All Day Sickness

The dreaded ”morning” sickness. Spoiler alert it’s not just the morning but lasts all day.

In my opinion it’s the worst part of pregnancy. Maybe it’s because theres no one size fits all remedy for morning sickness. 

For almost all other pregnancy complaints there’s usually one or two fixes that work for almost everyone!

All day sickness isn’t that easy and what works for me might not work work for you. 

I’ve gathered some tips and suggestions to share with you all to try or to offer to your pregnant friends. 

Before we start, I wanted to offer some background on me just to kind of give a little credit to the suggestions vs just being a random blog with inaccurate or dangerous advice. I’m trained in plant based nutrition with a focus on moms and babies. I’m a birth worker to include an LC, a childbirth educator, and a postpartum doula. As well as a clinical herbalist and clinical aromatherapist. 

First off just know that it is normal and about 80% of women have all day sickness. There are many variations of normal when it comes to all day sickness. Vomiting, nausea, appetite suppression, lethargy, headaches etc. 

Again not every tip will work for you! It’s best to find what DOES work for you and do that!

My pregnancies have be different in terms of morning sickness—like extremely different. 

One thing that affects me personally is smells. I’m already very sensitive to smells, but during pregnancy it’s like a super power. Scents are also something you can’t necessarily control. Going to work they might use air fresheners, if you already have kids, they poop and you might have diapers to change, dirty dishes that make you want to vomit if you get near them (so the scent cycle continues). Mine is so sensitive that even our clean bathroom bothered me because I can smell the toilet water or the closed deodorant containers. 

Doing your best to avoid highly scented areas or asking your boss to cut back on the air fresheners, having a cleaner or friend or husband do the dishes for you when you can’t can be a godsend. 

A big tip is that if you’re lucky to find out early enough (with my daughter I found out at 4 weeks, my son was closer to two months, and morning sickness had already set in). Go ahead and EAT all of the healthy foods and “bulk up” on those nutrients for your body! Seeds, nuts, greens, fiber, eat it all! In my mind this sets you up for success nutrient wise. In a week or so, you probably won’t even be able to look at a cashew without gagging. You’ll be eating a lot less than you normally do. Which also *can* be okay. You do want to be eating and not starving yourself, but it’s okay if your meals are smaller! 

I’ve found that eating is so difficult when I had morning sickness.  One day I’d be able to eat Cheerios and the next day I’d gag even thinking about Cheerios. Textures were a huge deal for me. If it was creamy I’d gag. If I’d eaten something when I felt extra nauseous I wouldn’t even be able to THINK about that food without immediately wanting to throw up. 

“Why can’t I just eat the foods I know are good for me??? Instead I just want honey buns, white rice, and tater tots.”

It’s so frustrating and you feel like a failure. You’re not!

There are actually some midwives that lovingly refer to this period as the beige period because all you can eat is bland or brown/white foods. Which is fine! Remember, all plant foods (whole grain is the best, but do what you can) have protein!

Second biggest tip: eat what you can, when you can. 

If you Google “how to deal with morning sickness” the top two suggestions are to eat first thing in the morning and to eat high protein. For me that wasn’t an option. I’ve never been a breakfast person so I always felt super nauseous even thinking about eating first thing in the morning. I liked to “prepare” my stomach by drinking something with calories first thing in the morning. Either juice or my favourite carbonated juice (Izze), or even these delish chocolate protein drinks (Evolve)! After that then I could eat whatever I could tolerate that day. 

Also protein grossed me out. The only protein source I could stomach was tofu and sometimes edamame. And no, tofu isn’t going to make you have a girl or alter your boy’s sexual organs. Tofu, or soy, has been proven to be protective against certain types of cancers (like estrogen dominant cancers).

So eating first thing and high protein might work for you, but it might not. 

Another popular suggestion is ginger foods and teas. As well as peppermint teas. 

There’s a ton of ginger based treats out there directly advertised for pregnant moms. 

These two things, again, never worked for me. For other moms they’re a godsend!

B complex vitamins, especially B6, have been reported to help with nausea. I think this is a great and easy suggestion that doesn’t require eating or tasting or smelling. Now swallowing pills was always a struggle for me, I’d gag every time I took my supplements. I’d take a quick single gag over feeling nauseous all day though!

Beige foods are also always an option. Rice, bread, cereal, tatertots, oatmeal, porridge, grits, even a honeybun can be fine! 

Save the tatertots and honeybuns for days when you haven’t been able to eat much and need the calories. Don’t make these an every day all day thing because you’ll be setting yourself up for failure later in your pregnancy. 

Alicia Silverstone suggests in her book “The Kind Mama,” umeboshi plums which I haven’t been able to try (but I love umeboshi plum vinegar, so I might actually like this!) as well as a macrobiotic drink to settle nausea and combat sweet tooth cravings. 

