Friday, February 3, 2012

Morning Sickness

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There are several places to start when talking to a mom about pregnancy, but I think one of the most helpful places to start is the topic of morning sickness. Being sick is not fun at all. Add on top of that the job of being a mom and it makes it even less fun.

Personal Background
When I was pregnant with Brayden, I was super, super sick. To throw up only five times a day was a good day for me. I was that way until he was born (the last time I threw up was a couple of hours before he made his appearance). 

With Braxston, I was also sick, but it was not as intense. I think my body was not so shocked by hormones since I had just been pregnant 6 months before (that is my own theory). I threw up only one to two times a day with him.

With Kaitlyn, my doctor finally suggested some medication to manage the sickness. It seems crazy now, but when I was pregnant with Brayden, the idea of turning to the Internet for ideas was not a common one, so I had no idea medication was even an option. Her pregnancy was much easier because of it, and I threw up only about 5 times the whole pregnancy (much better than five times a day). 

McKenna's pregnancy was more like Brayden's. I used the medicine, but still threw up once a day until I was somewhere shortly beyond 20 weeks.

Needless to say, I was concerned about getting pregnant again. I wanted to be able to function as a mother while pregnant. I have prayed and prayed for mercy with this pregnancy. I am a believer in this quote: 
“When our wagon gets stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than the man who merely raises his voice in prayer—no matter how eloquent the oration.” ― Dieter F. Uchtdor
I knew the Lord would help me to feel better and to know what to do to help make that possible. While we didn't turn to the Internet for our answers 7 years ago, we certainly do today. So I did my research to come up with an arsenal of solutions for morning sickness. 

Solutions
I am happy to say that I am 11 weeks along and have not thrown up once yet. I think you will find this list helpful.  If you have more ideas, I absolutely would love for you to share them!
  • Zofran: I love this drug. The great thing about Zofran is that it does not make you drowsy. This used to be an expensive route to take, but there is now a generic form of the drug, so you can afford it. I have heard a full pill is necessary for it to be effective (my perscription says 1/2 or a full pill at a time, so I have always stuck with a full pill). A word of caution, it is very constipating, so if you do take this, you will want to take stool softeners as well.
  • Sea Bands: Even with my Zofran, I still felt nauseous all day. I had heard about the Sea Band, so I asked my pharmacist about it. I got my Sea Bands for $8.45--absolutely worth every penny. I would highly recommend it even if it was $100. What it is is two bands you wear on your wrist. It uses acupressure to suppress nausea. It really took the edge off. I wear them at all times unless I am showering. You can get it at Amazon here:  Sea-Band
  • Exercise: This is my first pregnancy I have exercised during. I can definitely tell a difference on the days I exercise versus the days I don't on how nauseous I feel. I feel much better when I exercise. I do find it tricky, though. I can't just get up early and exercise--I have to eat first. Then I can't just go exercise because sudden movements don't result in good things. Then I have kids up who need my attention and I have to be ready by a certain time in the day...so I find it a lot harder to work it in daily right now. I am still trying to get that perfected. 
  • Sleep: Sleep really does help. Not only the act of sleeping, but having enough sleep helps. If I ever feel like I am going to lose it, I try to go to sleep if possible.
  • Fresh Air: I noticed this when I was pregnant with McKenna. Fresh air really settles my tummy. It is hard for me right now since it is January and 20-30 degrees outside, but it helps when I can get it in. We went to Hawaii for a week a couple of weeks ago, and it was the best thing for my sickness. I want to move there for 9 months. Or at least 5 until the nice weather sticks around here. Every morning I would wake up and go sit outside and just soak in that great air. 
  • Humidity: While in Hawaii, I came to a theory that humidity also helps. I can't be positive it does, but when we got home I put a nice humidifier in my room and I am waking up feeling better than I had been. It certainly isn't hurting anything.
  • Stay Full: Aggressive morning sickness is a vicious cycle. As soon as you let it get too far gone, it is super hard to recover from. It is so hard to eat when you are so sick. I know it. I gained no more than 10 pounds in any of my pregnancies, which when you add up the weight of the baby, placenta, and blood alone exceeds 10. So I know the reality. You have to stay full--or at least avoid hunger. Never get hungry. You don't want to get too full--that is bad, too. Hunger is your enemy, though. 
  • Eat What Sounds Good: If you are super sick, I just say eat whatever it is that sounds good. With Brayden, one of the only things I could eat was Wheat Thins, and I still can't eat those to this day. A lot of times your cravings are for what your body needs, so listen to yourself. 
  • Find Foods That Help: There is an incredibly long list of foods that supposedly help--and a lot contridicts itself. I can see why because each of my pregnancies have been different. For most, I have hated chocolate with a passion. This time, I don't mind it so much most of the time (though I sadly do not like chocolate chip cookies). Some people swear by lots of sugar, some swear by cutting sugar from your diet. Some say lots of sodium. Some say cut dairy. Here is a list of foods that are generally accepted to help: Protein (I find this so true--snack on almonds and eat meat at dinner to help with your mornings), dill, ginger, mint, and candy to suck on (especially sour candy). My foods right now that help are Chicken in a Biscuit crackers (we now call them magic crackers) and dill (pickles, seasoning..). I also am liking spearmint gum--spearmint is supposed to help. It helps to have something to chew on.
  • Stay Hydrated: This is a huge one for me. I keep a large mug of water with me at all times, even in the car. Right now I like it icey, but in past pregnancies it had to be room temperature. I am also very picky about the quality of water--it must be highly purified. We go through a lot of Brita filters when I am pregnant :)
  • Vitamin B6: Some people think morning sickness is a result of low levels of this B vitamin, and most sick women swear by this. You can also combine it with Unisome--I have a pharmacy that combines this (it has to be a compounding pharmacy). I also have them half the dose because it causes severe drowsiness. This medication is often referred to as Bedoxy. I used this with Kaitlyn and McKenna, and it works. It takes 7 days to get in your system but it helps. I tried it this time but I hate, hate, hate how tired it makes me. I decided I wanted to try different things because it basically is a toss up between sleeping all day or throwing up all day. I prefer the sleep, but I most prefer being available to my children, so I am making it work without this. I do still plan to try just taking B6 supplements, but I keep forgetting to buy them.
  • Red Raspberry Tea: My grandmother is one of those people big into herbs, and when I was pregnant with Brayden, she told me to try this. I went to a health food store and bought it in capsules. It really does help; however, my OB didn't want me taking them past my first trimester since it thins your blood (bad for something like delivering a baby), so it can help if you are one of those people who is only sick for the first trimester. You can get them on Amazon here:  Solaray Red Raspberry Leaves
  • Prima Bella Band: I haven't tried this, but have heard about it, so here is the web address: primabellarx.com.
  • Reletex: I haven't tried this either, but have heard good things:  http://www.aeromedixrx.com/rlp/reletex.htm?gclid=CMyLuu-6kK0CFQkaQgodsVuZlA
Please share what helps you! We all benefit from each other's tricks!

