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I'm 8 wks. pregnant and HATE FOOD. :) Need help...

I have always been a lover of vegetables, cooked or raw, pasta, seafood, meat, fruit, chocolate... in short, all food. Now that I'm pregnant, NOTHING seems appetizing and I basically eat to keep from starving, pretty much whatever I can keep down. Do any ladies have suggestions for foods you found particularly non-revolting during this stage? Cooking is really out of the question (gag central) so things that are cold/room temperature are generally better. Thanks for any advice! Also, how to make sure husband stays fed during this period, without my having a meltdown upon opening the fridge? :)

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  1. Starchy foods were all I could keep down at the beginning... cereal (Kashi Heart to Heart especially), pizza, oatmeal, dry or buttered toast. Also, mild fruits like melon. Nothing too pungent or flavorful.

    How to make sure husband stays fed: frozen stuff, either homemade or storebought?

    The good part is, this phase will pass and you will be eating happily again in a month or two. Just be sure to listen to your body -- if you feel like you're going to be sick, don't force yourself to eat or do anything.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pia

      It's been ~16 years, but I remember craving pretzels thru that awful (and fortunately short) time in my pregnancy.

    2. It will get better, I promise! And your cravings/dislikes will change. I couldn't stand anything with strong aromas, like garlic or onion, for a few months, so I opted for bland stuff like chicken soup, tofu, yogurt, soymilk/banana smoothies, that sort of thing. Tea helped with the nausea. Your hubby can likely live with delivery or carry-out or Rachael Ray quick-fix type stuff for a while. You can get decent things from the grocery store that only take a few minutes to make, like the fancy refrigerated pastas and sauces, bagged salads, and such. For breakfast, some of the frozen stuff, like sausage patties and links, omelets, and wraps, aren't too bad.

      1. Keep repeating, "This too, shall pass!" and it will, but when you're going through it for the first time, it is just plain yucky and you wonder if you'll ever have a normal appetite again. I stuck to things like crackers, anything on the dry side and somewhat salty. Everyone is different. Get lots of water and just know your stomach will settle down in a couple (or more) weeks.

        I also could eat small amounts of ice cream; that seemed to go down ok. Don't fret about Hubby, he will not starve during this short transition; he can make use of his previously unused cooking skills----perhaps sandwiches are his strong suit. Many blessings!

        P.S. I only had this yucky stomach with the first baby, not the second, except for morning sickness around the 4th to 6th week and it stopped quickly.

        1. eating/drinking anything with ginger in it will help with the nausea, and hopefully, that way, you can keep stuff down.

          Always keep a bag of crackers on you and nibble on them all the time.

          If you wake up with morning nausea, try a teaspoon of port... Yup, I swear by this, as a morning sickness remedy.. will settle your stomach right down.

          The key is to keep the nausea and vom at bay, so you can ingest some items with nutritional value..

          Ahhh... 16 years and I remember the Great Lamb Chop Smell Vom, of Preganacy #2

          Good luck, darl, this, too, will pass.

          1. My ex craved Pears with Mayonaisse. Gross. But having never been pregnant, I won't be critical.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bobfrmia

              That IS pretty weird, but easily accommodated

            2. I found that vanilla ice cream usually went down pretty well, and was great later on in the pregnancy when I had heartburn. I drank a lot of milk, too. Compared to most sweet desserts, ice cream is pretty nutritious: lots of protein and calcium, and it's a good, calorie-dense option for when you can't keep much food down.

              1. Bless your heart! It's tough, but a long time ago, with my first, all I could manage was american cheese on ritz crackers. I kept some saltines on my bedside table, so that upon awakening I could get a couple down, and that helped a bit. I also liked to make some ABC macaroni, add a bit of butter, and get a bowl of that down. But that involves cooking - not too much, though. Good cold, too. My Dr. eventually prescribed me something that helped, but I agree with the posters that say to drink ginger tea, or ginger ale, to settle your tummy.

                My daughter ate crackers and ramen soup (pork flavor) for her first three months. Oh, and chicken noodle soup (lipton) with extra noodles.

                Your husband is going to have to learn how to fend for himself, or get used to some frozen dinners. This is good training for the future, when you are so tired from taking care of the baby, that you don't want to cook! My husband suffered with me, as he has a low gag tolerance. So when I got sick, so did he! He didn't want to eat either!

