Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Second Pregnancy: Overcoming Nausea

My least favourite part of pregnancy (so far) has to be nausea and vomitting.

During my first pregnancy, I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum. It lasted 20 weeks. This time, only Allah knows.

My skin is the first sign of my body taking this beating. Dehydrated skin and flaking is common now despite the best skin care simply because I am losing much fluids. Slapping on barrier cream helps with my skin condition but really, if I can only keep the fluids in!

With The Little Girl to care for, I do not really have the luxury of dwelling on the nausea. Even when I am at the sink, vomitting, she sometimes cling on to my legs crying for attention (or maybe she thinks I am gross?).

The upside is when I am done, The Little Girl asks if I am alright.

If I need some medicine to feel better.

If I need to lie down.

If she can cuddle me to make me feel better.

*aww, she can be so sweet!*

Below are some of my little tricks on overcoming nausea (sometimes they work, sometimes they just don't but I sure hope they work for you):
1. Ginger tea
Morning Wellness Tea, flat ginger ale, warm water with a slice of ginger, teh tarik halia, warm ginger syrup. Tea interferes with iron absorption so be sure to keep it to the minimum, or do not drink it with a meal. Keep it for meal intervals when likely to feel nauseous.  
2. Small, frequent meals
6 or more small meals. Slightly inconvenient but at least the hunger pangs are kept at bay, bile is less likely to back up. That means breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, tea, dinner, and supper for me.
3. Less spicy food
A little hard for me considering that I also crave spicy foods occasionally, my Thai genes crying for the occasional seafood tom yum or mango/pomelo salad. Key: eat in moderation.
4. Avoid strong smells
No cooking, avoid walking past or through food courts and poorly ventilated food outlets, sit near the entrance of restaurants and not near the kitchen, avoid perfume counters and fresh pop corn/cookie stalls. Durian is a major no-no for me even on non-pregnant days. I even time my going out time not to clash with the time garbage is being cleared from my apartment floor.
5. Getting up slowly in the morning
Try waking up slowly and earlier than The Little Girl so as to avoid her morning buzz. Works only on days when The Other Half is home.
6. Avoid getting too warm
The Other Half and in-laws fetches me from mall entrances instead of making me walk in hot and humid car parks. Occasionally, my head veil is taken off when in the car in the beginning but it is so bad now that I am going out and about without my head veil! The humidity, heat and tight head veil just at my throat works like a magic vomit inducer for me. May Allah pardon my slacking. I promise to return to my head veil as soon as I can (because I feel naked without it, and hate having to style my hair).
7. Eat before getting hungry
Time meals just before the hunger pang sets in, also prevents bloating and acid reflux in my case. A small portion of fruits can help fill in the gaps for vitamins and minerals. Favourites include blueberries, bananas and pomelos.
8. Rest when I can
The best nausea combat tactic ever. The vomit is less when nausea is under control. Having the 32 month old toddler being cared for by her loving grandparents on some afternoons is a real luxury! I throw up less on days when they watch her while I nap.
9. Sip water
Not the gulp 250ml in one go but sip maybe 100 ml over a few minutes - think French chic, not athletes. Sliced lemon helps to remove the metallic taste. Chilled water beats warm water for now, contrary to Chinese/local customs and prohibitions.
10. Protein-rich snacks
Walnuts, almonds, cashews. Small doses mixed with some raisins/blueberries/dates. A handful is sufficient to ward off the angry bile.
Most of all, think positive! This is just a phase.

Heh, so I tell myself.

All the best in conquering yours! If you have extra tips, do share!

Some remarks about nausesa and vomiting that irk me because women who do and say this seem to forget about nourishing and growing the foetus the best they can or are just totally ignorant/have body image issues:
- Women throw up to avoid looking like watermelons.
- Best time to binge then bring it all up without getting fat.

Final note: It is not cool to hunt and haunt the Duchess of Cambridge about her hyperemesis gravidarum. Al Fatihah to the poor nurse who committed suicide over this matter. Hopefully the ongoing Royal Inquiry will shed some light on this matter.



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