Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

First Trimester Changes, Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness, and Prenatal Vitamins

March 31st, 2011 · 64 Comments · My Story, Natural Health

salad greens

The first trimester of a pregnancy, for many women, is like no other time in their lives (except maybe having the flu). I have been meaning to write a list of “changes I experienced during the first trimester” since December, but…I didn’t get around to it. Fatigue sometimes makes the list, as many of you know.

That paired with my natural propensity to overplan and underestimate the amount of time things take meant that the pregnancy first trimester post kept getting pushed off by other other fun things, five days a week. ;)

Now I’m nearing the end of my second trimester (20 weeks or so) and will finally tell you what I remember of the first! I will say that if you are pregnant right now or had a horrible physical experience of pregnancy, you might not want to read this – I’ve had a very easy time of it.

For about two weeks after Christmas (maybe 4-8 weeks into the pregnancy or so) I felt kind of awful, and iffy about food. But after that, nearly everything disappeared, and for quite some time now I can practically forget I’m pregnant except for the fact that my pants are getting tighter.

Changes in My First Trimester
  • Dry mouth/extreme thirst: this was the first and most intense symptom I noticed. I had zero saliva when I woke up in the mornings! Blech. A pregnant woman’s blood volume increases by 50% (one of the reasons iron is so important in pregnancy), so my theory is that my body needed extra water to bulk up, and apparently I wasn’t getting enough. I have a hard time drinking a lot in the winter when I’imagem always cold.I pushed hard to drink more during the day, would drink 1/2-1 full glass of water right before bed, and had a glass (or my Berkey bottle) of water on my nightstand for the second I woke up, and that especially helped to alleviate the yucky feeling.
  • Fatigue: I’m one who’s always tired, because I’m a night owl and no matter how sleepy I am during the day, I get energized and ready to work at night. I could fall asleep at any second of the day, though, for those few weeks after Christmas. I remember during my second pregnancy, laying on the couch miserably calling directions to my husband in the kitchen so we could eat dinner. That was a much harder pregnancy (a girl)!My first pregnancy, my boy, was fairly easy as well. Some light-headedness, a few food issues, etc., but the fatigue wasn’t bad at all. I was still teaching full time, so thank goodness for that! That means I’m either carrying a boy this time or my dietary changes (many, as you’ll see tomorrow) since then truly make a difference.
  • Gag reflex while brushing teeth: This is practically how I know I’m pregnant. Any further than the incisors and I’m starting to feel the gag reflex threatening. Weird, weird, weird. Come to think of it, that one usually stuck around at least through month 5, and I became so used to it that I almost didn’t notice when it disappeared, but I already have been free of it for a while. Maybe there is something to the real food diet thing!
  • Food aversions: After dry heaving in the sink because of the sight of a raw egg, but whole, in the shell, I was a little nervous about all the weird foods in my kitchen now. Surprisingly, I got off pretty easy this time. Certain things (raw cheese, oh my) taste exceptionally good in pregnancy, and certain things turn me off, especially smells (cooking meat, but nothing serious). My biggie with all three pregnancies was chewing raw greens, first trimester only.I have trouble getting through an average salad, and don’t even ask me to tackle a pile of raw spinach. There was just something about all that chewing that made me feel yucky. I always thought that was kind of strange, considering I needed extra folic acid, and spinach is a good source. I still can’t get my homemade dressings to taste right to me, but my husband assures me that they’re as good as they’ve always been!
  • Trouble sleeping: Totally no fair. You’re fatigued all day, and then a touch of insomnia, just enough to make you slightly crazy, hits at night. The ol’ brain just wouldn’t shut off.
  • Vivid dreams: I suddenly meet people from high school in my dreams, and every one is so incredibly vivid and detailed, down to the millisecond of action, I can’t believe it. Sometimes I’d fall back asleep for a short amount of time in the mornings, say 20 minutes, and have what felt like at least an hour’s worth of dreams, of which I could remember every bit. Sometimes I could wake up and keep the dream going in my imagination, awake. Very, very bizarre. Most of the dreams aren’t even about children or babies, just random events, sometimes frightening, sometimes just off the wall, sometimes realistic enough that I integrate them into my real memories and can’t believe they didn’t happen!
  • Waking up to urinate: Another no fair, especially because it was always so hard to fall back asleep! The second trimester is truly lovely, because you don’t have all the adjusting of the first trimester, including this one, and baby isn’t quite big enough yet to be squishing your bladder – I’ll be waking up to use the bathroom again in a few months for sure!
  • Warts: Please tell me I’m not the only person to whom this happens! Both of my last two pregnancies have been marked by a sudden occurrence of warts – apparently because one’s immune system is compromised in pregnancy, so a virus like a Plantar wart can come right in. Is the immune system compromised just because the body is focusing so much effort on preparing a healthy womb and a new life?I also got a cold the second I conceived, I think, which I had been successfully fighting off for two months as the entire household struggled with one after the other. That cold lasted six doggone weeks (perhaps part of the fatigue I felt after Christmas!), and it’s been the only illness I’ve gotten this season, again, while my entire family battles a million different bugs. What gives?
  • Feeling iffy: It seems so long in the past now, but there were a few days where I just didn’t want to get up and dance Wii with my son, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to eat, and I’d rather be back in bed than anything. It was like a ghost of nausea, not true nausea itself. So mild, I know, compared to what many moms-to-be experience! I find that if I eat well, right away in the morning, something with protein, and make sure I don’t get too hungry, I can fight much of that off. First trimester of my second pregnancy was around Thanksgiving, and I ate a half a turkey sandwich with cheese every night at 10 p.m. as long as we had leftover turkey in the house! (I think for some reason we had some in early November, too – a life saver!) This go ’round I ate a lot of raw milk, raw cheese, and yogurt, since meat is a bit more scarce now because of its high cost for good quality.
  • I’m sure there are more…countless times I made a thorough mental list to share with you all while lying on the couch, taking a shower, or chopping vegetables. I just never got around to even drafting a bulleted list while I was in the midst; what a shame!
Some Tips for You: Naturally Dealing with Morning Sickness

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(photo source)

Although I haven’t had morning sickness badly (when I felt poorly, it was all day sickness anyway!), I can offer a few suggestions for the awful nausea, feeling “off” and fatigue that can hit:

  • Drink lots and lots of water (or healthy fermented beverage). Put some lemon in it for nausea and to encourage yourself to drink more.
  • Eat lots of protein. A piece of cheese or a handful of nuts goes a lot longer toward (a) staying around in your system so you’re not hungry again and (b) generally nourishing your baby and fighting off the sickies.
  • Try ginger. Ginger is a natural anti-nauseal, and you can get it even in gum, as well as tea.
  • Eat something the second you wake up. Keep nuts or a cracker or something you can munch on your nightstand along with a glass of water. Eat it before you’re even out of bed, and you’ve got some ammunition against the day.
  • Eat a piece of cheese outside in the cold. A strange one my friend’s midwife shared with her, but there’s something about this intervention that works!
  • Salt your food. We need salt to retain water, and it helps us stay thirsty. Just be sure to use an unrefined sea salt.

What else, ladies?

My Thoughts on Prenatals

A lot of readers have asked me about what prenatal supplements, if any, I’m imagetaking, and why. I’m happy to share, but please, please remember that (1) I’m still new at this, (2) I’m no expert and (3) I make a lot of stuff up as I go along! With that in mind, here’s what I am taking this pregnancy:

  1. One bottle of prescription prenatals, whatever the doctor wrote the scrip for. You can only get the recommended 1200 mcg of folic acid in a prescription vitamin, and that particular vitamin is of most importance during the first trimester to combat spinal bifida. (OTC prenatal vitamins only have 800 mcg folic acid.)
  2. Garden of Life prenatals, which are raw and whole foods based. They include the 800 mcg folic acid, as well as iron from real foods, not rocks, a probiotic, and ginger to combat the morning sickness. They are expensive – $30 for a month’s worth at drugstore.com (the best price I’ve found) – but watch for sales and stock up!First trimester, I just took the Garden of Life vits and the prescription every other day. Just making it up as I went along!
  3. Fermented cod liver oil – we started taking this in the fall, and even though I can’t explicate any benefits for me personally, I’m still trusting that it’s good for me and baby.
  4. Krill oil – I received this sample and am happy to have more omega-3s. Some days I just don’t get around to taking FCLO  – laziness, I suppose, and the fact that we’re always running out of spoons. Sometimes I just like to have a pill to swallow.
  5. Garden of Life DHA softgels – another omega-3 option that I can swallow without a spoon. DHA is so good for babies! These are also pricey, so I don’t think I’ll take them the whole pregnancy. ???
  6. Primal Defense Probiotics – I haven’t taken these the whole time, and I’m happy to have some probiotics in the prenatal vitamin. However, so that I can try to fight off the Strep B issue and give baby the best first chance, hopefully without antibiotics, and also to help myself fight off all the sick bugs flying around our house, I’ve started taking one or two a day, inconsistently. My husband takes them regularly as one line of defense against Crohn’s Disease.
  7. Dr. Ron’s desiccated liver capsules – extra iron and B vitamins make me happy!
Why Bother with Supplements?

