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Have You Tried Ginger?

Author: Lauren Coleman

Despite nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) affecting around 75% of women, very few of my friends had experienced it. Mostly, those that had were subjected to it suffered only for the first trimester and so by the time of announcing their pregnancy were through the worst of it.

Dealing With Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy

My mild nausea began at four weeks and by eight weeks had progressed to severe. I had read coming off the thrice a day progesterone pessaries I was using as part of my IVF treatment may reduce the symptoms but unfortunately the change in hormone levels led to vomiting as I came out of the eighth week.

Googling told me that ‘morning sickness’ was so called as most women experience their symptoms first thing in the morning. However I seemed to be the complete opposite; the first five minutes after waking were okay and then steadily the nausea would creep in, increasing throughout the day.

I have to begin here by saying I don’t want to come across as whingeing in any way about these symptoms. I feel incredibly fortunate to be carrying a baby. I longed for these symptoms for months and put my body through a lot in order to get pregnant. However, I also want to be honest and say I found that first trimester incredibly isolating, bordering on debilitating and spent much of it on the bathroom floor. Other than for work meetings and acupuncture I rarely left the house and even then, I was terrified of venturing out without James.

Now I’m 29 weeks, the nausea is part of my everyday life and I’d like to think I’m slightly better at dealing with it. I don’t want to dwell on the negatives and so hope this comes across as more of a practical post. I thought I’d share the things that helped reduce the severe symptoms down a notch and the things that definitely didn’t work for me but could work for you if you’re in a similar boat. It goes without saying I’m not a medical professional so this is just my own ramblings based on my own experience. If this is not relevant to you in any way, do have a look at Charlotte’s instagram microblog from yesterday which involves nudity and croissants and is a bit more lighthearted.

Protein

I began seeing a nutritionist early on in my pregnancy as I wanted to be as healthy as possible. I couldn’t stomach many of the things that were suggested but one thing that did take the edge off was eating protein with carbs.
I’d force down a hunk of cheese with crackers, peanut butter on toast and cottage cheese on my rice cakes. At one point I did think there was a good chance this baby would come out resembling a block of Cathedral City.

Eating Little And Often

Food has become both my nemesis and my utopia and although I have umpteen food aversions, hunger has stopped me from losing my appetite. Eating six small meals a day (in the first trimester my dinner was probably a quarter of the size of a usual portion) meant I didn’t allow my stomach to become empty. If I was too hungry it was game over for the rest of the day.

James going to South Africa with work at 15 weeks was a turning point for me. Having to prepare my own dinners and look after myself was the kick up the bum I needed. I have no idea how anyone dealing with a subsequent pregnancy manages a child and these symptoms, but not having my husband around made me more focused. I also threw a Royal Wedding brunch around the same time and highly recommend a Morrison’s buffet if like me, you find food prep is all a bit too much.

Support

As IVF can be quite time intensive, Charlotte was up to date with all my appointments and procedures and therefore was one of the few I told about my pregnancy in the early days. Luckily for me, but not for her, Charlotte’s pregnancy with Iris had been nausea-ridden. It was a huge weight off my mind to know I had an understanding boss and someone to confide in when it all felt a bit too much.
Then there’s the lovely Laura from RMW. Laura suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) for the entire length of her pregnancy and was even hospitalised. My symptoms are laughable compared to her sustained sickness but she has never once got out her comparison barometer and has been incredibly supportive, acknowledging feeling sick for a continued length of time can have such an impact. I feel very fortunate to have such understanding work colleagues as I know this isn’t the case for many.
My husband continues to be an absolute legend and there’s also excellent support over on the Pregnancy Sickness Support site too.

Acupuncture

I carried on seeing the acupuncturist who supported me with my second IVF cycle throughout the first trimester. I’ll put this in the ‘worked for me’ category as sometimes, but not always I got several hours of relief from the symptoms.

Exercise

I discovered YouTube fitness guru Body Fit by Amy when James was in SA during my ‘get-a-grip’ stage. I have a serious girl crush on her. Her routines are short and usually really easy – you spend a lot of time ‘tapping it out’. I’m not sure if it alleviates any NVP symptoms but it’s done wonders for my mental wellbeing and will hopefully support in recovery after the birth.
I also started pregnancy yoga around the same time with a fab instructor who is really close by. The sessions are really small with just two other ladies. We really get to focus on connecting with our babies during the classes. Again I wouldn’t say it’s helping with the nausea (there are several positions I struggle with) however it’s given me breathing techniques to help me relax and feel less tense.

