So now that the cat is out of the bag and everyone knows I'm (psst...) pregnant, boy do I have some tales to tell about morning sickness. And I have some suggestions for those ladies out there who are in their first trimester.
First of all, it ends. Yes, you heard me. For most women, the nauseous feeling after you eat anything does go away after the first 3 months or so of pregnancy. So have faith and have patience. For the time being though, this can be a moot point that resonates as well as a brick going through a window. Shaddup, in other words and tell me how I can stop barfing.
These things are purely anecdotal from my own experience, but some observations I've made may help others out there who are suffering on the rollercoaster that just won't stop.
- Find out what you're allergic to and avoid it. For many (annoyingly lucky) women, their food intolerances seem to miraculously disappear with the advent of pregnancy and that fabulous wonder-hormone HcG which is also responsible for that disturbing starvation diet that was touted over the last couple of years (moderation people!). For the rest of us, our food intolerances can go into high gear making us extremely sensitive in this time. And since your sense of smell beats a basset hound's (that's to seek out potentially mouldy food and stop it from entering your mouth), a few whiffs of your allergen and you'll be running for the toilet. For me, this meant I couldn't even hold a container of cheese, look at a hard-boiled egg, smell any sort of meat being barbecued, or imagine fish in any form without wretching. Now the fish thing surprised me considering I could wolf down tuna like there was no tomorrow prior to the wee one making its way down the uterine wall. But that brings me to my next point :
- Eat like a six month old baby. This might sound crazy but more than one woman I know can testify to feeling overwhelmed by the magical cultural concoctions she once desired such as butter chicken, egg fried rice and other complex mixtures of carbs and fat. Keep it simple. Six month old babies tend to eat one or two bland foods at a time with little seasoning and no added fats. Sounds pretty boring but it's better than watching all of your food fly down the toilet and your electrolyte levels plummet daily. Stick to steamed vegetables and fresh fruits for easy digestion. Rice can be a girl's best friend, as can sprouted grain or alternative grain pastas to add some variety. The clencher here, and the reason I suspect for my fish aversion, is to try to stick to low-allergen foods. You don't feed your kids dairy, eggs or fish before the age of 3, so why would you do so when they're still in the womb ? This may not be true for all ladies, but take a quick gander at what's causing your trouble and you might not be so surprised to find those 3 culprits commonly making their way (the wrong way) up your drainage pipes.
- Suck on lemons. Apparently, I'm not the only woman on earth who became instantly addicted to lemon sans sugar, toe-turning grapefruits and salt-and-vinegar chips once baby made an entrance. There is some truth to the calming properties of lemon to soothe the stomach and decrease nausea. Hence all those stories about homicidal pregnant ladies holding up 7/11s for some pickles on their ice cream. Hold the dairy and the aggravated assault on that one folks. Let's rewrite the old adage and go with : when life gets you pregnant, make oodles and oodles of lemonade.
- Oh sweet sweet peppermint essential oil, how I love thee. Most essential oils are a no-go at this delicate time because aromatherapy tends to be a bit of a grey area with you're making another person. That being said though, it is widely acceptable to sniff or dab peppermint essential oil under the nose to stave off nausea. Peppermint tea is less concentrated and its consumption relaxes digestive muscles, also lessening your chances of riding the porcelain
- Sleep. Sometimes all of that nausea just occurs because you're wayyyy more tired than you're used to being. Take pregnancy as an opportunity and excuse to finally slow down and enjoy daily catnaps. After baby comes, you might just not have that luxury for quite some time!
- Drink enough water. Many women are so focused on eating properly that they forget to hydrate which is a known cause of nausea and can even lead to vomiting. Be sure to drink at least 10 cups of clean spring water daily with trace mineral drops to optimize your water intake!
- Who ever said gingers have no souls? Ok, so I'm not talking about grabbing your neighbourhood redhead and praying for a miracle. I'm talking about getting your hands on that fabulous spicy root that works wonders as an anti-emetic herb. But you don't have to get bored with simple ginger tea all the time, especially if you're like me and you abhorred hot beverages while in the first trimester. Get creative and make some ginger jam and start your day with that baby on some yummy sprouted grain toast ! See below for the recipe and enjoy your pregnancy, even if that feels impossible right now !
1lb ginger root
1 cup white sugar
2tbsp fresh lemon
Optional : add blueberries, strawberries, lemon zest or pears for variety and sweetness !
Peel the ginger and then slice the roots into very small pieces with a sharp knife. Place the chopped ginger into a saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice and boil the mixture for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer the ginger for about 30 minutes. Stir the mixture every 5 to 10 minutes. Test the consistency of the mixture and the taste of the jam. It depends on your personal preference but it should be thicker. Place a spoonful of the jam in the freezer for one minute. If the liquid gels, it is sufficiently cooked. Remove the jam from the heat and let it cool. Scoop it into a bowl if you plan to eat it within 24 hours. If not, scoop it into a mason jar with a tight lid and serve cold.
This article was written by Nakita Valerio, B.A, CSN, BMSA Technician.
Nakita is a staff contributor for the Optimum Health Vitamins blog.