3 simple tips for combatting morning sickness
Just survive. This is no time for thriving.
This is not going to be your average health and wellness post from me. If you know me at all, have seen any of my content or have worked with me, you know I’m typically the hype girl for maximization. When it comes to prenatal and postnatal anything, I take a much more delicate approach.
Let's get this out of the way...morning sickness absolutely blows, so you're allowed to expect less of yourself. If you are one of the 3/4 pregnant women who have been through it, you know it’s brutal. If you haven’t...imagine a hangover that lasts for months (not to scare off anyone who's gearing up to have a baby, but seriously, it's better that you know:). For me, morning sickness lasts from weeks 6-14 and feels like trying to function on 2 Tylenol PM with persistent nausea, food aversions and headaches. A lot of time is spent passed out on the couch, eating pasta in bed and reliant on dry shampoo. Do not tell a pregnant woman in the throes of the first trimester fog to do anything. She’s not interested in your suggestions unless you’ve been there too. If you’ve never been unable to peel yourself out of bed or off the bathroom floor thanks to a baby sucking the life out of you, please just be quiet.
For those of us who have been there (and this is now my 5th and final rodeo!), we know there are a few things that can help make this season a little less miz. TBH, nothing truly resolves morning sickness like time, but some practices do help take the edge off.
1. DRINK. And then drink more.
This may seem elementary, but pushing hydration during this time is evvveryyything. I especially found drinks with bubbles, electrolytes and B vitamins to ease my symptoms. I also became a master mocktail mixologist to keep from getting bored. We spent a good chunk of my first tri out in Colorado where the altitude exacerbates morning sickness and dehydrates you, so getting fluids down became essential. For any woman suffering from nausea and fatigue, mild or severe, this will help too.
My fav ways to increase water intake:
ICE. Pregnancy turns you into an ice aficionado. I don't know what it is but suddenly, you become v particular about the shape and ratio of ice to liquid. This is for real. Don't be shy about asking for what you want or driving the extra miles to wherever they have what you need. I know women who would only drink iced tea from Chick-Fil-A because of their ice or had crushed ice machines installed in their homes during pregnancy. Do what you gotta do here. Personally, I didn't care about the shape, I just cared that my drinks were over ice. Always.
Hydration packs. This was a life saver for me especially at altitude. Adding some flavor to my water bottle would get me to drink more and the extra electrolytes kept me from fading. I dissolved Liquid IV passionfruit or guava hibiscus into my ice water and carried it around with me everywhere. Other products I love are Go Hydrate and LMNT Recharge, especially if you're someone who gets sick often during the first trimester.
Insulated water bottles & straws. I Primed this marble water bottle to me when we were out in Colorado as soon as my morning sickness hit. For some reason, if my water is housed in something cute, stays freezing cold and can be sipped through a straw, I drink more. You should love your water bottle because every little luxury matters during this time. Order a quality one that you will actually use.
Effervescence. Products like Waterloo, La Croix and San Pellegrino add a little sparkle to my everyday water intake. I need variety to keep me interested, so playing around with different flavors and combinations of sparkling + juices or fruit helps. I craved anything citrus, so often I would add lemon or grapefruit to my sparkling with mint leaves from the garden. If you're like me and sometimes crave a coke or root beer over ice, Zevia is a great alternative. Their ginger ale is a soothing option when your stomach is upset too.
Vitamin Water. I stock up on Lemon Vitamin Water Zero during the first tri because getting your daily intake of B vitamins does help ease symptoms...and I love anything lemon or lime flavored when I'm nauseous. Mixing the lemon flavor with unsweetened iced tea is a favorite of mine. I save myself the sugar from normal lemonade and sneak in some energy from caffeine for an elevated Arnold Palmer.
2. Small, frequent carbs.
Above all else, this is THE most helpful tip I can give any woman suffering through morning sickness.
Get carbs into your body often. And if at all possible, sneak protein and fat in there as well. You will feel 100x better. The most effortless way to do this is to choose quality carbs that do double duty for you. If you have moments when you feel like eating eggs, meat, fish etc...please do. Personally, the best I could do most days was an egg on my morning bagel, protein pancakes or bone broth in my soup. Just do what you can when you can and give yourself grace for the in-between.
Here were some of my go-to carbs, some of which also provided protein and/or fat:
Lentil rotini with marinara or butter + parm/manchego
Magic Spoon cereal (the fruity and cinnamon are my favs)
Simple smoothies with Orgain protein
*use code KMARIAS3O for 30% off your first order*
Fruit (I was obsessed with peaches, watermelon & raspberries this summer)
Cheddar crackers in tomato soup (Simple Mills crackers are king)
Protein pancakes (I like the plant-based protein ones by Birch Benders or the original Kodiak Cakes)
Bone broth soups with veggies and beans
Sandwiches - pb&j, paninis or breakfast sandwiches mostly
Potatoes - any way I could get them - tots (extra crispy), fries, baked & salted...
Muffins, donuts & cinnamon rolls - yyyup (Simple Mills offers great baked goods made from almond flour to help lighten things up)
3. Craving swaps
Cravings are powerful anytime but during pregnancy, there's just no fighting them. The best approach is to try and satisfy your cravings with quality options. The food landscape has improved so much in recent years (thank God). There are so many amazing alternatives these days that help us to eat healthfully while giving into cravings. Instead of saltines and traditional ginger ale to minimize nausea, I swapped for Simple Mills almond flour crackers and ginger ale Zevia. I chose high protein cereals and used lentil noodles in place of regular pasta. Sometimes, though, you just gotta have the spicy chicken sandwich and fries. So no judgement if you have to have the real thing to get your life together. Here are some of my favorite substitutions when I couldn't deny my cravings but wanted to be a little more mindful.
Instead of soda, try >> Zevia
Gatorade >> Vitamin Water Zero or hydration packets dissolved in water
Arnold Palmer >> Lemon Vitamin Water Zero + iced tea or Starbucks 1/2 refresher + 1/2 passionfruit tea
Sausage egg & cheese >> Starbucks turkey bacon, Dunkin power breakfast sandwich or egg white flatbread
Buttered noodles >> lentil rotini with grassfed butter & manchego
Mac & cheese >> Banza mac & cheese + grassfed butter + peas
Saltines >> Simple Mills crackers
Bagel sandwich >> Dave’s Killer Everything Bagel + Kite Hill cream cheese + fried egg
Pancakes >> Kodiak Cakes or Birch Benders
Waffles >> gf Vans, Natures Path or Kashi
Ice cream >> Halo Top, Enlightened or So Delicious
Candy >> SmartSweets
Cereal >> Magic Spoon
PB&J >> Dave's Killer Bread thin sliced, sourdough or gf bread + pb + sliced strawberries
Donuts >> protein donuts. check out one of my donut recipes here
Muffins >> Simple Mills or try these
Just know if you're in it or preparing for it, I feel you and think you're absolutely amazing. Hang in there and please share your own tips & tricks to add to the list. You can email me or find me @kristenmariasrd on insta :)