LIFESTYLE

How To Survive Morning Sickness

27/04/2017 08:28 SAST | Updated 27/04/2017 08:33 SAST
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Pregnant African American mother holding her stomach

Everyone knows that morning sickness is a bugger. In fact, I would go as far to say it's quite a serious design fault. Why, after however many months of trying to conceive would your body reward your success with three solid months (or more!) of your worst stinking hangover EVERY. SINGLE. DAY? I'm talking the morning after, when you can feel the vodka shots still swirling around your stomach, when you can hardly move without making a dash to chat to Huey on the big white telephone. When even the world's dirtiest fry up doesn't take the edge off. Yep, that, but worse... much, much worse.

Because here is the thing, you may be sustaining a brand new life inside of you, but your life doesn't stop. You will still need to work/look after your children/speak to your husband/console your mother/cook dinner/clean the house/stay awake past 3pm and all sorts of other seemingly impossible things. When all you'll want to do is lie in bed and sleep your way through the never-ending nausea.

Despite now being on my third pregnancy, in those first few months I still found myself googling "morning sickness cures" in despair, hoping to find something... anything that would be more helpful than sodding ginger and adapting a "grin and bare it" attitude. But I couldn't. So now I am through to the other side into the comparatively dreamy realms of the second trimester, I thought I would share my view of what some idiot rudely called "morning sickness" (come on, everyone know it lasts all bloody day).

  • The NHS tells us we need to rest, and they're right. I definitely noticed my sickness became considerably worse when I had a bad night. But resting isn't so easy when you have to work 14-hour days and/or little Timmy is charging up and down the living room on his scooter from dusk to dawn. And, if you're really lucky, he'll be screaming about monsters under his bed at 2am too (FFS). So, when you have a spare 15 minutes, sod the dishwasher or picking up the piggin' Lego. Get into bed! Have a bath! Rest. I promise you the house won't disintegrate and you know the kids will only go and sprinkle crumbs over your freshly vacuumed floor 2 seconds later...

  • I remember one website telling me eating healthy vegetables, fruits and pulses would help with the nausea. Unless a potato waffle counts as a vegetable, I am not sure this is strictly true? Of course, if you can maintain a healthy diet, that's great. But if you can't, don't worry about it. My stomach would not even let me sneer at a broccoli stalk for those first few months, instead opting to tolerate a diet of purely beige food, interspersed with an occasional spoonful of beans - the sugary kind. As for water, forget it. Only squash or sugary decaf tea or coffee would do. But do keep drinking! Handing over a vile of golden syrup to my midwife at my booking appointment was not my finest moment...

  • Unlike my first two pregnancies, this time round I really noticed certain "triggers" that would make me battle with the bile. Of course, any sensible site would say avoid those triggers, but what do you do when it's something like your kitchen tipping you over the edge? Not so easily avoided when you have two small hangry people demanding cream cheese sandwiches, fish fingers and biscuits on a bi-hourly basis. I cleaned everything - the oven, the dishwasher, and the fridge. I opened every window, bought sweet smelling candles, the lot. It made sod all difference. Even the smell of the kids' bath wash, which we had bought in bulk, turned my stomach. The answer? At times there won't be one, but if there is another adult on hand - use them! Don't suffer it unless you have to. It may sound mad to everyone else, but it's very real to you and if you can escape to a sweeter smelling space (ideally with a bed in it), run!

  • My last tip? Remember to be kind to yourself. Let's face it, the back rubs and concerned little voices shouting, "are you alright mummy?" are only going to last so long before you languishing on the bathroom floor becomes the norm. And even a Saint may find it tricky to retain sympathy for someone who answers, "I feel sick (you stupid bastard)" every time they ask how you're feeling. And whilst this is answer is understandable (you have been sick for five weeks, rearing children, and growing a human) it may result in you feeling a little lonely at times. I know I did. So make your life as easy as possible. Stick on the TV/ iPad/ PlayStation. Dish out the mini (or big) packs of Smarties. Don't listen to the voice that says your baby will be malnourished unless you force down a plate of peas. Pregnancy is an anxious enough time as it is, so do whatever you need to do to manage in that moment, and don't be afraid to tell the guilt gremlin to go do one

The delights of the second trimester are just around the corner...

To read more parenting and pregnancy related posts from Gemma please visit her blog Coffee, Kids & Ice Cream or follow her ramblings on Facebook