Personally, I know I’m not going to get everything in that I should, especially first trimester when chewing spinach just seems painful. ;) So I like to hedge my bets and take some vitamins in supplement form. Many people say our soil is so denatured compared to centuries ago, such that while our bodies are certainly designed to get sufficient nutrition from only food, our food isn’t as nutrient-packed as it was designed to be.

What do you think? Are supplements important in pregnancy?

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Disclosure: The Berkey bottle was part of my sponsorship package for the Blissdom conference, and I’m still grateful and still using it! I am an affiliate for drugstore.com and Dr. Ron’s, and Green Pasture is a sponsor of Kitchen Stewardship. However, these are really what I’m taking, so take all that with a grain of salt. See my full disclosure statement here.

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64 Comments so far ↓

  • Jess

    I had hyperemsis (severe morning sickness) during the first trimester on all 3 of my pregnancies. I found out with my first I was pregnant 14 days after conception and had already been severely sick for 10. Had to have IV’s twice for hydration. Obviously I survived, but it was hard (15-20lbs lost with each one).

    Tip 1: Stay hydrated. Keep a cup for water by the bathroom sink. Chug it between bouts. It helps with the dry heaving.

    Tip 2: keep a couple of clean towels within reach of the of the floor. I can’t tell you how many nights I spent on the floor. Not to mention for under your knees.

    Tip 3: Eat what you can, when you can.

    Tip 4: If you know that all you’re going to have come up it water or dry heaving I did it straight into the sink with the water running. Much easier than making it down to the toilet sometimes. Wash it down as you go the cool water can be put onto your forehead and the back of the neck. Plus if you know all you’ll have time for is bending at the waist it’s easier on the blood vessels (I burst one in my eye from trying). Just keep cleaning wipes handy and close at hand.

    Tip 5: It will end and it is worth it.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Tonya Reply:

    by lost 15-20 lbs, what do you mean? 15-20 lbs lighter when you gave birth vs. right before you got pregnant?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jess Reply:

    I lost 15-20lbs within the first 3 months of pregnancy from being so sick and not being able to eat anything.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Laura Reply:

    Jess, I suffered from that as well with all 5 pregnancies. It even got worse with each one – lasting longer and longer. I lost 25 lbs in the first trimester with my first two. If you have this condition I think there is not any natural remedy that is going to help you. I can’t handle soda crackers, ginger ale, or ginger now because it actually brings back the nausea. With my last three I gave in and took meds. I really wish I could have found something natural that worked for me.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jess Reply:

    Laura, I found out the hard way that I am allergic to phenegren in my first pregnancy. (It gives me panic attacks.) They didn’t come out with any other new prescription drugs until right after I was done being sick with my third. And nothing natural helped at all. The only thing I could do was cope the best I could and the tips I provided helped get me through it.

    I’m the same way with Sprite now, I can’t even smell it since after my first pregnancy.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Laura Reply:

    I took zofran almost every day for the last three. I did have to take phenergen a few times when the insurance didn’t want to approve zofran but it wasn’t fun. Even with meds I still lost weight and had nausea (but no actual vomiting) and my doctor couldn’t believe it. I am just thankful that I wasn’t throwing up every 2 minutes anymore and ending up in the ER. Some people think I’m crazy for doing it 5 times and there were times I didn’t think I could make it through, but it was definitely worth it in the end!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Kathryn Reply:

    Interesting to read someone else is allergic to phenergan. It gave me painful muscle spasms. Those drugs scare me.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Krista

    Yeah, the only time I really have to worry about plantar warts is pregnancy… I HATE them. And I HATE that they just swoop in when I’m pregnant. I don’t feel like my immune system is really that burdened, you know? So why it suddenly decides to just look the other way when a friendly neighborhood virus attacks, is beyond me. Maybe someday I’ll understand…

    (And yes, I’m another one of those women who tends to luck out with relatively mild pregnancies, when they stay, so, as a rule, I tend to keep my mouth shut about things I can’t specifically relate to. I was just SO relieved that the wart thing isn’t just me!!! *huge sigh of relief*)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Tonya

    I remember you saying that you tried to eat lots of eggs in previous pregnancies. Still doing that?

    Do you think eating less meat could be a negative?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Yes! I should get 2 eggs a day, but sometimes I just don’t get them in. Especially now that we’re grain free, we eat more eggs in things like the grain-free pancakes and muffins and such.

    I’m hoping I still get a lot of protein in the yogurt, cheese and such. I’ve been grabbing more chicken breasts (bone in) than usual b/c of pregnancy and convenience, so that has to help, and eating homemade beef jerky. I do need to tally my protein counts for the day…but haven’t gotten around to it yet! It could be a negative, but I hope not…

    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Rosemary

    I was also averse to spinach in my first pregnancy. It was “the S word” for the first trimester – people couldn’t even say the name in my presence. In the rest of pregnancy I could tolerate it cooked, especially with salty cheese. Leafy greens can contain nasty bacteria for pregnant women – I think there’s a good reason to be averse. If you’ve seen the Adam Gopnik book about raising his (American) family in France, he mentions that his wife’s OB there recommended that during pregnancy you should eat no salad, and have a glass of red wine a day.

    My best morning sickness tip aside from adequate protein is to get up and take a walk in the morning first thing, even if you feel like crap and are going at a snail’s pace. The fresh air and movement helped regulate my blood sugar with effects lasting the rest of the day.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    A glass of red wine! Now isn’t that a nice cultural difference… ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Savannah

    I’ve heard and read quite a few things about ginger being not so great during pregnancy, although I’m sure that’s in large-ish quantities. Still, take caution. Peppermint might be a little easier, or a more mild bitter herb?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Savannah,
    Huh, I’ve not seen that one. Since ginger is in my prenatals from Garden of Life, a pretty reputable company, I feel safe with it in at least smaller quantities, but you’re right, peppermint is another great option! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Savannah Reply:

    I double checked my books to look again at the information. All three that mention it’s potential danger during pregnancy refer to Chinese medicine, but only one gives a reason: possibility of stimulating uterine contractions. Although, that same book says that more recent studies indicate up to 15 grams raw and 40 grams cooked will not pose a threat. I doubt anyone is normally eating that much ginger! Good to know about the Garden of Life supplements, thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Nicole

    I do think supplements are beneficial during pregnancy. That being said, I don’t beat myself up when they just won’t go down in the first trimester:)

    This pregnancy I came across “Real Food for Mother and Baby” by Nina Planck. Interesting read. I’m enjoying it and making changes as I can in our family’s overall diet.

    I’m now in the second trimester, but still dealing with the ickies. Anything cold helps: cold washcloth at the back of the neck, on the forehead, and lots and lots of ice water.

    God Bless!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Janette

    I just read this very interesting article on working with morning sickness. Katie, you should really like this, could really promote your ebook about beans!!

    http://www.karenhurd.com/concern_morning_sickness.html

    Haven’t tried this yet as I haven’t been pregnant since I saw this, but will definitely try it for the next one God willing!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Janette,
    Wow, I hadn’t seen that, but I quote in depth from the same nutritionist (who my friend saw in person) in the beans book! What a hoot! Thank you – Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Bethany

    I had the gag reflex with brushing my teeth too!!! It was awful. I actually had to change my morning routine around because of it. I used to get up and take a shower and get ready before breakfast. But then I started eating breakfast right when I woke up, and that helped alot. I still always had to sit down while I brushed though. For some reason sitting instead of standing helped alot with the gag reflex.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • 'Becca

    I had pretty severe nausea in months 2 and 3. For me, chugging water was disastrous (that may be one of those “try it and see if it works for you” things), and watery foods like lettuce and melon were problematic.

    I hadn’t yet read that Karen Hurd article Janette linked to, but I did get some relief from eating beans, esp. black beans. I was mostly vegetarian before pregnancy and continued out of concern over toxins in meat and because I found meat repellent. I ate a lot of organic eggs (scrambled or in Egg Drop Soup with ginger), nuts, and nutritional yeast flakes to get plenty of protein.

