There is something in the water! 2017 is the year of babies and I am so excited for my friends and clients who are blessed with little ones coming. My gluten free friends and clients struggle finding foods they can keep down and, of course, ease other pregnancy related symptoms. So today I’m going to help you navigate a gluten free first trimester and stock your pantry with the foods you need to help feel as good as you can.
Morning Sickness Sucks
Morning sickness varies in intensity and duration. Some women only experience nausea when they wait too long to eat, some experience all day long no matter what they do. Some vomit constantly and some never do even if they want to. Then there are those who feel great and just get tired. (The rest of us envy them!) Of course, on top of all that, there are food aversions and cravings. Our regular favorites are repulsive, while we are craving things we normally wouldn’t consider. For those of us with food restrictions, findings foods that fit our needs and will also help ease the constant nausea adds another layer of difficulty.
Popular strategies to help relieve morning sickness are:
- Eat small meals every 2-3 hours
- Build in time to rest and nap
- Stay hydrated
- Consuming ginger products
- Taking a 3-a-day prenatal, versus one large pill
- Taking an additional B6 supplement
Sometimes these will help, sometimes they won’t. As much as it sucks, it’ll be over in a few weeks and you’ll be able to eat nourishing meals again. Until then, you need some options!
Gluten Free Food Options
It is essential for your health that you do not start consuming gluten again! It will only add to your discomfort. For myself personally, I couldn’t consume many, if any, fruits or vegetables during those weeks. They made my stomach roll even more. Protein? Forget it. Couldn’t even touch raw meat without gagging. All I could eat was carbs. Rice, french fries, plain pasta, bread….so much bread…and sierra mist. Not the least bit balanced or healthy, but what can you do?! That’s what helped me function. It will be a lot of hit or miss during this time, be patient with yourself and keep a variety of options on hand.
Gluten Free Products
- Gluten free toast
- Gluten free Bisquick mix
- Milton’s Gluten Free Crackers
- Gluten free rice thins
- Gluten free pasta with butter and salt
- Glutino’s pretzels
- Gluten free cereals
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squashes
B6 Rich Foods
- Dark leafy greens
- Sunflower seeds
Stomach Soothing Drinks
- Tea-ginger and chamomile are great options
- Carbonated beverages-try giving carbonated water with a splash of juice a try
- Smoothies-use real fruit, greens, avocado and/or full fat dairy. For a special bonus add collagen for protein and nourishing your skin.
Calcium Rich Foods
- Cow milk products
- Goat milk products
- Dark leafy greens
Having gone through two very different pregnancies I can empathize with your cravings, aversions, tears, frustration, and discomfort. I know that it is exhausting to even think about exerting effort. My first pregnancy my nausea was mild and lasted from weeks 7-11. My second pregnancy was much more intense and lasted from weeks 4-14. What made me feel slightly better one meal, didn’t the next. Food that sounded great when I was making it was all of sudden was repulsive and made me gag when it was ready. Keeping a ton of options on hand, and being especially forgiving of myself, helped me survive.
Many of my friends and clients crave their favorite gluten containing foods, but giving in only makes them feel worse. Often times they get extreme stomach discomfort beyond morning sickness, and other symptoms depending on their health conditions. You might give in and feel like crap, but move on and get back on the gluten free track. No guilt allowed!
To learn how to have a healthy pregnancy with autoimmune disease, you can listen to my interview with Imprinted Legacy here.
Wishing you a healthy pregnancy!