The drink recipe is:

A quarter cup of each: minced onion, cabbage, winter squash, and carrot. 

Put these veggies in a soup pot with 4 cups of filtered water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 mins. Strain out the veg and store in the fridge. 

She suggests drinking warm cups of it, but try warm and cold and see which you like most. 

I spoke with a naturopath friend of mine, Adison (find her on social media at Ancient Trialities, or her website), about how she treats morning sickness. She says that “[naturopaths] attribute morning sickness to the kidneys, adrenals, and a little to the liver.” She continues to say that treating it would be to “make sure all foods are well combined since it can be a blood sugar issue.” She suggests “smaller meals, no fruit with any other food other than a protein, b and k vitamins which can be found in dark leafy greens.” Other non food recommendations she makes are adequate hydration, enough sleep, and physical activity during the day. 

She does hesitantly recommend acupressure for pericardium 6. You can get motion sickness bracelets that apply gentle pressure to this spot. This is really the only spot she feels comfortable suggesting and as a birth worker myself, I agree. A lot of acupressure spots can be dangerous this early in pregnancy. So this one that the bracelets hit is really a safe option we feel okay sharing. 

She also suggested some homeopathic remedies which are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Homeopathic remedies are tricky and I’ve heard not to combine them, they also need to be used appropriately for your symptoms. One listed for nausea might not be appropriate for YOUR type of nausea. 

Adison suggests, “ipecacuanha for constant nausea not relieved by vomiting. Nux vomica for it coming with irritability, constipation and or heartburn. Colchium or Sepia for those who get sick due to smells. Tabacum for nausea that comes with a sinking feeling and comes on from movement. And finally Lacticum acidum for those who have nausea the second they wake up.”

I personally have had success with Tabacum in the past!

It is tricky to dose homeopathics and some times they can be cancelled out based on other foods or drinks you ingest so it’s best to consult with a naturopath or homeopath (unfortunately that’s not me, but Adison does do consults).

As with everything, she says it’s best to get a consult to look at the whole picture. You’ll find that a lot of natural medicine women always suggest doing a consult because we look at the whole picture whereas allopathic doctors usually look at a symptom and treat that vs getting to the root of the issue. 

For Adison, she says her treatment would depend on the bigger picture, what’s going on in the mother’s life, what she’s dreaming about, her pupils, her tongue, etc.” There’s a lot that goes into her consults!

As an herbalist and aromatherapist there are some remedies I suggest, but they are very basic because pregnancy can be fragile and some herbs and oils are absolutely not safe. 

If you’re going to support your liver like Adison suggested, drink dandelion leaf tea. 

Ginger or peppermint tea can be safe and effective for nausea as well and are safe for pregnancy. 

Chamomile can be calming as well. 

Nettle tea is also a great nourishing tea. I personally like to add other herbs to it because nettle is a STRONG taste that might be vom inducing. I have a “Sacred Journey” tea in my shop that will nourish your body and give you SO MANY vitamins and minerals that can make you feel a little better!

As for essential oils please ALWAYS consult with an aromatherapist not a rep or seller for an mlm company. I’m more than happy to do a quick herbal or aromatherapy consult for you!

I make a Tummy Ease blend in a roller and spray for my shop that has citrus, mint and sage all safe during pregnancy and can help soothe nausea. 

I spoke with an incredibly kind mama on Instagram, Hannah McNeely, and she recommended lemon water as a go to! If you’ve ever had taste aversions you know water can taste very different and can be revolting. I also like adding lemon to water when I don’t feel good (whether morning sick or just a tummy bug). Adding chunks of ice to it helps a ton too. The ice makes it easier to drink and the lemon masks the weird water flavour whilst giving you minute minerals and vits. 

Pay attention to how you feel after taking your prenatal as well. Try different times of day, before or after eating. If you feel worse after taking it you might need a different prenatal. Some prenatals have colouring or gelatin in them that can make you feel nauseous. Also some have synthetic vitamins which can make you feel icky too.  I personally like Naturelo. It’s plant based, has no synthetic chemicals, no colouring and has never made me feel icky personally.

A random suggestion that might slip your mind is to think about food as little as possible. When something sounds good, stop thinking about it, just get it and eat it. If you keep thinking on it, you’ll end up disgusted with it. It also keeps you from unintentionally making yourself gag. I still can’t think of my “trigger foods” from my pregnancies without gagging. 

Another serious thing to think about is focusing on what you’re consuming. What you feed your body, feeds your baby, and determines the health of your body (and baby). This is the best time to be taking care of your body the best way you can. 

Plenty of studies show that animal products, increased salt, and oil are not at all healthy during pregnancy (or non pregnant) and can increase your risk for antenatal diseases like gestational diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, etc. 

As much as you can, consume plants. Vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, cereals, whole grains, etc. 

Food aversions can come back later in pregnancy as well, so keep this page handy for all stages of pregnancy!

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