I have come in contact with many women dealing with morning sickness in a variety of settings. Some were contemplating a second or third pregnancy and were hoping to avoid it. Some were in their second trimester and still having frequent trips to the ED for IVS or even hospital admissions. I remember one mom who was plagued throughout her first pregnancy. The baby weighed 5 pounds. I knew her when she started her second pregnancy. The only time she had problems was when she failed to follow the program. She gave birth to a healthy eight-pound baby. While every woman and situation is different, I believe that you can alleviate this problem and maybe prevent it. Eating well won’t hurt you, so it is certainly worth a shot.
Morning sickness is a nasty, vicious circle. You need to eat more, but if you have it, eating is the last thing that sounds good. So let’s start with prevention – I know it’s too late for most of you but for those who are in the planning or for future reference, try to prevent morning sickness or at least minimize it. Eat well every day, starting with a high protein breakfast. Eat protein at every meal and avoid simple sugars which can cause insulin spikes and consequent drops in blood sugar. As is the case with most conditions, what will cure it will prevent it and vice-versa. Take a good vitamin supplement before you are pregnant. Personally, I was only really plagued with morning sickness with one pregnancy. I was dieting when I got pregnant.
If you have morning sickness, the beginning is at bedtime. Never go to bed without a high protein snack. You might try cheese, a hard-boiled egg, or a glass of whole milk. Try keeping something (protein) at your bedside to eat when you get up to the bathroom. Have a high protein breakfast. Whatever sounds good. I wouldn’t recommend anyone eat saltine crackers. White flour, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and salt. Yum.
Eat something with protein every two hours. I would recommend a smoothie every morning with a good protein powder and some frozen berries. Putting it in milk will increase the protein even more. I don’t think it surprising that busy moms frequently experience their morning sickness late in the day. They eat that big meal with the family but neglect their diet the rest of the day.
Take a B 6 vitamin a couple of times a day. Take them away from your other vitamins. Increased B6 can compete with your other B vitamins for absorption.
Avoid drinking liquids other than milk ½ hour before to a ½ hour after meals. This will also help the heartburn of pregnancy later. The water buffers the lining of your stomach from the food, slowing down the digestive process.
These are the basic tried and true recommendations. Now if you still have serious morning sickness, the one thing that I have found that really works is acupuncture. From regular visits to the hospital ED to vomiting gone or greatly improved. These women were also doing everything else as well and had hyperemesis. It’s worth a try. Make sure you continue eating every two hours with protein at bedtime when you are trying acupuncture. Usually, three visits seem to do the trick.
Along with acupuncture, many moms have found using acupressure or the motion sickness wristbands helpful. The acupressure point is about two inches above the thumb on the inner aspect of the arm.
Of course, if your morning sickness is severe, your health care provider needs to be involved as well.