    Also, my blood pressure went DOWN every month of my pregnancy; by month 5 I was sometimes fainting and often very close to it! My doctor told me to eat more salt, get back on caffeine (up to 2 cups of coffee per day), and wear thigh-high compression stockings which he arranged for me to get from a medical supply company. Those stockings were great–I wore them daily again in the two winters I was nursing, when I had dizziness problems again–though not attractive! I already had spider veins in my legs before pregnancy, and I think it’s because of the stockings that they didn’t get worse.

    [Reply to this comment]

    stephanie rimmer Reply:

    One way that helps me get down more water is by adding fresh squeezed lemon. Not only did I drink more water when I added lemon, I feel like it helped a little with the nausea of the first trimester.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Heather

    Vitamins are essential for EVERYONE to live healthfully these days. You’re right, our soil is seriously depleted of nutrients and thus our food is as well. Organic food has been shown to have a higher nutrient content than non-organic, but still not the levels required to prevent disease or even live a vibrant, energized life.

    Recent studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals say that the supplements that are absorbed most fully into your system are those formulated with oligo-fructose complex. There is only one brand in existence with this formulation and it is extremely affordable. ($19.99 for a month’s supply of prenatal or otherwise.) I took them during both of my pregnancies and felt GREAT! I still take the women’s formulation, which my Dr. told me was actually good enough to be used as a prenatal. You get them through the mail, delivered right to your door – I love that part! Feel free to contact me if you’re interested in learning more.

    This company also has purified, cold-water prenatal Omega 3s, pro-biotics, and about everything else you could possibly need for supplementation, as well as non-toxic cleaners and personal care products.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Lori Reply:

    So why not tell us what the brand is????

    [Reply to this comment]

    Heather Reply:

    The brand is Melaleuca. The reason I didn’t put it on the last post is because you can only become a customer by going through a current customer. The company doesn’t spend a dime on advertising, instead they pay their current customers “thank you checks” for spreading the word about their awesome products. So, you can go to the website and check out their products but you can’t purchase anything without going through a current customer. I would gladly help get you more information so you could make an educated decision if you’re interested.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Michelle

    Being in the home stretch now, I definitely did not keep up with all my supplements and/or eating great real food through this pregnancy. Like you, I found Garden of Life’s Prenatals the best pill for prenatal around. Just FYI, you can get a $5 off coupon on GOL’s website right now! :) Do you think you will continue to take this prenatal after the baby is born, while BFing? I’m in debate but as of now, I probably will. I took one bottle of the DHA and no more. I have taken a Carlson’s CLO throughout the pregnancy and my Vit. D levels are great when I had them checked in Nov. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with a “mild” pregnancy who experienced the tooth brush gag, sleepless nights, crazy weird dreams with the oddest of past people in, peeing constantly, etc. Now if only I could stop the regular contractions or just have a healthy baby, now at just 36 weeks. :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Michelle, I’ve never been good at vitamins outside of pregnancy, so I don’t know. I’m so cheap! ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Amy Spicer

    Thanks for this great post! Info I have started looking into, so this was perfect. I think supplements are necessary during pregnancy because a lot of woman aren’t even eating the things they should. With a supplement at least they and the baby will get most of what they need.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • karen

    I found that ginger tea (hot water, ginger root, honey) really helped with the all day icky stomach feeling. My favorite first trimester remedy is chocolate covered candied ginger from Trader Joes–calms the stomach plus a hit of dark chocolate.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Olivia

    I was still tired this time around, but with WAP changes, I didn’t have any of the typical pregnancy problems. I had a friend due a week after me and I felt bad every time she would want to talk about her problems. She would expect me to agree with her, but I couldn’t! I felt great. Like you, Katie, I would forget I was pregnant, even a few days before my little girl was born.

    FYI for Katie – We had a beautiful home birth! Now if I just had more time…too much time spent in the kitchen preparing food the proper way! :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Yay! Praise God for a natural birth; well done! Can’t wait to see pictures! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • liz

    i am soooo glad i don’t have morning sickness to deal with.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • cirelo

    It’s not very good to eat spinach raw anyways because of its high oxalic acid content–blocks nutrient absorption (ditto beets raw). Also, kale is the super champ of nutrients in the greens department and its good for smoothies raw since it doesn’t have that oxalic acid content.

    I’m curious whether anybody has gone through their pregnancy w/o supplementing, but has opted to get their blood tested for nutrient analysis. I’m always bolstered in my opinion of my diet when I get my blood tested in pregnancy because my nutrient levels are so high and the nurses are so impressed because I don’t take a prenatal. Yay, for food actually working! But I’m curious what others experiences are with that.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Audrey

    I’m at the tail end of the first trimester now (12 weeks with my third child), and I loved reading this. First of all, the gag reflex thing…. aughhh!! It makes me so angry, because there’s no way I can brush my teeth without dry-heaving. It’s so miserable, and it’s such an awful way to start the morning!

    And thanks for posting about the prenatals. I’ve been wanting to get one (because, let’s face it, in the first trimester, you NEED to eat so many great things, but thanks to morning sickness and fatigue and all the other wonderful symptoms, you’re lucky if you eat more than a chunk of cheese during the day), but hadn’t decided which to get. Garden of Life vitamins are on sale the month of April at our health food store, so I’m going to go see if they have them.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • cirelo

    Also, I kinda don’t get the worry over folic acid in first trimester. Of course I understand about spina bifida and it’s amazing that taking a supplement is soo effective and that’s great for public health etc.. But seriously, folic acid is in so many whole foods, that I just don’t understand how if you really are eating that diverse wap diet how you could avoid getting enough. I’m wary of folic acid now too because my first two pregnancies were spontaneously occurring twins which I speculate may have been due to the folic acid supplement I had been taking prior to conception.

    It’s interesting also to note that the US mandates fortification of grain products to prevent birth defects since the SAD doesn’t provide much in the way of folic acid. However the twinning thing is so controversial that many European countries have deliberately opted not to fortify the grains because the increased risks/costs associated with higher rates of twinning. Isn’t it nice the decisions we let the government make about our health?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Yowza! Europe is always so far ahead of us on regulations!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Vicky

    I, too, had pretty severe morning sickness with my 3 pregnancies. I was never hospitalized due to dehydration, thank goodness, but after 26 weeks of vomiting with my 2nd pregnancy (my son), I was tempted to do the medication! PTL, I didn’t have to.

    As with changing to a nourishing diet and returning to whole foods, I kept the motto “Do your best and give the rest to God” (like you, Katie). :) There were days when all I could keep down was ginger ale or soda and crackers. Because of that, I would get the natural version of a soda (made without HFCS, etc.) or make a sparkling juice and use whole grain organic crackers when I could. I know the baby’s requirements are sooooo small at that point, but I still didn’t want to put junk in my body.

    Water was iffy for me. As much as I tried to drink extra, it always, always, always made me throw up more. Carbonation helped for some reason. Or sour drinks, like squeezing some fresh lemon with a little stevia into a cup of super cold ice water.

    Ginger helped me, and I found these nice little ginger chews that were hot and spicy. It never cured me from the bad morning sickness, but took the edge off (especially if I really had to be somewhere). Peppermint candies worked, too.

    Once the morning sickness wore off (always after 20 weeks with all my pregnancies), I concentrated on eating well ALL the time. Since my MS lasts so long (compared to others I know), I feel I have a lot to make up for! PTL, this pregnancy has been easier than the others and I haven’t had my MS come back at the end, like I’ve had the previous two times (I am due just after Easter).

    One thing that I have done this pregnancy and has been really energizing and tasty as well, is to make my own red raspberry leaf tea (saw the post on Tammy’s Recipes and had to try it!). I am praying for a natural delivery this time, with a much shorter labor. :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Anastasia B

    I’m about 8 weeks along right now, shhhh, don’t tell anyone! I’ve never been sick with my first pregnancy or this one, but I do have strong aversion to meat, I can only eat it in soup for some reason. I generally don’t like the smell of anything cooking, which makes it hard for me to make meals! I think supplements are very important these days, I really like my Rainbow Light prenatals, they’re plant based and really as expensive as I can afford.
    I get really lightheaded all the time though, sometimes even after I eat, any remedy for that? Maybe it is just because I weight a whopping 95 lbs! ;)

    [Reply to this comment]

    'Becca Reply:

    How is your blood pressure? Most doctors and midwives will worry only if it’s high and think low is “good”, but if it’s TOO low that can cause dizziness. Do you feel better with your feet elevated? Look into getting thigh-high compression stockings; they worked wonders for me!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Anastasia B Reply:

    I don’t even know my blood pressure, but it may be low. Thanks for the tip!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Anastasia,
    That reminds me of one totally weird symptom I forgot for this post, that doctors said they didn’t really hear of: the sensation that I couldn’t catch my breath, like my lungs were too small, even though I hadn’t been doing anything physical. More like I couldn’t quite get a full, deep breath without trying very consciously. I wonder if there’s something to breathing and first trimester especially, like with the blood building up and needing more iron and fluids, maybe you need more oxygen for baby too? I wonder if some serious deep breathing exercises would be all it takes to get your head back (or wait until 12 weeks – betcha this one is a first trimester dealie for ya!). (Congrats! Shhhh!) :) Katie

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    Anastasia B Reply:

    As far as I remember, this followed me around all through pregnancy, but was more intense in the first trimester. Maybe lack of oxygen… Thanks for your input, I’ll be reading up on this!

