Increasing tiredness, stomach cramps and very sore breasts! I didn’t think much of these symptoms having experienced worse fatigue and, as a coeliac, I was used to stomach cramps. Still following a nutrition, lifestyle and supplement plan for my hormonal imbalances at this stage, it wasn’t uncommon to have irregular periods. However, once over a week late and it hurt to even put a bra on, I followed my friend’s advice and took a pregnancy test. WOW it was positive!!! We took three tests before believing it could be true!
Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy
Although over the moon, I was also anxious. I didn’t think my body was quite ready for this yet. I constantly worried about something going wrong. This may or may not have influenced the way I felt for the next three months. Just a few days later, the nausea and sickness started…and to whoever coined ‘morning sickness’ – liar!! The nausea was relentless. I couldn’t think or speak about food; the slightest smell sent me into a world of trouble and travelling anywhere was a nightmare. Even popping to the shop was a scary experience for fear of throwing up in public!
How to help?
These are the things I tried to get rid of nausea:
- Travel sickness bands
- Fresh ginger and lemon in hot water
- Drinking water through a straw (sounds weird but even the smell of water was too much)
- Smelling fresh lemons and lemon essential oil diffuser
- Orange juice (especially when I needed to take my supplements)
- Walking around the block (fresh air was great, near roads not so good)
- (Gluten free) hobnobs, ginger biscuits and oat crackers (especially 1st thing before getting out of bed!)
- Haribo tangfastics or Candy Kittens (so many!)
- Bland food
- Concentrating on the little miraculous bundle of joy due in 9 months!
Minimal research but there are safe options to try…
There is little scientific evidence on pregnancy-related nausea relief. Ginger is one of the most researched methods and considered to be helpful. I was told that chewing on a lump of ginger might be more help than merely a few slices in hot water. Only problem was I could not bring myself to do this! I dabbled with travel sickness bands, not entirely sure if they were effective. Perhaps they provided a psychological boost at first but there is little evidence to suggest they help at this time. I fancied anything fruity and the smell of fresh lemons provided me a moment of pure respite! Lemons, lemon essential oil and other citrus smells seemed popular amongst other pregnant ladies too. Fresh air was also helpful when possible, it’s worth mentioning that your nose is more sensitive than before though so it might be best to avoid busy roads or other areas with strong fumes or smells.
I probably had more food aversions than cravings during this stage – the thought of chocolate, coffee/herbal teas, herbs/spices, even nut butters turned me green. It was a total carb fest– crackers, cereal, biscuits, sweets, bread (all GF) were mostly what I could stomach! This nutrient deficient diet had me wondering if the baby would be growing enough as I was losing muscle mass, low in energy and feeling extremely dizzy when I stood up. But when the 12-week scan showed the little one with a strong beating heart I cried with relief, before getting home and vomiting again! Above anything else, I developed a huge amount of respect and empathy for all the Mamas who suffer with Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy (NVP), or worse, Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). If you are struggling to keep anything down at all, you must seek medical help.