Tips for "morning sickness"/nausea during pregnancy.
- It is important not to let your stomach get empty. Keep a snack with you at all times. This keeps your blood sugar from dropping too low and triggering nausea.
- Protein is your best source of sustained energy and will help you in preventing nausea. Eat some protein just before bed to avoid feeling queasy in the morning.
- Munch on a quick snack (like a biscuit or cracker) if you are awake in the night (i.e. if you are up to empty your bladder). This tip alone can help a huge amount to reduce nausea first thing in the morning.
- Dehydration is a cause of nausea and headaches. Aim for around 2 litres of water per day. You can also have some unsweetened juices and herbal teas. Avoid soft drinks and caffeinated beverages.
- Avoid smells, tastes and textures that trigger your nausea.
- Avoid foods that can generally cause you gas and bloating.
- Avoid sucking on lollies on an empty stomach. Although this may temporarily relieve nausea, the digestive juices you stimulate could make matters worse.
- Avoid taking vitamin supplements on an empty stomach. Stop taking them if you find your nausea not improving, though continue with your folic acid and also iodine supplements.
- Avoid aromatherapy oils.
- Acupressure with “Seabands” designed to assist with motion sickness.
- Sleep more (or at least rest more) – tiredness does aggravate nausea.
- 250 mg Ginger 3 – 4 times a day in capsule form (do not exceed 1 gram).
- Vitamin B6 25 mg throughout the day, not exceeding 150 mg.
- Homeopathic remedies. These are usually prescribed on an individual basis but “nux vomica” is a useful homeopathic remedy. Ask for assistance when purchasing.
- Teas such as fennel, spearmint and chamomile.
- Activated charcoal (2 capsules up to twice a day) may also help relieve a ‘sour’ stomach.
- Herbal remedies from a herbalist may also help.
- Lavender essential oil, when inhaled, may help relieve some nausea.
2. KEEP ACTIVE!
- Regular exercise such as walking and swimming may help.
What is your due date?
Your due date is important to know.... And not just because you want to start the countdown to meeting your baby ! From the medical point of view, your due date is what I work from to estimate when you are due to have certain scans, blood tests and to monitor the overall growth and well being of baby etc.
To work out your due date we need to start with what the first day was of your last period. (Now I know you didn't fall pregnant that day (!) but that's just how the pregnancy calculator works !). It is also important to know how long your cycle normally is. For some women it's the same time each month, other women have wildly irregular periods. If you can't remember the first day of your period, or your cycle length...well.. then let me organise a scan for you to "date" your pregnancy.
Nipple thrush and baby thrush.
What is trush?
Thrush is a fungal infection (candida albicans) which can affect your breasts and your baby's mouth when she is breastfeeding.
What causes thrush?
We all carry the fungus candida albicans in our bodies. It's a normal part of our digestive system, and bacteria usually keep it in check. But now and then it gets a chance to grow and spread, which can lead to an infection.
Breastfeeding creates the perfect environment for thrush. It thrives in warm, moist, sugary places, which is exactly what your baby's mouth is like during breastfeeding. The thrush infection can then pass to your nipples.
Thrush may take hold more easily if your nipples are already sore or cracked, perhaps because your baby isn't latching on well. Unless it's treated, thrush can pass back and forth between you and your and baby.
Thrush is becoming more common. This may be because we often use antibiotics to tackle all kinds of infections. Antibiotics kill off the friendly bacteria in our gut that can help to keep thrush in check.
How will I know if I have thrush?
Common signs of thrush in breastfeeding mums are:
- Cracked nipples which don't heal, even though your baby is latching on well.
- Nipples that are pink, or red and shiny, perhaps with white areas.
- Nipples that become sore after a period of pain-free breastfeeding. The pain often becomes more intense as your baby feeds, and can last for up to an hour after a feed.
- Itchy nipples, which may be extremely sensitive to any touch, even to loose clothing.
- A burning sensation in your nipples.
- It's also possible to have thrush, but to have no symptoms at all.
However, if your nipples are sore, painful or cracked, thrush isn't necessarily to blame. It's possibly more likely that your baby is not latching on to your breast well when he feeds. Perhaps you could consider a referral to a lactation consultant to review your feeding technique.
Occasionally, thrush on your nipples can enter your milk ducts, the channels along which your milk flows to your nipple. This can cause shooting or burning breast pain deep in your breasts, and this is called ductal thrush. Unlike letdown pain, which doesn't last long, thrush pain lasts while your baby is feeding and usually gets worse after feeds. It's unusual to get ductal thrush, and some experts even doubt that ductal thrush exists.
How will I know if my baby has thrush?
If your baby has thrush on his/her tongue it looks like a thick white "carpet". Also it may present as white patches that look like milk curds on his tongue, gums and on the inside or roof of his mouth. If you touch these gently with a clean finger, you'll find the base is raw and may bleed. Your baby may be unsettled, or only feed for a short time. He may pull away from your breast while feeding because his mouth is sore.
Thrush can pass through your baby's digestive system to his bottom and cause nappy rash. The rash is usually sore with red spots, and may take a while to heal.
How is thrush treated?
If you suspect thrush, talk to your midwife or doctor. You and your baby need to be treated at the same time, even if only one of you is showing symptoms. You will be probably be prescribed an anti fungal cream or gel to put on the infection.
Your nipples and your baby's mouth, and possibly bottom, should be treated at the same time. Thrush can take up to a few weeks to cure completely, though the pain should ease after a few days. If it doesn't, talk to your midwife, or go back to your doctor.
If you have ductal thrush you will need to be treated with an anti fungal medicine that you take orally.
As well as taking medicine, there are other things you can do to keep thrush at bay:
- Sterilise dummies, bottles, teats and all breast pump parts with a sterilising unit or boil them for 5 minutes after each use to avoid re-infecting yourself or your baby.
- Wash toys in hot soapy water.
- Wash your hands often especially after applying medication and after changing your baby's nappy.
- Use a separate towel for everyone in the family, and change it daily.
- Wash your and your baby's clothes at 60 degrees C to kill off the fungus.
- Use only plain water to wash your nipples and dry them thoroughly afterwards (as thrush flourishes in damp conditions).
- Some mums find that cutting down on sugary foods and foods that contain yeast (such as bread) helps.
- To ease deep breast pain you can take a mild painkiller - such as paracetamol - until the worst is over and your treatment begins working.
- You could add probiotics to your daily diet to help the friendly bacteria that suppress thrush to grow again in your digestive tract. (You can take probiotics in pill form, or by eating live natural yogurt, but don't rely on them to fight your thrush infection. You'll need treatment as well)
Can I still breastfeed?
Yes. Thrush should't prevent you from breastfeeding your baby, though it can make it painful. You can carry on breastfeeding while you're both being treated.
During treatment you can give your baby milk you have expressed too, and milk you have frozen. However, once the thrush has cleared up throw away any frozen breastmilk you've stored during the outbreak. That's because freezing the milk won't kill off the thrush, and it's sensible not to use that milk after the thrush has gone.