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Libby Matthews’ pregnancy page: Tips for battling morning sickness

In her first exclusive pregnancy column, the nutritionist, naturopath, and author shares tips for easing morning sickness.

Libby Matthews
Libby Matthews

Libby Matthews is a first-time mum-to-be, who along with sister Julia, has inspired Kiwis with the popular lifestyle blog, Julia & Libby. Over the next few months, Libby will share the highs and lows of her pregnancy with us here at the Weekly.

My pregnancy - so far - has definitely had its ups and downs but nonetheless it has been an amazing journey. I am coming up to week 26 and I’m feeling more energetic and I’m finally back to eating normal foods.

A lot of women talk about the second trimester being the best and I would have to agree with them. I had morning sickness right up until the 20 week mark. I was throwing up every day, strong smells brought on the nausea and even having to have cold showers due to warm temperatures made me feel sick. Then suddenly, one morning, I woke up and it was all gone.

My favorite part of pregnancy so far has been able to feel the baby move, which started at around 22 weeks. Once I could feel the baby kick, all my anxiety and fears about the pregnancy went away and I am now able to enjoy the exciting ride.

During my first trimester I used every excuse under the sun as to why I was sick to try and keep my pregnancy under wraps, saying it was food poisoning, gastro, the flu and even PMS.

I had morning sickness that started at five weeks and lasted another 15, with the nausea getting worse in the evenings. I spent a lot of time hugging the toilet bowl, and felt like I had a never-ending hangover.

I’ve put together some tips that I found helped me while I was suffering with morning sickness, which hopefully will help you too.

My tips to curb your queasiness:

Get your protein: Low blood sugar levels can make nausea worse which is why it can be particularly worse for women in the morning (when you haven’t eaten so blood sugar is low). It is important to try and keep blood sugar levels regular by eating enough protein throughout the day.

If you can stomach breakfast include a source of protein in your meal such as a boiled egg, spoonful of peanut butter with your toast or even a scoop of protein in your smoothie. Carry some snacks around with you during the day so when you feel sick you always have something on hand. High protein snacks include a handful of nuts such as almonds, walnuts and brazil nuts, wholemeal crackers with hummus, or avocado with rice crackers.

Consider B vitamins: Many women find that B vitamins can help relieve queasiness. Vitamin B6 can be found in foods such as bananas, nuts, carrots, lean meats and fish. Many prenatal vitamins also contain this vitamin, so that can be a great way to get your intake.

Go Ginger: Ginger is a well-known anti-nausea ingredient that is commonly used to treat morning sickness. It helps to settle the stomach and alleviate queasiness. Ginger tea, ginger ale, ginger cookies and grating fresh ginger into warm water can be easy ways to incorporate it into your diet.

Have Acupuncture: This is the one remedy that I felt really helped with my morning sickness. Many women use acupressure wristbands, which work off a similar principle, to help reduce any nausea. These are sold at most pharmacies.

Keep up Fluids: It is very important to drink enough fluids throughout your pregnancy, especially if you are having trouble keeping anything down. Coconut water, fruit juice and water flavored with lemon can be a great way to stay hydrated. If you are exercising, make sure you are upping your water intake during your workout.

Cold Treats: If you are having trouble keeping any food down try making ice blocks with coconut water and fresh fruit juice. This is a great way to get some electrolytes and fluids into your body.

If you are ever worried about morning sickness, consult a health professional.