I waltzed into my first pregnancy completely ignoring my mother’s advice: “Make sure you’re ready for morning sickness, Monet. It nearly knocked me over.” Because I rarely get sick and stay very active, I naively assumed that I wouldn’t be bothered by nausea or exhaustion. I was VERY VERY wrong. Around seven weeks into my pregnancy, I could hardly get out of bed, let alone keep down a meal. But I was in the middle of graduate school and I’d already committed to bake eight wedding cakes over the next three months so I did everything I could to keep my morning sickness at bay. Read about my five most successful tricks ways to combat morning sickness after the jump.
1. Eat constantly. It seems counter-intuitive, but you’ll actually feel a lot better if you can keep food on your stomach. Keep a box of crackers by your bed and eat a few before you get up. Keep food in your car. Keep food in your purse. Keep food in your desk at work. I never went more than two hours without eating something, and it made a huge difference on keeping the nausea at bay.
2. Find what works. Before getting pregnant, I ate a lot of vegetables. Sprouted grains, organic meats, local milk and yogurt. Morning sickness, however, did a number on my body and my taste buds. Suddenly, I could no longer stomach the quinoa chicken bowl I had liked to make for lunch. I could barely walk through the grocery store without getting sick, let alone cook a healthy meal. Vegetables became completely unappetizing, as did most of the food I was used to eating. And so I changed my diet. For an unknown reason, I craved frozen Chicken Parmesan….and so that’s what I ate. Almost everyday for four weeks. I would muster the strength to get out of bed, turn on my oven, and stick that frozen meal inside. Then, I would fork spaghetti and cheese and breaded chicken into my mouth while I watched reruns of Friends on my computer. Yes, a little pathetic, but it was the only thing my body could tolerate.
Remember, morning sickness only lasts for a short season. As much as we’d love to eat super healthy foods during pregnancy, there might be a few weeks where you can’t tolerate millet and cauliflower and wild salmon. So go with it. Get in your calories whatever way you can. It will pass…and before you know it, you can go back to eating roasted broccoli.
3. Citrus. I put lemon in my water. I sucked on limes while decorating wedding cakes. I cut a grapefruit and held it up to my nose when the nausea came on strong. The acid in these citrus fruits seriously helped cut my queasiness. Apple Cider Vinegar also worked.
4. Sleep. During my first trimester, I went to bed at 8:00. I felt totally unproductive, but it’s what my body needed and adequate sleep made a huge difference in my nausea. If you can, sleep as much as possible. Give yourself the permission to relax. Remember, you’re creating a human being, which is a pretty important job!
5. Move. Get outside. I tried to take a short walk every day of my first trimester. I didn’t feel like it would help, but it always did. The sunshine, the breeze, the distraction of cars and children and people going about their days…Don’t feel like you need to walk a mile, sometimes just a short stroll around your block will suffice. I’m sure I looked terrible, but these daily walks did my body and my soul good.
And most importantly remember what you get at the end of this: