During pregnancy, a few key nutritional concepts run throughout… consume plenty of calories with a focus on certain nutrients: iron, essential fatty acids, vitamin D, trace minerals, especially zinc and iodine, and B vitamins, especially folic acid. Despite the ubiquity of prenatal vitamins, Tressa and I believe in a whole foods diet where your diet provides for your nutritional needs and, ideally, make supplemental intake redundant.
The most important thing to know about morning sickness is that despite your likely aversion to protein, protein is THE best solution. So, rather than reaching for those carbohydrates that seem palatable, try eating a small bite of an egg, a sip of bone broth, some almonds or some turkey. Then, wait to see what happens. You may find that you feel better and even have more of an appetite for protein. And, try some of these other techniques as well.
What Do I Do?
- Eat small, frequent meals
- Keep a stash of snacks handy (even next to your bed at night)
- Nibble on something as soon as you wake up, then wait about 20 minutes to get out of bed
- Carbohydrate foods may seem most appealing, but protein foods seem to be more effective at alleviating symptoms
- Get up slowly in the morning, rather than jumping out of bed and straight into action
- Avoid foods with strong smells or that trigger your nausea (It is ok to eat only what appeals to you during this phase. You will return to a balanced diet once this passes.)
- Bland foods may help as well as foods that are room temperature
- Avoid foods that are hard to digest (red meats, fatty foods, heavy sauces and condiments)
- Avoid foods that can irritate your digestive tract (spicy, rich, acidic, fried foods)
- Sip fluids throughout the day, but don’t drink so much at one time that your stomach feels full
- Try a drink high in electrolytes if you are vomiting a lot (coconut water, rice water*, etc.)
- Watch for non-food triggers (flickering lights, strong smells, musty or stuffy rooms, car rides)
- Relax, take naps (nausea can be worse when tired)
- Try hypnosis, acupuncture or acupressure
- Take your supplements (including your prenatal) with food
- Consider visiting Broth Bar in NE Portland, which will provide you with healthy and humanly sourced soups
- If all else fails, stay hydrated and rest. As uncomfortable as it is, this phase will pass.