Monday, July 11, 2011

How To Physically Survive Morning Sickness


This is a sequel to my post How To Spiritually Survive Morning Sickness.


Morning Sickness can physically require so much out a woman. I have a friend who loses 20 pounds because she simply can't eat when she is going through morning sickness. I lost 10 pounds this time, and at 15 weeks I still have not regained all of it back. After having gone through morning sickness five times now, here are some tips I have learned from my midwives and friends.

*Several months before pregnancy take several capsules of milk thistle daily. This is suggested by Shonda Parker, and is supposed to help strengthen your liver in preparation. Shonda had terrible morning sickness with most of her pregnancies, but the pregnancy she took milk thistle ahead of greatly improved how she felt. I never have consistently done this before getting pregnant so I can't vouch for it. A friend says it helps her through her difficult pregnancies.

*Eat all the time! This is the most important tip. We have discovered that a lot of my morning sickness comes from my low blood sugar problems, and when I get sick and fatigued, and don't eat it makes everything 100 times worse. Once you get in the cycle of not eating though, it is very difficult to get out of it.

*Popsicles, saltine crackers, mints, and Sprite are all things that help me when my tummy is very upset. Those are all things that I rarely throw up. Nothing else makes it on the list of what I can actually keep down.

*Indulge in what you are craving. When nothing at all sounds good but that taco from the fast food place you like, just go get it. I like to eat healthy and can't stand most cheap fast food places. But when I'm going through morning sickness I have to go and get food out a lot. Thankfully this time my craving ended up at Subway a lot for a fresh sub, which is a lot better craving than it could be. Be careful of your cravings though and think through throwing it up (yuck I know). I craved Long John Silvers really bad one day, and went and got some fish. Throwing it up was the worst thing EVER. It had such a bad chemical taste to it. (Sorry!).

* Try getting out of your house. As strange as it sounds, when I'm going through terrible morning sickness I can still normally eat a little bit more if I'm at our common meal at church on Sunday, or at my sister's house, etc. Sometimes it's not much more, but anything helps. My last pregnancy this helped me a great deal, just to get out. It also lifts your spirits. This pregnancy it didn't help as much, I was just so sick.

* Try taking B6 and Unisom at night. For some woman this helps a great deal, and it is an over the counter medicine you can try. I took half a pill of Unisom with a B6 capsule. For the first few days it worked wonderfully. Then it seemed to lose it's ability to help and I went back to being sick. I also have read that this natural supplement can help morning sickness, though I doubt it would help the severe kind. The lady at the health food store I shop at told me they sell a lot of it.

* Be open to doing what it takes to get better. I never thought I would ever go on medicine for morning sickness. But this pregnancy I had to resort to going on Zofran. After losing 10 pounds and realizing I was just going to keep losing weight, and laying in bed for a month because of severe fatigue I just couldn't go on. I texted my midwife and she called me in a prescription that night. Within a weeks time I was feeling quite a bit better. I still threw up some, but not nearly as bad as I had been and it got to where I just couldn't eat dinner. That's better than not eating at all! For some woman I've read it totally takes away your nausea, others it doesn't seem to help at all. The downside of the medicine is it is very expensive. We paid $125 for 30 pills, which was supposed to only be for 10 days. I was able to stretch out the pills and not take three a day so one bottle got me over the worst of my morning sickness. I also had someone tell me that Costco sells it much cheaper through their pharmacy. Try to get a generic brand if possible. We paid that much for our generic - I can't imagine what the name brand medicine costs.

* Drink fluid of some sort. When I'm going through the worst of morning sickness, I cannot drink water. It just tastes terrible and I throw it up. Yet I crave it so badly and I know I need it. If you can get down sips of juice or natural pop from a health food store that would be wonderful. After my medicine started kicking in I really tried to get more water down, but up until about a week ago water was still difficult. I started drinking Mama's Red Raspberry Brew tea from The Bulk Herb Store and it tasted wonderful to me! I make a big pitcher full, add honey while it is still hot so it will dissolve, and chill it in the fridge. My midwife said that the tea could totally replace my water while I was still struggling getting it down if it had to. I have a water container that I carry around with me to get my liquids down during the day. My goal is to drink one container a day of the tea and one container of water. I love to put lemon in my water - it helps me get it down better!

