When I shared my morning sickness woes with you last week, I explained that it does not go away for me until I deliver my baby. Since most women only have morning sickness in the first trimester, that means in one pregnancy, my morning sickness lasts as long as three pregnancies for someone else.
Suffice it to say that with all this vomiting going on, I have learned quite a bit about coping with morning sickness.
I don't want to tell you about the typical morning sickness cures. You can find that on 50 other blogs or internet articles, as well as every pregnancy book out there.
But do try those remedies, and try them every single pregnancy. It's worth it to bring some relief.
Instead, I'd rather share with you how to cope with morning sickness. For some of us, it's here and it's miserable, regardless of what we do. If your morning sickness borders on hyperemesis, as mine does, or if you're just experiencing the "normal" levels of nausea and vomiting, you may still find these suggestions helpful for getting through that rough first trimester.
Before I tell you how we deal, I'd like to share a few lesser-known remedies for morning sickness:
- B6: This vitamin is closely linked to nausea in pregnant women, so taking a B supplement throughout the day can help immensely. I'll let you talk to your doctor or do your own googling to learn the appropriate amount. When you pair B6 with Unisom tablets, you end up with a great morning sickness medication recommended by most doctors. This greatly relieves the first trimester nausea, although it does not keep me from vomiting. But please, talk to your doctor before you take any medication recommended by someone on the internet. =)
- Avoid refined sugars: Since sugar depletes your B vitamins, consuming sugar can make you feel extremely nauseous almost immediately afterwards. I didn't have this experience with my first pregnancy, but I have really noticed it these last two times, so I'm cautious of my sugar consumption. Natural sugars found in fruits are fine. It's really been difficult this pregnancy, since I've been so sick. In my first pregnancy, I was able to replace electrolytes by drinking Powerade or Gatorade, but these sweet drinks now only make me feel even more sick.
- Loose clothing: Snug clothes will often make you feel ill, so switch to maternity clothes or wear larger clothing as soon as you experience those first waves of morning sickness in that first trimester.
- Darkness, stillness, and quiet are your friends: When you're really feeling ill or getting sick frequently, lay down in a dark, quiet room. Good luck doing this with a 3 year old and a 16 month old in the house, but it's worth a try! =) I have to do this often, especially in the evenings, and my husband keeps the kids out of our room so that I can keep dinner down.
Coping With Extreme Morning Sickness
- Accept help: If someone offers help with the kids or a meal, just say please and thank you! We have no family in this town. Our closest family is 3 hours away and our parents are 5 hours away at the closest. But we have an amazing church body and friends who step in and take care of us from time to time. I don't go to church so that I can use and abuse people. But I do love being a blessing and helping out those in our church family, and our church family does the same for us. I think various friends have brought dinner over about 5 or 6 times during this pregnancy alone. My husband is repeatedly telling me to let them serve you, Gabby. That's what the body of Christ is for. Early on in this pregnancy, a friend dropped off a meal and her teenage daughter one morning. The teenager babysat my kids for free until lunch so that I could go back to bed. What a blessing!
- Budget your energy: When you're pregnant, think of your energy as money. You only have a certain amount that will get you through the week. If I expend too much energy today, I'll probably be too tired to to do what needs to be done tomorrow. And if I really overdo it? I'll puke all day. No kidding. I'm very mindful of what I spend my energy on. Grocery shopping means little to no house cleaning can be done today. Same goes for an activity such as MOPS or a playdate. I often clean house or run errands in the mornings and then I nap or rest in the afternoons. I save activities like folding clothes for the afternoons as well. Know your limits and plan accordingly. The unknown variable of pregnancy, however, is morning sickness. Should it hit tonight, tomorrow's plans may be cancelled anyway, depending on my level of fatigue afterwards. I deliberately leave lots of "white space" in our schedule.
- Sanity Savers: In my first trimester, I set up a pack n play in the living room for our 16 month old, who was only 10 months old at the time. He can play safely in the pack n play while I work on dinner or rest, depending on the day. I have another larger play area set up in my bedroom so that he can play safely with little supervision if I have to spend the day in bed. Check it out:
This thing is huge and perfect for my toddler. A friend gave it to me early on in my pregnancy, saying "You need this!" Thanks, Melissa H.!
The alphabet floor mat was given to me by another friend when she moved a year ago. Thanks, Jo! It provides a great place for Andrew to play safely. Along with the mat, he has lots of toys and board books in the play area to keep him busy.
He thinks it's pretty fun! But he didn't always enjoy it. It definitely took some getting used to, and he still complains sometimes when I put him in it, but now he gets over it quickly.
On a good day, Andrew might hang out in here for a little while as I clean house, or I'll let him toddle around and "clean" with me, and we won't even need the play area. On a rough day, he might play in here while big sister watches a video and mommy naps or rests. In the beginning, when he didn't like the play area, I used it simply as a safe place to drop him off while I threw up in the bathroom.
I've got several more tips for you on coping with morning sickness, but I'll share them with you next week. I hope you found these helpful! Regardless of your level of morning sickness, what do you do to help cope with pregnancy fatigue and morning sickness?
And for those of you who have been asking about me, yes, my morning sickness streak ended on Saturday, which would've marked 12 days without getting sick. I knew it was just a matter of time. I've gotten sick a few times since then, but it's OK. We cope, and since it hasn't been more than once in a day, I've been able to recover easier. Thanks for being so sweet and concerned. I do appreciate your concerns and your prayers. The good news is that we'll have this baby 7 weeks from today, and the morning sickness will officially be cured on delivery day.