Rest

This isn’t going to be helpful for folks who have little ones but if I have something big planned I leave my diary blank for the following days and try to get in as many naps as possible as I know if I’m tired the symptoms are much worse.

Ginger

Does this work for anyone?! It has been suggested by every Tom, Dick and Harry but I’m yet to find anybody who has been helped by a ginger biscuit. I really hope to read in the comments that it’s worked for someone as this common suggestion must be based on some truth! My cousin’s wife swears by burning and inhaling the spice.

Acupressure Bands

If you read the reviews for these on Amazon you’ll see there’s a real mixed bunch of feedback. The stud inside the band exerts pressure on the New-Kuan acupressure point and for some people this brings almost instant relief. They didn’t do anything for me but they’re definitely working for some people!

Pre-Natal Vitamins

I’ve been on Pregnacare prenatal vitamins since the start of my first treatment cycle. Some report changing prenatal vitamins have an impact on their NVP as some can be harsh on their stomach. I did try Thorne vitamins where you build up the dose during the day rather than taking one tablet but no change in symptoms this end but worth a try.

Does anyone have any other suggestions they’d like to share for managing NVP? Sending hugs to anyone going through this too. We all know it’s going to be worth it in the end.

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64 thoughts on “Have You Tried Ginger?

  1. Hi Lauren, brilliantly timed article for me as I am 12 weeks pregnant & have been suffering with sickness for the last 6 weeks & I have found it really hard to get through this time especially working so much. I did have it in my previous pregnancy but not as bad as this. It’s difficult because you are so pleased & grateful to be pregnant but on the other hand feel so ill. I haven’t found anything that works yet, the bands, ginger etc doesn’t work for me 😞Eating carbs does seem to help a bit so would be interested to see if others have found things that work 🤞
    Also on a separate note just wanted to thank you for recommending the NIPT test, I had this last week & wouldn’t have known about it if it wasn’t for RMS/RMF so thank you x

    1. Hi Nicky, huge congrats on your pregnancy. Hopefully as you get into the second trimester the sickness will begin to tail off.
      Definitely worth trying a bit of protein with the carbs.
      So glad you find the info on NIPT helpful. It really is incredible.
      Best of luck with everything x

  2. Awe Lauren, I really do feel for you. It’s just horrible, exhausting and massively guilt inducing if you mention it to anyone.
    It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job at staying positive and upbeat about it. Serious respect xxx

    I too struggled to get pregnant but miraculously fell pregnant just the week before we went for ivf so I also understand the feeling of not being able to talk to anyone about it for fear of sounding ungrateful, I found that quite isolating too but I was incredibly grateful for my growing bump which definitely helped keep me upbeat too.
    The sickness carried all through my pregnancy from around 1 month to pretty much the end (including the labour). I tried pretty much everything that people recommended.
    Nothing stopped it but some things helped a little:
    – ready salted mcCoys were an half and hour saviour for me. I will always remember a conversation with the doctors where I guiltily said that they were the only thing I could keep down. I expected them to lecture me about vitamins etc, but instead he said to get myself to The supermarket and buy a stack of them!!! Apparently sometimes your body needs extra salt?
    – cheap, I mean really cheap, shortbread
    – cheap brioche buns, eaten cold
    – sucking ice cubes (which is often the only way I got through client phone calls)
    – Kurt kale

    I tried the sickness bands and got nothing from them, ginger just made me feel worse accompanied by a horrible burning feeling.
    accupuncture was a no for me too, as were the pregnancy vitamins.
    Food, little and often was definitely the way for me to feel mildly less sick.
    I really hope that some of the other lovely readers might be able to offer some ideas that might help you.
    Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy xxxxx

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Heather.
      Now McCoys, I haven’t tried those! I had such a craving for salt and vinegar discos in the beginning and struggled to get hold of them! x

      1. Ha ha. Bless you. McCoy are a winner. I wish I’d had shares in them back then- I reckon my constant habit would have made me a mint!
        Salt and vinegar discos? I say go with it! xxx

  3. I suffered from HG with both my pregnancies, and the title of this post “have you tried ginger” is so apt! So many people thought a ginger biscuit or some special tea would make it disappear, but when you can’t stomach water it’s hard to imagine a ginger snap will do it!

