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My theory is that the strange all-day long vomiting I've been experiencing is caused by bad chemistry between the food and my juices when they mix in my stomach.
Either the chemistry is so bad it upsets the stomach and forces my body to expunge the offending mixture, OR, the chemistry creates so much gas that it pushes the food out before peristalsis has a chance to push it safely down.
A sample of my pain. This is actually the most pleasant looking puke pile I've photographed since this ordeal started
This type of vomiting is not to be confused with regular morning sickness or regular nausea which can be alleviated by keeping your blood sugar levels up. This is NOT the same thing, so it does NOT go away after the 1st trimester.
I am 6 months pregnant now, and it's still here. The vomiting, the nausea, the migraines. Only now, I've learned what the triggers are and how to avoid them.
It's definitely caused by the ever mysterious rise in hormones which plague pregnant women. We then have to listen to helpful statements from everyone like, "No one knows what causes it. Just hang on till 2nd trimester."
Well, what if the vomiting and nausea doesn't stop after entering the 2nd trimester? What then? Same answer. Wait and see. In fact, you become one of the statistics. One of the "1 in 1,000 women" who vomit till they deliver.
Fuck that. Being a statistic doesn't soothe me, or make the experience any better! I have to fucking live with this every hour of every fucking day. There is no reprieve for sufferers. And while it's easy for everyone to say I should wait it out, or it'll be over before I know it, lemme tell you something : You try going through this and see if you can continue to be so fucking dismissive!!
The repeated reflux of acid was affecting my throat and my voice. I was starting to lose weight. I was literally scared to look at food. I'm supposed to enjoy the guilt-free eating that comes with pregnancy, not cringe in a corner at every mealtime. I couldn't even skip meals because an empty stomach would make me vomit, too - but this is more painful because it involves regurgitating sizzling gastric juices.
None of the books I've read helps. There's nothing on the web. And unless you're so sick you need to be put on drip, doctors can't help either. Solutions from modern medicine always involve some form of drugs (which I admit, I would rather continue vomiting than take) or medical equipment, as these solutions are ingrained in them by the bloody greedy drug companies. Forget about natural, nutritional solutions.
So far, I've managed to avoid being admitted to hospital by making sure I experimented, documented and theorised what caused the vomiting. I've not touched any anti-nausea medication or anything synthetic from modern medicine - as long as I'm not vomiting blood, I don't want anything from the drug companies to come near me.
The only reason I'm putting on weight again is because after 4 months of terrified eating-then-vomiting, I've figured out how to minimise my exposure to the Vomit Triggers.
I've actually got it down to a science now. But it's exhausting to keep this up everyday, especially when people around you complain that you're being too anal about it, or that it's all in your head ... until I vomit in front of them. They leave me alone after that.
Now, please note that the following is by no means an exhaustive list, but it's all the stuff I've experimented with and learned the hard way during my pregnancy. I may add to it as I find out more. Feel free to send me suggestions based on your own experiences.
These may or may not work for you, but I figured I'd document this anyway so I'll remember what to do if / when I get pregnant again.
- Eat a cracker the moment you wake up. Nothing else can keep the empty stomach puking at bay.
- Do not drink any water / liquids while you are eating. Leave the gastric juices undiluted so they can do their work more efficiently. I have vomited out food that I had eaten 6 hours ago, still sitting in my stomach because my diluted juices made digestion even slower.
- Drink very hot or very cold water only 1 - 2 hours after food.
- Allow up to 4 hours to digest the food, depending on what you ate. The digestive tract works much slower during pregnancy.
- Keep yourself upright for as long as possible after eating. Do not lie flat on your back. Side is sometimes ok. During this time, do not bend, double over, lean forward, squat or twist at the waist to do things. Avoid doing anything that twists the digestive tract and might squeeze the food back out.
- Be aware of your stomach for 30min - 1 hour after eating, as the stomach often doesn't get upset immediately and the vomiting usually starts later. You want to be near a toilet when it does.
- Pop a stick of Spearmint or Peppermint chewing gum after food. Literature says it's the mint that helps, but from experience I'd say it's the chewing and production of alkalitic saliva that helps calm and keep down my gastric acids. I go thru a 5-stick pack of gum a day. I've tried taking actual mint sweets (e.g. Eclipse), but they cause more gas to be released, and my food comes up again with the constant burping. It's horrible because you never know which one is going to be a burp, and which one is going to be regurgitated food. (EDIT 19 SEPT 2012: Only chew full flavour gum. NO SUGARFREE. I discovered during my 2nd pregnancy that ASPARTAME makes the nausea and gas and vomiting worse)
- Do not eat fruits right before or after meals. If you must eat, eat one or two pieces after a meal. It creates a lot of gas and uncomfortable acid reflux, and sometimes leads to vomiting.
FOOD YOU CAN'T EAT
- Pork (roast pork, suckling pig, sweet meat,
- Chicken. Sometimes ok, but you'll experience a very acidic feeling in your stomach. You will burp sour acid and you will feel sick the whole time it's digesting.
