Morning Sickness

MORNING SICKNESS

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The experience of morning sickness differs with each woman, and each pregnancy. It is thought that the term comes from when it generally starts, in the morning. When in actuality it can start and end at any time of the day. It can range from a mild discomfort, to constant vomiting and nausea for the first trimester or longer. It generally can begin at around 6 weeks and last until the 14 week.

Triggers:

  • Empty stomach, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), hunger.
  • Strong smells
  • Hormonal surges and imbalances
  • The normal pregnancy-related changes in the digestive system
  • Oily foods
  • Very sweet, sugary foods (which could include fruits).
  • Vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies
  • Lack of exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Ambivalence or anxiety about the pregnancy

Normally, morning sickness is not a problem. But, it may be uncomfortable at times. Severe morning sickness with excessive vomiting may be a problem in that that dehydration and severe malnutrition may occur. In such instances a person should go to the hospital for rehydration with intravenous fluids. Note: medications prescribed for morning sickness have not proven to be safe for the fetus.

What can be done to lessen morning sickness:

  • Exercise. A lack of cardiovascular stimulation can make nausea more unmanageable.
  • Get plenty of rest, use relaxing herbs, and ask for help if you are fatigued.
  • Ambivalence about being pregnant can cause internal tension that may make it worse. Feeling guilty over the emotions is not helpful, so acknowledge what you feel and release negative thinking. Talk about it with someone.

Recommendations for your Diet:

  • Small, more frequent meals that are full of carbohydrates and protein
  • If you awaken in the middle of the night it may be that you actually are hungry. Try a snack before bed, and maybe one during the night.
  • Always carry with you nutritious food, especially if you are hypoglycemic. Hypoglycemia can cause not only nausea, but also could cause dizziness, headaches, hot flashes /followed by cold sweats, anxiety, and fainting.
  • Even if you think drinking fluids, especially water, makes the nausea worse…drink plenty of it. Dehydration can cause even more problems!
  • Chose foods that are prepared by steaming, water-saute-ing, or baking. Fried or oily foods are harder to digest!
  • Instead of sweets for quick-fuel food, eat complex carbohydrates (see nutrition hand-out).
  • Consider taking a vitamin/mineral supplement in case you have deficiencies in these areas as the cause of nausea.

HERBALS:

  • Ginger root, grate one teaspoon of fresh ginger root in one cup of boiling water, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Try to drink without sweeteners.
  • Suck on ginger flavored hard candies or crystalized ginger.
  • Any herbs of the mint family will help, including Ceyaka.

Source:
Romm, Aviva Jill. (2003)The Natural Pregnancy Book: herbs, nutrition, and other holistic choices. Celestial Arts.

 

* Next topic coming up: Prenatal Tests (Other than the usual blood-panel, etc)

 

 

 

Weight Gain in Pregnancy

WEIGHT GAIN IN PREGNANCY

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Having a healthy baby with a normal birth rate
is directly linked to pre-pregnancy weight.

 

Even if you are 20 or more pounds over-weight you would still need to gain weight during your pregnancy.

Many women know little about the importance of weight gain in pregnancy, or are given too low of a weight amount. Not gaining enough weight puts your baby at risk for infant low birth weight or fetal death.

Women who gain less than 20 pounds during pregnancy are at the highest risk. The best fetal outcome is when a woman gains twenty-six to thirty-five pounds during their pregnancy.

A woman who is overweight at conception, may need to go up to 40 pounds in weight gain. Her calorie intake was already higher when she conceived. She needs to consider the needs of the unborn fetus inside of her.


DO NOT DIET DURING YOUR PREGNANCY!

 

Under-eating during the last portion of the pregnancy puts the fetus at risk for underdevelopment of the brain, and abnormal growth.

• Don’t worry about your weight gain.
• Eat when your appetite tells you to eat.
• But…when you eat, eat with good nutrition in mind. No “empty calories”, …ever.
• Don’t restrict salt intake
• Be careful with drugs, especially diuretics.

During pregnancy the blood volume of the circulatory system increases more than 40 percent in order to take care of the needs of the mother and baby. The expansion of blood is determined and is maintained by whether or not there is adequate salt intake. This includes salt that is found in the foods you eat, as well as that which is used to flavor the food.

Be sure to refer to the “Baby Wise Diet” blog post or hand-out when choosing foods. Eat fresh whole foods as often as possible. Try to limit the “sweets” from your diet such as cakes, pies, cookies, and candy. Also limit fast foods and fried foods.


Concentrate on:

Fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals and breads, fish (see nutrition hand-outs for cautions), poultry and lean meats.

Dairy products are also important, if tolerated, but remember calcium and other nutrients can be found in dark leafy vegetables as well.

Yogurt can be and is a good source of protein and calcium, but also is good for the intestinal tract. It is better tolerated than whole milk because of the fermentation processed used to culture the yogurt. With the over-use of antibiotics, our intestinal flora cannot support the production of essential vitamins normally found within the intestinal tract.