    Sadly my HG coincided with Kate Middleton and my first GP wasn’t terribly sympathetic suggesting “we can’t all be treated like princesses”. Thankfully I have a GP friend who assured me I did not have “normal morning sickness” and sent us to the local early pregnancy unit where I was admitted with ketones and severe dehydration. After that and a tonne of anti emetics things became slightly easier.

    From chatting to other people with HG I know that everyone is different for what they can eat, but I found the following, mainly unhealthy snacks, worked in very small quantities
    – san pelligrino orange- gone slightly flat (I couldn’t drink water and anything containing aspartame was also a serious no no)
    – colin caterpillar gummy sweets from M&S- to suck on for hours
    – fruit ice lollies- particularly fruit pastel lollies
    – salty crisps- especially those that melt in the mouth like skips/pom bears

    Other than that it was just a case of trying to stay hydrated (a teaspoon of water every 10 minutes was another suggestion that I could almost deal with) and waiting it out. My sickness started to disappear around 22/24 weeks and thankfully didn’t reappear. It has definitely been a big deciding factor in us only having 2 kids (even my dentist suggested that more kids was a bad idea given the state of my teeth after all the puking) x

    1. Sara, I’m so sorry to hear your original GP wasn’t helpful. Laura and I were talking around this the other day and the language medical professionals seem to use and the lasting impact it can have on us.
      Laura also swears by an ice lolly! x

    2. Sara, another HG sufferer here – I finally got round to seeing the dentist about a year after my son was born and I was so confused as to why he was acting like I was lying by saying I didn’t drink many fizzy drinks or have that much sugar! It suddenly dawned on me that it was the four months of vomiting 10-20 times per day that hasn’t probably done it rather than sugar. 😂 I want to have one more but completely dreading it because of the possibility of the HG coming back – I have so much respect for women who get pregnant again, somehow it’s worse knowing what you’re letting yourself in for.

      Lauren – thank you for this post, I think it’s so important that we raise awareness about how extreme morning sickness can be. As a follow up, it would be great if we could get a post on the various drugs that are available and safe to take. I had no idea that was a thing and trying to research that plus advocate for myself in front of uncaring GPs and nurses (many “have you tried ginger?” comments) when you’re that ill is v difficult. Anything that can help others not feel so alone x

      1. Hi Kate,
        Yes we can definitely look into it. The information available online around medication is very confusing. My midwife said my doctor won’t prescribe me anything (and apparently my surgery isn’t great at supporting pregnant women’s needs) so I feel I’ve hit a brick wall there. x

        1. Thanks Lauren. Yes and as ridiculous as it is that it’s us women that have to research our own options – that’s unfortunately the way it seems to be a lot of the time when it comes to pregnancy sickness.

          Also Lauren, you should def go back to your GP if you want to because I know you said somewhere else that you “only” have nausea not vomiting – but I definitely found the nausea more tricky than the vomiting when I had HG – it was just so debilitating and more intense than “just nausea” (whereas the vomiting was ten seconds and done) – so if it’s having an impact on your ability to live a normal life you should feel you can get more support.

          I was told by a midwife than no doctor would prescribe me any drugs during pregnancy which shows how uninformed some medical professionals can be (I’m don’t want to sound like I’m knocking the NHS because jeez those guys have so much to deal with and chronic underfunding is the root cause not individuals).

  4. I’m not pregnant, but I swear by ginger! Even before I realise I’m not feeling great, my body is craving it. I’ve been known to walk around Sainsbury’s drinking a can of ginger beer to soothe nausea, and then look into my trolly to find I’ve picked up bags of the crystallized stuff, along with everything needed to make a very gingery curry! It turns out my Mum had a huge craving for it whilst pregnant with me, eating bags and bags of crystalized pieces a day. Quite apt that I’m also a ginger too!

  5. In all my pregnancies I had terrible sickness and nausea (thankfully not HG and my heart goes out to anyone suffering with it) but I didn’t go to my GP about it as I mistakenly thought that because I was able to (barely!) drag myself through the days and keep some food and water down that it wouldn’t be considered severe enough for medication.

    Long story short, in my last pregnancy my GP noticed the state I was in at an unrelated appointment and prescribed me medication that wasn’t a miracle cure but did make life much easier until the sickness finally receded around 20 weeks.

