Thank you MommyPotamus for this article, good stuff for our expectant mothers and those thinking about getting pregnant. I hope you enjoy the article!
When Someone Asks Your Daughter . . . .
What mommy says, does she run to the trash can, stick her head in, and yell “blahhhhhhhh”? Do you leave “deposits” in random potted plants on the street? Is there a flight attendant who will never forget the “gift” you spewed all over that tiny flushable cubicle in the sky?
Well then, I have just the thing for you.
Yesterday we talked about the REAL cause of morning sickness, and why it’s virtually impossible to correct this deficiency (if you have it) until after baby is born. However, there ARE things you can do to start feeling better now! In her Beautiful Babies e-course, Kristen of Food Renegade offers these tips for managing morning sickness and food aversions while getting your baby the best nourishment possible.
#1: Start Supplementing With Magnesium Oil Immediately
Though your absorption rate will be diminished due to pregnancy hormones, it is not fully blocked. Supplementing won’t allow you to fully rebuild right now, but it can prevent a rapid depletion that could make symptoms worse. Because magnesium is not easily absorbed by the digestive tract, topical applications are the way to go. Magnesium oil is a highly bioavailable source that you can easily spray on and rub in.
A caution, though: Some magnesium oils are contaminated with mercury and other heavy metals. Make sure you use a trusted brand! The company I buy from is listed on my resources page.
Also, some folks experience a tingling or burning sensation when they use the spray. If this happens to you simply add water to make a 50/50 solution and double the amount of spray you’re using (distributed over a larger area of your body: arms, legs, tummy, etc).
Wondering how much to take? Figures vary, but somewhere between 500-750 mg seems to be the general consensus. With the brand I listed above that works out to about 30 sprays a day. It sounds like a lot, I know, but if it works it’s worth it, right?!?!
Of course, the suggestion above is just a starting point. For a more personalized approach, start with a dosage you feel comfortable with and then:
Another good way to get magnesium is to soak in epsom salts. Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup and soak for half an hour.
#2: Eat More Protein And Saturated Fat
I know, you probably want to punch me in the face right now, and that’s okay. Foods like eggs, fatty fish and beef/lamb are usually lowest on the totem pole for the morning sick mama. Though they are great for stabilizing blood sugar and reducing nausea, many pregnant women just can’t stomach them. Why is that?
How Food Aversions Contribute To Nausea, And What To Do About It
Counter-intuitive as it seems, an aversion to fatty foods exposes a cholesterol deficiency. Here’s why: Our liver uses cholesterol to make the bile needed to digest fats, but it also uses cholesterol to help your body make the hormones needed to sustain a pregnancy. If you don’t have enough cholesterol stored it will choose to support the baby, but then there is nothing left to make bile!
Of course, the best thing to do is eat a preconception diet rich in cholesterol, but if that ship has already sailed your genius body has a workaround. It can create cholesterol from carbs! This is why so many mamas who can’t stand the sight of meat crave french fries and bagels early on. Cholesterol is “so important to fetal development that pregnant women who do not have high enough cholesterol levels are at increased risk of having babies with developmental problems,” says a recent study, who concluded that good cholesterol levels can even reverse many of the negative effects of fetal alcohol syndrome. Obviously, it’s wonderful that the body has a redundant system if not enough is present, but there is a serious downside to getting cholesterol from carbs instead of proteins and fats. First, there is no guarantee the body is going to be able to manufacture enough for proper development, and a deficiency in cholesterol during fetal development can cause significant developmental delays later on. Second, donuts and french fries do not contain essential b-vitamins, protein, and fat soluble vitamins A, D, K and E. Meat and healthy fats do. It’s really difficult to overstate how vital fat soluble (and other) vitamins are to fetal development, so the workaround is a stopgap measure at best.
Fortunately, there’s a workaround for the workaround. Rather than binging on carbs, you can compensate for the lack of bile by taking “bitters and/or ox bile to help your liver digest these necessary nutrients. Standard Process also makes a supplement with this exact combination of bitters and bile salts to aid in fat digestion called Cholacol. You can also support your liver by drinking Milk Thistle Tea.” [Update: The new Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care recommends bitters, but Sally recently issued a statement in which she changed her position. Please read this for more info.]
Update: I love this hint from Kristen on getting more protein in – “Also, try other cold meats. I’ve become a big fan of cold meat salads: chicken salad, tuna salad, crab salad, etc. You don’t have to heat the meats or smell them. Just stir in mayo or sour cream, salt, pepper, maybe some dill relish, chopped nuts, and craisins or raisins. Works with any cold meat and tastes YUMMY.”
#3: Sip On Bone Broth And Raw Milk
According to Kristen “Raw milk and bone broth are often the only foods a mother suffering from morning sickness can tolerate. Plus, they also happen to be rich in calcium – a mineral that works synergistically with magnesium within the body.
Since calcium competes with magnesium for absorption within the body, supplementing with high levels of magnesium to correct that deficiency may inadvertently create a calcium deficiency. Thus, it is wonderfully helpful to increase consumption of both together, particularly if your intake of calcium would already have been low.”
Bone broth has the added benefit of stimulating bile production, which as we discussed above can be suppressed due to cholesterol deficiency.
#4: Get More Sun!
“By this, I mean real sunlight, direct, in the middle of the day, with limbs and belly exposed,” says Kristen.
Vitamin D is essential for helping the body to absorb nausea reducing magnesium, and “[s]itting behind glass windows sadly does not offer the same benefits, since most glass blocks the UVB rays necessary to create Vitamin D in your skin but let the Vitamin-D leaching UVA rays through).”
Sun shy? Supplements don’t have the same benefits in this instance, I’m afraid. According to Kristen, studies comparing fermented cod liver oil vs. sunlight show that magnesium absorption goes WAY up when you get real sunlight. For more info on the benefits of sunlight, check out last months series:
If you can’t get out in the sun, make sure to take extra fermented cod liver oil. (Where to buy fermented cod liver oil and why it’s one the top supplement I would take if I were stranded on a desert island)
#5: Eat Before You Get Out Of Bed
“Since low blood sugar levels will make your nausea worse, it is best to try to keep your blood sugar level as even as possible. Keep hard cheese, apples, bananas, and nuts by your bed. Snack on them when you get up in the middle of the night to pee, and then again when you first wake up.” (Source: Beautiful Babies e-course)
This is fantastic advice that is also quite helpful for nursing moms. I went to bet clutching a piece of cheese for the first two years of Katie’s life!
#6: Eat More Frequently
“Again, since low blood sugar levels will make your nausea worse, try eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Never go more than 2 or 3 hours without eating.” (Source: Beautiful Babies e-course)
#7: Eat Foods Rich In Vitamins B6 and B12
Foods rich in B6 include chicken, turkey, beef, pork, salmon, tuna, bell peppers, spinach, green peas, yams, broccoli, asparagus, turnip greens, and properly prepared peanuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, and lentils. Note: Vitamin B6 degrades when exposed to heat, so prepare these items at the lowest temperature possible.
Foods rich in B12 include sardines, salmon, venison, lamb, beef, shrimp, scallops, yogurt, and raw milk.