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Unsustainable morning sickness: Nine months of junk?

I was nauseous in the face of herbs with my second pregnancy; with my first, I craved coffee milkshakes. I generally believe that nausea is our body's way of telling us what we should be avoiding, whether it be liquor (which I've never, not for more than a passing second, wanted in any of my pregnancies), coffee, or fresh salsa (who knows what bacterial dangers could be lurking?). Some of us can eat everything and do -- maybe those bodies are just made of sturdy stuff and don't need any special treatment? Who knows.

But many of us have been turning away from the simple carbohydrate junk food that filled our blissful teens and twenties and working to eat more "sustainably," whether we're following the lead of gurus like Sally Fallon or just trying to eat more local veggies. A mom from one of the listservs I subscribe to asked this question:

I'm pregnant and having a rough go of it.  I was sick for 9 months with my first baby with hospitalizations and all that because of the severe vomiting.

After a year of long, hard work, all the healthful food in my pantry and freezer makes me vomit, and the only things I want is crap from the store.  I am beside myself with guilt and unsure what to do.

Any advice from those of you out there who've been adopting Nourishing Traditions-style food practices in your household? Here is our previous discussion on horrible morning sickness.


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The sickness can be so hard. Having it so bad as to wind up in the hospital must be torture.

Personally, I ate whatever I wanted, with some mild limitations (mostly the "unsafe" foods). Even if it was crappy comfort food from a box. I figured that if I could keep it down, that was a hugely positive thing. For me, this meant that I went from vegan to carnivore nearly overnight. This probably bothered me at the time, but I can't actually remember. I must have forgiven myself pretty early on.

Oddly enough, I swung in the other direction and with the exception of Healthy Choice brand frozen macaroni and cheese, I craved and ate lean meats, tons of fruit and veggies, yogurts, whole grain breads, bran muffins. Fatty, overly spicy or garlicly, overprocessed food made me ill.

I, too, was horribly sick with both of my kids. Nine whole months with both. I ate whatever I wanted whenever my body would let me. AND, as the comment above stated, I went from a vegetarian to a carnivore. I craved bacon and jerky. Salty meat. They actually stayed in my stomach after a while. My advice is to drink lots of fluids, take a vitamin now and again if you can, and eat whatever you want. Both my kids are healthy and happy even though I didn't follow a healthy diet. That's the beauty and amazement of the human body!

I was sick for 7 months. I feel for you! I would break blood vessels in my face from vomiting so hard (sorry if too much info). I also craved "junky" empty caloric foods and felt some guilt but honestly if you're taking your prenatal vitamin and drinking water and avoiding the "must avoid" foods you will be fine. My midwife told me that "your growing baby will take what it needs from your body no matter what you eat and if you aren't eating healthy it will just be you that feels bad". Not that feeling bad is a good thing but at least you know your babe is okay. My nasty food crave was cup o noodles. At least they were salty and made me drink water! :)

My sympathies...I can't claim the mama badge of many months with morning sickness. But I did have it pretty bad my first trimester. Acupuncture was really helpful and I highly recommend giving it a try. There are several acupuncturists around town who specialize in women's health. I used Catherine Lowe, she is terrific. I did find that it wasn't a one time fix though, I had to keep going for treatments or it would just come back. Ginger in all forms also was pretty helpful. I especially liked a ginger syrup I got at New Seasons and ginger people candy. Best of luck!!

I am so sorry! I really feel for you. I'm in my 3rd trimester with my 2nd child but spent 3 months constantly nauseous and wishing time would speed up. I also had morning sickness in my 1st pregnancy. I am a very healthy eater EXCEPT when I'm pregnant. I crave salty, fatty foods and gave myself the permission, when I was debilitated by nausea, to eat whatever I could keep down. If something actually appeals to you consider that a blessing and let yourself indulge. Getting some type of nourishment is better than none at all. And, I agree with Kendelle about the baby getting what s/he needs. My midwives assured me of the same thing. If water makes you nauseous-- it did for me-- I drank flavored sparkling waters. Those helped. Some homeopathics help too. You may want to investigate that path with a midwife or naturopath.

My sympathies on the morning sickness! Mine was completely unconnected to food--didn't matter if I ate or what I ate. I was still gonna throw up a couple times a day. But it only lasted four months. I'm so sorry you have it so bad.

Here's my thought on the craving for junk food: veggies and fruits and whole grains are chock full of nutrients, but they are complex carbohydrates. What you're craving sounds like simple carbohydrates. The energy in the simple carbohydrates is easier for your body to digest and access. Maybe your body is so overset by the pregnancy that you're craving those easy sources of energy. I'm not suggesting you eat sugar by the spoonful or throw yourself at the Hostess aisle in the grocery store, but I definitely would eat what you crave for awhile and see how your body feels as a result.

Don't worry, at this point, too much about making sure everything is as pure and perfect as you once envisioned...

I had a friend who, because of morning sickness, could only keep down Coke and graham crackers. Every day. For nine months. A very healthy person, she was horrified and was a ball of anxiety. Her doctor said it was better than nothing. Her now 7 year old son was born incredibly healthy and remains so to this day.