    I know some GPs can be reluctant to prescribe anti sickness tablets for anything less than full on HG but I genuinely think it made an enormous impact on my mental health not having to fight through every day for months as I had previously.

    And if one more person had told me to eat ginger biscuits I would have turned violent!

    1. Hi Fionnula,
      I’m a bridesmaid in a few weeks and have been a bit worried about managing the nausea symptoms on the big day. I spoke to my midwife about medication last week and she said the doctor wouldn’t prescribe anything as it’s been a few weeks since my last vomiting session. I have to say I felt a bit dejected after. Ginger was suggested once again, as was ‘acceptance’!!!!!!!

  6. Have you tried peppermint tea? I swear by it for bloating and nausea, tiredness, feeling under the weather – everything! Might not help, but it’s not going to hurt!

    1. Hi Sophie, I did in the beginning but might give it a try again as I always found it good for a hangover!

  7. Currently 7 weeks pregnant with my second. No sickness or nausea with my first but this time nausea has hit like a ton of bricks and I feel….A. miserable and B. Worried it might be twins?!
    Mine is made worse by even travelling two mins in a car and gets worse throughout the day. I have zero idea how women with HG cope or get through. They deserve awards!
    Things that have helped:
    * Sickness bands (even if placebo?!)
    * Salt and vinegar squares crisps (like three packs a day!)
    * Not getting hungry
    * Taking mini cheddars to nibble on when wave of nausea hits
    *Stopping pregnacare and moving to dissolvable Tesco own brand prenatal vitamins

    I can never look at ginger again 😭

    1. Congratulations and so sorry you’re feeling this way.
      Salt and vingear squares are the bomb but why are the packets so small?!!!
      I think I need to look at changing vitamins again – thanks for mentioning the Tesco ones x

      1. If you can’t tolerate combined prenatal vitamins it’s worth looking at them individually. The only vitamins recommended routinely by the NHS are vitamin D and folic acid (for the first 12 weeks at least). Both of which are cheap, so it’s less traumatic if you throw them up, and tiny so they’re easier to swallow!

  8. I’m as big a ginger fan as they come but during pregnancy it did nothing for me. I was sick the whole time and even had to change my shower gel and shampoo as the smell of these really set me off too. Citrus took the edge off (my lovely mother in law even found me lime and grapefruit body washes and sprays) in particular Rose’s lime cordial diluted in ice water. Second time around I was booking in with my (new, male) midwife and made an off hand comment about the sickness in my first pregnancy being shocking but I supposed it was normal. He looked at me like I was nuts and said that the mental exhaustion of feeling sick for 30 weeks was just as much a reason to have medication as someone else who was physically affected. “Princess” comments by doctors (or anyone!) make me so angry! Pregnancy isn’t an illness but I does have a massive impact on what your “normal” is and the mental effect of that is a big part of it. On the plus side, being awake at all hours with a newborn was great as I didn’t feel sick any more! So there’s that to look forward to 🙂 thanks for the great article Lauren x

    1. Hi Becky, your comment is so true. The mental effect is huge. I find it easier to deal with now I have a humongous bump as I can see the reason why it’s happening but in the early days, when I really couldn’t believe I was pregnant there were times I went to a dark place because of it. There definitely needs to be more education about the impact and as I mentioned in the comment to Sara above, around the language that’s used. So glad your second experience with the midwife was positive x

    2. ‘Pregnancy isn’t an illness but I does have a massive impact on what your “normal” is and the mental effect of that is a big part of it.’

      A big YES to this. Perfectly articulated!

  9. Pregnacare vitamins made me feel really sick, I had to stick to seven seas.

    Fresh ginger in hot water did help me a bit, but when the nausea was really bad all I could do was lie down with a cold compress on my head and try to sleep it off.

    1. A friend of mine is a midwife and she mentioned that a lot of women have worse sickness with pregnancy vitamins and that she usually would recommend to only take folic acid if they’re struggling with sickness already.

  10. Whoever invented the term morning sickness clearly didn’t experience it! For me, it was much closer to 24/7 sickness and also lasted well into the third trimester. I’d mostly stopped being sick all the time by about 16 weeks but still felt nauseous constantly (almost worse I found, at least being sick gave me a short period of relief).

