Nausea, oh nausea. Morning. Noon. Night. Hitting me like a freight train at week 5 and rendering me a virtually useless individual until about a week and a half ago. And if I wasn’t feeling nauseous, I just wanted to curl up in bed and sleep. (Hence the lack of gladly gluten free blog posts lately).
Isn’t it funny how easily we forget the unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy? It’s the beautiful human being that results from all this discomfort that makes it all worthwhile.
I certainly had nausea and fatigue when pregnant with my son in 2004 and with my daughter in 2006, and now that those little ones are older, they’ve definitely noticed something was up with mommy the past two months. Familiar with my tummy aches from pre-celiac diagnosis days and the unfortunate incident or two of being “glutened”, our conversations have been going something like this:
“Are you OK mommy?”
“Well, mommy has a tummy ache.”
“How long are you gonna have a tummy ache? Did you eat gluten?”
“No, no gluten. In about 5 weeks or so, I should be better.”
“Wow, that’s a long time, mommy. So you are gonna have a tummy ache all the way ’til fall?”
“Just about, honey.”
“Where did you get this tummy ache, mommy?”
“Well, actually Daddy gave it to me :)”
So while I consumed monstrous amounts of gluten during my previous two pregnancies (think pancakes, toast, bagels, cereal), that is not an option this time around. With this being my first gluten free pregnancy, what are some things I need to do differently? How can I help keep sickness at bay with starchy carbohydrates, give in to cravings for bizarre foods, and keep me and baby healthy and gluten free?
First Trimester: Gluten Free/Dairy Free
The most important piece of advice for the first trimester is to take care of yourself. Take your prenatals and eat what you can when you can. With an autoimmune disorder, it’s also easier to get run down. So, rest as much as possible. I have no qualms about having spent an entire weekend in bed watching Season 1 of Downton Abbey.
Prenatal Vitamins: It’s important to take these daily, and as with all other supplements, you need to check that yours are gluten free. Two gluten free varieties that I’ve been alternating between are CitraNatal DHA and CitraNatal B-Calm. The latter is formulated to help ease nausea with two B6 supplements included.
Medications: Typically, your ob/gyn maintains a list of “safe” medications. While no medication is truly 100% safe, you and your doctor need to outweigh the benefits and risks for your particular situation. For heartburn/reflux that I had pre-pregnancy, I’ve been able to continue taking Tums, Zantac, or Prevacid (all gluten free). I also continue taking my probiotic, which is safe during pregnancy. For my extreme nausea, I was prescribed Zofran. Both it and its generic, Ondansetron, are gluten free.
Gluten Free/Dairy Free Foods: Quaker Oats gluten free rice cakes, Skinny Pop popcorn, Glutino/Snyder’s pretzels, Veggie Booty, Musselman’s applesauce, Edy’s popsicles, hamburgers with Udi’s buns, Ore Ida’s french fries, white rice, brown rice, Big Bowl’s Gluten Free Pad Thai, bananas, banana pancakes, dairy free smoothies, and gluten free toast with Earth Balance spread are all things that helped sustain me through the first trimester. It all depends upon the individual and what tastes good to you. Yummy Earth gluten free lollipops also helped keep nausea at bay.
If any of you readers are either trying to get pregnant or are already pregnant and living gluten free, please drop me a line with any comments or thoughts you’d like to share. I will try and share tips on things that are working for me throughout each trimester, as well as things to look out for as a pregnant celiac.
I will certainly post any good recipes too, although be aware that now that I’m officially starting my second trimester, cravings have kicked in! What a better recipe to share in this post than my first, utterly bizarre craving – Reuben Sandwiches (with extra sauerkraut) at 10am?
Reuben Sandwich (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
2 ounces corned beef **(Carl Buddig, Boar’s Head brisket are gluten free, you can also use gluten free sliced turkey)
1 Daiya jack style wedge, sliced thin
3-4 tablespoons prepared sauerkraut (Frank’s brand is gluten free; I like the variety with caraway seeds)
2 slices Udi’s Soft and Hearty whole grain gluten free bread
1 tbsp Earth Balance vegan spread
1-2 tbsp Russian dressing (recipe follows)
1 tbsp mayonnaise (Hellman’s is gluten free)
2 tsp Heinz ketchup
1/4 tsp Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce
Melt Earth Balance in a saute pan over medium heat. Spread Russian dressing on one side of each slice of bread. Place slices of bread in the pan, dressing side up, to begin toasting. Layer Daiya wedge, corned beef, and sauerkraut onto one slice of bread. Top with the other toasted slice and cook until
Spread Earth Balance on one side of each slice of bread, placing the slices buttered-side down on a plate. Top one slice with a thin Daiya wedge, followed be corned beef and sauerkraut. Spread the Russian dressing on the remaining slice of bread. Assemble into a sandwich. Preheat a frying pan to medium heat and cook sandwich (buttered side out) until the bread is golden brown, flipping carefully in between. Slice sandwich in half to serve.
**Important Note about Deli Meat and Pregnancy: Pregnant women are at an increased risk for listeriosis, which can occur from listeria bacteria in deli meats. The American Pregnancy Association recommends heating lunchmeat to steaming (160 degrees) to prevent the possibility of listeria contamination.
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