You’ve found out you’re pregnant – brilliant – congratulations. After the initial excitement so many of us are affected by pregnancy nausea/sickness, extreme tiredness and lethargy in those first few weeks. Whilst it is crippling, it’s generally a brilliant sign though that all is well so rather than getting cross with it – it really is worth embracing it.
How many women are affected?
I’ve read various statistics but it seems to range anywhere from 50% to 95% which is massive. It’s safe to say that’s majority of women have some sort of nausea, sickness, exhaustion and other early pregnancy side effects.
Tips and tricks to get you through
I asked on social media and in our group what helped other mums get through this stage – there were extra points if there was no ginger included. Here’s some brilliant tips and tricks to help you:
- Keep eating. Even though it may be the last thing you feel like doing. Morning sickness is worse on an empty stomach…
- Use sea-bands
- Eat what your body tells you to even if weird or goes against your ‘usual’ diet: your preggy body is very good at telling you what it needs
- Eat little and often
- Nap. If this is not baby No.1: build up a nap support team. Please ask for support you are making a human!
- If you are at work: break your allotted breaks up over the day but also if you need to go home and go to bed ‘go home and go to bed’: you are making a human! …yes I have been in both scenarios: my employer was supportive and also, when less pooped, I would work a longer day to stay on top of my work load. Understanding & flexibility need to be built into your work
- If you feel what you are experiencing is more then morning sickness trust your instincts and discuss with your midwife/Dr: anaemia & gestational diabetes etc. can exacerbate morning sickness symptoms.
- Trust your instincts…don’t question or fight them!
- Reiki and carrying yellow Jasper
- I read somewhere you are either a ‘hot’ or a ‘cool’ when it comes to morning sickness. So if hot, go for peppermint flavours, if cool go for ginger. I was definitely a hot! Ice lollies and polos really helped. And my second baby was made of fruit pastilles
- Top piece of advice from pregnancy no 1 – leave the house whilst husband is cooking mince. Seriously though it was smells that got to me and pushed me over the edge, so I’d cut a lime in half and stick it in a ziplock bag and keep it in the fridge and when I got really bad Id go stick my nose in the bag and breathe in the smell of lime. Sour sweeties were really helpful for me
- This pregnancy I discovered the miracle mocktail ginger drink at TGI Fridays and recreated a home version, which was…puréed ginger with apple juice and lime. Really did work wonders for me. Ginger biscuits etc never helped at all – has to be in liquid form
- Vitamin B12 deficiency is linked with morning sickness so defo B12. Also sometimes it is a blood sugar thing so a biscuit like an oat cake beside your bed so you can eat it before you even get a chance to get out of bed
- There is a great Natal Hypnotherapy ‘Overcoming morning sickness’ download that apparently works
- A banana…. As soon as you wake up or when you start to feel a bit nauseous. That and bread or an oat cake helped me and of course ginger tea
- Acupuncture and herbal remedy (prepared especially for me by a fully qualified herbalist!).
- Cardamom oil in the burner – one pod in a mug of hot water – even one held in the mouth and acupuncture and hypnosis
- The only thing that ever worked for me was eating ALL day. I packed lots of little snacks for eating throughout the day. If I let myself get hungry at all I felt foul
- The only thing that kept my morning sickness away was constantly snacking. Nibbling on crackers so my stomach was never empty. If it was that when I would feel sick and then eating too much to fill it made me sick too! Little nibbles and that includes at night when getting up to pee!
- Staying hydrated, not getting hungry, eat through the night, sea sick bands, lying down, stay away from the kitchen so you’re not smelling food, get others to prep/cook, acupuncture, get help from others! It really is miserable.
- Eating love hearts
- Gatorade or lemonade in ice cube trays – saved my life
- Saltine crackers and ginger ale
- Ask people to cook for you and any older kids – do not feel at all guilty about it
What I’ve loved about this list of tips and tricks is the variety of ways that women have kept themselves well.
Pregnancy Sickness – Hyperemisis
There is a very big difference though between “normal” pregnancy sickness and nausea and hyperemisis…
“If you have severe sickness don’t suffer unnecessarily. See your gp as soon as possible, get medication and the pss (pregnancy sickness support) charity provides excellent advice and support.”
I’d very much agree with that. If you are experiencing severe vomiting, nausea and unable to leave your home or look after yourself – then get in touch with the Pregnancy Sickness Support. They provide fantastic resources through a highly reputable support network.
Women with hyperemisis are at higher risk of experiencing mental health illnesses. Ensure that you have the extra support you need. Focus on a postnatal plan with a rota of people to come to look after you post birth and really help you to regain your strength physically, nutritionally and emotionally. Do not underestimate the impact this can have on you.
Dr Brewer’s diet
I always recommend Dr Brewer’s pregnancy diet. It’s very different to conventional diets we are told about. It’s very protein based and we know that this is really where women need to focus their food intake. Worth taking a look. It covers so many of the common issues related to pregnancy.
More women are being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I listened to this brilliant podcast recently and wanted to share as I found it helpful to understand ways you can prevent and reduce the symptoms of gestational diabetes. The podcast also reminds us, that like MANY issues related to pregnancy, gestational diabetes is on a spectrum. There’s a difference between women who are managing it beautifully through diets and those who need insulin to help manage it. Often all women are treated the same yet so different. Women need to be treated INDIVIDUALLY not a category.
If your pregnant, you might find our Pregnancy Roadmap (included in the Resources Bundle) a really helpful tool to help you plan out what you need to do at each stage of your pregnancy.
I always feel it’s cruel that in time where we need so much support from our family, friends, employers, community – it’s in the time where society makes it taboo for us to tell people. Get the confidence to tell a few people and get the support that you need.
Much love, Tricia xxx