* Ask for help! You can't do it all alone while feeling so sick. Don't feel bad about admitting that. It does not mean you a failure. It means you are incredibly busy lying there growing a baby. If you have to hire someone to help, do it if you have the funds available. If you have family or friends who can come over, let them help! My husband did all he could in the evenings and weekends, but during the day when he was at work I had to have help.

* Try and be patient with yourself. At 15 weeks I get frustrated that I still am struggling with getting sick. It's not nearly as bad, but it seems every time I go to church I end up getting sick. When people ask how I'm doing I'm getting weary of telling the truth - I don't feel good! I still look at food sometimes and have the urge to run to the bathroom. I keep telling myself this will pass at some point, even if I have to go all 40 weeks struggling with this.

And please remember that every woman is so incredibly different. What triggers my morning sickness may not trigger yours. Likewise, what helps me through may not help you. I've also learned that while I love using herbs and believe strongly in the help they can bring, sometimes medicine is in order. Please don't judge a woman if she has to go on medicine. I'm sure nobody really wants to go on medicine while pregnant, but hard choices must be made and in my case I don't regret going on the medicine one bit. Honestly my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. My children went through a lot while I was so sick, and emotionally it was terribly difficult on our whole family. I'm still trying to play catch up on my house from when I was down. Until you have gone through a severe form of morning sickness I just don't think most woman can understand what it is really like. I *thought* I knew all about morning sickness until this pregnancy. God knows I need to be humbled :)





Labels: ,

23 Comments:

At July 11, 2011 at 6:54 AM , Blogger Ashley and Brian said...

I've never even heard of a medicine for morning sickness! I'm glad it worked for you! :) And the milk thistle, I'm going to try that. Thanks!

 
At July 11, 2011 at 8:12 AM , Blogger Mrs Mary Joy Pershing said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Caroline. This is something that not a lot of women talk about. And I believe with all of my heart that you are touching a lot of lives and helping a lot of women through this. I am going to bookmark this article in case I need it for reference some day. Thanks again! And know that I am praying for you as you go through this. I know its not easy, but you are getting through it one day at a time. God bless you sister!

Blessings,

Mrs Mary Joy Pershing

 
At July 11, 2011 at 9:08 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

I had to use medicine with my last pregnancy. Zofran gave me a migraine, but Reglan worked great. While I really don't like taking medication while pregnant, sometimes its just what you have to do.
I'm 5 weeks now and just starting with morning sickness, and this time I'll call my OB for REglan much sooner if I start losing too much weight.
Thanks for these wonderful tips.

 
At July 11, 2011 at 11:27 AM , Anonymous Tiana said...

I had to use Zofran for a short time during my most recent pregnancy. On top of the severe morning (all day) sickness, I had the stomach flu. I ended up in the ER for dehydration. I'm not a big fan of medications, either, but the Zofran really helped when I needed it.

I'll just make one suggestion, as it made a night and day difference. I really wish I had learned it before my fourth pregnancy! Try eliminating most or all of the sugar in your diet, including fruit juice and dairy (other than cheese). I'd say it was hard to do, but it was pretty *easy* to do when I had been throwing up all day for 7 and a half months straight. The effect was almost instantaneous, and the final weeks of my pregnancy were so much better! I allowed myself fresh fruit (dried in moderation) and small amounts of sugar and dairy in baked goods such as bread, muffins, and pancakes. No syrup on those pancakes, though...I used peanut butter instead. Focus on small, high protein meals instead of sugar. HTH!

 
At July 11, 2011 at 11:38 AM , Blogger Our Journey said...

Thank you for this post, My wife Samantha is 8 weeks pregnant and has just started morning sickness.

As her husband, I want to do all I can to help her, but I was not quite sure what to do.

So far she has not needed any thing other than eating and rest. But I can tell its getting a little worse.

So again thank you for your post it will be a great help to me, Samantha and our baby!

God Bless
Adam and Samantha

 
At July 11, 2011 at 2:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be praying for you Mrs. Allen!
Psalms 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.(I know you already know this, but sometimes it helps to be reminded :)
Don't worry about your children...they are learning to be servants to their Mommy! (Borrowed advice from a godly lady who told me that just recently. My Mom had surgery a while ago and she can't do any work, so all four of us girls are chipping in and working hard! :)
God bless you and your family!
~Heather Joy

 
At July 11, 2011 at 3:27 PM , Blogger Rebekah said...

