Saturday, December 1, 2012

Paleo Pregnancy: News Flash - Paleo is not a "Get Out of Morning Sickness Free" Card

I have been haunted by fears of morning sickness for years. I know my Mom suffered from horrible morning sickness with both my sister and myself. My sister is pregnant with her third child and she was not spared in her pregnancies, either. Once I found out I was pregnant, I knew it was just a matter of time before the morning sickness hit.

After doing some reading on the all-knowing Internet, I came across many blog posts and message board posts from women following a Paleo way of eating who somehow managed to completely dodge morning sickness during their pregnancies. They attributed it to their clean, Paleo diet. That gave me a small glimmer of hope that maybe Paleo would be my morning sickness savior.

Let me tell you something. Paleo is not a "Get Out of Morning Sickness Free" card and I am living proof. My morning sickness started just as I entered my sixth week of pregnancy. I was queasy all day long, from the moment I woke up in the morning until the moment I fell asleep at night. It was definitely worse in the morning when I was operating on an empty stomach. After lunch, it seemed to lighten up a bit, once I had two good meals in my belly.

Once I had a good breakfast and big lunch in my belly, I started to feel a bit better

There are plenty of women following a Standard American Diet who never go through one day of morning sickness and there are plenty of women, like me, who avoid grains, dairy and processed foods but still get to enjoy all-day nausea and cringe at the sight of what used to be their favorite foods.

No more salads for me, please!

There are so many factors that contribute to morning sickness, even doctors are not exactly sure what causes it. I definitely think diet can be a factor, but hormones are also a HUGE part of it. I will say that I never actually threw up, which I am thankful for every day. Was my morning sickness more mild because of my diet? Possibly, but there is really no way to know without extensive scientific research.

Here are a few tricks and remedies that I tried in an attempt to stave off morning sickness -

*Drink lots of water - I always carry a 32 oz Nalgene with me and usually drink about two bottles each day. Since being pregnant, though, it is closer to four a day. I am thirsty all the time, but I also think it just helped me to never have a completely empty stomach. I also think ice cold water was more refreshing than room temperature so I drank a lot of ice water.

I drank lots of these!

*Get some ginger - I tried ginger tea and added powdered ginger to my smoothies, but I didn't notice too much of a difference. I have heard other women have had success with this, though. What worked for me were these AWESOME ginger pills that I purchased at Earth Fare. Since the day I started taking them I have felt almost like a normal person! Definitely talk with your OB or midwife before taking any type of supplement.

*Eating throughout the day - Again, just not letting myself get too hungry seemed to help keep the sickness to a minimum. I would eat my regular breakfast in the morning and then have a bowl of fruit a couple hours later. I would sometimes have a Lara Bar before lunch if I was still starving. I would eat lunch and then have usually two more snacks before I left work. Depending on how late we ate dinner I would sometimes have an evening snack, but sometimes not.

*High protein/fat - Protein and fat keep me feeling full longer than other foods so I added avocado to my breakfast and lunch and snack on turkey or pepperoni in the afternoon.

*Snack Drawer - I am all about the snacks anyway, but it definitely helps to be extra prepared during pregnancy. I keep a handy snack drawer at work full of Lara Bars, nuts and jerky. I also keep a stash of bananas, berries, avocado and deli meats in the refrigerator. I have these same snacks at home, but I think it is important to have healthy foods around so that you don't just reach for the closest cookie when nausea and hunger hit.


If you would like to learn more about following a Paleo lifestyle during pregnancy, check out my first book, The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book. I cover everything from which healthy, Paleo foods to focus on to get the most important nutrients for pregnancy, how certain foods can alleviate common pregnancy ailments, how to modify your workout plan during pregnancy and over 100 healthy recipes! The book is available in both paperback and Kindle versions through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Did you suffer from morning sickness? What helped you out the most?