A very common side effect of pregnancy is morning sickness, a condition that effects the majority of women to some degree. But it's a misleading term, as it can actually cause you to feel ill all day long. Here's new TalkMum blogger Chloe on how she dealt with a more extreme case when she was pregnant, and some tips that made her feel better:
'Crikey,' said my husband, grinning.
'Crikey,' I replied, staring down happily at the white stick in my hand. 'If there's one thing I'm determined about, it's that I'm really going to enjoy being pregnant.'
And for two whole weeks after that, I really did enjoy it. I pampered myself, I exercised, and I might have even glowed.
And then the morning sickness kicked in.
Calling it 'morning sickness' seems like a breach of the Trade Descriptions Act because I spent morning, noon and night with my head hovering over the nearest toilet bowl. I puked every morning while I was putting my make-up on and smeared mascara down my face. I became so familiar with the toilets at work that I started to refer to them as 'my office'. In meetings I always had to sit nearest to the door, just in case. I frequently puked on the train home in front of disgusted commuters and a plastic bag became a handbag essential. My husband cooked lovely evening meals and I showed my gratitude by eating a mouthful, then turning green and making a mad dash for the bathroom (if you've never spent a Tuesday night puking sweet and sour vegetables through your nose, you've never lived). I became so expert at puking that one day I vomited in some bushes near my house without breaking my stride or dropping my food shopping.
When you feel sick all the time it starts to take over your life. You can't summon up the enthusiasm to socialise, the energy to exercise or the concentration to work. I was very lucky to have an understanding boss who didn't quibble when I called in sick for the zillionth time, but my performance at certainly suffered, as did my confidence.
Thankfully my morning sickness eventually vanished at 22 weeks, although for many women it passes by the third month. And once it had gone, it was gone for good, and I finally got to enjoy the rest of my pregnancy just as I'd hoped. My first port of call was a blissful spa weekend, puke-free.
I learned one or two things during those stomach-churning months. Here are my morning sickness survival tips:
Go carb crazy
Choose plain, starchy foods to keep the sickness at bay. I pretty much lived on jacket potatoes and original Hula Hoops. Little and often is the key - don't even think about leaving the house without snacks.
There's some evidence to suggest that ginger can reduce vomiting, so fill your boots. I nibbled ginger oatcakes, sipped ginger tea and ginger beer. I even tried wearing a ginger fragrance (Ginger Essence by Origins), spritzing it whenever that tidal wave of nausea washed over me. The gorgeous smell certainly distracted me if nothing else.
Rushing to do anything seemed to make the sickness worse, so I slowed my pace right down. Get out of bed slowly, after nibbling some crackers or biscuits placed strategically on your bedside table, and whenever you get the chance to rest, rest!
Did you suffer from sickness during your pregnancy? If so, what worked for you?
And if you're unsure what you can and can't eat, check out our guide to what you can and can't eat during pregnancy.