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Pregnant chowhound needs help

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Hi all. I'm newly pregnant for the first time (~ 9 wks), and feeling rather queezy & barfy. I'm normally a fruit & veggie lover, averaging about 7-8 servings daily. Right now, I'm having a really hard time getting any at all. Just seems so unappealing. I've been eating frozen grapes, but that's about all I've been able to handle. Anyone else have this problem? Any clever suggestions to make them more palatable? Besides the nausea, I'm suffering from a fair amount of heartburn, so I think that might be the major issue here. Mild & tasty veggie ideas, maybe? Any other pregnancy eating tips would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Congratulations on the pregnancy! Can you drink w/out it bothering you? Vita-mix has a powerful blender that grinds up the whole vegetable or fruit so you're getting all the nutrients. Or, make a big pot of soup w/ veggies and then use a hand blender to blend it to a thick soup. If you can eat frozen grapes, try frozen peas, too. Good luck with it!

    1. I recall not being able to stomach strong vegetables like broccoli or dense proteins like chicken breasts. Perhaps mild, starchier veggies will be more appealing -- butternut squash baked with a bit of maple syrup, sauteed carrot coins, soups, etc. Would they be more appealing cut into small pieces in a savory stir-fry sauce? You'll probably feel better soon so don't stress too much about getting all the nutrients right away -- just take your vitamins and eat what feels right, as long as it's not non-stop ice cream!

      1. Congrats!

        I am about three weeks away from delivery so I feel your pain.

        I had a much easier time than you but I did have some food aversions and the heartburn, though that did not come until the sixth month. Here are some suggestions that got me through...

        I woke (wake) up everyday and had cereal and milk... I switched off between all types of cheerios... my new fave is Fruity Cheerios and organic 1 % milk... sat very well with me. I also took my vitamin with low acid OJ (it is Tropicana) about half an hour before...

        I eat scooped out bagels with cream cheese and tomato mid morning. For some reason this also sits well with me and never gets boring. Egg salad and chicken salad are also good toppers for lunch. Soups are hit or miss, try to find one that appeals, heartburn sometimes goes along with soup, except matzo ball for me.

        I eat breakfast for dinner a few times a week, eggs with or without cheese, english muffin, etc. You decide how you prefer them but they are perfect evening food during pregnancy. My husband sometimes sautes (sp?) veggies for me to go alongside and they go down better.

        A few things I constantly have around to munch on are:

        Cottage cheese (put your fruit in it to make it easier)
        Yogurt (same as cc)
        Bananas
        Dole fruit cups
        Fruit bars
        Apples
        Oranges
        Mild cheeses
        Turkey breast
        Whole wheat bread

        As for getting all your servings of veggies...I found cooking them a bit more than you are used to helps them go down easier. Carrots, cauliflower, edamame and aparagus for me. Sometimes I roast them and put some maple syrup on at the end under a quick broil. Stir fry your veggies but go lightly on the soy and such...

        Lastly, now that winter is here, you can stew, braise, slow cook everything in one pot. Throw over potatoes or rice and everything tastes delicious and warming.

        P.S. Stay away from fried foods, that was the bane of my existence.

        Good luck!

        1. Congratulations. Almost every pregant woman I know has struggled with fresh produce in the first trimester - whether they're nauseaus or otherwise - for most, they crave one thing - carbs! Most of those women feel better and start craving more fresh produce come the second trimester. Don't beat yourself up too much about it. Here are a few suggestions that may be more palatable: juices and smoothies, cooked/stewed fruits, fresh grapefruit and oranges (citrus often appeals), oatmeal or granola topped with berries, baked potato or roast veg (squash, asparagus, etc.), baby carrots, edamame and soups. Hang in there!

          1. I had food aversions well into my sixth month (but don't worry, yours will surely pass much sooner). I found that the prenatal vitamins made me really ill, so I got the chewable kind and nibbled on one the whole day long to mitigate the effects.