27 comments:

The farmer's wife said...

Thanks for all your tips! I am going to order those sea bands, I have heard so much about them and am willing to give anything a try. I am about 7 weeks pregnant and we have a 7 month old. With Audrey I wasn't too sick, I threw up a couple of times but I was also able to rest/sleep a lot and not worry about anyone but myself. Different story now :) But I love it, being a mother that is, not being sick. Hoping that this only last through my first trimester, cause I feel so bad.

Ron and Tiffany said...

Pretzels were super helpful for me during my first pregnancy. I'd just munch on them one at a time all day long, and it seemed to keep the sickness at bay.

Scott and Jenny said...

I was nauseous my entire pregnancy. All day long. Thankfully, I only threw up twice...but the nagging nausea was awful. I did the Unisom & Vitamin B6 combo, but would only take them at night before bed. I had a time released B6 vitamin that I was prescribed through my OB, and it helped through the next day. I would notice a big difference if I had forgotten to take it the night before. I didn't know they combined the two now! What a great idea.

Leslie&Michael said...

Thanks for this post. Makes me feel a little better knowing I wasn't alone. I was sick about 4 times a day with my first child, and I am honestly scared to be pregnant again because of it. Medicine didn't work for me or any of those other things...well except for pizza ;). Thanks for the encouragement.

Kelly Ford said...

Can i just say from a dental hygienists standpoint that is SO important to avoid brushing your teeth with coarse/abrasive toothpaste after you get sick! If you are someone who gets sick often, ask your dentist about a take home fluoride gel that is non-abrasive and is Rx strength Fl. You can brush (lightly) with that after being sick OR (best case senario) rinse well with tap water (the fl in the tap water is good) and then chew gum with xylitol in it (this promotes a reduction in pH from the sickness).
:-)

Sabrina said...

Thanks for posting this. I also wanted to mention a condition that very few people know about, called hyperemesis gravidarum. It is a very real condition during pregnancy where mom is so sick that she loses over 5% of her body weight. I am 20 weeks pregnant with my second and still dealing with this condition. In lost 23 pounds in under 2 months (and I wasn't big to start with) and was admitted to the hospital two times within a three week period. I was put on home healthcare where I received IV's at home and had a medicine pump attached to me 24/7 (first with zofran and then with Reglan). It was a very physically and emotionally draining experience and something I never knew existed before experiencing it myself. So, just wanted to let women know that there is a more serious form of morning sickness. Please feel free to contact me for more information or support, as I know first hand how lonely one can feel when dealing with this condition!!

Sabrina.Vaccaro at hotmail dot com

kmbutrfly said...