                1 Reply
                1. re: danhole

                  What's ABC macaroni? To me, ABC means Already Been Chewed, so you can imagine my interest

                2. Raeviola, I remembered posting to a similar thread after I read yours, and went looking for it on the "Not About Food" forum. . You might find a few additional in this thread. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/436937

                  I hated strong smells, and lived on crackers and ginger ale for a few weeks.

                  Congratulations and I hope it passes soon.

                  1. Trust your sense of smell! If it smells just a little bit like it'll make you gag, you'll probably gag. But do keep trying different things, you never know what will pass the vomit test. I couldn't stand the texture of chicken (or handling it raw) but pork was acceptable (but nothing fancy added, especially not sweet!) and I could cope with preparing it. I also ate a lot of lettuce.

                    I threw up twice a day during my first trimester -- All toothpaste (all brands and flavors) made me gag and there was nothing I could do about it.

                    1. I was lucky not to have any problems with nausea during my pregnancy. I ate everything. The only time I had a problem was when I decided to eat a spinach salad. I could not take the taste and was gagging until I threw it out. I had never eaten it raw before but since have had it several times without a problem.

                      1. If you are having a hard time getting in enough nutrition, you might ask your doctor for Zofran or another anti-nausea medication that wont hurt your unborn child.

                        For me, campbell's chicken noodle soup - bland salty mellow taste (real chicken soup too flavorful) is best when nauseated

                        1. everything made me nauseous in my first 12-14 weeks, the smell of bread was disgusting. Just follow your instincts and it will soon pass.

                          1. The only thing I would add to the above (I ate a lot of Triscuit crackers and apples during my first tri) is to be careful when you take your prenatal vitamin (if you are taking one). Because morning sickness made me feel like I couldn't eat, I never had a full stomach to pad the vitamin and it always made me super nauseas. I could only take it at night right before I went to sleep.

                            Keeping just a little food in my stomach at all times also was immensely helpful.

                            I hear a lot of people say that sucking on tart candies helps with the morning sickness but I never tried it. Having morning sickness is a lot like being seasick (which I happen to have A LOT of experience with) and sucking on chewy ginger candies was often about all I could keep in me at times. Drinking hot water also helped some for me.

                            Yay! Good luck. My morning sickness subsided at around 15 weeks and I started feeling GREAT. I'm 35 weeks now and still have some of the food aversions I acquired during that first tri though; hopefully this too will go away completely once the baby is out.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: TimeMachine

                              Agree on tart candies -- specifically Jolly Ranchers. One of the nurses at my doctor's office suggested this to me and it really helped.

                              Between weeks 8-13 for me were pretty bad. I didn't want anyone at work to know yet, but I was convinced that someone would figure it out when for lunch everyday I was eating either macaroni and cheese, white rice, or mashed potatoes. Hey, it worked. Oh, and steamed vegetable dumplings too.

                              TimeMachine, I had a major aversion to chicken during my pregancy with my daughter and shortly after she was born, I started eating it again. It didn't happen when I was pregnant with my son, though.

                            2. http://ensure.com/

                              If you can keep down an ensure you can use it to get extra calories, vitamins and protein in your diet. Although there is some debate about the benefit of a product like Ensure (main ingredients are oil, sugar, more sugar and water), at least it has some vitamins and stuff in it to keep you going. As an added benefit when I was on this product I did find it very easy to drink in the morning and I think it also may have increased my appetite. Congratulations and best wishes.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Cookiepants

                                I totally forgot about ensure (in my case slimfast). I drank slimfast to get some protein and vitamins too.

                              2. Congrats! Hopefully this will pass in 4-5 weeks. For me it didn't though. I pretty much lived on starch and cheese the whole 9 months. Mac and cheese, bread with cheese, cheese and crackers. I usually love vegetables, salads, etc and I couldn't really eat most of them when pregnant. Especially tomatoes, which I really LOVE, they turned my stomach just to look at them.
                                As far as your husband goes, collect take out menus, or pick up from deli's or places that make pre-made food. I didn't cook for almost a year!
                                ohh, and Iced tea mde me feel better too for some reason.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: SweetPea914

                                  I'm crazy about strong-flavored International food, but most of them grossed me out for a couple of months. My sense of smell went supernova at the time when I needed it the least.
                                  Toward the end I was eating like a thresher and loving the hell out of it, and delivered a 10 lb 2 oz baby on my due date. They weighed him after he voided everything- I'm sure I could have gotten 10.5 lbs out of him if they'd weighed him before that.
                                  He's now 25, 6'4" and beautiful and perfect. Go with your instincts.

