Every pregnancy is different, right? With my first baby (now eighteen months), I had significant nausea and food aversions during the first trimester. Luckily, by week 13, I was back to my normal self. It felt like a real struggle at the time but I considered myself lucky in the scheme of things!
Around 2/3 of women will notice an improvement by week 13, although knowing that it will pass doesn’t necessarily make it any easier. In one study of 700 women, nausea “had a major impact on various aspects of the women’s lives, including global quality of life and willingness to become pregnant again.” (BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2017).
For my second pregnancy, I got to week six with no sign of debilitating nausea or disgust at most foods I usually ate (meat, fish and vegetables, just to name a few!). I started to think maybe I would skip the 24/7 feeling of wanting to throw up! But no, I was wrong. From week six to fourteen, I got to put in to practice all the tips I tell my clients who suffer nausea.
I have written a blog on my general tips for morning sickness here but I thought I would summarize my own personal experience and what did and didn’t work for me. If you are suffering through nausea during pregnancy now, I hope this can help in some way!
What worked for me
Scrambled eggs with sea salt and ¼ avocado in the first half hour of waking. I am lucky that I could still stomach eggs and I really looked forward to them every morning. The protein and fat first thing helped to stabilize my blood sugar and made a huge difference to minimizing nausea in the first half of the day.
A fresh green juice with LOTS of ginger and lemon. I would just buy this from a café and tell them I was happy to pay extra for the ginger. This was a good way to get some greens in too as I wasn’t getting them anywhere else!
This drink! Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar Drink, Ginger Spice flavour
Sipping on iced water with fresh slices of lemon. It had to be very cold, otherwise I couldn’t stomach it. I didn’t really feel like water but I noticed if I didn’t drink enough this definitely made the nausea worse.
Cold foods over warm or hot foods. I couldn’t even say the word vegetable but I could manage a crisp cold salad with a vinaigrette dressing. I made the mistake of having soup one night for dinner, as I thought it would be nice and easy to digest. I felt very sick all through the night after that one.
Not letting myself get too hungry or too full. These were both triggers for me.
· Snacks that made me feel better were:
o Greek yoghurt with a drizzle of honey and some berries (if I felt really bad the only Greek yoghurt I liked was the one with passionfruit in it e.g Evia. This has more added sugar though compared to plain Greek but there is 20g protein per small tub so that was a win for me!)
o Crackers and cheese
o Green juice with lemon and ginger
o Cold fruit
o Handful of salted cashews
o Cold carrot sticks with dip
I started taking an activated form of Vitamin B6, 25mg, three times per day and this was a game changer for me! Vitamin B6 has shown to reduce nausea for some people and fortunately it worked for me. I was also getting restless legs at night so I started taking magnesium glycinate, which can also be effective at reducing nausea. The combination of these two supplements made a huge difference.
Carbs. If I really couldn’t stomach anything for dinner, I would have a toastie or some pasta. As long as I was getting some food in, I was happy!
I didn’t beat myself up for not eating perfectly or well-balanced meals. I listened to my body and ate what I felt like but would try to have a healthier alternative. For example, buckwheat pasta instead of regular pasta, good quality sourdough when all I could eat was a toastie, salt and vinegar rice crackers when I wanted salt and vinegar chips – although to be completely transparent, I ate my fair share of salt and vinegar chippies too. And man were they good! Knowing that I came into pregnancy in a good nutritional position, I wasn’t worried the baby wasn’t getting what it needed. I also knew that it would pass and I would make up for it once I felt better.
These are things that worked for me but everyone is different. When you are feeling unwell, the first step is to pay close attention to what makes you feel better and what makes your nausea worse. You can then use this post and this post to work out how to survive and get back to enjoying life.
And please do not stress about not eating so well whilst feeling sick! Sometimes you just have to ride the wave and you can make up for it once you are feeling better. Continue with your prenatal to cover your bases but if you are struggling with this too, please contact me for alternatives.
What worked for you when you had pregnancy nausea?