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I'm currently 28 weeks pregnant with my first child. Prior to getting pregnant, I admittedly hadn't done much research on the whole process. My husband and I figured if it was meant to be, it would be, and the real work would begin once the baby was born. I assumed being pregnant just meant forgoing alcohol and sushi and modifying my workout routines, right? Wrong. Oh so wrong.
Neither my mother or grandmother had really experienced morning sickness with any of their pregnancies (my grandmother vaguely recalls "one sick weekend") so it wasn't something I was overly concerned with. That is, until I reached five and a half weeks pregnant and woke up one morning feeling like I was two paces away from death's doorstep.
Like most pregnant women will tell you, morning sickness is probably the most inaccurately-named ailment on planet Earth. Contrary to its name, it can (and often does) last all day and all night, with little to no relief. Symptoms include intense nausea, frequent vomiting, and severe food aversions to most anything with any nutritional value. The one scrap of good news that pregnant women can cling to is that most sufferers find their symptoms letting up toward the end of their first trimester. Knowing this, I followed that countdown to week 14 with reverence, living each day in hope that the second trimester would bring me to the nirvana that I had never appreciated normalcy to be. I was fortunate to discover that I was, in fact, a member of the majority, and now live my life grateful for every puke-free day.
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While nothing truly "cured" the feeling of constant nausea or daily puking sessions during those first 13 weeks, there was one remedy that made the experience slightly more bearable. It was during my second prenatal appointment (a dark time that found me sobbing from the misery of constant sickness mixed with anxiety brought on by the recent U.S. outbreak of COVID-19) that my doctor recommended I take 25 mg of Vitamin B-6 ($10), four times a day. She suggested I start the supplement right away as — this is very important — it takes a week for the vitamins to start having an effect on how you feel. While a week may not sound like a long time to a normal, healthy individual, when you're in the throws of morning sickness, a week can feel like a lifetime. Because of restrictions brought on by COVID-19, my husband wasn't allowed into the doctor's office with me and was waiting for me out in the parking lot. After receiving a frantic text from me with my doctor's recommendations, he ordered a bottle of the vitamins off of Amazon immediately.
After receiving the vitamins in the mail, I started taking them religiously. To space out the supplement, I would take one first thing in the morning, a second at lunch, a third at dinner, and the last of the day right before bed. As my doctor warned, the first week saw no difference in my symptoms but by the eighth day, I started to feel myself coming out of a fog. I was relieved.
Again, nothing truly cured my morning sickness. I still found myself nauseous most of the day and — following the charts I found online to a tee — my sickness peaked around week 12 with the vomiting at its worst between weeks 8 and 13. That being said, the B-6 definitely helped alleviate some of the nausea and seemed to give me a little boost between the puking sessions. I would actually have moments during the day when I felt "alright," which was a vast improvement from my pre-vitamin days. Even my husband noted a slight improvement in my symptoms. Oh how I wish I had purchased a bottle of B-6 before I even got pregnant so I could have taken them all along.
It's important to check with your healthcare provider before trying any new supplement or medication, so if you're curious if B-6 could help you, give your doctor a call. Even if you're like me and the difference is small, any progress made in the battle against morning sickness is a victory to be celebrated. Should my husband and I choose to have another baby, you can be sure that the first step in my pregnancy journey will be stockpiling multiple bottles of this vitamin so that I'm prepared for the impending storm.