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    Stef Reply:

    That’s funny about the soup thing too. We lived off soups for about a month since that’s the only way I could get meat in as well. Good thing my husband loves soups!

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  • Sheila

    My obgyn told me not to drink water first thing in the morning if I was feeling queasy. It worked like a charm — if I got up in the morning and went straight to DRY foods, like crackers and nuts, I felt much better and could drink water a half hour or so later.

    I think the reason the immune system is weaker in pregnancy is so that it won’t reject the developing baby. The body actually produces its own natural steroids that can put autoimmune diseases into remission!

    …at least, that’s what they say. I myself have never had a better cold and flu season than the one when I was pregnant. I was teaching first grade and the swine flu passed through the class. Sometimes half the class was absent! And I only missed one day of work that whole school year, due to a sinus cold. Go figure.

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    Katie Reply:

    Wow, seriously, I love how everyone is so different! ;) Katie

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  • Jen

    This just goes to show you how different pregnancies can be! I am having a boy and I had some pretty bad food aversions and nausea during my first trimester (week 7-13). I couldn’t eat chicken, ground turkey, green vegetables and water was very hard to drink unless it had lots of ice cubes. I got most of my fluids from juice and 7-up! The cheese in the cold is funny to me because every day when I walked out in the cold (1st trimester was in December and January with all of our sub-zero temps) I would vomit. It was always a nice ending to the work day to know that when I left to get in the car I had a nice bout of vomiting waiting for me!

    Now that I am nearing the end of my second trimester (week 23), I feel absolutely wonderful! Hopefully we will get our girl next and I can be just the opposite of you and have a wonderful girl first trimester!

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  • Maria

    I have had hypermesis with all three of my boys too and have been hospitalized at least twice with each pregnancy on top of taking meds and trying everything under the sun. I finally took Zofran, which was my lifeline and made it so I only felt cruddy and usually kept the vomitting down to a few times a day. My first one I held out until 7 months and was so sick I was struggling to function. Just make sure if you are one of those people who has very severe sickness and natural remedies have not worked, you don’t ignore it. I developed gestational diabetes with my first only and the doctors said the only explanation (after having two more pregnancies w/o gestational diabetes) is how sick I was and what a difficult time I had keeping food down. It is important to do what you can, but not to beat yourself up if you have to “resort” to the drugs.

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  • Meredith

    I have been experiencing that shortness of breath, can’t draw a full breath, here at 7 weeks (shhhh!) with my fourth pregnancy. I was attributing it to anxiety about having another child with autism (never an end to worrying, trying to hand it over to God), but I haven’t been particularly mentally distracted by worry during the day. The shortness of breath has had me questioning what’s going on…maybe just a *weird* pregnancy deal. Let’s hope so!

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  • stephanie rimmer

    Thanks for sharing the supplements that you take. I just ordered Dr. Rons dessicated liver capsules and cod liver oil capsules while I was at it. I know that iron and B vitmains are so important, I especailly feel that I need them now during the end of the pregnancy as I am so tired and both nutients will help pick me up and give the baby more of what he needs.

    Now I just need to get DHA and a good probiotic. I like what you had to say about taking the probiotic in preparing for the baby, so true!!! All that extra immune support can only be helpful in so many ways as your body prepares for birth and then nursing. One other supplement that I take near the end of my pregnancies ( this is my 4th) is evening primrose oil….you are only recommended to take it the last couple weeks as it could (low chance) induce labor. But it is suppose to prepare the cervix for labor and maybe even help in not tearing during birth. Plus it is another mood enhancer like B vitamins, so there may be less chance of the baby blues after birth.

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  • Natalie

    Are you worried about too much Vit A? A friend won’t take fermented cod liver oil with the vitamin you are taking because she is afraid of toxic levels of Vit A. Your thoughts?

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    Katie Reply:

    Natalie,
    It seems like the “overdose’ info on Vitamin A is with the synthetic stuff; I don’t know that real food supplements can end up overdosing on anything…BUT I haven’t done any research on it particularly, and now you have me wondering since your friend pointed out the same brand of vitamin. There’s always something to look into! ;) Katie

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  • Jesse dziedzic

    I fully agree completely!!!

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  • valerie

    I have pretty bad food aversions thanks to my morning sickness. I can handle cheese and nuts sometimes. But that is about all the protein foods I am getting. I am worried about my(the babies) protein needs, is there a good supplement that I can take. I am taking garden of life prenates.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Valerie,
    Yowza, that’s a tough one. I really don’t know how to answer your question, other than to say keep trying!! Your baby will be okay! :) Katie

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  • Rebecca via Facebook

    I always end up on a prescription to fight the morning sickness and end up needing some antibiotic.The natural remedies work to keep it away but in the morning they just make it worse for me. My mom said she knew I was pregnant when I got an abscess that wouldn’t quit. I have to wonder if you have come across a soy free prenatal? I found one but it was like drinking green sludge.

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  • Genesis via Facebook

    Well, this would have been useful 9 months ago! :)

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  • Amy

    Oh, I can so relate to this! I’m in week 23 and exhausted (but don’t sleep well), and just now feeling the nausea ease up. I tried all of the “real food rememdies” on other sites like sips of raw milk, etc, etc. and they actually made me feel worse. I take the GOL prenatals and Primal Defense. I found them here for WAY cheaper: http://www.beyondprobiotics.net, and I feel more comfortable taking them while preggo along with eating lots of fish & eggs. This is my third pregnancy & sure doesn’t make me want to go through another one! (Although I’m thankful for a healthy one!)
    I lost my last pregnancy & was taking fermented CLO, so I asked my midwife about it this time. She was so against it – I was really surprised. I’ve read WAPF’s articles about it, and I’ll be back to it once baby’s born. It makes me wretchedly nauseas right now anyways, but I do feel like I’m missing out not taking it.

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  • Stefanie via Facebook

    Why do some people get morning sickness and others don’t? I was all prepared for pregnancy to be horrible and so far the only “bad” part is Alittle fatigue.

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  • Ellen via Facebook

    Perfect timing for me! I am just coming to the end of my 1st trimester with baby #5. Sounds like we have very similar morning sickness- but I also have an aversion to my vitamins! :( Sometimes I have to settle for a double dose of my kid’s vitamins. When I do take mine I supplement with a Complex B Vitamin so I get the 400 extra mcgs of Folic Acid…. I’m looking forward to seeing what if any changes my improved diet makes for this go round. I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater, but have made a few major improvements to our diet over the last couple years. (Healthier meats/dairy, almost NO processed foods, and lots of OG produce!) Crossing my fingers and hoping for another wonderful pregnancy and an uneventful homebirth! (Last time the baby came so fast it was just my husband and I there to catch her!)

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  • Linnea via Facebook

    Ginger was a godsend. I liked to just chew on a few slices of crystallized ginger. The show clew worked better than taking capsules with powder. Now I use it for any kind of nausea, due to migraines or travel. Trader Joe’s carries good crystallized ginger, fresh and not too expensive.

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  • via Facebook

    Rebecca Jolley, Yikes, you have a lot of sacrifices going on there! Be sure to get a good probiotic to fight your antibiotics… I’m not sure, but is Garden of LIfe’s prenatal soy-free? They seem to stay away from allergens…

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  • via Facebook

    Rebecca Jolley – I just remembered that all Trilight Health’s products are soy-free, too, and liquid so they assimilate faster. Wonder if they’d be easy to take for you? http://bit.ly/fEjst0

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  • Rebecca via Facebook

    Thanks ill check it out when I get to a computer.

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  • Chelle

    Not sure if you have been on Amazon lately, but have you seen the review by Fish Oil Guy (it should be the first one you see). He claims the the Garden of Life Oceans 3 Oceans Mom soft gels are not a good choice. He lab tested them. Thoughts? I think I might go with something else he listed. I did opt for the GOL prenatals, though. Sometimes I drive myself insane reviewing before I take the plunge, but in this case there’s another life at stake so it’s a BIG deal. Thanks for all of your pointers!

    [Reply to this comment]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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