Remember “Dear Abby” columns which gave women, and men, advice on just about anything? Well, here is my version, “Dear Doula” for answers to many questions pregnant women, and their partners, often ask…starting with morning sickness!
This morning, I received a text from a someone I met months ago. It was an ‘introduction’ to someone else; the first person was sharing my contact information with this new second person, with the only information being “(So & so) meet Jenna.” Within a few minutes another text comes through from an unknown phone number that read:
“Hi, Jenna. I’m (_____), So & so’s fiance. I am 7 weeks pregnant, been nauseous with ‘morning sickness’ for the past three days (all day) and extremely exhausted (sleeping 5+ hrs during the day)”
With only minutes to spare (because I was in the waiting room of Bayfront Hospital‘s, Baby Place) awaiting a client in labor) I responded with the first thoughts that pop up…
“Dear Nauseously Normal, (adding the salutation here for effect)
Sounds uncomfortable, and perfectly normal. We birth professionals actually see nausea as a sign that your body is making enough hormones to make a healthy pregnancy. There are some things you can try:
1. Avoid an empty stomach by eating something small often (even if it comes back up, it’s better than nothing)
2. If the nausea feels warm in your stomach watermelon is often soothing
3. If nausea feels cold, then a warm cup of water with 1 or 2 slices of ginger and a squeeze of lemon may do the trick”
She said she had tried ginger to no avail, and she would try the watermelon.
Knowing that this experience we often call ‘morning sickness’ can last all day, and stay that way for many weeks, has taught me there are many tricks to try. The hard part is staying patient with one’s body while waiting, and wading, through the nauseous days and nights. Nature’s rewards of relief and vitality often come back, around week 16. Soon to follow is one’s sex drive, around 20 weeks.
My hope is that staying patient through the puking will pay off with that infamous pregnancy glow, whether from relief or sex!
In the meantime, have another slice of watermelon or ginger.