                                2. Thanks for all the thoughts!
                                  Update: Miraculously, I am starting to feel better, going into my 10th week here... Much of the nausea is subsiding, and while I still have the aversions, they are not as strong and I can even eat a few vegetables again. Thanks for your kind words and hepful advice...

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Raeviola

                                    Glad to hear the nausea is subsiding! Mine got less severe by about five or six months in, but didn't go away until my ninth. And it was usually at its worst in the evenings. I found that saltines by the bed helped first thing in the morning, and generally keeping something in my stomach regularly through the day, unappetising though it was, kept the worst away. Cold grapes I craved, and ice cream I could tolerate.

                                    1. re: thought_for_food

                                      I found that if I ate saltines in bed lying down before I sat up, I was less nauseous. That helped the beginning of the day. Ensure also kept my calories and other nutrients in tummy. I found if I ate small amounts more often I did well. I also found eating salted plums (umeboshi), crystallized ginger helped a lot. As time progressed I craved hot peppers and hot and sour soup. For some disturbing reason Kentucky Fried Chicken Pot Pies became a craving. I was one of those not so lucky women who was nauseous throughout most of my pregnancy so I was thrilled when I could eat... anything and keep it down..

                                      1. re: drmimi

                                        Oh - and ginger tea (the real thing, made by simmering ginger for ages) with honey was drinkable, and had the added bonus of making the house smell as un-nauseating as possible.

                                    2. re: Raeviola


                                      Totally non-food-related tip, here: if you start to get bad heartburn around 20 weeks or so, make sure to wear a bra that doesn't bind too much around the ribcage. I had a much worse time with heartburn than I ever did with nausea, and getting some new bras made a huge difference.

                                    3. I could eat fries, especially with gravy. I dunno. And mildly sweet things were usually easier than salty- couldn't do soup, but Vector cereal, muffins, and cheap doughnuts were okay. My doctor told me that as long as I was eating something, and wasn't dehydrated, everything would be fine. I did milkshakes and those cappucino icecreamy things with a thousand calories.

                                      I still can't eat broccoli. At 37 weeks. I loved broccoli. I plan to eat broccoli again as soon as the kid is born.

                                      Glad you're feeling a little better. Don't push yourself. It will get better and probably be over by week 16. If you're lucky, week 13.

                                      1. I'm also eight weeks and I feel the same way. I don't want to eat/smell/cook anything. I get the famous "saltine crackers" advise, but I can't even get myself to swallow that.

                                        I've found almonds and soymilk first thing in the morning (eaten in bed - before I get up) helps somewhat to reduce the nausea. Also avocados seem to help me. Tea (without sugar) helps because water makes me sick.. Sweet stuff (e.g. Juice, cookies, etc) also seem to make things worse, but tart fruit like green apples, green pears, seem to go down okay. It's still a struggle, but at least I no longer feel like crawling into a hole somewhere :)

                                        1. I loved salads with pickled beets, and nutella spread on any kind of bread. These kept me going during the first trimester.

                                          Make sure you take your prenatals!

                                          Oh, and congrats! :)

                                          1. 8 weeks here and can't keep anything down. Crackers were helping a bit but started tossing that up too. The only thing that seems to stay down is cereal. I hate it but eh at least it's food. I'm so worried because I'd like to start working again but fear my nausea and vomiting will ruin my chances for employment. Plus the fact that I' always tired:/ and lack of appetite too:(.

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: Mandyland2008

                                              I carried saltine crackers and dry Cheerios in zip-loc bags for ~months~.

                                              Good luck!

                                              1. re: Mandyland2008

                                                It will get better. Stick with cereal for now if that is what works. Could you sip a little soup or a smoothie?

                                                1. re: Tara57

                                                  Not sure, tried eatin chicken noodle soup but couldn't get past the second bite.:/

                                                  1. re: Mandyland2008

                                                    Oh, no. Maybe try a smooth soup like tomato. It does get better. Congratulations!

                                                    1. re: Tara57

                                                      I hope so. This is my first pregnancy. So all new to me. Has me wondering how women can miss being pregnant. No offense but this is harsh change haha

                                                  2. re: Mandyland2008

                                                    buy plain gelatin and mix it with low-sugar fruit juice. you can buy knox or order great lakes (grass-fed and kosher) off amazon. plenty of clean protein and easy to digest.

