Sick as a Dog… Or Welcome to the First Trimester?

April 12, 2023 Women

“Here we go again!”

“Here we go again!” Kate said under her breath as she ran to the bathroom. At first Kate thought she had the flu—her symptoms were just like her neighbor’s—nausea with a little light-headedness. Her neighbor said it only lasted 24 hours! But not for Kate—it had already been a week—unless…

Is this how you found out you were pregnant? You’re not alone! About 85% of pregnant woman have some sort of “morning sickness.” For many, the nausea doesn’t just come in the morning—it can be any time of day or night—or even all the time! For some women, those trips to the restroom are the first signs of pregnancy.

So, what causes “morning sickness?”

Hormones. They make your sense of smell stronger—so mild smelling foods that used to be OK or even pleasant may now smell disgusting! You might also find that some of the foods or drinks that you used to enjoy now turn your stomach.

Hormones can also slow digestion, which may increase nausea. If you had heartburn, motion sickness or migraine headaches before you were pregnant, this will increase your chances of having morning sickness.

What can you do?

Follow these tips from other moms who have “been there and done that”!

Be patient. Morning sickness usually goes away after the first trimester. Mine went away at week 15. I was counting!”

Watch what you smell. I used to love my coworker’s perfume, but once I got pregnant, it nauseated me. Smoke also got to me, so I made sure my husband only smoked outside!”

Eat often. Eating just a few bites of something each hour helped me get through. Dry cereal or crackers next to my bed reminded me to eat while still under the covers. Cold foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, mango and pineapple tasted wonderful later in the day.”

Drink plenty. One thing I learned was that it’s dangerous to get dehydrated! It landed me in the hospital and that was a real scary experience. (How much is enough? If your pee is dark yellow, you aren’t drinking enough!)”

Eat your fluids. What?! For me, jello, popsicles, frozen grapes and watermelon were much easier to get down than water.”

Drink more between meals than with meals. I learned that the hard way—it’s better to “sip” with meals and “gulp” between meals.”

Eat something with protein— a little cheese or peanut butter with crackers or cold, leftover chicken was the perfect mini-meal for me.”

Watch out for spicy stuff. I love chili on everything—the hotter the better! But when I got pregnant, slowing down on the salsa helped my nausea.”

Go easy on the greasy! I love fried chicken, but not when I’m pregnant! I felt so much better when I skipped the fried foods and other greasy stuff like ribs, sausage and burgers too.”

Talk to your doctor. I finally talked to mine when I just couldn’t keep anything down. She gave me some medicine that helped.”

Call a friend! That first trimester wasn’t easy—between getting sick and feeling tired and cranky, I felt pretty down. Luckily, I had a friend at WIC who knew just what I was going through. Talking to her made me feel so much better.”

Soon, your morning sickness will be just a memory! Until then, be sure to talk to your health care provider before taking any over-the-counter medicines or herbs. They can be dangerous for your baby.

Side Lying Hold

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cross Cradle Hold

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Football Hold

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Breastfeeding Holds

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Breastfeeding Holds

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: