Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Coping with Morning Sickness
There's nothing more exciting than the news of a pregnancy. Such a blessing. So much to look forward to. A new child to love and nurture.
But as soon as morning sickness makes its grand entrance, that seems to be all I think about. My whole day revolves around my level of sickness. And then there's the food. Eating constantly so that there is always something in my belly, even though nothing sounds particularly appetizing. I call this "preventative eating".....though it doesn't so much prevent as it just helps from feeling worse!
I don't know about you, but I'm one of those who is willing to try just about anything to help with the nausea. I'm one of those worst case scenario women who enjoys the blessing of morning sickness all day...and lasts upwards of six months. Seven months is my record. But I've also been one of those who don't find much relief in remedies and even a couple of prescriptions I've tried.
But this time, something is working. No, morning sickness is not gone, but I am not nearly as sick as I usually am at this point. So I'll share what I've been doing. But first, I'll share all that I've tried in the past...'cause it might just help someone else.
In The Past
Phenergan-Ugh! Made me super sleepy and didn't take any of the nausea away.
Crackers before getting out of bed-Really? Does this help anyone? I must know.
Ginger- Mostly in tea form. For me, helps with the saliva issue. Anyone else deal with that too?
Zofran-Very expensive! I was told it was a miracle for most women so of course I said, "sign me up!" Unfortunately, wasn't my miracle. It did take the edge off, but wasn't worth the high cost for me.
Unisom and B6-Out of all the remedies, this one helped the most. While it didn't take away the nausea, it did take me from vomiting all day to just once or twice a day. It helped me to get off the couch and function. I would take one half of a Unisom (store generic version) and a 50mg B6 twice a day. Usually at 7am and 7pm.
The Bean Cure-I tried this in my last two pregnancies. It did help temporarily, but I got so tired of eating beans that I would give up on it fairly quickly. You can read the fascinating article here.
If you're struggling with morning sickness, these things above do help many women, so give them a try.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant this time, I began scanning the Internet for anything new that I could try. I read about every theory behind morning sickness and made a list of things that could help. And basically, I've incorporated all of them into my day.
Cut waaay back on sugar and caffeine-Yeah, yeah, I know this isn't new. It's just that I never put much stock in cutting back on them. I don't do a whole lot of caffeine anyway, but sugar, you betcha...we're bakers around here! I read that sugar and caffeine can exacerbate morning sickness...so after years of ignoring it, I decided to give it a try.
The Bean Cure-Okay, I know I mentioned this above...but this time, as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I began eating beans twice a day! Yes siree! In theory, I should not be having any nausea, but I am.
Alas! There's a difference.
I didn't start feeling icky until much later than normal...and at nine+ weeks, I am not nearly as sick as I usually get. I am still eating beans twice a day and am determined to keep doing it as long as I need to. Thanks to Pinterest, I found myriad new bean recipes that have made eating beans twice a day much easier.
Alkalizing-I read that keeping your pH at an alkaline level can reduce morning sickness. So far, I have not had access to pH or alkaline water, but I did do a search on alkaline foods. Celery, watermelon, cucumbers, almonds, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and avocado (to name a few) are on the list, so I've been eating those often. The watermelon is great for thirst since it is packed with water. And I've made sure to keep celery, cut up into sticks, on hand. I make myself a little baggie of celery, carrots, and red bell pepper sticks to take with me wherever I go. (Update: A friend gave me some pH water, and it seemed to help a LOT the first day. She said it was time/light sensitive, so after 12 hours, it didn't help as much. Must go get more!)
Unisom-I read recently that B6 can exacerbate the nausea and that some women were finding relief with the Unisom alone. At about 8 1/2 weeks, I felt another rise in my level of sickness (but still not as severe), so I decide to begin taking a half of a Unisom just at night. So far, it seems to be helping. Almost like it shifted my level back down. I should say here that I am getting plenty of B6. I get it in my food, that I can now keep down, and in my SuperMom vitamin that I can also keep down! If you suspect you are B6 deficient, you may want to take the B6. Oh, and also, caffeine destroys B6, so yet another reason to cut back or eliminate it.
Lots of protein-I usually get plenty of protein in the meat and beans I eat, but I have also been eating LOTS of nuts and seeds. In addition to my veggies, I eat handfuls of nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds, and peanuts) and seeds (sunflower and pumpkin) throughout the day. And Greek yogurt, which has twice the protein as traditional yogurt, has become my new dessert.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon water-I read that using about 2 teaspoons of ACV in warm water can relieve nausea. I was very hesitant to try this since it doesn't sound appealing. But to my amazement, it does help. It settles my tummy pretty quickly and helps with the excessive saliva that is a huge issue for me during morning sickness. Since ACV was working, I also tried squeezing a half a lemon's worth of juice in hot water...and that works too. I tend to feel great the first half of the day (which has never happened), and then begin feeling a bit more queasy as the evening goes on. This is when I reach for my ACV or Lemon "tea"!
Peppermint Oil-My sweet friend, Kim, sent me a sample of Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil. In addition to the hot lemon water for those sudden waves of nausea, I put a drop of Peppermint oil on my tongue. Or even just smell it. This also offers quick relief for those sudden waves of nausea.
I think it's important to add that I started doing all of these things (except the unisom) as soon as I found out I was pregnant...before morning sickness came. I think it's important to mention because all this collectively may be what has helped. For example, once I am in the throes of morning sickness, I usually cannot eat raw veggies...and most things good for me just don't sound good. So I eat what I think I can tolerate, but probably make me worse in the end. Maybe? I also think because I made a habit of eating these things, they're what sound good now.
Some Additional Coping Tips
Prepare if you can. As soon as you find out you're pregnant, and before sickness sets in, do what you can to make things easier when it comes. Stock your freezer with meals for your family. Make individual portions of foods you can eat quickly when the need arises. Have a variety of high protein go-to snacks like nuts and seeds in your pantry.
Accept help! If you have a friend or church family willing to provide meals, care for little ones, or clean your house, accept it! Allow them to be the hands and feet of Jesus! It blesses you, and it blesses them as well. Don't be stubborn!
Embrace it! If you're like me, where nothing truly takes it away, you've got to come to the point where you can embrace it. I've learned over all these pregnancies that God uses this time to draw me near. I am in constant communion with Him. Even if I am crying out in despair, begging for Him to have mercy on me, I am talking with my Lord. He teaches me what it means to trust Him and to rely on him every second. It also helps to keep in mind that this won't last forever and that a wonderful gift comes at the end. It's not for nothing. It's worth it! God is faithful!
What are your favorite remedies? Please add to this list the things that have helped you!