    I was obsessed with ice cubes, plain oatcakes helped a bit as well – and fruit, again really cold. Just the smell of most meats or coffee made me gag, it took a long time for that to go as well after little one was born (he’s two now 😱). Oh and ginger did nothing for me either!

    I do think people sometimes don’t realise how debilitating it is, especially in the first trimester when you don’t show yet and quite often prefer to keep the pregnancy to yourself. I remember commuting to work with several plastic bags as I never knew if the sickness struck and I would be able to use a toilet…

    I hope you feel better soon and get to enjoy a few sickness-free weeks!

    1. Thanks Maike. Yes that first trimester is so tricky. We had to tell a couple of people earlier than planned to warn them why I was constantly in the bathroom.

  11. Big ginger biscuit fan here! I had a packet by the side of my bed and always woke with nausea so immediately sucked on a ginger biscuit before I even got out of bed! I also had ginger tea to drink through the day at work and a fridge full of ginger beer.
    The only way I got through morning sickness was to never get hungry! My bag was filled with crackers and salt and vinegar Snack a Jacks so I was never caught out!!
    Hope it passes for you soon. It’s such a relief when it goes and will feel like a distant memory! Xx

  12. So sorry to hear you are still suffering Lauren.
    I have 2 children, both IVF, and had HG with both. Like you, I was desperate for every symptom of pregnancy having waited for so long and having had our first round of IVF fail. With both it started at 5 weeks. Like you, I was told that my symptoms were a result of all the hormone medication by my GP, but our Fertility Consultant advised this was not the case. Thankfully my GP was great after and did the best he could. I was so looking forward to being pregnant but, again like you, felt isolated and depressed.
    With our second we were better prepared as going through IVF enabled us to predict timings more easily. Although I started on anti nausea meds early I still suffered and was admitted to hospital (there is a HG suite in the maternity unit which was amazing!).
    I can highly recommend the Pregnancy Sickness Support site for all advice and support related to nausea and vomiting in pregnancy and HG. They offer a support line too which helps reduce the feeling of being isolated.
    Although it was horrendous at the time I did get through it and after my son was placed in my arms it was all worth it, so much so that I knew I could do it again for all the joy that having a child brings. Hoping you a swift final few weeks of pregnancy. Xx

  13. Alex I take my hat off to you, going through IVF twice and then having to deal with HG too. I know all this will be a distant memory very soon.
    Huge congratulations on your miracle children. x

  14. I feel for you Lauren as it is so hard to feel sick day in, day out. I had quite severe nausea and occasional vomiting (actually used to be quite pleased to vomit as it relieved the nausea for a couple of hours?!) with both my pregnancies from about 4/5 weeks to 20 weeks (swiftly replaced by horrendous heartburn but still better than nausea!). I felt a million dollars when it stopped! I also had a million food aversions and so many smells repulsed me, particularly things like perfume, washing powder, soap etc. It wasn’t fun and I felt guilty for hating it as I knew how lucky I was, but it is debilitating. I’m still jealous of women who say they didn’t suffer with it! For me the acupressure bands did help a bit and sipping ice cold water and fruit juices. I did nibble on ginger biscuits and it helped a bit but I think it was just keeping snacking in general that really helped… don’t get hungry, ever! And rest rest rest. It’s certainly not easy to do it a second time with a child to look after but I suppose you go into it hoping it might not be as bad, and for some people it isn’t! It was for me and I swore I’d never do it again but here I am thinking about a third… because the memory does fade and mostly because the child at the end of it is absolutely worth every second! The same reason why women put themselves through childbirth again! I really hope you get some relief for your last few weeks x

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for your comment and so sorry you went through this too. Good to know it’s worth every second!
      I second the fragrance comment. I haven’t worn perfume for months and can’t bear the smell of scented candles!

  15. Hi Lauren, so sorry to hear you’ve been feeling so nauseous and vomiting. My vomiting started at 8 weeks and ended when I had my baby; I was even sick in labour, I guess to be consistent?! Ginger tea sometimes helped but generally nothing really did. Sorry I don’t have any specific advice other than to say the relief when you’re no longer feeling sick is amazing!!! It was such a novelty to eat and know I wouldn’t see it again several hours later! Hope it does a magic disappearing act soon but if it doesn’t, just try and rest as much as you can as you mentioned. Xx

  16. Smells. Any kind of strong smells, particularly soapy cosmetic smalls, sent me rushing for a bucket for the bulk of the first two trimesters (and I’m still averse now 2½ years later) so going out in public was a challenge for sure but even without the smells the motion sickness style nausea was a constant.

