Me at a particuarly low point this week, sporting a stylish heat pack and bad hair combo
I am so excited to be pregnant with my second child, we are absolutely over the moon. 8 years after my first pregnancy, we are going to welcome another mini MacDonald into the clan, a sibling for Caelen. We didn’t plan to have such a huge gap, but life being as unpredictable as it is, we suffered some losses before we finally hit the jackpot with this little bean. So yes, I am so, so grateful and happy to be so pregnant and even so ill, with this little winner
That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel like absolute crap.
I’m currently 8 weeks pregnant and have only just managed (at 10am) to hobble out of bed, suck on some dry toast and sip some mint tea. As I’m typing these words, they are swimming in front of my eyes and I could easily be on a rubber dingy in the middle of a choppy ocean right now.
As soon as I discovered I was pregnant, I made sure all bad things were eliminated from my diet, bought a whole stack of new books on pregnancy nutrition, and made sure I was on top of my healthy mama game. Around 6 weeks, this all went out of the window and I’ve basically just been eating whatever will stay down, plus my multivitamin. But oh, the guilt! Try not to be too hard on yourself ladies, this nausea should sort itself out around the end of the first trimester, so just do what you can get through it and keep functioning. Aim for the healthiest food choices when you can, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get your five a day for a couple of weeks.
I know I’m not the only woman out there suffering, so I wanted to share with you some of the remedies I’ve tried to help morning (ha-ha – all day) sickness, what works for me and what doesn’t. Remember this is just my experience and different things work for different people.
Get out of bed slowly!
I cannot emphasize this one enough and if you already have a baby who squeaks in the middle of the night, it’s hard not to just jump up and run when you hear them. Do so at your own peril. This is my morning routine now and it makes a huge improvement to how my day goes:
1. Roll slowly onto your right side. Stay here 2-5 minutes, just let your tummy settle. If you have heartburn and need some Gaviscon, try sucking on that now.
2. Slowly, slowly slide up to half sitting in bed. Prop yourself up with cushions. Now you can crack open a packet of rice crackers and suck on them, taking intermittent sips of Ribena or apple juice. This will help to gently line your stomach and balance your blood sugar levels and stabalise that horrible sea sick feeling.
3. This should all take about 10 minutes, more if you have it. Then gently ease yourself to the side of the bed and slowly get up to standing.
4. Once you are up, try some herbal tea or luke warm water and some dry whole-wheat toast. Eat little and often throughout the day to avoid that empty, rumbling feeling in your tummy.
Drink Peppermint or Ginger Tea
This is an oldie, but peppermint and ginger tea both genuinely help to settle my tummy and take away the nausea. If you can get your lovely partner to bring a cuppa to you in bed for you to sip before you get up, even better. I find that one before bed also helps.
Adapt Your Yoga Practice
Just because you don’t look pregnant yet, doesn’t mean that you have to carry on as normal. If you are ill, you shouldn’t be forcing yourself through a full primary series. We are often reminded that ‘pregnancy is not an illness.’ Well, the symptoms can sure mimic illness. Be patient with yourself, slow it down, lie on your yoga mat and just cry/sleep if you have to.
In the first trimester, meditation and gentle hypnosis are your friend. Focus on bonding with your baby and breathing deeply to help alleviate the nausea and dizziness. If you can manage some adapted sun salutations, that’s fantastic. Even a gentle walk is great if you are very poorly, but try to keep moving a little every day. Exercise will honestly make you feel better once you get started. If it’s just not possible, then be patient with yourself and do what you need to do.
Wear Acupressure Wrist Bands
For both pregnancies, these have been a permanent feature for me. I only take them off to jump in the shower and they genuinely do work. You can buy them in any pharmacy or Boots store or even Amazon, and you might see them labelled as sea sick bands (same feeling.) Wearing sea bands applies pressure to the P6 point on your wrist and can help relieve nausea throughout the day. Make sure you wear them at the correct point: 3 fingers width below the top wrist crease.
Try Liquid Prenatal Vitamins
In my first pregnancy, I found that I couldn’t stomach tablets or capsules of multivitamins and folic acid. The minute they hit my stomach, it was toilet time. I did however discover liquid prenatal vitamins, so you just take spoonful’s instead of capsules and it makes a huge difference to me. Another top tip is to take them just before you go to bed, in case even the liquid causes some nausea.
Hypnosis for Nausea
I’m a big fan of hypnosis for many things, including morning sickness and childbirth. I’ve only just started using our Birth ROCKS morning sickness MP3 recording but I’m starting to feel gradually better, especially while listening to it and it definitely helps me sleep better.
I also tried a morning sickness app called ‘Morningwell,’ which you can download to your iPhone. It had some good reviews and so I gave it a bash, but it wasn’t for me. It basically sounds like electronic supermarket music and is extremely irritating. I couldn’t bring myself to listen to ping-pong-plinky-plink for 45 minutes 4 times a day, so I gave up on that one pretty early on.
Certain aromatherapy blends and smells instantly make you feel better during pregnancy. The smell of ginger and peppermint tea I’m sure are a large part of why they are so effective.
I’ve been burning a lemon and peppermint blend the last few days by my desk and the smell is beautiful and definitely helps to ease the nausea. I’d recommend 2-4 drops of lemon and 3 drops of peppermint in your burner for a clean, nausea easing scent. Another pleasant blend I use, is 2 drops orange and 3 drops lavender.
I hope that you find some of these tips helpful and I’d love to hear any more that you have. Stay strong mamas, this is only a couple of weeks/months of our lives, so please rest up and show yourself some love and I’ll try to do the same. If you’d like more natural pregnancy and yoga advice from me, you can check out my book, YogaBellies for Pregnancy, available in paperback or Kindle