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How to Ease Morning Sickness: Why Pregnant Women Don’t Have to Suffer

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I have been pregnant nine times, including my five beautiful children and four pregnancy losses and I know from bitter experience that whoever invented the term "morning sickness" must never have been pregnant. For me, it was morning, noon and night. I couldn’t sleep at night because my stomach was churning too much. I couldn’t lie on my front in bed because that put too much pressure on my stomach. I was vomiting. I couldn’t go out anywhere for four months because I needed somewhere to be sick at a moment's notice. I couldn’t eat normal food. It had to be toast that had been cremated beyond recognition and polo mints. Malted milk drink was the only drink I could consume – even water came back up.

The weight dropped off me and I stumbled around with six packets of polo mints in my handbag and crumbs in my hair. I even fantasized about not being pregnant, because no matter how much I wanted my baby, I couldn’t see myself getting through nine months of that.

I tried all the usual cliched remedies: eating crackers before I got up, lemon tea, ginger tea, ginger biscuits (a very bad mistake). I even chewed ginger flavored gum in church while hoping the pastor didn’t think I was being insolent. The "eat little and often" rule would have made me laugh if I wasn’t feeling so ill. What did they mean? It would be a miracle to eat anything at all!

I tried deep breathing exercises, melissa homeopathic drops for upset stomach, positive thinking and massage. Nothing helped. The final straw happened when I answered the door to the postman and burst into uncontrollable tears, and all he’d come to do was give me a parcel. If only babies could be delivered that easily.

After showing myself up in front of a total stranger, I gave in and went to the doctor, something I had been avoiding because doctors always say that nothing can be done about morning sickness and a pregnant woman just has to put up with whatever ailment assails her.

After discovering that I’d lost weight, he gave me an anti-sickness drug.

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EmpowHER Guest

I love that you wrote that you fantasized about not being pregnant! I think women often feel that if they express even a little unhappiness due to pregnancy, people will think they are a bad mother. I know I try not to show any signs of negativity because of that. I truly HATE morning sickness, and once the morning sickness is gone during each pregnancy, it isn't until then that I truly begin to be happy about the coming baby. I have tried a lot of things, and I've heard of B6 working for other women, but I thought since my prenatal vitamin already had some that maybe it just wasn't the remedy for me. I think I'll get a bottle today and try it. Let's hope it's as miraculous for me as it was for you! And congrats on the 5 kids. Only those who suffer severe morning sickness can understand what a very unselfish accomplishment that really is!!

June 7, 2011 - 8:08am
(reply to Anonymous)

The amount of B6 in pre-natal vitamins is probably tiny compared with if you buy it as a single vitamin. I was on 100mgs daily to get the anti-sickness effect. My friend took 50mgs daily and it helped her. It is above the recommended amount but I did a lot of reading and found that damage was only done if you took 1,000mgs or more daily (in massive doses like that it can cause seizure in the baby and peripheral neuropathy, i.e pins and needles and altered sensations in the lower limbs and hands in pregnant women). So I felt comfortable that what I was taking would be fine. My son was 9lbs, 1oz, fit into 0-3 months clothes straight away, was trying to lift his head up at birth and had these really cute, fat hamster cheeks. He was so healthy and the birth was easy and virtually painless - it was a lot easier than the pregnancy!

Feeling so sick 24/7 is frightening and emotionally exhausting and people don't tend to be sympathetic because you chose to get pregnant and also they think pregnant women should just put up with it, without realising how hard it is. I couldn't sleep in my last pregnancy because my stomach hurt so much and the nausea kept me awake. I was blubbing to anyone who would listen that I did not want to be pregnant (I wanted my baby and had wanted to have one for 3 years but had lost a previous baby), I kept bursting into tears all the time and the baby's dad would say 'It's only another so many weeks, you can do it!' I just shouted at him that I wanted HIM to do it instead of me. I said I'd had four, now it was his turn. I was completely irrational! I think unless someone has been through severe sickness, they shouldn't judge.

June 7, 2011 - 8:54am
(reply to Anonymous)

I couldn't agree with you more. Too often we feel guilty to express how miserable pregnancy makes us. During my second (and hopefully last) pregnancy, I decided it was ok for me to say "I hate being pregnant!" or "I can't wait to claim my body back"-- I had no morning sickness but I felt like I was trapped in someone else's body and can't even begin to express how uncomfortable I was. I am thankful to have two beautiful children and of course if I could go back I would do it again-- after all, they are the best thing that have ever happened to me. I love being a mother, but I do not enjoy being pregnant. :)

June 7, 2011 - 8:37am
(reply to Rosa Cabrera RN)

I enjoyed being pregnant once the sickness went away. I like having a 'bump' and having everyone want to come and talk to you about the baby and when you're due and everyone is excited to meet the baby and I get breasts for the only time in my life (really small chested normally) so I like the new figure. It was like having plastic surgery without the pain and scars. Pity I did not keep the figure afterwards! I also liked feeling the baby kicking and seeing the outline of hands or feet and trying to guess what the baby would look like. And I know it sounds crazy, but I loved my home births too, I really enjoyed the experience, I was just so excited that I would get to see my child soon, the whole room was charged with this energy. It felt like a girl's night in.

I didn't like the very swollen ankles, going to the loo 20 times a minute or the fact that I have to be in a wheelchair in the latter stages because I have cerebral palsy and the weight of the baby is too much for my legs. The last time I was in a wheelchair for the last 4 months. I couldn't wait to give birth so I could walk again!!

My sister felt like you, could not stand to be pregnant, hated it, but loved her kids :)

June 7, 2011 - 9:06am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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