Dealing with Morning Sickness
Dear Mr. Dad: My wife is two months pregnant and is
queasy pretty much all the time. Isn't morning
sickness supposed to be in the morning? And is
there anything I can do to help her?
A: About half of all pregnant women experience
morning sickness. Despite the name, the nausea,
heartburn, and vomiting can strike at any hour of
the day. No one's quite sure what causes morning
sickness. Some suggest that its a reaction to
the pregnant woman's changing hormone levels.
Others, such as researcher margie profet, suggest
that morning sickness is the body's natural way of
protecting the growing fetus from "teratogins"
(toxins that cause birth defects) and
"abortifacients" (toxins that induce miscarriage).
Either way, for most women morning sickness
disappears after about the third month. Until then,
here are a few things you can do to help your
Help her maintain a high-protein,
Encourage her to drink a lot of
fluids--especially milk. You might also want to
keep a large water bottle next to the bed. She
should avoid caffeine, which tends to be
dehydrating and she might want to start the day
with a small amount of a juice or flat soda; the
sweet flavor will probably encourage her to drink a
little more than she might otherwise.
Be sensitive to the sights and smells that make
her queasy--and keep them away from her. Fatty or
spicy foods are frequent offendors.
Encourage her to eat a lot of small meals
throughout the dayevery two or three hours,
if she can--and to eat before she starts feeling
nauseated. Basic foods like rice and yogurt are
particularly good because they're less likely to
cause nausea than greasy foods.
Make sure she takes her prenatal vitamins.
Put some pretzels, crackers, or rice cakes by
the bedshe'll need something to start and end
the day with, and these are low in fat and
Be aware that she needs plenty of rest and
encourage her to get it.
©2007, Armin Brott
* * *
It's clear that most American children suffer
too much mother and too little father. - Gloria
nationally recognized parenting expert, Armin Brott
is the author of Blueprint
for Men's Health: A guide to a health
Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for
New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First
Dad's Guide to the Toddler
Single Father: A Dad's Guide to Parenting without a
Partner and Father for
Life. He has written on parenting and fatherhood
for the New York Times Magazine, The
Washington Post, Newsweek and dozens of
other periodicals. He also hosts Positive
Parenting, a nationally distributed, weekly
talk show, and lives with his family in Oakland,
California. Visit Armin at www.mrdad.com
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