Combatting Nausea Through Pregnancy; Tips & Nutrition Advice
Nausea through pregnancy is highly common, and many of us have suffered through it all. Holistic Nutritionist, Pandora from ROOTED London, gives her advice on what to eat when feeling nauseated and how to help combat the feeling.
Anyone who doesn’t suffer from sickness during their pregnancy is incredibly lucky indeed. We’re all unique and for some of us, it comes in the early hours, true to its name ‘morning’ sickness. For others, it peaks in the afternoon, before bed, or there’s no rhythm at all and you simply need to ride the waves as they come.I fall into the latter, which meant I had to learn to expect the unexpected, and work out a solution, or at least something to make it easier to get through the day! As a nutritionist and firm believer in medicating through food, it was only natural that I turn to my diet. When asking the advice of others, a reoccuring suggestion was ‘ginger tea’. It started to annoy me - while yes, ginger is a traditional remedy for nausea - this wasn’t going to fill me up or satisfy my hunger!
1) Dry toast = winner. Each to their own but I found not even bothering with even the basic toppings, never mind fancy nut butters or avocado. Straight up toasted bread seemed to settle my stomach, the key thing being to eat it as soon as possible in the morning - ideally a loved one might bring it you in bed to avoid that awful head-spinning sensation when you first stand upright and head for your morning pee. Store bought bread is fine, but I opted for homemade batches of seeded bread, which I made in what I called my ‘finer moments’, i.e. not being sick! This way I felt like I was at least getting a few nutrients in amongst the other less nutritious foods I seemed to crave at this time. Plus, in whipping up a few varieties (wholemeal, malt, rye) using different seed mixes (linseed and pumpkin, sunflower and sesame, caraway and poppy) you can freeze in slices and mix it up to avoid overkill of the same breakfast every day. This makes a great snack throughout the day too. Sometimes our sickness can be linked to hunger, I found this to be especially true in my own experience, so having something super plain to eat in moments like this can be really helpful.
2) Juices. When even bread isn’t going down, a good way to stay hydrated and get some goodness in is juices. You can make them as simple or complicated as your palette needs, and when you aren’t eating much these can act as a source of nutrients for you and your baby. Personally, I craved cold drinks in throughout my pregnancy so a fresh cold juice always seemed to perk me up. If you develop gestational diabetes, stick to veggies and avoid fruit juices, which are high in fructose. Beetroot is a powerhouse - it can aid iron deficiency and anemia, lower blood pressure and help with constipation. Other beneficial fruit and veg to juice during pregnancy include cucumber, kale, pumpkin, orange, carrot and apple. I went simple with an ABC (apple, beetroot and carrot), and Easy Green (cucumber, kale, apple and ginger). Up the ginger for extra nausea supporting benefits!
3) At the opposite end of the healthy drinking scale - Coca Cola. I’m probably the only nutritionist on the planet to recommend this but a really cold Coca Cola has saved me in many situations. I didn’t drink it before I got pregnant, I cannot remember the last time I drank one pre-pregnancy and I probably won’t drink it again (until I get pregnant again I’m sure!) but something about the sugary, cold, liquid kept me in the work zone for the whole afternoon, on many occasions. This was definitely a case of me listening to my cravings rather than reading what was optimal for health. I urge you to do the same, while it is important to try to eat healthily for you and the baby, your body is magical and is telling you what it needs - in my case it was Coca Cola, maybe yours is frozen yoghurt, a slush puppy or a McDonalds milkshake - my advice is to embrace it and enjoy it, whatever works for you.
4) Eggs. Not just a fantastic source of protein and Vitamin B12, eggs actually contain a little bit of almost every nutrient we need. Bonus - they are generally good for funny tummies, either alone or on toast. Make sure you cook the eggs thoroughly and avoid raw egg. The ultimate versatile food, you can scramble, fry or whip up an omelette for a quick and easy meal. If you are vegan, you can get protein from beans and pulses, chickpeas, tofu and miso instead. I found fried egg on toast worked wonders for keeping me full but being easy to eat. See what works for you.5) Yoghurt. Dairy products are high in calcium and full of phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. Opt for full fat, ideally organic Greek yogurt, as it contains more calcium than any others. Many good quality yoghurts also contain probiotic bacteria, which supports digestion and gut health. If you are vegan, instead opt for a probiotic supplement and a vegan alternative, like CoYo or Nush.
The most important thing to remember when you embark on eating for two, is that every single woman is different. What works for some will not work for others. If nausea is bad - like it was for me - bed bound most days for 6 weeks - it’s time to let go of nutrition as you know and instead, just do what you can to get through the day.
Eat at regular intervals and keep snacks on you at all times! I made batches of healthy ginger snaps and keep them in my handbag for when I was out and about. Keep yourself hydrated too, drinking 2.5 litres a day throughout the day.
If you are really suffering my golden rule is to surrender. Go to bed, pop on Netflix and muma-to-be, just chill. Let your body rule in this magical period. You can do this.
For further advice or for a personal consultation contact Pandora at email@example.com