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Prolonged Morning Sickness

Jerri Colonero, RN, BS


I am 20 weeks pregnant and the morning sickness still is not gone. My doctor has me on both Zofran and Butalbital. But, when I researched Butalbital, I found out that they are not sure how it affect the unborn child. The nurse that I talked to about my diet thinks that I may have low blood sugar and that could be causing my headaches. When I talked to my doctor about the idea and my family history with it he thought that it wasn't a concern. Should I push the issue more for the possibility of getting off some the medications?

Prolonged morning sickness is very difficult for expectant mothers. Your obstetrician tries to balance safe treatments that will allow you to be able to get proper nourishment. Medications are classified in several ways in regard to their use in pregnancy.One of these classifications is for medications that are believed to be safe, have not yet shown any adverse effects to a fetus, but longer studies still need to be done. Once enough time has passed for the larger studies to be done, and it continues to show no adverse effects to a fetus, then that medication is raised up a class on the scale. If you do not understand these classifications and how they are made, reading about the medication on the Internet may make you frightened to take the medication.

A compassionate obstetrician will understand your concerns about medications. Express your concerns about the medications and ask him/her to discuss the safety of the medications again with you. Perhaps you could ask him/her to print you out more information on the medication causing you concern. Perhaps this will help you to make an informed decision and be comfortable taking the medication.

Your second question is about headaches. The most common cause of headaches in mid-afternoon is low blood sugar. Whether this is the cause of your headaches is uncertain, however, the treatment of low blood sugar headaches is simple. You can try this dietary treatment and see if it works.

Low blood sugar headaches are usually eliminated when a person eats small frequent meals that contain PROTEIN.

Do not skip breakfast. Make certain it contains protein. Make sure that your meals do not contain huge amounts of sugar, and be certain that they do contain protein. Have a mid-morning small protein snack raisins and a few peanuts yogurt low fat crackers with low fat peanut butter and a small amount of milk low fat cottage cheese and pineapple. A glass of low fat milk.

Do not skip lunch. Around 2 or 3 PM have another small protein snack. Have dinner. Before bed, do not eat anything high in sugar. This causes your blood sugar to drop real low at night and you may awaken feeling shaky and have a headache. If you had an early supper, have a small protein snack before bed.

NOTE: Peanuts are an incomplete protein. Always have your peanut butter and jelly sandwich with milk in order that your body can use it as protein for growth and repair. Otherwise it is used only as energy.

If you awaken at night and just can't stop your brain from racing or get your muscles to relax enough to get back to sleep, try a bowl of low fat cereal with low fat milk. If your insomnia was due to low blood sugar you will be sleeping like a baby in a very short time.

Other examples of protein snacks: very small bowl of puffed rice, puffed wheat, Cherrios, or shredded wheat with skim milk, nuts, grains, and legumes (peas and beans) are also sources of protein. Have these with milk. A few bites of chicken, pork, red meat or fish with a glass of orange juice, Hard boiled egg (occasionally) since yolks are high in cholesterol Low fat cheese and low fat crackers.

The secret is to maintain steady protein levels in your diet so your blood sugar levels will not drop. If you feel a headache coming on, treat it with protein NOT sugar. Sugar will help quickly but causes you to produce a rush of insulin to metabolize it. Then in a very short time the blood sugar will drop even lower and the headache will come back and be even worse.

Remember low blood sugar headaches need to be treated with protein not sugar! If you crave a sweet, have an orange along with your protein. It will bring up your blood sugar quickly and the protein you have with the orange will correct the low blood sugar over the long haul.

For more nutrition in pregnancy information, and for treatment of other pregnancy discomforts, reference my book "With You and Your Baby All the Way" The Complete Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care.

Related Articles

Morning Sickness

What Causes Severe Morning Sickness?

Putting the Brakes on Morning Sickness

Stop Morning Sickness With Your Thumb

Is Zofran Safe to Take for Morning Sickness?


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