wiaw – linking morning sickness and hypotension

Pregnancy is simply fascinating to me!!  I think what I love the most is hearing and reading about each woman’s different pregnancy story, knowing that in the end, we end up with a baby but the 9-month journey to get there is different for most everyone.  There are even discrepancies between THIS pregnancy and Henry’s pregnancy, Clara’s pregnancy.  The way I feel, my thoughts, the way my belly grows and, as I’ll talk about today, THE FOOD.

I have so many freaking food aversions right now, it’s ridiculous!  What sounds good one day will make me gag the next.  I’ve noticed a trend though.

Like most pregnant women, I CRAVE salty foods.  Salt is like my new best friend.  There’s actually scientific evidence backing me up on this one.  You see, the RDA recommends limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day.  That’s for the average person.  A pregnant woman metabolizes sodium much differently and may need anywhere from 2,000 to 8,000 (!!) mg per day (source).  No wonder we crave salt!

Linking Morning Sickness and Low Blood Pressure

Try to stay with me here.  I just told you that a pregnant woman needs more salt than the average person.  Did you also know that a pregnant woman’s blood pressure is significantly lowered due to the hormone relaxin?  I ALREADY had extremely low blood pressure leading into this pregnancy, so every time I go to the doctor for prenatal appointments, the nurses marvel at my numbers.  It’s called “hyPOtension” – the last time I went in (which was last Monday), my blood pressure was 90/59 mmHg.

Want to know the symptoms of low blood pressure?

Signs and symptoms of hypotension may include dizziness, fainting, cold and sweaty skin, fatigue (tiredness), blurred vision, or nausea (feeling sick to your stomach). (source)

This sounds eerily like MORNING SICKNESS!!  (Travis actually connected the two – he’s way smarter than me.)

Now I know that you don’t have to be hypotensive to experience morning sickness, but I really think that my low b.p. combined with morning sickness has led to me feel pretty darn crappy over the last 6 weeks.  Interesting fact:  My nausea dissipates when I eat salt.  Sugary foods do nothing to take the edge off.  So that’s what I eat: SALT!!!

Here’s what yesterday looked like….

Before getting out of bed (sorry for the dark iPhone picture):  Mini saltine crackers


Breakfast:  Oatmeal + Egg Whites + Butter


Post Workout:  Chocolate Thinny Mint Shake (Chocolate whey p.p., chocolate soy milk, peppermint extract, ice)


Pre-Lunch Snack:  Good Beans (this x3)


Gatorade!  (all day long)


Lunch:  2 eggs + american cheese + morningstar veggie links + raspberries


Afternoon Snack #1:  Some “Dump Cake” – google the recipe – it’s pretty much pure butter (salt)


Afternoon Snack #2:  Granny smith apple + The Laughing Cow mini babybel mozzerella (sent to me by TLC – SO good..and salty!)


Dinner:  1/2 rack ribs + french fries + stewed okra & tomatoes





  • Salt
  • Minimal vegetables
  • Minimal fruit
  • Minimal water
  • Notice that no snack was eaten pre-bed (which I normally would have)…this is because I’ve morphed into my mother and bedtime was 8pm.

Not a diet I’d recommend to ANYONE, but for right now, we’re in survival mode over here and it’s getting the job done.  Smile

QUESTION:  Do you SALT your food?  <-normally NEVER!  Do you think you’re over or under the RDA guidelines for sodium intake?  <-right now – YES!


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  1. Oh,Lindsay, I am sooooo happy that you are figuring out how to keep the morning sickness less!!! I kept the saltines by the bed when I was pregnant with Matthew!!
    In answer to your other questions: I salt certain things. I absolutely cannot eat grits, white rice, potatoes, or fried (over medium) eggs without salt!!! I put salt and pepper in my eggs when scrambling them. I don’t know if I am over the daily recommendations, but the answer is probably yes when I eat those things.