You named most of my remedies! I think the most important is keeping the belly full, and like said, in doing that, eat what sounds good! Everyone says keep saltines next to your bed...I did that, but then I got so sick of them, so I changes to another cracker, then almonds or pretzels, then by the time the first trimester was over I just kept a fiber bar there because I was no longer nauseous but starving!!! Carbs always sounded best to me, but I tried to eat protein because I read that helps, and I think it did. Almonds were great for that if meat sounds awful! Of course sleep is crucial, but if you need to set an alarm to get a couple bites to eat, do it, because once my belly got off track and not full, that is when I would vomit for a whole day. No fun. Hydration, yes! I did sea bands. I am not convinced that they worked but I wore them anyway!!! I didn't want to explore Zofran in case it was expensive, so instead each night from about 10 weeks thru 16 weeks, I took 1 Bonine & half a vitamin B6. This was SO helpful!!! I was still nauseous but it made me functional. Bonine is a motion sickness pill - you can find it over thr counter where you find Dramamine, but Dramamine is not allowed during pregnancy...Bonine is okay.

Abbey Robertson said...

Congratulations! I hope that you continue to feel good!

I was SICK AS A DOG! Both pregnancies were really rough for those first months. I mean bopped blood vessels in my eye and eye lids. I kept saltines everywhere... on my night stand, in my purse, diaper bag, in the car, hubbies car and I would whip them out everywhere as well!! And tums!

Sarah said...

I'm only 6 weeks right now, so only mildly queasy. My 1st pregancy I was sick for 8.5 months. Awful. Zofran allowed me to function- I couldn't even keep down water without it. So expensive!! Costco was way cheaper than anywhere. This time around I have a different md and this is what we're starting with: vit b6 25 mg 3x/day & half a Unisom before bed. Also, last time I relied on crackers, bread, potatoes to calm my stomach and although it helped with that I gained a whopping 65 pounds- and I was slightly overweight to begin with. This time around I'm snacking on nuts and cheeses and finding they sustain me longer and I only need tiny amounts.

Jennifer said...

We have purchased Sea Bands at Walgreens in the past if you don't want to wait for shipping. :)

Jennifer said...

We have purchased Sea Bands at Walgreens in the past if you don't want to wait for shipping. :)

Jennifer said...

We have purchased Sea Bands at Walgreens in the past if you don't want to wait for shipping. :)

Jennifer said...

We have purchased Sea Bands at Walgreens in the past if you don't want to wait for shipping. :)

Chrysti Hedding said...

I felt sick, but never threw up. Thankfully, once I hit about 11 or 12 weeks, the nausea went away. One thing that helped me was eating a couple of bland crackers before getting out of bed to get my blood sugar up a bit before breakfast. If I didn't do that, I'd pay for it later with morning sickness lasting all day. Now at 34 weeks, I still get nauseous occasionally, but it's not nearly as much as in the beginning. (Still pales in comparison to a number of people who have commented here!)

Kate Craig said...

lying on my left side was the ONLY thing that worked for me. The first trimester being full did not help at all, but the last trimester it did - I ate a lot of rice then. The first trimester all I could eat was Ramen. Also for a while lemon flavored candy or water seemed to help. I've also heard REAL ginger ale that you can buy at Trader Joes

Kelly said...

Congratulations!
I was very lucky and only felt nauseous a handful of times... but these few things helped me:
I had a half of a pb and honey sandwich before bed and I think sour things help! And instead of buying the preggo pops, I say eat sour patch kids :)

localchika2 said...

Gosh, I wish I knew all of these things when I was pregnant! But now that i know I'm gonna try some if I ever get pregnant again.

Thanks for sharing!

Koala Mama said...

I've never heard of the sour thing! I wonder why that would work? I found it crucial to keep my stomach from emptying, but I also always made sure to take ginger Gravols before a bus or car ride, and it made a huge difference! I saw some articles on the Internet discouraging ginger when you're pregnant, but the chemical in it that causes smooth muscle contractions (so could *possibly* start labour) is in so many other foods, especially spices, and I was already eating curry and drinking herbal tea every day.

Sarah Sloop said...

Nuts... Mainly Walmarts Mountain Trail mix... The m&ms are a nice bonus:)
Preggy pops(the sour element), bananas. Staying full was a MUST. Even now in my last month!

Sarah Sloop said...

Nuts... Mainly Walmarts Mountain Trail mix... The m&ms are a nice bonus:)
Preggy pops(the sour element), bananas. Staying full was a MUST. Even now in my last month!

Sarah said...

Just back to provide an update. In spite of taking the zofran, vit b6, and Unisom, yesterday was awful and I still vomited. The doc said I need to eat those starchy foods and not to worry about weight gain right now. They also added reglan to my rx routine. Feeling a bit better. If I remember, this 6th week is the worst.

Plowmanators said...

Scott and Jenny,

Just so you know for the unisom/b6--they have done it for a long time, but it can only be done at a pharmacy that compounds. So if you ever ask for it, it has to be at a compounding pharmacy.

Plowmanators said...

Kellly Ford thanks for that great tip! I had never heard that before!

Plowmanators said...

Thank you everyone for adding your experience and your advice!

Plowmanators said...

Sorry Sarah :( I know just how you feel--even with all of these things, I have been throwing up too. No fun.

Plowmanators said...

Koala Mama, I have never heard that about Ginger before!

Anna Hath said...

No to morning sickness tea is the organic herbal supplement best for nausea/sickness. It's safe and very effective.

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