Friday, April 20, 2012

Dealing with Morning Sickness, Part 1

One of the hardest parts of pregnancy is dealing with morning sickness, or rather, all-day sickness! Although I didn't suffer with nausea and vomiting with my first 4 pregnancies, from the twins on, I have progressively felt worse and the duration has lasted longer with each one. And, of course, life keeps getting busier the more children you have. Life goes into survival mode and much of my mothering is done from the couch :).  Here are some things that I have found helpful in dealing with morning sickness:

  1. Get plenty of rest. Since naps during the day are not usually possible, getting to bed earlier is a must. This means saying "no" to evening activities for a few months.
  2. Eat small meals or snacks often since nausea is often due to low blood sugar. But make sure your calories count- don't fill up on junk... try crackers and cheese, a yogurt and frozen fruit smoothie, or a sliced apple and some nuts. Keep a few snacks in your purse or diaper bag for when you are on the go. I also find it helpful to have hard candies (like jolly ranchers or fruity lifesavers) in my purse when I am out. These help when you have that "feeling." I learned this trick from my friend, Gloria, and it really works. (Of course have plenty, because all your kids will want you to share!)
  3. Drink plenty of water.  I found sipping, instead of drinking down a whole glass at once, helped it stay down.  Try adding ice and some fresh lemon or lime juice- this also adds vitamin C.
  4. Fix easy meals. Although we don't usually eat cold cereal, I find a healthy boxed cereal with milk or rice milk in the morning is easiest for breakfast.  We buy cookies and pre-made items like meatballs, to cut back on time spent in the kitchen, which is often the last place I want to be when I am first pregnant! My kids usually prepare lunch- sandwiches or wraps on the panini or yogurt with fresh fruit.  And the older girls all help prepare dinner, sometimes making the entire thing if I am having an especially bad day.
  5. Take a good vitamin that includes B vitamins, which help with morning sickness. If you can't swallow pills in the beginning, take one or 2 packets of Emergen C daily. This is a packet of powder that you mix with water and drink (slightly fizzy). My favorite prenatal is Garden of Life Raw Prenatal Vitamin Code.  I also take Garden of Life Ocean's Mom, a prenatal DHA providing Omega 3.  These prenatal vitamins can also be opened and added to food, so they are super easy to digest and don't sit like a brick in your stomach like many other prenatals I have tried...
  6. Pare down your schedule! Stick to doing only what is necessary. That should go without saying, but we can so easily be wracked with guilt, feeling we need to be involved in or attend every function under the sun! Put your family first... now is not the time to entertain. It may be helpful to have others shop for you. Besides food shopping, I buy almost everything else online.
  7. Put off projects and heavy cleaning. Again, do only the basics. You know, the housework will still be there when you start to feel better :), and hopefully you will experience that wonderful burst of energy once you enter your second trimester!
  8. Try to get fresh air. If you feel up to walking, take a short walk. I have felt much better sitting on the front porch and being outside. We have spent many afternoons doing school on one of our porches- and the kids think it's great!
  9. Have a "no-iron" rule for dressing. In a house full of girls, it is easy for the ironing to pile up. Although my older ones can help, they also have added responsibilities when I am not feeling well, so we opt to wear clothes that don't require ironing for a few weeks. Our boys wear nicer jeans and polo shirts instead of khakis and button downs to church. Just another thing to make life a little easier.  
  10. Let your kids, no matter what their age, help more. You will be amazed at what they are capable of! Allow them to dust, vacuum, mop and wipe counters... they may not do it perfectly, but it will get done, and they will continue to improve with practice. They are learning to serve, and make sure you praise and reward them for their hard work.
  11. Last, but certainly not least, enjoy the journey! Remember that this is all part of bringing another life into the world. Enjoy the extra rest and "down time."  My kids actually enjoy me being less busy and spending more time with them. My little girls enjoy doing my hair and giving me foot rubs- these are some sweet times together...

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