Morning Sickness: The Belly of the Beast
I am writing to you from the trenches. Morning sickness has taken its hold again. For any of you out there who were fortunate enough to escape its grasp, you are the lucky ones. For all of the mommies out there just trying to make it through one day at a time, I’m with you.
Nothing smells good to eat. Everything turns your stomach. You feel as if you’re living your life underwater, like the world is slowly floating past you, and you are left clinging to a cluster of coral, slightly out of touch and sea sick with baby gut. The only thing that keeps you plugging along is the fact that deep down in the pit of your stomach, somewhere hidden below the urge to vomit and the need to lie perfectly still with no sudden movements, lies the knowledge that this is only temporary and your sweet baby is worth the uncomfortable side effects.
Morning sickness is caused when the hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) hormone increases in your body as you do the important work of creating a human being. Some of the telltale signs are feeling nauseated, vomiting, and having strong food aversions. Morning sickness is a bit of a misnomer because it can affect pregnant women throughout the entire day, however, it is most common in the morning. Morning sickness is usually most common in women who are in their first trimester of pregnancy, however, some women experience morning sickness throughout their entire pregnancy.
Soon, this will all be a memory. You may even forget about it all together. Until then, for those still in the trenches, here are a few tricks that I’ve tried to ease the discomfort:
Eating crunchy salty things:
Everyone knows that it’s important to have proper nutrition and a balanced diet throughout pregnancy. But when you can’t stomach anything and a grocery shopping trip through the produce department turns your stomach enough to send you running for the nearest public restroom, sometimes you just have to get something, anything in your stomach, at least while you’re still in the belly of the beast. If you can, try to stick to crackers and rice cakes rather than potato chips, but if potato chips are the only thing that works for you, do what you have to do. When the storm passes, you can go back to kale smoothies and steamed veggies over quinoa. Keep in mind that too much salt can be dehydrating, so if you are only able to keep salty foods down, do try to increase your fluid intake as much as possible.
Some grocery stores sell the pure fruit juice popsicles, or you could make your own flavors in your freezer with plastic molds. These are soothing because they’re cold, but they also have the benefit of helping to keep you hydrated.
Boil some small pieces of ginger, peeled and cut, and make your own tea. This can help to settle the stomach as well.
Eat small amounts of food frequently:
Try grazing regularly throughout the day rather than sticking to three meals. The waves of morning sickness can come crashing in heaviest on an empty stomach, but too much food can have a similar effect.
If you simply can’t handle the smell of chicken or the site of asparagus, avoid these foods until your food aversions pass. Food aversions can be stronger than any pregnancy craving. Definitely listen to your body on this one.
Warm water with lemon:
Boil some water in your tea kettle and squeeze one half to one whole lemon into your tea cup. This can be soothing, and it’s also good for cleansing your liver.
You may have tried this little trick at some point in your past after one too many night caps, but it can help for pregnancy related nausea as well.
Best of luck, ladies! I hope one of these tips helps to ease some of your upset tummies, and I will see you on drier shores.
Katie Herlihy makes her nest with her bright and beautiful daughter and beloved mate and confidant in Berkeley, California among stacks of books, piles of laundry, dirty dishes, plumes of rose-scented incense and a plethora of art and craft projects. She enjoys writing, making jewelry, taking road trips and reading murder mysteries.