Find Out What To Eat, And Not Eat, To Help Ease The Pains Of Pregnancy

Whether recommended by doctors, old wives, or women who have been there/done that, there are remedies for everything from first trimester morning sickness to the ninth month “I just want to get this thing out of me already” syndrome. Find out what foods will help alleviate the not-so-fun pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, mood swings, heartburn and more.
by Joanne Kimes

You’ve heard it said “You are what you eat”. But when you’re pregnant, it’s more accurate to say “What you eat, you are.” That’s because there are certain foods that can either cause or prevent many pregnancy ailments.

Morning sickness

If you’re suffering from the dreaded, all consuming hardship of morning sickness, the first rule of thumb is not to take your pre-natal vitamin on an empty stomach. If that doesn’t help, break it in half and take half with breakfast and the other half with dinner. Also, keep crackers by your bedside and munch on a few before getting out of bed in the morning. Protein and carbs eaten together are a great way to ease nausea, so have cream cheese on a bagel or a turkey sandwich. Ginger is a natural nausea reliever as well so try snacking on crystallized ginger (sold at many health food stores) or drinking ginger tea.

Mood swings

When you’re pregnant, sudden drops in your blood sugar level are common and tend to make you cranky. Although hormones also play a major role in moods swings, keeping your blood sugar level can keep them to a minimum. To do this, avoid having an empty stomach and eat small meals throughout the day. Keep healthy snacks on hand like trail mix, peanut butter crackers and fruit. Also avoid eating sugar, especially on an empty stomach, since it can cause a sudden drop in your blood sugar level. Instead, eat protein since it takes longer to digest so it keeps your blood sugar level more constant. Drinking decaffeinated tea, especially chamomile, is also beneficial since tea can be very soothing.


Many women find that their number one pregnancy ailment is trying to go number two. To help move things along, it’s important to keep hydrated. Also, eat plenty of fiber found in fruits, whole grains and vegetables. If that’s not enough, ask your doctor if you can take a stool softener or laxative. And finally, see if you can switch your regular pre-natal vitamins to ones that are low in iron since iron tends to cause back up greater than the Holland Tunnel during rush hour.


As your pregnancy progresses, swelling can occur (also known as “edema”). Although the best cure is to elevate your legs and avoid standing for long periods of time, you can reduce your Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man look by making sure you drink plenty of water and avoiding foods that are high in salt.


Heartburn is caused by different reasons as your pregnancy progresses. In the beginning it’s due to hormones, in the end it’s due to your growing baby pushing on your digestive track. But no matter what the cause, the treatment is the same. Eat small meals throughout the day instead of devouring three big ones. Avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes and coffee. If your doctor allows, take an H2 blocker like Zantac. And drink about an ounce each of black cherry and aloe vera juice which can be purchased at most health stores.

I-just-want-to-be-done-already syndrome

By the end of the ninth month, many women feel like they’re done with the whole pregnancy thing and are desperate to start labor. Although the only method that’s backed by medical science is to have sex (seminal fluid contains a chemical that can cause uterine contractions), there are other things to try as well. Some women swear that eating spicy food will start labor. Others believe that salad dressing made with balsamic vinegar does the trick. And still others are convinced that taking castor oil is the answer to their prayers (personally I believe the only thing you’ll deliver if you take castor oil is a six-pound bowel movement).

For more suggestions for these and other pregnancy ailments, read my book, “Pregnancy Sucks: What to Do When Your Miracle Makes You Miserable” found on and all major book stores.

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Tags: constipation heartburn

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