Thank you for this honest, and very understanding post. I have tried all of the above except the red raspberry tea thing, to no avail. Reglan made my heart beat so rapidly and hard I couldn't catch my breath and so that was a no go. The hardest part emotionally is when people very close to me imply that I am not taking care of my children during this time when I have them do what they can to help around the house. The second hardest is hearing a friend, 20 minutes after giving birth, ask if she can take a shower yet, and see her playing a rigorous tournament of volley ball 2 weeks later, and yet saying she only wants 2 children. Ugh. It will all be worth it in a few months, but the yucky stage is a low spot to be sure.

 
At July 11, 2011 at 5:22 PM , Anonymous Anne S. said...

Caroline, I have taken the Unisom and B6 combination with my last two pregnancies and it helped - but I didn't notice results until taking consistently for 1 or 2 weeks so you might try it again and stay on and see what happens.

I like the Unisom/B6 because it is a Class A drug, and so one of the "safest" options out there. Zofran is Class B, but it also has a good track record; it's just incredibly expensive. I used it for just a month or two with one of my more severe bouts of morning sickness.

Other than that, I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of keeping blood sugar levels steady through diet (i.e. mainly small snacks that contain proteins plus complex carbs). This can help lessen nausea throughout the day. I also keep ICE COLD Caffeine Free Coke in my fridge and when I feel the sick/hungry feeling coming on, I grab one and take small sips until I feel a little better. Then I'm able to eat something without feeling so nauseous. So I guess I use the cola as a sort of "step stool" to eating. When I'm very ill it's hard to just start chewing food. A cold sweet drink helps me to take the next step.

As always, I am praying for you!

How many weeks along are you now? Any lights at the end of the morning sickness tunnel yet?

 
At July 11, 2011 at 6:45 PM , Blogger Caroline said...

Anne,

I did the Unisom/B6 for over a week, and it instantly helped the first three days, I stopped throwing up and was able to eat a little more. I tried it for about two weeks, but it just lost its effect, and I went back to being just as sick. :( I liked that it was a class A also, and wish it would have helped more.

I'm 15 weeks now!! I'm doing *much* better than before, I think I'm done throwing up now. Last time was last week and it was strange that I did that. But some meals I still look at food with dread, and have to force myself to eat because I'm still nauseated. I keep hoping my second trimester energy is going to kick in sometime! ;) But I'm very grateful that I am feeling better, and I'm enjoying watching my tummy grow! :)

 
At July 11, 2011 at 6:55 PM , Blogger Jill's Home Remedies said...

I was always on the couch VERY SICK for 2 months with all 4 of my pregnancies. There's pregnancy sickness, but there is also 24/7, can't think, stand up, or do a thing pregnancy sickness! My mom has been able to help me a lot during these times. It's very tough physically, emotionally and spiritually! Congrats on your new little blessing! :)

 
At July 11, 2011 at 7:01 PM , OpenID annejisca said...

Yes, until one goes through bad morning sickness, we can't judge going on medication. I had to go on some at 3mths along with my first as I had already lost 10lbs and it wasn't getting any better. I couldn't get off of them the entire pregnancy, but I was able to get down to just 1/2 pill day. With my 2nd, I did not want to take medication, but after a couple days curled up the floor with a toddler around, I started them!! I also started taking some milk thistle and it must have helped (or just different pregnancy) as I was able to get off the meds at 13wks, as I just had milk m/s. I am very thankful for medication for instances where we could not function otherwise.

 
At July 12, 2011 at 7:57 AM , Anonymous Far Above Rubies said...

Caroline, so glad you're feeling better. This are great tips. I didn't realize there was medication for morning sickness.

I, however, took Vitamin B shots which took affect immediately. It only took two visits to the doctor to help my morning sickness and fatigue.

Thanks for linking up.

 
At July 12, 2011 at 9:08 AM , Blogger Caroline said...

I really want to try B Shots next time! I've heard it can help.

 
At July 12, 2011 at 9:12 PM , Anonymous Amy @ Raising Arrows said...

WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL post! Morning sickness is so difficult to work through. The suggestions you gave here are ones I would have given myself. Excellent advice. Bookmarking ;)

 
At July 13, 2011 at 5:30 AM , Blogger DannielleSB said...

