The dreaded morning sickness….for many women this is the single worst part of being pregnant. For most people it tends to start at about 5 weeks pregnant and abate by 14, but for a very unlucky few it can last all the way through. If you are in the thick of it, assume that you will not be one of those!
Its is believed that morning sickness is actually a protective mechanism, an ancient survival skill that was necessary when food was perilous. The development of a fetus’ major organs ( between 6-14 weeks) coincides with the mother’s immune system letting its guard down so as to not ‘reject’ the baby and instead allow it to establish itself in the uterus. It means that at a very important time in the child’s development, the mother is increased danger of falling ill. So what happens? She developments morning sickness where she is either regularly ill, or where she develops aversions to certain types of food. Many women find themselves repulsed by the thought of meat or averse to fish or eggs- mainly the foods that hold the greatest dangers, or would have done in the past…….and this is your body protecting you. Thankfully, it usually passes when the mother’s immune system is restored and the fetus is less vulnerable.
How to cope? Eat regularly and often- jacobs cream crackers are a god-send to nibble on but anything little and often seems to help the nausea abate. And dont assume that the name ‘morning sickness’ means it will only happen in the morning- many women feel ill at night, so just nibble liberally!! Eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates- in other words healthy stodge- so comfort foods are the order of the day.
Mint and fennel tea both seem to help alleviate nausea. So does ginger tea that you can make by peeling a little knob of ginger, cutting into pieces and then covering in boiling water. Leave it to brew for a couple of minutes then drink the water. You can do this several times with the same bit of ginger. Homeopathy can also really help- just ask at your nearest health store for particular remedies.
And get enough sleep. Morning sickness is made infinitely worse by being tired ( perhaps because your defences are down even more when your body is tired) so getting enough sleep is essential- it might make you boring but better boring than ill.
For the majority of people it is (hideous but) short-lived, so gritted teeth are also necessary.
Does anyone have any other suggestions? Many women happen upon remedies by accident so if you have any advice, please post it up.