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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Simple Solutions for Persistent Morning Sickness During Pregnancy


 Morning sickness has been the bane of pregnant women for many centuries.  Every pregnant woman knows that there is a chance that she can suffer from persistent nausea during the first three months of pregnancy.

But what if this condition continues?  What if it goes on for the entire pregnancy?  Every day, you are nauseous and can’t keep your meals down.  What does this mean for the fetus? 

To be honest, this is a condition that is distressing to doctors and nurses who care for pregnant women.  Obviously, if you are not able to eat, then the fetus can suffer from lack of nutrition.  This can mean that the baby cannot grow as it should, and you will not gain weight as necessary.
The good news is that there are things you can do, simple things, to help yourself if you find that you have persistent morning sickness past the first trimester of pregnancy.  These are simple techniques, and they may not help you relieve the nausea, but they can help ensure that your fetus gets some or most of the nutrition it needs. 

These five suggestions may help you to keep your baby nourished even though you suffer from this condition.   These suggestions are also helpful for those whose morning sickness is constrained to the first trimester, since this is a very important time for the developing fetus. 

First, chew your food as thoroughly as possible.  There is a point when you are chewing food when the food in your mouth ceases to resemble anything like what it was before you started chewing.  This is the state you want to get every bite to before you swallow it. 

The reason for this is simple.  The enzymes and saliva in your mouth are designed to start the digestion process.  If you take advantage of this fact and chew your food thoroughly, then your stomach will have less digesting to do before passing the food to your small intestine. 

Additionally, you will have partially digested some of the nutrients from your food before it enters your stomach, where the nausea resides.   This gives your baby a chance to absorb those nutrients before your stomach rejects them.

Second, prior to every meal, take a good quality chewable enzyme tablet.  Or two or three of them.  There is no evidence to suggest that chewable enzymes can harm a fetus, but if it makes you more comfortable then you should by all means check with your physician prior to trying enzymes.

The reason for this is similar to the reason behind the first suggestion.  Enzymes are the digestive force in the stomach, and many people have lower levels of enzymes as they leave childhood.  This makes it more difficult to digest foods.  

Since you are already having a problem digesting foods, enzymes may help you to digest more of the food you consume more quickly.  Thus, you provide the fetus with a better chance of getting the nutrients it needs.

Third, make a list of every food that you are able to eat without allergic reactions.  Include on this list nuts, seeds, meats, poultry, fish, (soy, beans, and meat substitutes if you are vegetarian), green vegetables, fruits, etc. 

Then, keep a food diary.  Make a note of what you ate and when you became nauseous.  If there are certain foods in your list that did not make you nauseous, then definitely eat more of them. 

Nuts and seeds are important to put on your list if you are not allergic to them because most nuts have a high content of protein and fat.  Fat is good for your growing baby’s brain, and protein is good for his growing body.  This can help you to pinpoint if there are certain foods that are triggering the nausea, as well as helping you to pack more nutrient dense foods into your diet for the greatest benefit of the growing baby.

Fourth, try a different prenatal supplement.  Supplements in general are notorious for causing nausea in people in general, and in pregnancy even more so.  Since your hormones are in overdrive, you may find that you are more sensitive to supplements than you would normally be. 

There is a very simple way to check your supplement to see if you are reacting to it, and if it is contributing to your morning sickness. 

So what can you do to reduce this effect?  Try a different supplement.  There are several brands that make food sourced vitamins, such as Garden of Life (which is one of the highest quality and gentlest supplement brands), New Chapter, and Source Naturals.  These three supplements are less likely than cheaper brands to cause irritation to your stomach.   These three brands are also more likely to meet with your doctor’s approval if you suspect that your prescribed prenatal vitamins are contributing to your nausea. 

You can also try to separate your iron from your regular vitamin.  In other words, obtain a prenatal supplement free of iron, along with a separate iron supplement by one of the above brands.  That way, you can take the iron at a time when you know you are likely to get nauseous anyway, after you have gotten some nutrition for the day.  Some iron supplements are branded as gentle and not likely to cause an upset stomach, such as Gentle Iron by Garden of Life. 

Fifth, and finally, schedule regular>prenatal massage therapy<./a> sessions.  Although the reasons are not understood, prenatal massage has been shown to reduce symptoms of morning sickness when received regularly.  Generally, prenatal massage includes abdominal massage, which may be the most helpful part for morning sickness.  Be sure to have your therapist provide some focus to the abdominal area if you are able to tolerate it.  Regular sessions of massage can reduce the frequency and severity of morning sickness for some pregnant women.”>This article
from Massage Today offers other suggestions along with evidence of the effectiveness of massage for morning sickness.  Since massage generally won’t make morning sickness worse, it is certainly worth a try. 

I have had several clients tell me that persistent morning sickness was the hardest part of being pregnant for them.  One client told me that she kept waiting for the nausea to end, and it ended up remaining for her entire pregnancy.  She decided that her new job was to eat.  She ate all day long, whatever foods had high nutritive content.  Tons of protein, nuts, shakes, and fruits, everything that she had hope of keeping down.

By the end of her pregnancy, she had gained so much weight with all of her eating, that in spite of her hyperemesis gravidarum, she had a macrosomic baby! The baby was so large that her doctors told her she needed to have a C-section.  She herself did not gain as much as average, but all of the nutrition that the baby needed, the baby was able to get by her attitude of seeing eating as her new job.  The baby is now healthy and gaining weight normally, and she has returned to her pre-pregnancy shape through breastfeeding and light exercise. 

These solutions, if put into practice, may help you to sufficiently nourish your baby so they will be born healthy.  Women who have persistent nausea need shortcuts like these to gain enough weight to bring a healthy baby into the world, in spite of the hormones that are causing your nausea.  So give them a try.  You and your baby are likely to benefit.    

This article was written by Mountainside On Site Massage Therapy, providers of prenatal and postnatal massage therapy.  You can visit their website at>