Well, maybe I shouldn’t quite proclaim it a cure yet, but I’m certainly hopeful. Remember this old post about the connection between morning sickness and old bile? I thought the comments at the time were pretty evenly divided, but when I looked today they seemed very encouraging overall.
The theory as I understand it is old bile causes the nausea. Bile helps us digest, but it also absorbs toxins and eventually becomes rather toxic itself. This is because bile is recycled, picking up more and more toxins with each cycle unless it is passed with soluble fiber. Pregnancy hormones cause the body to produce even more bile, compounding the problem. The proposed solution is to eat plenty of soluble fiber, which binds with the bile and causes it to be passed instead of recycled. Specifically, the proposed solution is to eat legumes, by far the best source of soluble fiber.
Even a few bites of beans will help with a wave of nausea almost immediately, and the relief can (Karen Hurd says) last 1-4 hours. They should be eaten as often as necessary, starting first thing in the morning. As an added bonus, Karen says that a woman with morning sickness typically won’t experience – well, that unpleasant little side effect of beans because she has so much bile to aid in digestion.
Now I have to add a bit of my own experience. We normally eat beans once or twice/week, but have eaten them far more over the last summer. I remembered the possibility that they might help with morning sickness, so as soon as I learned I was pregnant I made a point of eating at least one serving each day.
Based on the theory, it seems that there could be both a cumulative effect and an immediate effect. What I mean is, it probably helps that I’ve been eating more beans this year, but eating them now should help too.
I know it’s early, but I have always, with just one exception, vomited and felt very nauseated all day long by this point in a pregnancy. It was the same with The Boy as with all the girls. The only exception was with Bethany, but my hormones were running low with her: even though my midwife confirmed my dates, I was 7 weeks along before I got a positive pregnancy test with Bethany.
This time is different so far. Until 7 weeks, I had only the mildest hint of nausea. Over the weekend, I forgot to eat beans daily and began feeling markedly more queasy. I don’t think it’s psychosomatic (all in my head) because I didn’t put the facts together until a reader mentioned it.
Yesterday I ate 2 servings of beans and felt much better – again, the nausea was present but retreated to the background. Today, I have tried to stretch the last cup of beans by eating just a bite or two whenever queasiness threatens. So far, so good! I’m having typical first trimester sleepiness, but almost none of the sickness that I have always experienced.
Needless to say, there’s a fresh batch of beans simmering in the crockpot.
And – ugh – I’m off to refill my mug o’ beans.