            I drank a lot of mint tea which seemed to help a bit with the nausea. Also a bit of chocolate before eating. Basically, I just went with the aversions and didn't fight them. The foods that went down okay for me were: Ate a raw fruits and vegetables (for whatever reason the raw ones didn't bother me as much), especially strawberries, cherries, melon, and carrots. Also mashed potatoes, tofu, hummus, yogurt, almonds, garbanzos, noodle soups, matzo ball soup, black beans... And, sadly, that's about it.

            For what it is worth, the above foods are my almost-five-year-old's favorite foods (He cried this fall when he realized that strawberries were going out of season...).

            Don't worry too much... When your body needs the calories in later months, you'll be able to really enjoy eating again.

            1. Thanks for all the advice, folks. I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing here, so any and all help is much appreciated.

              1. There was an article recently claiming that pregnancy food aversions were good - they prevent you from eating foods that might be potentially harmful. (I guess evolution weeded out women who ate spoiled meat, bacterial contaminated veggies, etc?)

                9 weeks is a hard time, just do the best you can. Granny smith apples were one of the few fruits I could eat (supplemented with caramel dipping sauce!) Plain lettuce might work too. Eat fortified, fiberous cereals like raisin bran if you can manage it. Get your doctor's approval for antacids (Zantac, Pepcid are ok in pregnancy most times) and that can also significantly effect your nausea. If it gets really bad to the point where you are losing weight, etc., visit the forums at www.helpher.org, they know a lot of tricks.

                1. You're right, statistically Women who have morning sickness have far fewer birth defects....natural systems at work. My wife and I have three kids under 3 (twins) and she ate ginger snaps...this allowed her to eat lots of other things that were temporarily unappealing (fresh ginger worked too).

                  Good luck and congratulations!!!

                  1. When I was pregnant with ChowPup #2 a century ago, I could not eat anything; I had nausea for 8.6 months and only put on 7lbs. The only food that I could stomach was Egg Foo Young with lots of bean sprouts - in fact, the particular one that was made at a stand in the Farmers Market in Los Angeles.

                    1. Ginger really helps. I bought ginger capsules from the health food store and also drank ginger ale. Of course, I can't stand the stuff now.

                      1. I'll second the smoothie idea... you can add protein powder too.

                        Also, puree fruits and serve over vanilla or plain yogurt, or greek yogurt.

                        Also, fruit with frozen yogurt.

                        For veggies, you could puree into a dip and eat with pita or saltines.

                        1. I'm 5 weeks from delivery and have been sick on and off. The first few months were the worst, but I got by with fresh fruit smoothies like Odwalla and Naked. When event those were too much, I watered them down by blending with ice to make a freezy treat.

                          Cut back on gassy veggies like broccoli, Cabbage, cauliflower. asparagus. Also cut back on soy products. Try to work plenty of fiber into your diet-- a powdered fiber supplement can help alot.

                          Bananas are good because the potassium is a natural nausea blocker.

                          You may want to try couscous with broth so you don't get too bored of mild foods.

                          Good luck!

                          1. When I was in my early months with both my little girls, I had a hard time with many foods, too. The thing that ALWAYS helped me was a Coke. I don't drink sodas normally (not that much, anyway), but the carbonation and sugar helped my belly. I couldn't stomach the Prenatal Vitamins, either. Always got the "gag reflex" trying to swallow them, and then they made me sick. My doc told me to get Flintstones vitamins with iron. BIG DIFFERENCE!

                            Good luck to you.....and it most likely will start to go away soon.

                            1. Folks, we have a very narrow focus on Chowhound- to share chow tips. Please keep your responses focused on answering the poster's question about mild veggie ideas, or other pregnancy-friendly foods.

                              Hunicsz, if you'd like general advice about avoiding nausea, it's best to list your emaila ddress in your profile, so other hounds can contact you offline with non-chow info.

