Advice from a Holistic Nutritionist and Doula
The sun has risen, you’re standing thankful in a warm shower and just as you wash the suds out of your eyes, you feel it. There it is… morning sickness.
Morning sickness is common in the first trimester of pregnancy. Those influx of raging hormones are believed to be the culprit. Our bodies are growing a miracle after all. And for the lucky ones, once the clock strikes noon, it means, well, it means nothing. Morning sickness can last all day long. At times it feels like it will never end, months of a lingering hangover, with a different kind of party.
As we know, nutrition is important for the growth and development of baby. This is the time we expect to be “eating for two”, thinking we will be filling our plates with so many delicious treats. And for some, a clean wholesome diet is how we imagined our meals for the duration of pregnancy.
However, it’s hard to wrap our head around eating healthy, let alone at all when your stomach is doing backflips. Being mindful and changing a few things can make a huge difference, here are some tips to help you through:
Small frequent snacks have long been known to help ease morning sickness. Be sure to always keep them handy in the kitchen or pack them when leaving the house. Choosing easily digestible foods and chewing your food properly, will help to ensure digestion and absorption of foods. High fiber – slow digesting foods are a general goal, but as food lingers in your stomach, it can help amplify that nausea. I’m not saying limit yourself to only white breads and pasta, but try making some conscious adjustments to your normal diet. Your blender or food processor may have just become your new best friend.
All that fat and not the bag of chips.
As a nutritionist, I’m the first to admit that I love to indulge in snacks such as dark chocolate and chips. It is in fact, one of the reasons I ate that bunch of kale for breakfast, right? Choose healthy fats, to support the growth and development of the neural system. And not to mention the benefits for yourself, they can satisfy you at meal time, ease inflammation, support your mental health and even keep your hair and skin hydrated.
If you haven’t experienced it yet, I can almost guarantee that you will soon. Lemon and peppermint teas and aromatics can help to calm your senses. Having a cup steeping beside you may be just what you need.
Here is a list of things to try:
Cooked (soft) Vegetables
Legumes, try blending up your beans (hummus and other bean dips)
Fresh high water fruits and vegetables like celery/grapes. (softer fruit/veg have less fiber)
Ginger can help ease your stomach. Fresh ginger tea or homemade ginger cookies.
Raw (firm) vegetables/fruit
Self Care Isn’t Selfish.
Morning sickness may not be completely avoidable.
Keep in mind, this will pass, whether it’s when the first trimester ends or when labor starts. It will end.
It’s ok to feel frustrated, sad or like you are failing. You are not alone. Practice self care, talk to your friends about their experience. Indulge in some healthy enjoyable snacks, activities and downtime. Remember this is your time to pamper yourself. Own that glow and prepare for the joy that lies ahead.
By Catherine Switzer, Holistic Nutritionist and Doula