First of all, whoever decided to name this phenomenon “morning sickness” should be shot. It sets moms up for a rude awakening when the sickness that started in the morning continues into the afternoon, evening, and night time. I mean, if it’s called “morning sickness”, shouldn’t I be feeling better by lunch time? Not necessarily.
After having three children with pretty bad morning sickness in all three of those pregnancies, I’ve tried just about every remedy out there. The bad news? There’s not a cure-all. The good news? There’s lots of different things to try. Sometimes one thing will work and then the next time something else works better. So, just because you’ve tried one remedy and it didn’t work, don’t necessarily rule it out completely. There were a few things that worked more successfully than others for me, so I thought I’d at least add a blog about it to hopefully help someone else out there suffering from this nasty cocktail of hormones.
- Sleep. About the only thing that worked with a 95% rate of effectiveness for me was going to sleep. When I was asleep, I was rarely awakened by the waves of nauseau unless it was REALLY bad. Of course, when you are at work, or trying to watch other little ones at home, this remedy is not always available. Too bad, since I think that if I could have hibernated for the first trimester of each of my pregnancies, I probably would have felt MUCH better!
- Candy. You know how almost every restaurant has a basket of peppermints by the door as you leave? Well, they actually do help soothe a sick tummy. I bought a big bag of them and carried a bunch in my purse all the time. Something about sucking on that candy always seemed to help, even if it only eased the pain instead of obliterating it completely. Of course, the candies that you want should have real peppermint oils listed in the ingredients to get the best reaction.
I’ve recently run into ‘Preggy Pops” – lollipops meant to help with morning sickness, but I’ve heard conflicting reports on those. Some people love them and some people don’t. Also, my mom just found a candy/lozenge made from ginger that’s been helpful for nausea for her. Makes sense since ginger is supposed to be an herb that helps with that – whether it’s nausea from morning sickness or from a stomach bug.
- Eating Something. Most advice out there about combatting morning sickness is to eat. While I was a VERY bad about actually following this advice, it’s still some of the best out there. Somewhere I read that eating every couple of hours really helps – something about not letting your stomach empty completely allows for the excess stomach acids to work on something instead of your actual stomach.
The best foods to eat? First of all, whatever your body is craving. Usually whatever sounds good to you is because it’s something that your body is lacking or needing. So, even if it sounds weird, go for it. (Of course, I don’t recommend eating dirt or any other non-food items…) Some books say to eat carbs – these seemed to work best for me. Others suggest some protein – this also worked, but was harder for me to convince myself to do. I also found that eating a graham cracker first thing in the morning before getting out of bed, seemed to alleviate some the rush of hormonal yuckies. I know some people swear by saltines, but I found those too hard to eat. Graham crackers will actually dissolve in your mouth without much effort – that was always a plus for me.
One last piece of advice about eating. I found that if a particular food that I wanted was not already fixed or cooked, by the time it was done I no longer wanted it, or was too nauseas to eat it. So, either get your significant other to fix things for you, or fix things ahead of time for yourself. For instance, I did well with jello, macaroni-n-cheese, and protein shakes. But, if I had to wait long enough for the water to boil for the first two, I’d find myself in the bathroom for sure. So, I tried to make some of both ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator for when I wanted it.
- Teas. I tried every herbal tea out there for nausea. Peppermint tea. Ginger tea. Sick tummy cocktail tea. Pregnancy tea. Granted, if I liked hot tea a little more, this remedy may have been further up my list… Although each of these teas worked to a greater or lesser degree, the best advice I have here is to drink it slightly warm. Not too hot, and definitely not cold. Something about ice-cold drinks does NOT help a bubbly tummy.
- Sea Bands.These little elastic “bracelets” are meant to be worn on the wrists so that the plastic piece aligns with the acupressure point associated with alleviating nausea. They are most often used for sea-sickness (thus the name), but also work for morning sickness. These worked okay, but eventually got on my nerves and most times I decided they weren’t all that great for me.
- Vitamins. I only tried B-complex vitamins a couple of times. While they probably would have worked well, I have a thing about pills, and it didn’t help at all that I threw up after taking it the first time. I also have heard that it helps to take your pre-natal pills at a different time of day, instead of in the morning (like before going to bed, or with a meal). I always tried to take mine with lunch since that seemed to be my best time of day.
- Meds. With my last pregnancy, I finally got to point where I had been throwing up for 3 days straight and couldn’t handle it anymore. My midwife prescribed Zofran, but after realizing how INCREDIBLY expensive those pills are ($450 for a bottle of 20 pills), she switched me to Phenergan. While this actually worked pretty well, it’s side effect is drowsiness. So, while I was feeling slightly better, I was so sleepy I could hardly keep my eyes open. After taking it for about a week, I weaned myself off of it so that I could be a better mommy to my 2 toddlers!
Overall, the best advice I have is just to try everything at least twice. That way you give yourself a chance to find out if something might work the second time that didn’t work on the first.
Last tid bits… If you’re experiencing morning sickness at work, keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in your purse to use after visiting the porcelain throne. Mint-flavored gum can also help with that. And, when you are brushing your teeth, if you’ll watch yourself in the mirror, you have less chance of actually gagging yourself and making yourself throw up. It actually works! Try it!
So, what have your experiences been? What’s worked for you? Add to the comments field below and let us know your thoughts!
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