morning sickness

Movement for Morning Sickness

For those who have endured morning sickness it is certainly not the most desirable part of pregnancy.

I can remember from my pregnancy feeling great one day and then all of a sudden the nausea hit.  I couldn't cook, smell or even think about certain foods without feeling queasy.  Fortunately it lasted for 5 weeks and I figured out ways to manage it.

But, for others this is not always the case.

So why does morning sickness happen, i.e. pregnancy nausea and vomiting.

The theory is this is how the body responses to increases levels of pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which are at the highest during the first trimester.

Some even say that morning sickness is a sign of a strong pregnancy, because of the higher levels of hCG.

Whether you view morning sickness as reassuring or a hindrance, there are ways to remedy it.

Most of us read about the dietary remedy, like eating smaller more frequent meals that include carbohydrates and protein. Think crackers and almond butter.  Drink water with lemon or a carbonated beverage like ginger ale. Ginger tea or ginger hard candy for some also help.

What worked for me?

Movement!

I needed to stay active to keep my mind of the nausea. As soon as I stopped or didn't have my mind on something the nausea returned.

Exercising increases your endorphins which counteracts the nausea and fatigue.

So I had to figure out a way to stay active, eat enough and drink enough to stave off the nausea.

Here are my 3 tips for staying active to reduce morning sickness.

1. Go for a walk.

One of the simplest ways to stay active during pregnancy is going for walks. You can go by yourself, with                your partner or a friend. I only requires a good pair of sneakers and 20 minutes of time.

Plus if you did not exercise prior to your pregnancy, walking is a great way to start. It is a low impact exercise with high impact results.

But remember this is not "walking your dog" or "strolling with your toddler" walk, which if you're like me stopping rather frequently for them to explore.

You want to keep up a comfortable pace, where you can still talk with normal breathing, and can keep it up for at least 20 minutes without it feeling easy.

2. Get in some upper body stretches

If you're nausea is like mine, you get a little knot right at the base of your sternum. Almost like a vice grip tightening down on your stomach.

Since the path of our esophagus runs through our diaphragm I found it very helpful to do stretches that opened up my diaphragm.  This gave my stomach space, released any tension built up around the nausea and helped the flow of lymphatic fluid.

Watch the video below for a quick sequence that helped me out!

WATCH ME!

3. Deep breath

Deep breathing with gentle pelvic floor and tummy contractions is another way to target the diaphragm and increase muscle activation to improve endorphins.

Think of it as the beginning of giving your baby hugs.

You can do this sitting, standing, lying down, or moving.

Place your hands on your tummy, breathe in through your nose then slowly exhale out your mouth as you perform a 30% pelvic floor contraction (think stop pee) and flatten your tummy but gently engaging your abs.

Do this 5 to 10 times whenever you feel nauseas.

These were all incredibly helpful for me to manage my nausea.

If you want to learn more about how to stay active during pregnancy, sign up for more tips here.

Top 4 Tips for Morning Sickness

It’s time to break the radio silence.

For the past few months every time I sat down to write my brain would blur and I’d have complete writers block. So I chose to be kind to myself and not force the words.

But after returning from my walk today, it felt like the right time to let the words flow.

As many of your know I am a mom of a 3 year old rambunctious little girl.  But in January (or February) another little one will be joining our family.

Part of the brain fog was nausea distraction.

My first trimester was riddled with nausea that never gave me the satisfaction of actually vomiting….sorry for those who may be queasy about the V word.  But do know what I mean.  You feel terrible and just know that if you release the pressure it will all go away.  Well for me it never did.

I’m just coming out of it now and starting feel the energy and focus return.

And I really want to share with you some of my top tips for handling first trimester nausea (because to be honest, it was not morning sickness….it was all day sickness which got worse by the end of the day and oh the smells, my stomach flips just thinking about it.)

To be honest there wasn’t much that helped me, but there were a few go to things that were life savers.

Tip #1

Stay hydrated

It was really hard for me to drink water.  Even the thought of having to drink water was repulsive, but if I didn’t stay hydrated I was even more bloated and nausea.

So how did I stay hydrated?

I could tolerate ice cold water, lemon water or sparkling water.

So I would make up smaller glasses of water with ice, so it stayed colder longer and I felt accomplished when I finished the glass. Then refilled it frequently.

If I was home I loved filling up a pitcher of water popping some lemons in and leaving it in the fridge to stay cold then I could refill my glass directly from that and when the pitcher was empty I knew I hit my goal.

However, that was not always possible.

If I wasn’t home or ice cold water wasn’t available I would drink sparkling water.

I’m not typically a sparkling water person, only on more special occasions.  It’s nothing against the sparkling water, except I like to practice what I preach, most of the time which includes avoiding carbonated beverages because of their effect of our bladders (there’s a little hidden tip for those with bladder issues!)

So I’d always try to have a bottle around and my daughter called it my “spicy water” because of how it tickled her tongue if she tried a sip.

When I was really desperate I would drink through a straw, which let me get more water in without as much effort or fullness feeling.

Tip #2

Lavender or Lemon Essential Oil

I love essential oils because of their awesome benefits. And during pregnancy and postpartum there are very specific ones that are great to try out.

(If you’d like to learn more about essential oils check out my dear friends free course @ http://krystal-couture.com/signup/)

How I used lavender and lemon essential oils to help with my nausea is by having them in little vial and taking wafts of them whenever I felt nauseas.

This especially helped if there was a nasty smell that I couldn’t escape.

So if I could replace the nausea triggering smell with a cleansing smell my brain focused on the pleasant smell and it really helped calm my belly.

Tip #3

Stay Active

Walking was my friend when I was nauseas. Whenever I could take a walk I did, it let me get fresh air (though I won’t lie there were a few times that my nausea was triggered by a nasty smell outside).

But in general walking got my mind off the nausea and helped increase blood flow to my pelvis and muscles which reduced the feeling of bloat and TMI got me burping sometimes, which really relieved the pressure.

If I couldn’t walk, then I would do very simple stretches like spine twists or sidebends or cat cow to help open up around my gut and sooth my organs.

You can watch some of these in my video.

Tip #4

Tummy Time

This was my saving grace!

I’m not a big belly layer, other than certain exercises.

However, I do know the benefits of a good tummy time for your gut.

I would take advantage of playing with my daughter on the floor by lying on my belly or between clients I would lie on my belly to get through my next appointment.

This was especially helpful when I was trying to fall asleep.

I usually advice against belly sleeping, but when nausea is keeping you up, we do become desperate.

So I removed my pillow, so I wasn’t over extending my neck and let one arm rest over the side of the bed, while my legs were straight.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to stay there long to reap the benefits and could roll onto my side or back.

I am now feeling less nausea and don’t need to be as rigorous with my nausea combatting techniques.

But after having a larger meal than usual or smelling something that just turns my stomach I’ll pull these tips out and will continue to do so through the entirety of my pregnancy. (Of course, no longer lying on my belly, unless I go get a massage from an awesome local therapist who has a pregnancy pillow!)

Fo some of us nausea can be debilitating, and really hinders us from doing basic daily tasks.

By following some of these tips you may be able to get through your day with a little more ease making the first trimester more enjoyable!