                                                    the crackers and cereal are just empty calories providing next to no nutrition for you or the baby. the "vitamins and minerals" added back after the processing has very dubious bio-availability. same goes for those garbagey ensure drinks. full of sugar and weird oils.

                                                    the nausea is an evolutionary safety catch. listen to it. if something makes you feel gaggy, don't eat it. this phase will pass.

                                                    in the meantime, tell hubs to make himself a sandwich. :)


                                                  3. I ate toast with cream cheese, plain noodles, plain yogurt, (that was with my 4th child, a girl).....
                                                    With my 3 boys, I couldn't eat or drink anything! !! I was hospitalized 3 for dehydration with my first, and put on zofran with all 4 pregnancies. My hubby was on cooking duty during those months too!! ;)

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: mariars

                                                      Wow. Hopefully everything settles down and I'll be ok to eat normally again

                                                      1. re: Mandyland2008

                                                        The nausea, at least for me, settled down at about 12-14 weeks. I could barely brush my teeth without throwing up. I still remember feeling nauseous before I knew I was pregnant, certain food smells would set me off. To this day I still feel sick if I smell banana bread. My youngest is 23.

                                                    2. My husband feels he is suffering as well since smells bug me I have hardly been baking (used to make 1-2 times a week) and barely cooking!

                                                      We don't eat out a lot, but now we just suck it up and buy something or get something that he can just conveniently warm up from the grocery store (low smell though)

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: pumpkinspice

                                                        GahA I've been condemned to my room. Sucks my bedroom is next to the kitchen. Ugh smells Are awful I just hold my breath and walk outside. Keep my room door closed.

                                                      2. As everyone has said, eat whatever you can and don't worry about it. Who knows what you will want tomorrow. I do era all really enjoying grape juice for a while. Heck, when I was pregnant with my first I NEEDED a mango. The world was going to end if I didn't get one. So, I started eating and it was awesome. About 1/2 way through the mango, I thought it was the most disgusting thing ever and I couldn't touch a mango for months. Pregnancy :)

                                                        1. I don't want to dis your husband, but don't worry about him right now. You need to train him to be a dad, a good and involved self-feeding dad that can provide nourishment for his children in addition to you, and the time to start it is right now. :-)
                                                          My morning sickness happened at 6 pm, like clockwork, for three months or so. Fortunately I married an eagle boy scout, so he knew how to cook 'a meal', although I had to point out the exhaust fan to him.
                                                          Frankly, I don't remember what I did during those times, except since he did wildland firefighting and that was the year Yellowstone burned down, he was gone for most of the summer, which was when I felt the worst. He missed a couple of sonograms, but it worked for us. Plus I didn't have to go through those annoying Lamaze classes because he was out of town for that, too.
                                                          I hope I got my major point across, which is to say to DH- "You need to deal with this as much as I do, so grow up, Bucko". If he's mellow and it's your own fear, please understand that he will cope, and become a better, more balanced dad. Which will make you a more balanced mom.
                                                          You'll love being a mom, it's the best.

                                                          1. I'm in the same boat and found your post while looking for help for myself.
                                                            I just thought of trying a clear liquid diet, which patients are given in the hospital for sensitive stomachs.
                                                            This typically includes chicken broth (bullion cubes), jello, popsicles, apple juice and/or clear soda. It's also a good way to maintain hydration and something minimally nutricious during this transition time. It would be way too low-calorie for long term. I'm going to try it for today, while adding in whatever solid foods I can tolerate (dry toast etc). I hope this helps anyone else out there, and God bless as this symptom subsides, please let it resolve soon and may we find comfort.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Ktika

                                                              I can 100% sympathize. Don't force yourself to eat but eat whatever you feel like (im small portions).

                                                              Sour candy was my best friend for a while.

                                                              1. re: pumpkinspice

                                                                agree about not forcing one's self to eat, but advising junk like apple juice and candy seems counter-intuitive when growing a human.

                                                              2. re: Ktika

                                                                I was hospitalized for 10 weeks with all 3 of my children because of severe dehydration. I could not eat or drink anything. In my experience, liquids (jello, soup, smoothies)were the hardest things to keep down. The minute it would go down it would come right back up with anything else that was down there. I started with toast, rice, pasta...the doctors kept telling me to eat anything I could. I, too, liked sucking on candies. Good luck and it will get better.