and strength and ask Him to ease your symptoms and help you accomplish what you need to get done--He wants to help! Craft a prayer that you can pray when you are feeling ill and let God speak to you. It's a great opportunity to rest in the Lord and focus on His promises!