Third Trimester Sickness

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I am 34 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I have had a rather tough pregnancy and although it was planned, at this point I just want to give up! I have gestational diabetes (managed with diet) and PIH and have been on bed rest since week 30.

For the past 2 weeks I have been sick as a dog. First I had diarrhea for five days, my OB told me to take Immodium AD and Keopectate. I tried both and neither one worked. Then, just as the diarrhea went from 8 times a day to twice I started vomiting after meals. This has kept up in a cycle of one or the other or both for what seems like much too long.

I went in to see my doctor and was told to stop the medicine and just ride it out because I do not have a fever, urine looked good, weight was fine and he could not tell what was causing the sickness. I have been into the hospital twice for IV fluids and each time I took 2.5 bags before I could go.

Is there anything that I can try to get this to go away? Any ideas on what could be triggering this?

Desperate for normalcy!
Nicole

ANSWER

You might try sports drinks if you start to feel nauseous, and that can help avoid both diarrhea and vomiting in some cases. But they have a lot of sugar, so you do have to be careful about how much you drink.

I am sorry you are having all these problems. I'd suggest that you do whatever you can to relax, whether it be yoga or meditation or prayer, and treat this time as a gift of time you get to spend with your child in a special way. Getting all upset about it will only drive up your blood pressure, which is definitely not good for your baby, never mind you.

I am thrilled that you are sticking to your diet (your baby thanks you!) and trying to hang in there. So far, you are talking about things that are definitely annoying, but not dangerous. I'd like to keep it that way.

The very best way to be a mother to your child right now is to do whatever you can to stay pregnant, so that this baby has time to mature. You are its only hope to avoid all sorts of things that will happen if s/he is born too soon. I know being patient is hard, but it is definitely required for good parents.

Meanwhile, watch some good movies, read some good books (there are many about how to survive bed rest), have good friends over, enjoy time with your partner. This will all be over before you know it, hopefully with a healthy mom and baby!

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

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Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.