Friday, March 1, 2013

"Sometimes in the Morning"

Any woman who has ever had a child eventually realizes that every pregnancy is different.  There isn't a whole lot of rhyme or reason as to what makes the difference either.  If you had a difficult time with a first baby, there's no way of knowing if your second or fifth  pregnancy will be difficult too.  Your best friend might have struggled with high BP and needed bed rest; but your sister sailed through her pregnancies like a walk in the park!  Some women cry at the drop of a hat or have mood swings that are world class. Some women will have crazy cravings throughout the whole nine months for odd things like pickles or ice cream (or both at the same time!)   There just aren't any guarantees that pregnancy will be good or bad.  No way to tell!

But most women (not all, mind you, but most) will have some experience  with the dreaded Morning Sickness!  Some will spend the first six months as sick as a dog, where almost all food is disgusting and all you do is throw up!  Some will only encounter it in the first couple of months.  Sometimes it can be so bad that the mom-to-be actually loses weight which isn't a particular great thing when you're pregnant.  And sometimes it never happens at all!

I was pretty fortunate with my pregnancy.  I was young and healthy and I didn't have any swelling, my BP was always fine.  My hormones didn't appear to be too badly out of whack, so my emotions were pretty much under control and I didn't gain an enormous amount of weight.  When I was pregnant, I actually felt pretty!  I was lucky in so many ways.  Still there were a couple of weeks when I was about four months along when "Sometimes in the Morning" I would wake up nauseated and feeling like poop!  I don't recall actually throwing up more than once.  After that I put some water and saltines right by the bed and as soon as I woke up I would have some crackers and some water and then just stay still for about 20 minutes and the sick feeling would go away.   I was fine for the rest of the day. As I said, I was didn't last anymore than 2 weeks for me.  The rest of the pregnancy I felt terrific.  Oh I had the standard back ache and eventually couldn't see my feet, but all in all it was pretty much an easy time.

So saltines did the trick for me!  But other women have a horrible time with morning sickness!  Most of us know of some poor mom-to-be who always looked a little green around the edges and couldn't get past that feeling that dinner was about to exit stage left!  Some throw up so much they become dehydrated and can't keep anything down!  And they feel awful almost all the time.  Those are the times when pregnant women wonder if going through all this is really worth it.  Constant nausea can really be demoralizing.  It's like having a really bad  stomach flu for six months straight!  Despite how lousy they feel, it is still pretty much considered a "normal" thing during pregnancy.

In the years since my daughter was born doctors and moms have gotten extremely wary of pregnant women ingesting anything that could potentially harm the baby.  That's understandable and a good thing.  For a long while pregnant women have sworn off alcohol, smoking, all drugs and medications of any sort, won't do x-rays, eat only "healthy" foods, eliminate salt, even go gluten free (which doesn't do a thing unless they are already gluten intolerant) and so on.  That's great, really it is.  No one could argue against keeping the baby safe and as healthy as possible.

Now back in the day of my mother's generation and before, there were very few women who changed their behavior much at all during pregnancy.  My mother smoked throughout both of her pregnancies.  If she had a headache she took some aspirin (not Tylenol or Ibuprofen, aspirin!)  Other women might have  a glass of wine or even a cocktail.  "Everybody" did!  And both of my mom's babies (and most everyone else's) were born healthy, full-term, and perfect.  I am NOT, of course, recommending that women do what ever they want during pregnancy.  There can be serious issues caused by poor diet and bad habits that can affect some babies extremely negatively.  What I am saying, however, is that sometimes doctors get a bit carried away with all the restrictions.

In the last couple of years there has an easing of some of the restrictions, not too much, but some.  And today I read an article that a research team in Denmark had done a clinical trial on the use of a certain anti-nausea medication  by pregnant women.  They studied a large group of women who would take this drug to control their morning sickness over a lengthy period of time.  Here's a link to the article I read:
Study finds pregnancy nausea drug won't harm fetus .

They found that the drug DID NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT  babies either during pregnancy nor did they see any sign of effects from the drug after birth!  What this means is that, according to the study, a pregnant woman having serious issues with nausea, morning sickness, vomiting, or whatever one wishes to call it, can take this medication to get some relief and they will not be harming their baby!  It is safe!  What a wonderful thing for all those women who suffer so.  The researchers indicated that they wouldn't recommend the drug for nausea that is easily controlled by other methods (i.e., the saltines and such.)  However, when the nausea was severe and uncontrollable this medication could be taken to relieve the severity.

The article did not go into great detail about obstetricians' reactions to the study, nor did it include any reaction from pregnant women.  Given the general mindset of women these days who will do absolutely anything and everything to keep from harming their babies, I have a feeling that there won't be any great increase in the drug's usage any time soon.  So many people don't trust scientists or drug companies or even their own physicians.

At some point, I hope that other studies will be done that will either confirm or dispute the findings of the first study.  If those results are indeed confirmed and the drug does not harm the unborn, I hope that the information is provided to obstetricians in a timely manner.  I also hope that those women who encounter this extreme type of nausea more than just  "Sometimes in the Morning"  can unbend enough to recognize that there is help out there and  believe that their babies will still be safe.   We'll see!


  1. I did take morning sickness pills for two of my pregnancies. My kids were fine and so far, there doesn't seem to be any residual affects. However, I am glad that I did not need to take them for the other two pregnancies. In today's pharma society where there is a pill to fix everything but every pill has side effects, we have to always weigh the benefits, quality of life and the possibility of worse diseases befalling us. Two years ago, the doctors had me on 11 pills. I am now down to four and if there was anyway that I could get off them, I would.

    I have a heart stent and when I received it, was told is was the latest and greatest. A few months later, it was revealed that even though it was rare, (unless it is you,it could cause sudden death.

    I am happy that we have the research and drugs that are giving us more years in life. However, let the buyer beware.

  2. I was sick the first three months of my two pregnancy's and one miscarriage at three months. Miserable is a kind word for it. It would be nice to have a medicine for it....but I no longer have confidence in what doctors say about which drugs are safe. Crackers and a sympathetic husband got me through.


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