I’m going to tell you a story. It’s my story about eating protein and lessening my morning sickness. The only evidence I have is my story and the stories I heard from other women that confirmed my story. Take the meat and leave the bones (pun intended).
When I became pregnant with our first child, we were in college. We didn’t have a lot of money to eat on. My morning sickness was bad and lasted until 17 weeks.
When I became pregnant with our second child, my husband was a cowboy on a cattle ranch. We could barely pay our bills. My morning sickness was hypermesis gravidarum which for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s bad…really, really bad. It lasted until 18 weeks.
When I became pregnant with our third child, my husband was a police officer. We could pay our bills, but we were on a strict budget when it came to groceries. Plus, I was just learning how to cook in healthier ways. It was the first pregnancy I did not lose weight in the 1st trimester. Still sick, though…until 16 weeks.
When I became pregnant with our 4th child, my husband was an executive for a corporation (entry-level management). Still on a tight grocery budget, but we could finally afford our own side of beef and I was getting better at cooking from scratch. And something changed…
My morning sickness.
For the first time I felt like I was going to live through the morning sickness.
It still lasted until 16 weeks, but it was not the nightmare I was used to.
When I became pregnant with our 5th child, things were similar to number 4 and it gave me hope that perhaps I wasn’t doomed to hyperemsis.
When I became pregnant with our 6th child, my husband was in middle-management with the same corporation. We no longer had to worry a lot about groceries and we continued to buy a side of beef and eat a much higher protein diet. And morning sickness changed again.
It was over by 14 weeks and I rarely threw up more than once a day.
And then came Baby #7 – morning sickness over by 13 weeks and again, rarely threw up more than once a day. We were eating organic buffalo meat and I was purposely eating a lot of protein.
And now, Baby #8? 13 weeks again and this time I even had days where I did not throw up at all (felt terrible, but didn’t throw up). Note: I did take Zofran this time for 2 weeks, but it has never been known to actually stop my morning sickness.
And while I have never had a successful pregnancy that has not included throwing up, I have not suffered nearly as much as I did those first 3 pregnancies.
You probably noticed a direct correlation between our financial ability to pay for groceries, my ability to cook healthier foods, and my lessening morning sickness. There is another factor that came into play as well.
The first 3 pregnancies we lived in rural areas. The worst 2 pregnancies (#2 and #3) we lived 30 miles from a grocery store with the closest town having a population of 300. I couldn’t just run out and grab something to stave off my sickness.
With the last 3 pregnancies, we have lived in or near cities. Food is always a moment away. (Which irritates the homesteader in me, but the pregnant me is grateful!)
So, what types of protein do I eat?
- Meat – avoid certain kinds of fish and lunch meat
- Cheese – avoid soft cheese in pregnancy – I like to have cheese sticks on hand
- Nuts – my favorites are almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, & peanuts
- Cottage cheese
- Eggs – In the thick of morning sickness, I eat a couple of eggs a day
I also avoid sugar as much as possible – including processed carbs.
How much protein am I eating?
It’s almost all I eat. The second I eat something carb-laden, I feel sick. I can mix carbs with something high protein (think pizza), but I cannot eat just carbs by themselves (think the pizza crust – has to be left on the plate).
Now that I am nearing 17 weeks, I am no longer nauseous and I haven’t thrown up in 3½ weeks. So, while I can eat just about anything I want and be okay, I don’t want to. I would much rather keep my higher protein diet than depend on carbs to fill me up.
Oh, and one quick item of note…
I don’t eat beans. That protein is out for me because I can’t stand the texture. I can eat chili if I load it with frito chips to mask the mushy beans, but it is not a favorite by any means. Why yes, I do have Sensory Processing Disorder. 😉
So, I’m curious – do YOU have a story? Did you you do something different and see remarkable results with your morning sickness? Share it here!