We all know each woman, and therefore each pregnancy, is unique and different, but perhaps the most common “side effect” of pregnancy (especially in the early months) is nausea. I am most definitely feeling sicker this pregnancy compared to my last. I’m just starting my second trimester now, so I’m slowly feeling better, but it’s certainly been a rough few months for me!
Knock on wood, I have not thrown up at all this pregnancy, even though I’ve wanted to! I pride myself on a strong stomach. Whether or not that’s a good thing, I’m not sure. I really don’t like vomiting though, so I’m happy to report I haven’t.
From week seven of my pregnancy on, I’ve felt nauseous all day long- it actually gets worse as the day progresses. There are five things that have helped me get through each day that are listed below, and I hope they help you too. 🙂
1. Grazing all day. I found that I needed to snack throughout the day to keep nausea at bay. I was still eating three meals a day, but I needed to have small snacks in between or else I felt sick. Bland carbohydrates worked well, such as crackers and pretzels. However, I’d often be in the mood for something specific, so there were many occasions where I needed dry cereal, tortilla chips, or trail mix.
2. Eating protein. I read somewhere that while carbohydrates may help, eating more protein will actually rid your body of the nausea. I don’t know that I believe that, but I DO know that it’s recommended for a pregnant woman to increase their protein intake for their sake (and the baby’s sake). I didn’t have many food aversions throughout my first trimester, so I was able to eat mostly anything. But some easy ways to up your protein- add plain greek yogurt to a smoothie, scrambled eggs, cooking with quinoa, or adding ground chicken or turkey to a dinner casserole.
3. Drinking a lot. It’s recommended to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. I personally had a tough time with plain water – which is so strange, considering it’s so plain and ….well, water. I didn’t want to load up on sugary juice full of empty calories. I found a few different things worked well for me. First, I enjoyed sparkling water often. The carbonation helped soothe my stomach and I liked the various flavors. Second, I would add a splash of juice (grapefruit for me please) to plain water- very little calories but a bit of added flavor. And third, and probably my biggest tip- I had a glass of coconut water every afternoon when my nausea starting kicking in. It helped tremendously. I would drink coconut water all day, if it weren’t for the calories! (I mention calories because I tend to put on weight quickly. Pregnant women only need an additional 300 calories per day, which really isn’t much, and I try to get them from nutritious foods. That said, I’m not calorie counting or dieting while pregnant- just trying to be aware of what I put in my body.)
4. Resting often. I was so exhausted for the first three months of this pregnancy. Actually, I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t been wiped out during the first trimester! When you realize how hard your body is working to care for the rapidly growing baby, it’s obviously understandable- but it doesn’t make you feel any better. For me, I was fortunate enough to nap while my son napped on the days where I was extra tired. When I was working, I took some cat naps whenever possible. I also made a solid effort to get in bed as early as I could. My husband was very good about helping with my son when I was too tired, which made a great difference.
5. Listen to your body. A pregnant body is doing incredible, amazing things- and quickly, at that. That said, lots of weird and unusual side effects seem to pop up. I very much believe that your body tells you things all day long, and it’s up to you to listen. I try to “listen” to what my body has to say and then do it. For example, I tried to feed my body what I was in the mood for, even if it was surprising. Who craves salads?? But I made it a point to eat them any time I was in the mood, because I assumed it was my body’s way of telling me I needed more vegetables and nutrients. When my body was wiped out, I laid on the couch and shut my eyes for a few minutes, even if it meant I was unable to accomplish what I had intended to.
What else would you add to this list? Please share your tips in the comments below!