                              1. Can't believe no one's mentioned applesauce yet! It's so bland and easy - I ate it A LOT during my pregnancy. Also, something someone told me for the nausea. Keep crackers by your bed (saltines are usually best) and munch on one or two before you get up (or even sit up). It really helped with the morning nausea. I second the food recommendations from others - gingerale is heaven when nauseous. Also, second the idea of going with what you're craving and/or can stomach. I definitely had cream of wheat for dinner (one of my all time bland faves) about once per week because everything else made me nauseous. Last comment, if the heartburn gets too bad, don't hesitate to ask your dr for a prescription. My dr had me take a Nexxium every day - did not hurt the baby and made me so much happier. Of course, I was getting heartburn from WATER so I may be the exception.

                                1. Congratulations! :)

                                  Btw, eating a handful of raw almonds can help with heartburn. Something about enzymes or proteins or something ... but it seems to work.

                                  1. Ok, I had a lot of nausea the first 10 weeks, now I am 12 weeks and I am fine, so if you are lucky you only have 3 more to go. This is what I can say:

                                    Try to make soups, carrot, split pea, potato, chicken soup is good also, anything like that, but I couldn't cook very much because the smell used to make me really nauseous, if you can ask somebody to do this for you.

                                    I used to crave juices, fruit smoothies is a great idea you can do:
                                    Strawberries, bananas, blueberries, milk, 1 envelope of oatmeal and ice, there you have a complete meal!

                                    Bagles are good, I used to eat that for dinner with ham and cheese...

                                    For some reason I was able to eat apples as well... and oranges.

                                    Eat breakfast, I had hot cocoa, 2 slices of bread with butter and strawberry preserves and some cheese. Or cereal is good as well.

                                    Yogurt with fruit is a good idea.

                                    Also, try breaded things, breaded chicken or breaded veal.

                                    That's it! Congratulations

                                    1. The iron in the prenatal vitamins would "repeat" on me -- lol what's the technical term for this?

                                      So I always took them at night and ate them with another strong food to mask the taste -- usually garlic. :-D

                                      1. During my 2nd pregnancy with my daughter, I was so sick I threw up everything I ate. The ONLY thing that stayed down were smoothies with protein powder. I lived on them for months--multiple smoothies per day. Also, any plain flavored carb went & stayed down...saltines, toast, bread etc. Follow what your body tells you--it really knows what's best. And I took prenantals at night right before bed as well. If the nausea gets too bad, call your doctor and they give you something to help with it. I hate taking any medications, but I had no other choice with baby #2.

                                        1. It's hard to say, because everyone is different -- for instance, someone above enthusiastically recommended applesauce, but it made me sick my first trimester! I second the soup idea -- broth and soft veggies should be fairly easy to keep down -- and fruit cut up in small bites. Actually, anything cut up in small bites. I don't know if you're the same, but I found that in my first trimester, some veggies would seem really unappealing but after I took a bite or two I wanted to eat it. If it's cut up into small pieces it's not much of a commitment.

                                          Good luck -- and don't worry if you can't stomach much right now, you should be able to eat normally in a few weeks.

                                          1. I agree with the advice to follow the aversions. I'm on pregnancy #2. Pregnancy #1, no real problems. Pregnancy #2, lots of things made me feel sick in the first trimester. I simply avoided them and ate what I was craving. I found it far easier to do that than to try to find ways to make the foods I normally ate palatable. Good luck!

                                            1. I've got to second the advice about ginger. I wasn't a fan of ginger ale because the bubbles seemed to make things worse for me, but getting my ginger through ginger tea worked wonders. Just chop some fresh ginger and cover it with boiling water like you're making tea. Strain it out and add some honey and lemon to taste then sip it in the morning (or whenever you're feeling queasy). It really helped to settle my stomach and I enjoyed my meals much more. I still use it if I've overindulged or if my kids have an upset stomach...works better than Tums!

                                              If soda bubbles don't bother you, try making a ginger simple syrup and then add plain club soda to it..at least that way you're getting the beneficial ginger without all of the artificial stuff and you can control the amount of sugar.

                                              Good luck and congratulations!