Pregnancy Diet Series - eating well when feeling ill Featured

Is the dreaded morning sickness making you feel like the very thought of food may send you reeling? 

Concerned that you may not be eating well enough to keep yourself and your baby healthy? Here are some tips and tricks to help soothe your morning sickness and still get all the nutrients your growing baby needs.

Morning sickness is one of the most common symptoms of early pregnancy, with roughly between 75-90% of woman experiencing some level of nausea at some stage in their pregnancies, and yet there are some big misconceptions about it. The name seems to imply that it only happens in the morning, but in fact, morning sickness can strike any time of the day, or even last throughout! On top of that, this sometimes constant symptom makes eating a balanced diet seem like mission impossible, while it is an extremely vital time in your baby’s development. Here are a few ways to soothe the nausea and at the same time give your body the nutrients it needs.

Go for Quality, not Quantity

Although eating may be the last thing you feel like doing, ironically it’s also the best way to keep the nausea at bay. Try to eat small nutritious meals throughout the day instead of big meals (this makes heartburn worse anyway) and aim to eat the healthiest things you can think of. Fruits like apples are great snack sized vitamin bombs and are great for when you’re feeling fussy about your eating. Combine this with Greek yoghurt and you have a small, satisfying and nutritious meal. If you can’t stand the idea of eating meats, eggs are a great alternative. Have some scrambled eggs on a slice of wholegrain toast and you are again ticking all the boxes. It’s also a good idea to keep something light, like a fruit or some crackers, on your bedside table so you can nibble on something before you get up in the morning. Morning sickness is at its worst when you have an empty stomach, so avoid going hungry.

Nausea soothing foods

When it comes to stopping morning sickness in its tracks, nothing beats ginger. Ginger tea in the morning does wonders to make you feel more human, and even ginger ale is effective. If these options aren’t strong enough, it may be a good idea to keep a jar of pickled ginger (the type they usually serve with sushi, you can buy it at most supermarkets) in the fridge for whenever needed. Another great nausea soother is mint. At home, a cup of peppermint tea is a great option, but when you’re on the go the best thing to have in your handbag at all times is mint chewing gum. It doesn’t get any more convenient than that! Lemon and lemonade are also effective in providing relief, but if you are looking for a more substantial nausea-busting snack, watermelon and banana would be at the top of the list. Both of these fruits are great nutritionally, and are substantial enough to count as one of your small meals of the day.

When it’s more serious

If you are really struggling to keep your food down for a prolonged time and none of the natural ways of dealing with morning sickness are providing you with any relief, it may be time to talk to your healthcare provider. There are medications you can take that are safe to use during pregnancy, so if you really are feeling very ill, there are options to consider that will be more beneficial to your health than living off crackers and feeling miserable for weeks.

Every woman may experience morning sickness differently, but the trick is to find out what works for you. While lemonade may not give you the relief you want, ginger may do the trick, so the best way to go is to experiment. At least nausea is an indicator that your hormone levels are high and your pregnancy is progressing well, so that’s a silver lining! Before you know it, the first trimester will be over and for most women that means saying goodbye to morning sickness.

Additional links:

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/morningsickness.htmlhttp://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/morning-sickness-nausea.aspx#closehttp://www.babycenter.com/morning-sicknesshttp://www.webmd.com/baby/features/battle-morning-sickness

Author bio: Joanie Odendaal is a writer from Cape Town and a mother-to-be. When she isn’t writing she teaches English to foreigners or composes music. Find her here: joanieludik@gmail.com

This article is copyrighted. You are welcome to share it, without altering the contents, giving proper credit to the author and link to this article. Please note Moomie is not a medical website. All information provided here are to be used at your own discretion. Always consult your caregiver for medical advice. {jcomments on}

 

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