I had a LOVELY first pregnancy with Hanley. My only complaint was that throughout about week 8 – 15 I suffered from “morning” sickness. I have morning in quotes because it was more like all-day sickness. It was awful. I remember just sitting on the couch crying because of how crappy I felt. I was scared to leave the house in fear that I’d get sick but meanwhile I was still working and teaching classes. It was a very uncomfortable time. Luckily, it passed. But this time around for my second pregnancy…Mama ain’t got time for any of that! As soon as I found out I was pregnant I researched even deeper into ways to prevent/relieve morning sickness. This time around it seemed to last between week 7 – 12 and was a bit more mild than the first time around. Below are some of the tips and tricks that worked for me. I sure do hope they help you too.
- Vitamin B rich foods. Particularly taking a vitamin B6 supplement. 50g twice a day (one in morning, one at night). My first go around I got those Preggie Pop Drops, which are supposed to help ease morning sickness. Marketing wins again! I thought that they would actually help. They are just CANDY – each drop contains 1 teaspoon of sugar. Gross. The funny thing is that during this time we need all of the B vitamins that we can get…and sugar depletes us of B vitamins. So it’s no wonder that I never felt any relief from these things while taking them. That’s another tip right there…sugary foods (that includes breads, cookies, starchy foods, etc.) should be minimized during this time, they won’t help anything at all. I know, this can be particularly challenging so if it’s all you can get down, go for it (just opt for as healthy as can be). This time around I skipped those candies and opted for some ginger instead.
- Ginger…everything. Every morning I wake up and fill up my Swell bottle (since it keeps my water ice cold, and only when I’m pregnant is when I desire ice cold water, so weird!) and put about 3-4 large slices of fresh ginger into that water. It infuses the water with such a fresh taste and with it’s ginger-goodness! If you have some more time, it’s even better to make your own switchel! Here’s my recipe for really simple switchel, which is a DIY fermented drink that’s totally yummy. I like to add it to my water all day so that I’m staying hydrated while knowing that the ginger, apple cider vinegar and honey are working towards healing my belly. I keep ginger Tummy Drops on hand for those moments where my blood sugar drops and I don’t have crackers or a bar on me to quell my hunger. Other days I’ll brew ginger tea, cook with ginger or even add it to my smoothies.
- Keeping a snack on you. Whether it was a bar, a handful of cashews, a piece of fruit or a small little baggie of gluten free crackers, having something to nosh on for those first few moments of feeling sick always seemed to help it just a bit. And then when you finally get to where you’re going, making sure to eat a meal or at least a bigger snack. Smoothies are fantastic because you can load them up with nourishing foods to help you get them down. For example, veggies (spinach, Romaine lettuce, chard, parsley and/or spirulina), healthy fats (MCT oil, Brazil nuts, nut butters), bone broth ice cubes, protein powder of your choice, and water, iced herbal tea (red raspberry leaf tea is excellent for uterine health during pregnancy) or coconut water for hydration. Many mornings I’ll make a smoothie and just keep it in the fridge to grab for when I need a quick “meal” or when I am heading out and know I’ll need something nutritious on the go.
- Eat nutrient dense foods. I know this may be hard when you’re not feeling well and the thought or smell of any food turns your stomach. But it’s so important to eat well, or at least the best that you can while you’re pregnant. This means avoiding foods from packages (that contain no life or nutrients!), sugar, eating out a lot, and fried foods. Instead, load up on veggies (cooking them may be easier for your belly to digest right now), fresh fruits, fish, organic or grass-fed meats (especially organ meats), organic (plain) kefir, grass-fed butter, organic eggs, and plenty of water and/or herbal tea. I also find that when I focus on consuming more protein than carbs and starches, I feel much better. Although what I really want is bready, starchy foods, my body truly will do better with more protein. Sigh.
- Load up on magnesium. Magnesium should be your BFF during/after pregnancy and pretty much for the rest of your life. It’s such an important mineral that many of us are deficient in because of how different our food is these days. Our soil is depleted of it, so it’s important that we supplement. I love Dr. Axe’s article on magnesium, he explains it very well and goes into details about all of the different types and how much you should take depending on your gender/age. I personally enjoy taking Calm powder each night before bed. It’s become my nighttime ritual, where I just mix some into a mug of hot water and sip in bed as I wind down from the day. It helps relax me, aids with sleep and helps me go to the bathroom the next morning! They come in all different flavors, so you decide which you think you’d enjoy. I also swear by magnesium oil, a topical spray that I rub on my belly after I get out of the shower. Not only is this just a healthy and soothing practice to do (rubbing your baby bump!), but magnesium actually increases your skins elasticity which means that it will help to prevent with stretch marks!
- Get your choline. Starting your day with some eggs are a great way to ensure choline, since they’re rich in them (2 eggs is about 250mg). Eggs are nature’s perfect food, so load up on them. They’re a wonderful source of healthy fat and are amazing for your good health along with your baby’s. But pregnant woman need about 450 milligrams of choline per day, so I started adding 2 tablespoons sunflower lecithin (powder) to my daily smoothie, which contains about 500 mg choline! Choline deficiency is real, and can be a major factor to why “morning” sickness happens. You don’t want to skip out on this important macronutrient!
- Inhaling peppermint. I keep a little wand of peppermint essential oil in my purse and next to my bedside for those moments where I feel a little queasy. I rub a bit on my palms and then make a tent over my face/nose (with eyes closed because the peppermint can burn your eyes!) and take some deep slow breaths. This helps because it’s a great way to pause and take a few breaths (which may help to ease your upset belly), but peppermint is used to relieve nausea. It’s a comfort to know that I have the wand with me at all times to sniff it when needed. You don’t need the wand, you could always just put 1-2 drops of peppermint oil onto your palm and breathe that in for relief.