    I found sipping room temperature water throughout the day really helped keep my hydrated without the sloshing tummy feeling or drinking a full glass. A packet of Salt and vinegar crisps were never out of my hand and anything potato based especially potato cakes, think bland but salty and I are it in little nibbles throughout the day. I couldn’t face eating full meals. I knew I was starting to come to the end of it when I started craving really fresh and juicy foods, over ripe plums especially.

    It does pass but while you’re in the middle of it, it feels never ending. Good luck and congratulations.

    1. Ahh yes potatoes. I’ve completely gone off sweet potatoes but white baked ones are a staple in our house at the moment!

  17. I was sick through both my pregnancies. I was so sick with my second daughter my eldest daughter ( 2 at the time) was so distressed by seeing it she actually got a short term stammer. I was like you Lauren and didn’t actually start to feel sick until after lunch so I’d eat a massive breakfast and massive lunch and then stop eating and go to bed early. Salty food seemed to help me a bit and pineapple. Ginger did nothing. The one upside of sickness through pregnancy is it’s such a relief when baby is born and it stops I think it makes the lack of sleep easier to deal with as at least you don’t feel sick ! Good luck x

    1. Oh poor little lamb with her stammer. I imagine it was so difficult for her to see you in that way.
      I’ve heard the relief makes the lack of sleep a bit easier so that’s a bonus! x

  18. I found the nights the most distressing, and very lonely – up and down feeling nauseous with my head over the loo umpteen times yet only ever bringing up bile (apologies for TMI), and then you are completely exhausted the next day. I definitely lived in a fog for a good few months. I found not eating after 6pm helped, always having peppermints to hand (they seemed to help for short periods so were useful for meetings etc). Raw crunchy vegetables were my friend and fruits definitely were not – I cut all of those out except for banana. And biscuits, always oaty type biscuits! I wish I had tried to take more naps during the day but I felt too guilty not working – so definitely take naps x

    1. Bless you Charlotte. I know what you mean about the lonely nights.
      Come 6pm you’ll often find me napping on the sofa but I don’t have a Miss Mabel to look after. So hard for second pregnancies x

  19. Hi Lauren! I’m currently 13+ weeks and although have been queasy for a lot of it, haven’t actually been sick. It definitely got worse as the day went on (morning sickness my arse!) I have had really strong aversions to eating though and have basically lived on cheese sandwiches and chocolate (all the good food groups in my opinion) so completely appreciate your worry about the kid coming out looking a block of cheese! Just started to get my head around veggies and salad again so fingers crossed! Also, love bodyfit by Amy! Hope it eases off soon! 🙂

    1. Cheese sandwiches are the best Dawn. I couldn’t do chocolate in the first trimester but I’m making up for it in the third 😉
      Congratulations to you Dawn and glad we have a shared appreciation for Amy and cheese! x

      1. I’m 9 weeks in and cheese is my saviour! My first pregnancy was a breeze and apart from weight gain, I didn’t even feel pregnant.

        This time round is another story! I am nauseous every second of the day! I’ve found that snacking all day has helped so much. I love food and having big meals but can’t bear it just now. A few bites out of a meal and I’m done. I’ve also been snacking on cheese, crisps and oatcakes. I usually love a cheese salad sandwich with all the trimmings but now all I can manage is a plain cheese sandwich with a tiny bit of butter. I can’t even have water or fruit juice.

        This post has really helped me as it’s so hard to talk to some friends about it. I have 2 friends that can’t have children so I don’t really bring it up in case it comes across as moaning.

        It’s definitely different being pregnant with a toddler at home as well. During my first pregnancy I was away swimming and attending yoga classes but this time I have all of my son’s classes to attend. Today was soft play and it was a nightmare!

        Sleep helps but that’s difficult with a toddler running about. I’ve actually been trying to nap with him as much as I can.

        I’m going to look into the online exercise classes you’ve mentioned and the sickness website (I didn’t even know it existed).

