Morning sickness is no fun. I had never experienced it until my current pregnancy (my third). For about four weeks I didn’t go a day without vomiting at least four or five times. There were several days where it was every hour, on the clock, for most of the day. My workout routine vanished without a trace, and to be honest I was too exhausted to even miss it. All I wanted to do was sleep and avoid the bathroom if possible.
Now that I’m in the second trimester things are better. I finally don’t have to force myself to do a workout and I can keep food down for the most part. For any moms out there who suffering from morning sickness, here are ten things that helped me get through it:
1. Be Flexible
I had read all about the way the paleo diet magically makes morning sickness disappear. Well, it wasn’t the case for me. One day I woke up and all I could think about was a bagel and cream cheese. I fought the craving but after three days of constant vomiting, I finally caved and ate the bagel. It was the first breakfast I kept down in a week.
2. Experiment and Be Creative
For the first few days of morning sickness I tried to follow typical advice – drink ginger tea, eat first thing in the morning, and other conventional wisdom. None of it worked. Finally I decided to just figure out what my body was asking for. Some of those things weren’t healthy and I avoided them (except for the bagel), but others came as a healthy surprise. Don’t just go by the books.
3. Do What You Can, When You Can
It’s tempting to just lie around and do nothing when you have morning sickness. You do need rest, but it also helps to take advantage of those small and rare bursts of energy that come every now and then. If you feel up to it, take a walk or do a short workout every now and then. You might not get the long training session you’re used to, but it will help.
4. Nourish Yourself
Remember that the little food you can keep down is your body’s primary source of nourishment. Try to make sure most of it is nourishing for you and your growing baby. One thing that helped my morning sickness was starting off every day with a cup of homemade beef or chicken broth. In the afternoon, a cup of red raspberry leaf tea helped calm an upset stomach and it’s also a uterine tonic.
5. De-Stress and Realign
Exercise is a great way to de-stress, but if you can’t do it any more you might feel restless and anxious. Gentle yoga stretches can calm digestion and relieve anxiety. I started going to the chiropractor around week nine of my pregnancy and it definitely reduced my symptoms. Prenatal massage and acupuncture might also help alleviate stress.
6. Identify Non-Food Triggers
Sometimes morning sickness is random and unpredictable, but I found there were a few things that made it worse or even triggered it aside from food aversions. The computer screen was definitely a huge trigger for me, which was difficult since my job is computer based. Stress and lack of sleep also made it worse. Be aware of patterns and identify triggers so you can prevent at least some symptoms.
7. Don’t Fight Your Body
If you need to sleep, take a nap or go to bed early. If you have to go hug the toilet again, embrace it. Don’t try to boss your body around. You might be used to it obeying your every command, but at this time it helps to have a more cooperative spirit.
8. Take a Magnesium Supplement
I found that taking a magnesium supplement called Natural Calm every night before bed decreased my morning sickness dramatically. I actually ran out of it at one point for about a week, and I noticed a huge difference when I started using it again.
9. Spend Time Outside
If you can get outside for some fresh air, try to step out of the office or home every now and then. I started doing my work outside and taking breaks every hour to do some work in our garden, do a workout, or go for a jog. The fresh air made a big difference for me.
10. Stop With the Guilt
You may find yourself wondering what you’re doing wrong and whether your health is where it should be. If you’re having to enlist the help of others to help you get through morning sickness, you might feel guilty. At a certain point I realized that I was doing everything I could to not have to deal with this. I was following diet recommendations, getting enough rest, exercising when I could, and it was still happening. So I just accepted it. I said to myself, “This is happening despite all my efforts to stop it, so I have to just suck it up and accept it for what it is.” It’s kind of like when you have a bad training day. Get through the workout and see what lesson you can take from it, even when it isn’t your best performance.
Did you suffer from morning sickness, and did it interfere with your training? What did you do to get through it?
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