At almost 16 weeks, I am mostly nausea-free. I’m reveling in the second trimester!
This was not the case a few weeks ago. Either I experienced my worst bout of morning sickness this time around, or I have a terrible memory of my previous pregnancies. I wish I knew of a definitive cure. It certainly would make the first trimester more pleasant.
So far I haven’t found any miracle cures, but I have found some relief from the following tips.
Magnesium Oil and Vitamin B
You may have heard that Vitamin B helps alleviate nausea. I’ve had doctors who have prescribed prenatal vitamins with extra B for this reason. In some ways, B helped, but I recently read a little more to the story.
During my desperate attempt for ideas that would offer relief from my nausea, I came across a fascinating article called The Real Cause of Morning Sickness. I recommend reading the whole thing, because my little summary to follow is a rather poor explanation.
Essentially, some studies have shown that magnesium deficiency can aggravate nausea during pregnancy. Magnesium deficiency is a pretty big problem in our culture today, with many unfortunate consequences, so I find it easy to believe that this could affect the level of morning sickness we experience.
An additional problem exists for us expecting mothers, because magnesium is just plain harder to absorb when we are expecting. This is where vitamin B comes in… B vitamins supposedly aid in the absorption of magnesium, which could explain why some women have good results from using B supplements.
My experience? I picked up some B complex vitamins from Target along with this magnesium oil from Amazon, and began to feel a little better within days of beginning to use them. Could it be that I was nearing the end of the morning sickness anyway, and my relief was more timing-related than magnesium-related? Possibly. But, I will say that I continue to take my B vitamins daily, and I use my magnesium spray a few times a week. I’m not taking the chance. ;)
Here’s a puzzling truth: Those very moments when I can hardly bear the sight of food, oddly enough, are the times I need it most.
Seriously. The smallest pangs of hunger trigger my worst episodes of morning sickness. Throughout the first trimester, I find it better to eat small meals every hour, rather than three regular meals a day. Personally, I like to eat meals with protein, because they tend to stay with me longer, and because they are lower glycemic. Too many carbohydrates cause me to crash quickly, and that can trigger a whole new bout of nausea.
It’s a fine line.
My favorite mini-meals this time around are:
- eggs (every morning)
- pickles, sliced cheese, and a little mustard on the side
- cottage cheese
- a “parfait” (as Cowgirl calls it) of granola and yogurt
- a little leftover meat (except chicken; for some reason, I could not bear to look at chicken until a few weeks ago)
- a protein shake
- black beans with ranch dressing mix
I prefer to eat the same lunches and dinners as the rest of my family, just with smaller portions.
For me, morning sickness becomes worse the more tired I am. Thus, I nap almost daily without guilt.
Sleep is not a cure-all, but without it, I am a wreck.
The difficult part of sleep, for me, is finding time to do it. Every mother reading this understands. There are always a hundred useful, important things I could be doing, or feel I should be doing.
My solution is this: In the first trimester, or anytime I am sick or weak, I give myself permission to let some things go for a time.
Priorities are essential. As to my children, I look first to their physical needs, then to the needs of their hearts, and then to their educational needs. As to household duties, I focus first on food, then on laundry. If those important things are taken care of, most other things can wait until I get some rest.
I have very little advice here, I’m sorry to say. Of course, fatigue is a sign that we need rest, so to mention sleep would be rather obvious. I will just reiterate the need to make it happen.
I am still struggling with fatigue, even in the second trimester. This is new for me, as I recall the second trimester as being a lovely, energetic time in previous pregnancies. While it certainly is by comparison to the first trimester, I daily wonder what in the world is wrong with me.
Dehydration makes fatigue worse, so drinking lots of water helps. Prenatal vitamins are important. I use Integrative Therapeutics Prenatal Forte, because they are inexpensive and work great. I find them similar to the popular SuperMom vitamins, but at a nicer price.
I haven’t yet had much indigestion in this pregnancy, but I know it’s coming. The third trimesters of my past have been full of sleepless nights because of it. Even by eating careful, small meals, and restricting myself to no food after 7:00 pm, I still struggle.
One tip that has helped me tremendously has been the use of apple cider vinegar. I sometimes make it into a hot tea with honey, but my favorite way has been more simple. I fill a big glass with cold water, and splash in a little ACV, just enough to lightly tint and cloud the water. The concoction helps me to feel better almost immediately. If you are suffering with indigestion, try it! Just remember to brush your teeth afterward, or rinse your mouth with a little milk to neutralize the acid and protect your teeth.
As you can see, I have no cure-all solutions to share. Some tips help, but nothing has made nausea or fatigue go away completely for me. The very best advice I can give is this:
Recognize the blessing.
Remember, morning sickness is something that only happens when you are pregnant. The one thing that has made a difference for me has been the awesome knowledge that it’s worth it!
It’s easy to forget when you are pregnant with a child who is yet unseen, but I’m easily reminded when I look at my children who I already know. When I look at the faces of each of my children, young cuddly toddlers with tiny voices and tiny feet, children who are growing and asking the most amazing questions, and older ones who are becoming young adults, I know they are worth it.
And the blessings are not just for me. Ultimately, the hope in a new pregnancy is so much bigger than me, my joy, my blessings. The goal in raising children is not to raise children, but to raise adults – adults who will have God-given purposes of their own. The impact of a new life is so much bigger than we can imagine. The opportunity to nurture new life, even with the difficulties that come with pregnancy, are so, so worth it.
I’d experience any amount of suffering for my children to have life. Morning sickness is a small price to pay, and is actually a great reminder to me that a healthy baby is growing.
Each child is a gift. This baby – this tiny, mysterious, wonderful child in my womb, who I haven’t yet laid eyes on – is worth it. We can’t wait to meet this little one face to face, and we know we will just fall in love with him or her instantly.
Babies are worth it.
When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. ~ John 16:21 ESV