Tips for a healthy pregnancy: What should I do preparing for the next pregnancy?
As there is a high rate of recurrence of severe morning sickness Hyepremesis gravidarum (75-85%), it is beneficial to prepare for your next pregnancy. You may start the food and lifestyles changes when planning a pregnancy or as soon as you find out you are pregnant. If you experienced severe morning sickness or Hyepremesis Gravidarum in a previous pregnancy (or previous pregnancies), you may want to consult with your gynecologist before the symptoms of nausea and vomiting begin to appear or immediately once they appear, in order to get professional information from him. The sooner you start applying the treatment recommended by your doctor, the better, it may relieve your symptoms, prevent them from getting worse and improve your quality of life during the pregnancy.
The following suggestions may be helpful when planning or during early pregnancy stages:
- Sugar levels: Be aware of the importance of balancing blood sugar levels. Eat smaller portions every 1 to 2 hours adding any source of protein to each snack and meal. This will help you balance blood sugar levels, reduce morning sickness symptoms, and may help calm down heartburn and reflux (Gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition where food “rises” back from the stomach to the esophagus).
- Fluids: try to gradually increase your fluid intake to 2 liters (8 cups) daily. Apart from drinking, you can add to your diet popsicles, ice cubes, slushies, fruits and vegetables smoothies.
- Consult with your doctor on the need to add salts (electrolytes) by drinking sport drinks or vitamin enriched water.
- Consult with your gynecologist about taking multivitamins.
- If you experienced Hyperemesis Gravidarum in a previous pregnancy, ask your doctor if you should be tested for Helicobacter pylori. The test should be done before you become pregnant or during early pregnancy as it is associated with severe morning sickness. If you test positive, it maybe beneficial to treat this bacterial infection.
- Be aware of the many factors that cause morning sickness or worsen it. Talk to your gynecologist ahead of time about ways to manage them prior to getting pregnant or during early pregnancy.
- Ask your gynecologist about treatment options for morning sickness.
- If symptoms of heartburn, acid reflux (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) or indigestion begin during early pregnancy, please follow the recommendations on reducing acid symptoms and talk to your Doctor.
- Help: ask for help from your partner, friends and relatives. See who can prepare meals for you, purchase ready-made food, do the shopping for you, help with household chores or with the children. Such a support network will be very helpful for you.