I haven’t done much pregnancy updating around here lately…but I do on Instagram so come follow me if you don’t already! (@bonnieandblithe) Things are pretty similar this time around to most of my previous pregnancies except my morning sickness lasted quite a bit longer; I usually feel better right about the beginning of the second trimester but this time I wasn’t out of the woods until about 18 weeks. Less fun!
7 pregnancies have certainly forced me develop some helpful habits for combating nausea and so I’m sharing those today! Everyone’s experience with nausea during pregnancy is SO different: some women only experience at specific times of day (“morning” sickness is definitely a misnomer), some women feel sick during their ENTIRE pregnancy, and still others never get sick at all. Regardless of the timing and severity of your pregnancy nausea, hopefully some of these tips will help you survive even when your current favorite position is hugging the toilet bowl!
1. Learn your triggers. For me, I ALWAYS feel sick when my stomach is empty. If I let myself go without food for several hours, then I’ll feel nauseous before I ever feel hunger pangs. In the past I was often sick in the mornings, but during this pregnancy, late evening was my worst time. Strong smells and rides in the car can also contribute to feeling ill. Remember the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” Totally true for morning sickness! By figuring what makes us most prone to nausea, we can plan ahead and often stop it in its tracks!
2. Listen to your body. No matter what your eating habits before getting pregnant or your best intentions for eating a specific way during pregnancy, sometimes your body just doesn’t want to cooperate. When I feel morning sickness coming on, I often run through some of my favorite foods in my head, hoping that one will sound good to me. I had one pregnancy where I lived on chili cheese fries (gross, I know), one where I HAD to have salads and another where I lived for anything covered in soy sauce (I even drank it a couple times…SO WEIRD!).
The point is, if you try to force yourself to eat something that doesn’t sound appetizing, it can often make you sick (FYI, spicy, greasy and heavy foods are usually good to avoid). Just do your best to keep whatever it is you eat from coming back up, and you can balance out your nutritional deficits later in pregnancy.
3. Eat balanced meals and snacks, with a large serving of protein. Carbs and dairy were often a good combination for me to eat in the past but it wasn’t until my 6th pregnancy that I realized the power of protein. Almost every time I eat a meal or snack high in protein, I’m able to curb the nausea. Specifically meat, legumes and a good serving of nuts or nut butters are my magical cures. I’m not sure if it’s because they keep my stomach full longer or what, but this tip has kept me so much happier and healthier! See below for some of my favorite meal ideas…
4. Find supplements or tricks to curb the nausea once it starts. On our trip to France this summer, I was really nervous about being sick because I get motion sickness on top of pregnancy nausea. Thankfully I learned that Sea-Bands sometimes work for morning sickness! I wore them for almost my entire trip and (barring a REALLY windy road and an empty stomach on the coast of the French Riviera) they kept me happy and smiley the whole time! I’ve heard many people have success chewing fresh ginger or ginger gum, using Preggie Pops and other candies for curbing nausea. Try some out to see if they work for you. There’s no reason to be miserable if you don’t have to be!
5. Seek medical attention if your nausea and vomiting are severe. The general rule is that if you can’t keep anything down for more than 24 hours, see your doctor or go to the hospital. Dehydration is a very real possibility and, even though baby is generally not affected by mom’s vomiting, you want to stay healthy! Hyperemesis Gravidarum is the name for severe morning sickness and often requires IV fluids and observation by your OB or midwife. If you’re having a hard time functioning and performing basics tasks because of nausea, then get help! There are approved medications that can be taken to allow you to get some rest and grow your baby healthily.
Here are some of my favorite quick meal ideas for preventing and combating nausea:
*Toast with a large serving of peanut butter and a sliced banana
*1-2 fried or scrambled eggs with vegetables and bacon or sausage
*Egg sandwich with cheese & meat on an english muffin
*Beef jerky and fruit
*Homemade trail mix- I love a combo of almonds, dried cherries, cashews and dark chocolate!
*Homemade granola with non-dairy milk (I often add extra nuts for satiety)
*Tasty Bite Madras Lentils with pita bread or rice (they usually carry these at Costco)
*Refried beans, veggies and cheese in a tortilla or with corn chips
*Steel cut oats with a large portion of nuts or nut butter, milk and honey
Please comment below with any other tips or meal ideas that have worked for you!
Good luck staying sane and healthy, mamas!