        Thank you

        1. So sorry you can’t talk to your friends about as support really helps with the isolation. I have a friend also going through IVF and in the early days if she asked how I was I’d just say I have the ‘usual symptoms’ when really I was texting her from the bathroom floor.
          There’s a forum on the site which hopefully you’ll find useful. Let me know how you get on with Bodyfit by Amy – they’re really short so hopefully you can fit them around your little one x

  20. Have you tried ginger??? Ha ha! Yes I have and it doesn’t work!
    I suffered through both pregnancies and ended up on anti sickness medication twice.
    In terms of what helped for me. Eating before I got up (only an option in pregnancy number one though), jelly sweets first time round and pretzels second time, getting lots of sleep and drinking apple juice.
    It’s horrible and isolating and I was just surviving both times. It is worth it though and you do (kind of) forget how bad it is. Otherwise I wouldn’t have done it again. Having said that I don’t think it was as bad the second time. I was prepared for it and didn’t feel so emotional about it. I didn’t waste time worrying about “complaining” and I confided in friends and family far earlier. I also got myself an appointment with the GP for medication earlier so got back on track much quicker.
    Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

    1. Thanks Sarah. There have definitely been times where I’ve thought I don’t know if I’d ever be able to do this again, (and it’s unlikely we’d ever be able to afford IVF again) but you are right – we survive!

  21. Sorry you’re still suffering Lauren – no matter how much you want a baby, pregnancy symptoms can be very hard to endure. I felt awful at the beginning of both my pregnancies and found, like you, that eating small amounts regularly helped, I even had snacks by the bed to keep me going during the night. If I missed a snack then I could guarantee I’d be on the bathroom floor in tears… Rich teas, plain bagels and hot cross buns got me through, all very beige and bland but it worked for me!
    Obviously the old cliche of “it’s all worth it” applies… but we all know that too don’t we! Good luck xxx

  22. The nausea and regular but unpredictable vomiting of early pregnancy (running off trains to puke off the side of the platform in the morning rush hour etc.) was almost worse than the HG that kicked in a bit later in my pregnancy where the puking was constant but not accompanied with the nausea so I have a great deal of sympathy for you. It is brutal and so draining both physically and emotionally, I’m glad you have good support around you as its a lifeline when you really do need it.
    I was lucky in that my GP was amazing with the HG and got me on medication that did eventually get things somewhat under control.
    In the mean time I echo what lots of others have said, ice lollies are a bit of lifesaver, I found coming off prenatal vitamins other than folic acid helped, ignore all thoughts of eating “well”, the Dr laughed when I said that I had been eating veggie packed stir fries (and puking them all back up again) and suggested I get myself plenty of salty crackers and crisps, biscuits like shortbread and hobnobs and even sweets if I could manage them, apple juice was another quick win for keeping something down that had some energy in it. Oh and rinse your mouth after puking with cold milk to neutralize the acid if you can – my teeth were in an awful state after pregnancy one and god knows what they will be like after this one finishes.

    1. I thought my acupuncturist would be all for healthy eating but when I told her what I was trying to eat, she laughed and said to give in to what my body was craving. Hello crisps!
      Excellent tip on neutralizing the acid x

  23. Hi Lauren,
    This is exactly what i needed to read right now! I’m currently 14 weeks after we were incredibly lucky and our first round of IVF worked, but the nausea and sickness has been so hard to live with. At 12 weeks i did start to turn a corner and the mornings got easier, and just having a few hours of relief in a day had a huge impact on my mental well-being. But when you’re in it 24/7 it’s a really lonely and horrible place to be and i couldn’t ever imagine feeling well again!
    I also felt a sense of guilt when moaning about it, because like you’ve said, you’ve been through so much to get here and are so grateful. Having suffered two miscarriages previously from natural pregnancies, i also struggled with the worry that something is wrong if i ever do feel less than dreadful. Every day has been a challenge!
    My relief has come from small sips of very weak squash as i couldn’t stomach water, crisps and white carbs! Because we lost our other babies we don’t want to share our news until nearer 20 weeks, but my colleague has commented on how i used to be such a healthy eater and now i seem to have a crisp addiction! Oops!
    Best of luck for the rest of your pregnancy and hope you feel better soon x

    1. Emily, huge congratulations on your pregnancy. I’m pleased to hear you are getting some relief.
      I know exactly what you mean about worrying something is wrong. I was at the hospital a few weeks ago with reduced movements and the nausea was at it’s lowest. I was quite pleased when it came back again!
      Best of luck with your pregnancy too and embrace all the love when you do feel ready to announce. I was taken aback by how tearful it made people. It’s my parents’ first grandchild and people are still hugging my mum in the street! x