- Beef. Same reason as chicken.
- Venison. Similar effects as beef and chicken, but slightly milder.
- Lamb. Apparently Chinese believe this is toxic and no good for the baby. Also, my new superhuman pregnancy nose can't stand the stinky smell.
- Vegetables- Dairy products (Milk or anything containing milk)
- Ice cream
- Milk chocolates
- Cheese (cheddar)
- Coconut or anything containing coconut and all its by-products (e.g. santan). This one feels the worst when being vomited out.
- Nasi Lemak- Sour plums / sum boi. For some strange reason this makes me puke. I suspect it's the body's reaction to too much salt.
- Garlic or anything that contains garlic (Thai Chilli sauce, Nando's Peri Peri sauce, chicken rice from various shops etc...). It leaves a horrible taste in your mouth for a day or so after you bite into a small, diced piece, making the nausea worse.
- Onions. Similar effect as garlic, but not as extreme if eaten raw or pan fried.
- Fried Onions. The type used to garnish or add flavour to porridge and chinese dishes. Very similar effect to garlic.
- Any form of nuts (peanuts, almonds, etc...)
- Fried Sesame seeds
- Bread (white, wholemeal). Causes acidic roiling in stomach.
- Homemade Chicken essence soup
- Chinese food. Usually because of all the MSG and garlic used in preparation. Yuck.
- Apples- Guavas
- Pears. This is intermittent.
- (EDIT 19 SEPT 2012) Anything sugarfree that contains ASPARTAME.
DRINKS YOU CAN'T DRINK
- Carbonated drinks (Coke, Sprite, Root Beer, Ginger Beer etc ...)
- Orange juice
- Carrot juice with milk
- Lemon / Lime juice. This causes a lot of gas. (EDIT 19 SEPT 2012) But drinking a small amount, pure & super concentrated, after a meal, tends to help digestion. No sugar.
- Lukewarm water. This seems to join with the bile and unite in volume to expedite the climb out of my throat.
FOOD YOU CAN EAT
- Jacob's high-calcium crackers. Other types of crackers either make me puke or doesn't keep the gastric vomiting at bay.
- Eggs (in any form, but sparingly)
- Potatoes (baked, fried)
- Potato salad (with macaroni & eggs & mayonnaise)
- Chips (especially with tomato sauce)
- Tuna (in water & mayonnaise)
- Fish (steamed, fried)
- Chillis & Tabasco sauce. This includes spicy food made with chilli padi or dried chilli (very spicy & dry char kuey teow, Kin Kin chilli pan mee, Domino's Beef Pepperoni pizza drowned in Tabasco sauce). I was told by a doctor friend that chillis are actually good for upset stomachs as it has been found that chilli blocks acid production and increases blood flow to the stomach tissue which can aid both prevention and healing of ulcers. Epidemiological studies show (don't quote me on this) the incidence of stomach ulceration is three times lower in countries with a high intake of chilli compared with those that don't. Just make sure there is no santan or any form of milk mixed in there, or you'll vomit anyway.
- Selected fruits in small quantities (One persimmon per seating, very sour mangoes, one small banana --- not all at the same time!)
- Selected vegetables (long beans, cauliflower, broccoli)
- Clear soup (Carrot soup, clear Tom Yam soup)
- Campbells' canned mushroom soup (with water, not milk)
- Campbells' canned New England Clam Chowder soup (with water, but sometimes milk is ok too. Go figure)
- Sweet pastries (sponge cake, suji cake, chocolate cake, cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies)
DRINKS YOU CAN DRINK
- Ice cold or boiling hot water. But only in one or two mouthfuls, in between meals. Any more, and you'll puke it out.
- Cold Ribena (not the sparkling type)
I'll add more to this list as I remember it.
DISCLAIMER : Given the high amount of search hits for this post (and the number of people who apparently don't know how to READ), I repeat : This is what worked for ME, to stop my vomiting and help me put on weight during pregnancy. This is not an optimal pregnancy diet, and it may not work for you. You should check everything with your own doctor (d-uh).
EDIT 1 July 2015 : My son, whom I was pregnant with in this article, has been diagnosed with mild autism. Now, I do not know whether the autism has external causes (it's a sensitive topic that I won't go into here, but I am sure that it was external causes), or whether the lack of nutrition he got during pregnancy had a hand in it. It's unlikely to be the lack of nutrition, as my own doctor said that the fetus takes all it needs from the mother, and my vomiting hurt ME more than the baby (cuz all my nutrition stores had gone to the baby, and I had none for myself).
BUT .... I think about it all the time, and I want whomever that reads this to have this information so they can make their own choices.
To balance out this info, my second son, whom I also used this diet for, got a hell lot more nutrition cuz this time I wasn't puking everything out in the first trimester, and I actually gained 7kg, instead of the 2kg I gained with my first son. And my 2nd son does NOT have autism, and is in fact highly intelligent and naughty as hell.