  2. I am the type of person who salts their food before EATING!! Yes, I have heard that that is a FAUX PAS but I am such a salt addict, I cannot help it. EVERYTHING tastes better with it, EVERYTHING. lol! I totally get over the RDA but I do work out a lot and drink a lot of water, so I think I am okay!

  3. I think Travis is right. I, too, have very low blood pressure. When I had to stay in the hospital for my surgery last year the alarms kept going off because of my low blood pressure and low pulse. After surgery my blood pressure was about 70/50. It made me feel like I had the flu. The hysterectomy was a breeze compared to the way I felt from the extremely low blood pressure and anemia. Hope it gets better for you soon, Lindsay!

  4. Wow, this actually makes a lot of sense. I tend to have low blood pressure too, and dizziness (really similar to motion sickness) was my big morning sickness issue. And during my second pregnancy, when I was a bit more sick than the first, all I ever wanted to eat was toast with butter and a salted fried egg. I could have eaten that for every meal, easily. Anyway, I only put a bit of sea salt on things that I roast now, and a lot of things taste too salty for me. So I wouldn’t be surprised if I were under the daily sodium guidelines.
    And I’m so happy to see you eating! I totally did the Saltines by the bed thing. I remember even eating them in the dark at 4 a.m. a few times. They are life savers!

  5. That makes so much sense! I pretty much lived on saltines, french fries, and salty pretzel rods for the first trimester…I also really loved sour patch kids though…weird huh? lol I couldn’t drink plain water, so Gatorade was a must as well. :)

    Question: Would you say you’ve relaxed, been the same, or been more cautious about “restricted” foods during pregnancy with your second/third pregnancies? (you know, lunch meats, sprouts, high vitamin A foods, etc)?

  6. I have lower BP too, so yes, that does make sense. And dude did I crave salt at the beginning! I ate chips & cheese like they were going out of style!

    You’re amazing!! Keep doing what YOU feel is best–and one day it’ll be ‘better’ and you can eat the veggies again. That is what happened to me too ;)


  7. Meat and cheese, meat and cheese. That’s pretty much all this little guy wants!

    I had low BP to begin with as well (but not as low as yours) thanks to the multiple triathlons and half marathons I did every year. I haven’t seen what its been during the preganancy but they always tell me it’s “good”. I had 0 morning sickness though.

    The worst part of the pregnancy actually occurred as a result of a pineapple dump cake! I sprained some muscles in my back putting one in the oven on the 4th of July and was down for pretty much that whole month.

    I know I may not be so lucky with subsequent pregnancy(ies), but so far this has been great overall.

  8. Yum, ribs! I pretty much only wanted salty foods and zero fruits and vegetables for the first trimester + part of the second trimester when I was pregnant.

    I hope you’re feeling better soon, girl. I only had mild nausea when I was pregnant, and even that was miserable. I can’t imagine how you’re doing it!

  9. Wow…Travis IS a smart one! That’s so interesting! I’m so glad at least you’re eating – seems like your appetite is better than it was before, if I’m correct? Butter, salt, gatorade – absolutely whatever works! :D Love you, Linds! Neat to hear little updates along the way (praying for joy and ones that are more positive and about feeling on the mend)!

  10. That’s really interesting about the hypotension – it makes complete sense for that combined with pregnancy morning sickness to be the reason you’ve felt so terrible lately! I really hope it doesn’t last past week 14 (right?) this time around, too!

    For me, I really never crave salty foods, only sweet. I add sea salt to my eggs sometimes, but that’s about it. The only time I’ve craved salt was after a half marathon this summer when I was really dehydrated and needed salt and water, both in a bad way!

  11. I actually have really low blood pressure too but it didn’t cause nausea for me, fortunately. It was 90/60 last time I went to the doctor, and that was with me being nervous!

  12. i already love butter and salt, which means i will probably be eating butter sticks whenever i am pregnant (not now). ;-)
    Hoping this is the last week for you to feel this way. thank GOD for saltines