I myself went through a Pop-Tart phase -- and had a very healthy kiddo. Just get yourself through....

Someone told me that almonds are an anti-emetic when I was having morning sickness with my second pregnancy. I snacked on almonds and carrots all day long. At the time, it seemed to help...though it could have just been the snacking all day, too. Now I have trouble digesting almonds unless I've soaked them in salt water and dehydrated them, like this: http://tinyurl.com/6roro7 . Easier to digest and tasty too.

Oh, I am so sorry. I had morning sickness for half of my first pregnancy and all nine months of my second. I so feel for you. I also felt bad about the unhealthy eating (for some reason Doritos stayed down for me), but I also feel that when you are vomiting just walking in the kitchen or while making your kids a healthy dinner, you have to do what you have to do to keep something down, even if it means living on Doritos and Dots.

Oh, you know what - Vitamin water was my savior my second time around. I drank about 5 of them a day because plain water would make me vomit. I hope that the time goes by quickly for you. Honestly, the 9 months of being sick is the only reason I will never carry another baby again.

i feel for you, too! i was very sick for months with my pregnancy. my first tri i lost about 17 or 18 pounds. but i kept taking my prenatal and my OB was not worried. when i finally did start to eat, i only wanted heavily processed foods that i normally never eat. i wanted white bread, i wanted cheap cheese. my poor husband made me a grilled cheese (per my request, and it had to be made using plastic wrapped singles), but he opted for tillamook cheese--and that was just too high budge for my appetite. it was too rich and i couldn't stomach it. i'd wanted kraft! i wanted the worst frozen pizza out there. i wanted taco sauce on iceberg lettuce. so i just went with it to pick up some calories for myself. my ob also explained to me that the baby was being well taken care of. so give yourself what you need while being safe. and you will laugh about it later. i know how hard it is and it seems endless. i hope you feel better soon!

oh yeah! and someone in my birth class told me that coke slurpees helped. i don't drink soda, don't like really sweet things--the thought was awful. but they did help me!

I am the same way!!! I am so sick right now with my fourth and the only thing that sounds good is chocolate and ice cream! or anything else fatty. I never usually eat like this and have never ever given into any of these urges before with my other three pregnancies. I need the energy to keep up with my busy life so I'm eating the junk. I'm not worried about the baby I know that it is getting what it needs, I am worried about losing the baby weight since all that I'm eating right now is fat, sugar, and high calorie food!!! Will I stay fat?!

I am 34 weeks pregnant with my first child and haven't gotten sick even once. I find that instead of craving meat I was actually very turned off by it for the first 6 months. When I started eating meat after a temporary hiatus, I always bought meat that was local and not treated with hormones. Most of my cravings have been towards tomatoes, avocados, fruits and virtually any organic raw vegetable I could get my hands on. I quit sushi cold turkey, and did not have any tea until the third trimester came (though water diffused, organic and not very often). I drink on average of 1 gallon of filtered water a day, and take a great food-based prenatal supplement, as well as organic raspberry leaf. I feel fortunate to not have been plagued with the many maladies I hear women talk about with their pregnancies, but I know that the choices I am making have a lot to do with that. Also low-impact exercise and stretching have been key to keeping me active and agile. Perhaps the most important habit I have found conducive to a healthy pregnancy- monitoring my stress levels. It's my true belief that just as my fetus eats what I eat, he also feels what I feel. So if there are any unnecessary emotions you are hanging on to, it just may help to let them go for a while.

This pregnancy is treating me so differently from the first two, when I had pretty much no morning sickness. This time around (6 years after my last pregnancy), I was sick pretty much 24-hours a day for the first trimester. Now into my second trimester, I am down to being sick only after 5 or 6pm, so I guess that's an improvement. I am also thankful that - while the feeling of complete nausea is completely awful - I am able to keep the food down and I haven't actually vomitted. Still, I feel like crap.

I drink IZZE pops or club soda mixed with a little juice. That usually calms my stomach a bit. I also eat lots of grapefruit and oranges, as the acid also seems to take the nausea edge off.

When I mentioned the nausea to my doc, he asked if I wanted to consider meds. I didn't think that was necessary in my case, but I do know there are some treatments out there to control the morning sickness when it is most intense.

With my first pregnancy the only thing that didn't make me sick was hot dogs and ice cream (not together). All pre-natal vitamins made me really ill. I tried everything, and finally gave in. I gained 50 pounds and still haven't gotten it all off, but to me it was worth not feeling as sick for 9 months.
My son is very healthy, naturally a little string-bean, and has healthy eating habits.
With my second pregnancy I was not as sick, was able to take pre-natals and still do, and ate much better. i gained 22 pounds with the pregnancy. My second baby is an adorable little chubster who eats a ton! just a baby, so all healthy stuff and breast milk.
I say eat whatever makes you feel better and don't let others judge you. Only you know what you're feeling - don't obsess about it.

Morning sickness is basically the result of hormones kicking in the body. It's not some sort of disease that requires cure. All of us moms need is lots of patience and some remedies to manage the symptoms during the morning sickness weeks.

Try this http://www.morningsicknessfix.com/b6-for-morning-sickness.html

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