Yep I was on Zofran and an IV for my first preg. I lost 15 lbs in 7 days. Thank God we have insurance! We didn't pay more than $5.

 
At July 13, 2011 at 5:34 PM , Blogger abba12 said...

Thanks for the milk thistle tip. I am preparing for another HG-for-40-weeks pregnancy, and praying that with preperation, organization and medication I can get it to a tolerable level. I'm thankful that, while it was present during the whole pregnancy, if I took my pills it was very livable after about 24 weeks.

As a side note for any women reading this, there is alternatives to Reglan (which made me delusional and suicidal) and Zofran (which was prohibitivly expensive). Do some extra research if you're stuck on zofran, doctors like to recomend it but it isn't the only way. I was on an over the counter medication, since I'm in another country I can't give names or prices as they won't match up. But it was a travel sickness medication and it did wonders for me at about half the price of zofran.

 
At July 14, 2011 at 2:27 PM , Anonymous April said...

Boy, it has been a long time for me since I was going through morning sickness, but yikes, it was yucky!! I too became underweight, and had to work at gaining it back with my first child. I am glad you said the comment about fast food, we try so hard to be healthy during preganacy, but sometimes it is some comfort food that will help a pregnant woman be able to eat. For my morning sickness one of the things that would settle my tummy, in addition to soda crackers and sprite was anything citrus - mandrin oranges, and gummy bears topping the list. Fresh air always helped too. My prayers are with all of you women out there dealing with morning sickness. Thanks for this great article!!

 
At July 26, 2011 at 11:45 AM , Anonymous Thermometers said...

Thank you for providing tips regarding to morning sickness. Morning sickness seems to be a common issue amongst people. Great tips, thanks for sharing.

 
At July 29, 2011 at 8:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post! Lots of good tips... So, true to point out that what works for one may not work for another. I would recommend to anyone to think about your own situation before jumping whole heartedly into any tip... Once someone told me that lemonade was a lifesaver for them (fresh, from lemons and sugar.) I went to a local coffee shop, bought the largest size and drank it down. An hour later, I threw it up and it was the most horrendous experience of my life! (This also speaks to your very wise tip- whatever goes down, think about it coming back up!) Oh,someone else suggested apples...Apples, at least with the skin, are like razor blades coming up- I was afraid that my throat was going to swell shut!) Sorry to be so descriptive... Also one new tip I just received from my midwife. When I threw up at night, there was usually nothing left in my stomach and it was very acidic. She suggested tums. If I felt the sickness coming on, I would take a tums and it really helped to cut down on the acid!

 
At August 21, 2011 at 6:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget that there's also the 'ol nothing-works-so-just-grin-and-bear-it. I know this because I threw up the morning that I gave birth. "Temporary morning sickness" didn't go away until after the baby was born!

 
At August 22, 2011 at 1:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish that I had found zofran earlier in my child bearing. It was a TREMENDOUS help with my 7th! My experience is that I didn't need as much as I could have taken and was able to take only a half tablet daily once it was in my system and that make a huge difference. So if you need to give meds a try please consider at least trying it because maybe a little will go a long way for you too!

 
At December 1, 2011 at 2:16 PM , Blogger Ashley said...

This is my first pregnancy and I was worried I was the only one who got it this bad and also had trouble keeping water down. I am so glad I am not alone ;)

I ended up having to go the the er because I was so dehydrated and they put me on generic Zofran which helps, Im very careful with how much I take because they only gave me a few pills. I am still sick but I can eat and drink now ;)

I started this pregnancy at 105 lbs (I am very small framed and I was lifting weights) and I had got down to 95lbs.

Im just eating anything i can keep down and I am purposely trying to stick to high calorie foods. Im going to go healthy again once I feel even better or I get further along in the pregnancy.

 
At January 15, 2012 at 11:27 PM , Blogger One Ordinary Woman said...

If you are seeing a naturopath you can also go in and get a B6 shot (for more permanent relief) or simply order methyl-B12 shots (you'll need to give them to yourself, and the effects only last a few days, but it may be cheaper and does not need a prescription).

Detoxing yourself before conception will make things much easier on you. (that is why milk thistle ahead of time helps)

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home