by Elizabeth Kaledin
Though it may not seem imaginable, surviving morning sickness can be done. In some ways, just like labor and delivery, it is nothing more than a physical test requiring training, preparation, and endurance. In fact, it may help you to think of it that way, especially because every marathon has a finish line.
This is not to say that training and preparing for the marathon aren't challenging. Morning sickness demands a plan -- a strategy -- for outsmarting your body and letting you feel in better control. To do that, you will need some basic tools, a Morning-Sickness Survival Kit to be carried with you at all times. I am going to offer you a few ideas and suggestions, but you should personalize your own survival kit once you discover what your needs are.
To start with, you will need a bigger bag. That may not be possible since most women I know already hoist around luggage poorly disguised as a purse. But use this as an opportunity to get yourself a special morning-sickness tote or a nice backpack, something roomy enough to accommodate your needs. If you are feeling lousy, a little shopping excursion might cheer you up, anyway. You may never want to see this bag again once the need for it goes away, but I am sure it will hang stoically in your closet for years, a veteran of the morning-sickness wars.
Morning sickness demands a plan -- a strategy -- for
outsmarting your body and letting you feel in better control.
The first thing you might want to start collecting is some of those air-sickness bags from airplanes. I know it sounds silly, but having a couple of them in your survival kit could save you some embarrassment, and if nothing else, provide you with a security blanket. Given my history of motion sickness, I always check my seat pocket whenever I get on a plane just to make sure I have one. Somehow, it always makes me feel a little more relaxed to see it. So the next time you fly, just gather a couple, or ask the flight attendant for extras. You never know -- and if you're not planning to fly during your pregnancy, maybe a friend who is could pick up several for you.
You need to have food with you at all times, and that is where you should begin. Never leave home without stowing something in your kit to snack on and drink. I recommend a bottle of water, a can of Coke or ginger ale, or both. Above all, you want to avoid getting dehydrated if you are vomiting, but you also might want to have something to sip that could stave off an episode of vomiting if you are on the brink. Something sugary and carbonated can often do the trick. If juice is your tonic, pack that along instead.
You'll also need a couple of different snacks to appeal to your fickle tastes. If you don't want to stuff your new purse like a grocery bad, I recommend buying plastic Ziploc (you can even get small, snack-sized ones) and filling them with a variety of comfort foods. Remember, think salty, sweet, crunchy, soft, to satisfy any craving. The following are portable, fairly nutritious, and could save you in a tight spot.
There will of course be those times when you can't prevent vomiting no matter what's in your purse. Whether at the office or on the street, you will need some equipment to get you through it. Let's face it, vomiting leaves an awful taste in the mouth. Having water along will give you something to rinse your mouth with, but you might also want to carry a toothbrush and a travel toothpaste or mouthwash. If brushing your teeth makes you nauseous, try mints, hard candies, or gum.