      1. Aww thank you! I sometimes wish i was brave enough to tell everyone sooner, as i fully support being more open about infertility and loss. But i just need to get past the point we lost our last and then we’ll be open about our journey beyond just close friends and family.
        That’s so amazing how much love you and your family are receiving, i bet your parents’ can’t wait to meet their grandchild 🙂 x

  24. Its all coming back. I’m desperate to add “Up” after the end but well, you know, you’ve been there.

    There isn’t a tube station in London I haven’t been sick at and my husband yelling “just be sick BETWEEN THE CARRIAGES” as I threw up all over Kings Cross concourse is a low point. I just carried a plastic bag and threw up at will. I was never nauseous. I was just projectile vomit sick. Business meetings were a nightmare. Particularly because this started with my second pregnancy straight away (as in, before I’d done the test even) so my colleagues all knew I was pregnant from the off. You can’t say “I’ve got sickness” for 12 weeks and get away with it when they saw you go through it the first time.

    It was much worse with my second pregnancy. To be honest I think a lot of it is down to having no rest at all second time around. It made it harder. I spent a lot of time lying on the floor of the bathroom with my head over the toilet and my daughter in the bath asking if I was OK. We had A LOT of colour baths let me tell you. All a sensory experience right?

    I’m not going to lie and tell you that it will pass and that you won’t need additional drugs in labour (if you have a C-section you get anti nausea drugs but you’ll probably need more). My memory of labour is the little grey paper bowls you get at hospitals. One after the other. And I had to change labour rooms because I threw up in the bathroom of the first one. Its GRIM.

    It is so worth it though in the end. Hang on in there.

    1. Oh Rebecca. This sounds hideous. And also what a way to announce.
      Like you say though, all worth it in the end 😉

  25. I suffered with nausea with all three pregnancies (even with the miscarriage which was a right kick in the teeth). I tried everything but the things which helped were tiny bites of food each hour, seasickness bands maybe for the placebo effect and NOT taking my pregnancy vitamins first thing in the morning- that made me violently sick!
    I’m a PE teacher which was rough standing and teaching all day but I had a super supportive male boss which helped and eventually my GP prescribed medication which although didn’t cure it certainly knocked the edge off. I wasn’t actually vomiting very often so felt like a total fraud for ‘just feeling sick’ all day. I had to sleep sitting almost completely upright for the whole pregnancy so it was sweet relief after the birth to lie flat again!

    1. So good that you had a supportive boss, it makes the world of difference. I have no idea how you managed to teach all day though!

  26. So good to read this. I am 28 weeks into my second pregnancy and counting down the days. I have severe nausea (no vomiting) and the only thing that helps in the slightest is eating and drinking sparkling water. As in my first pregnancy, I have gained so much weight, been unable take my pre-natal vitamins, and have eaten a predominantly beige diet. I know I just need to do what I need to do to get through, but I feel such guilt, and so awful about the weight gain. I think the hardest part of it for me is that as I am not being sick and as I am still doing things, no-one really understands, especially the eating as nausea and constant eating don’t make sense in normal life!
    It is also sooo much harder to deal with with a toddler! I always wanted three children, but this will definitely be my last. I cannot put myself or my family through it again.

    1. Hi Georgina, it looks like you and I are due around the same time 🙂
      I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way too, especially with another one to look after. Not long for either of us now so I hope you get some relief soon x

  27. I too sufffered from feeling sick ALL day for the first 2 trimesters. Like a terrible hangover…..if I move an inch it’s game over. I found bread and cheese and jacket potatoes with cauliflower cheese were my got to foods. Again a case of pile on the carbs! This then became tricky when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, but like you Lauren out bubs was an ivf miracle so I was happy I was pregnant at all!! Good luck with the remaining weeks xxx

  28. Thank you Lauren for this article. It’s very well-timed for me (8 weeks pregnant, the nausea kicked in at week 4 and the vomiting at week 7). One of the things I am struggling with is that the constant nausea is very isolating when it’s too early to tell people about the pregnancy – I am cancelling all my social plans, but have to make up reasons why! I also do feel bad about complaining, as I am very happy (and lucky) to be pregnant at all. At the moment I am allowing myself one moment of despair in the mornings, and then trying to pull myself together! This article and the lovely comments have helped me to feel less isolated.

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