Morning sickness sucks.
It’s the bane of your existence when you are in early pregnancy. You feel like death would be better at times. Ok, not always that extreme but I’ve met some patients who can not take a minute more. Did you know that some women end up hospitalized due to morning sickness? It’s true, they sometimes have to have a port put in, which allows fluids to be given intravenously. How bad would that be? I think I would be liable to hurt myself.
Why I am here and who I am:
Hey mama, I am Trish— AKA Labor Nurse Mama. I am a labor and delivery nurse with over 15 years of high-risk OB experience. I am also a mama to 7 kids and have given birth to 6. This means I am quite familiar with the postpartum period and how to navigate it. I am the online birth class educator for Calm Labor Confident Birth and The VBAC Lab birth classes and the mama expert inside our Calm Mama Society a pregnancy & postpartum membership community! I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey! You can find me over on IG teaching over 230k mamas daily. I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey!
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My morning sickness was at times intense but not that horrible. My first pregnancy, which was a long time ago, sent me to my Ob’s office for a shot of Phenergan every day. That shot burned like hell, but I was desperate and at the time it was my only option; the suppositories didn’t stick around if ya know what I mean. I lost 17lbs in the first 3 months of that pregnancy. I looked and felt horrible until one day, I didn’t. Boom. Like that it was gone. I remember waking up one day and thinking, something is different, I FELT GOOD so I got started making up on lost meals.
Morning sickness: What causes it?
Morning sickness is somewhat a mystery and somewhat not. In all reality, there isn’t one cause of morning sickness and some women don’t even experience it. I suggest we hurt them. Sorry, I don’t mean that. Hormones being out of whack is one of the main instigators that drives you to the bathroom floor. Reduced blood sugar is another culprit of morning sickness. However, there are other factors that can exacerbate the problem. Let’s go over the ones we can combat. But a word to the wise, what helped your momma may not do squat for you.
Morning sickness: Hyperemesis Gravidarum
This is a severe form of morning sickness. We all read about it when Kate Middleton was first pregnant in 2012. She was hospitalized due to the HG and dehydration. This has to be exhausting physically and mentally. If you are suffering from this condition, I am terribly sorry.
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Morning Sickness: Keep that tummy fed
The first and foremost advice I can give you as a nurse and as a mom who suffered from this beast known as Morning sickness is to stay fed. An empty stomach will wreak havoc on your pregnant life.
Girl, grab whatever it is that you can keep down and put a basket full of it on your nightstand. Most often its carbs, sorry but it’s true.
- granola bars (not the sweeter ones)
- ritz crackers
- whatever snack works
First thing in the morning, before you open your eyes, grab a snack and take a few SMALL bites. Now lay still and don’t move. Let it settle before you get up and mess with that equilibrium.
If your partner is around, have him grab you something carbonated (unless that’s a trigger) and take a few sips as you get ready. If brushing your teeth sets you off, wait until you are more steady or brush slowly.
Now, It’s true to eat small light meals often. Whatever you can keep down is fine. I’ve been in the room when many women are being discharged from the hospital for hyperemesis gravidarum (medical diagnosis for severe morning sickness)
I’ve heard every doctor tell these poor mamas to eat whatever you can keep down, and stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated is super important to stay on top of when pregnant.
If you can’t keep anything down, food or fluids, CALL YOUR PROVIDER. Otherwise, you and your baby are ok. I promise. Morning sickness will end at some point.
Morning sickness: Medications, over the counter suggestions, and products that may help.
Ok, so I’ve been pregnant a lot. The medications that have been used have fluctuated. So, that being said, my suggestions may change as times change. But my saving grace with Greyson was Diclegis. Read this post describing DIglegis and other options for morning sickness. There are several options and I could spend a day going over them. But you feel like crap so here’s a list for you.
- Diclegis (if your insurance doesn’t cover this, that’s ok, make you own Recipe at the bottom of post)
- Zofran (controversial)
- ginger drops
- Zoe organics refresh oil
- Motion sickness bands (acupressure)
- Tummy Drops: Peppermint
- Ginger Ale or anything with carbonation in it
- Preggo Pops
Morning sickness: Essential Oils
I can’t pretend to know a lot about essential oils. I wish I did. Edited to say: I know a lot more! I joined Young Young living and I am obsessed with oil. I don’t actually sell them, but I do buy them wholesale. You can too, through this link.
Try Peppermint oil and dab a little under your nose (with a carrier oil) and prevent those horrible smells from getting to you.
Morning Sickness: Smells
I like to say that pregnant women have a radar nose. I think all the senses are heightened. Maybe its some ancient survival mode for us to protect the young. I don’t know. What I do know, is that when I was pregnant with my son Gavin I had a fun little experience with the sense of smell. For a few nights, while laying in bed I smelled pooh. Our house was built in 1910, with no storage, so we kept boxes under the bed. My poor husband pulled those boxes out 2-3 nights in a row. Nothing…I swear I was about to kill someone. A few days later, we discovered that sewer pipes had burst in the basement. Anyway, I digressed and quite possibly maybe you feel worse.
Your sense of smell is on overdrive. So be wise as to where and what you expose yourself to.
- Cooking may be an issue, so ask for help.
- Make small non-greasy meals.
- Don’t overuse or even use perfume or body sprays. Ask your husband to tone it down as well.
For an oversensitive sense of smell that is causing you to be sick, I recommend my cure for bad smells. My line of work comes with a vast sea of smells, and it ain’t always pretty. I keep Vicks Vaporub in my locker and just wipe a little under my nose.
Good to go, no more bad smell. Maybe try peppermint or something that blocks smells that set you off.
Morning Sickness: Exercise and Yoga
Exercise, in general, is difficult when you feel like crap. A small walk might do the trick. I’ve heard that yoga (Asanas) can help. You just have to get motivated.
Again, this is not my area of expertise, so check out this article that outlines the benefits and gives you picture instructions to boot.
Girls, I know you’re struggling right now. I know its depressing and downright ugly to be so sick. It will pass, most people feel relief around the second trimester. So, Hang on. You will soon be enjoying your pregnancy and planning all those fun little details that make it special.
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Homemade Version of Diclegis
Buy the regular Unisom 10 mg (not extra strength) and 25 mg of Vitamin B6, try to get pyridoxine form
How to take them: Before bed only take half of a Unisom (they are packaged in 25 mg tabs along with the vitamin B6.
- You can increase to 2 times per day.
- If that doesn’t help increase the Vitamin B6 to 25 mg, 3 times per day.
- If none of that helps, call your doctor.
*DO NOT TAKE MORE THAN 100 MG OF B6 IN 24 HOURS
Read this post about my Life as a Labor nurse!
Just a little disclaimer: As always, I am just writing my thoughts and learnings. Although I am in fact a labor and delivery RN, This is not medical advice. You should always seek and follow the advice of your caregiver.