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 :)