Ever since the pregnancy strip test confirmed I was pregnant with Bayo’s baby, my sense of smell sharpened drastically and the vomiting started. Even Amala and Ewedu, my favorite dish, now nauseates me. In addition, I noticed I was producing much more saliva than usual, causing me to spit out often.
As expected my darling husband, Bayo, became so worried considering the fact that this is our first pregnancy. Four days ago, when he noticed I wasnt getting any better, he insisted that we go see a doctor. After carefully observing me and asking a few questions, the doctor smiled warmly and advised us to stay calm. He further explained that all I have been going through for weeks is ‘early morning sickness’.
Are you just like me? Do you also want to find out what causes early morning sickness and how it can be managed through your diet?
Well, Here We Go!
Early morning sickness is caused as a result of increased production of a certain hormone called progesterone during pregnancy. Progesterone causes the relaxation of the stomach muscles and also slows down digestion. Although it is called early morning sickness, this is actually a misnomer because, the symptoms of this conditions can be felt at any time and last all through the day.
An extreme form of Early Morning Sickness is known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, that is, severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
What foods do mums with morning sickness find particularly helpful?
Bananas are rich in Pottasium which is an essential nutrient during pregnancy. Eating a banana after vomiting helps you replace lost electrolytes. In addition, Bananas serve as a rich source of Vit B6 which is known to reduce the impact of nausea or morning sickness.
Yoghurt; This nourishing drink is rich in both calcium and potassium. This refreshing drink also helps you replace lost electrolytes after vomiting. In addition, yoghurt provides a wide range of good nutrients like VitB and Potassium to you and you developing baby.
Potato Chips; As part of a healthy diet, potato chips can help soothe the feelings of early morning sickness. Furthermore, they contain Folic Acid which is beneficial for your unborn child. Eating potato chips regularly would also stimulate your thirst centre, leading you to drink more water and stay hydrated all day.
Salt; Moderate salt intake, either through Salty Crackers or simply adding a small quantity to a glass of water, can help quell the nausea in some cases. Salt also increases your thirst for water, thereby, reducing the risk of dehydration.
Mints (TomTom, Orbit, ButterMint, BabaBlue); Common sweets or gums that contain a reasonable amount of menthol would help you abate the irritating feel of nausea. Pop one or two of these affordable confectionaries in your purse and try them whenever a wave of nausea comes .
Pepperfruit (nkarika, mmimi, igberi, obi ata); This local fruit contains essential vitamins which provide you with the required energy needed to move through your day regardless of any symptom of Early Morning Sickness that you may be experiencing.
African purple pear (ube , safou); Vitamin C is known to be very efficient in managing nausea and morning sickness. The African purple pear is an excellent source of Vitamin C. In addition, eating this fruit helps improve your digestion during pregnancy.
Pepper; This a common constituent of most Nigerian dishes, however in addition to the spicy goodness it brings to your meals, pepper also plays a vital role in improving your digestion and providing relief from the common symptoms of early morning sickness.
Oranges; Oranges would not only keep you hydrated and healthy all day, but also supply you with sufficient doses of Vitamin C. The sweet and tangy flavor of oranges can provide you with some much needed respite from the inconvenience of morning sickness.
Lemon; This serves as an effective natural remedy for nausea. After breakfast, or during the day, you can stay hydrated by drinking water laced with a moderate amount of organic lemon. Taking as much lemon as possible helps deal with the nausea associated with early morning sickness in most women. In addition, lemon contains Citric Acid which improves digestion.
Ginger; Ginger aids digestion, improves saliva flow and also reduce the occurrence of nausea in most pregnant women. It is therefore advisable to drink about 3 to 4 cups of Ginger Tea daily during the early stages of your pregnancy. Ginger can also be blended with your pepper and tomatoes while making that delicious stew for you and your family.
Gummy Bears; These are usually small fruit gum candies which contain sugar, starch and citric acid. Although the recipes for each flavour vary, the citric acid component present in gummy bears would provide some respite from nausea and irritation.
Dry Crackers; Foods high in starch absorbs gastric acid and helps settle a queasy stomach. Eating a cracker or two before you get out of bed may help ease nausea in the morning.
This stage of pregnancy may present with other symptoms apart from vomiting and nausea. You may also experience excessive thirst and fatigue. The good news is that all the dietary components above contain essential nutrients and vitamins you need to stay healthy and active as you await the arrival of your little one.
Yost, P. ( 2019). Explaining the Cruel Injustice of Morning Sickness. Assessed on 24th May, 2020 from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/explaining-the-cruel-injustice-of-morning-sickness/