MorningwellLast week I wrote that I was trying a  new morning sickness remedy and it finally came in the mail.  It's a UK product called Morningwell, and it took some desperation and some suspension of disbelief for me to pay the $39.95 and order it. 

The Morningwell product is a CD you listen to through headphones.  According to the manufacturers:

"the MorningWell programme is conveyed to the vestibular system and we believe works by interrupting the passage of signals between the brain and gut that would normally cause emesis."

Ordinarily I would be all "vestibular WHO?" but a friend of mine did a big research project on the vestibular system, and bored me for many months on the subject.  The vestibular system is closely connected with hearing (it senses balance and movement) and can contribute nice feelings to our brain when we hear certain sounds, particularly loud music and singing.  The vestibular system is the reason why singing can have an analgesic, mood-lifting, and hello, anti-emetic (i.e. barf-preventing) effect.

So it wasn't too nuts to think that sounds could influence the brain – nausea – hearing connection.

I read up on the Morningwell product, which is a recording of tones or sounds that are designed to disengage the brain's nausea pathways from our vestibular system and remove the nauseated feeling.  I was skeptical, but then I saw on iVillage UK where five women had tried and rated the product.  Enough of them said it worked so I ordered it.

I have never seen this product mentioned on any blogs, although I am only recently a reader of pregnant / baby blogs, and only a small percentage of women stay sick past the first trimester anyway.   Has anybody out there ever heard of this thing?

To recap…. I'm in my 21st week of pregnancy and my nausea has receded some but I still have plenty of bad days.  I never throw up but I feel wretched.  I always tell myself that I should just get on with my day, knowing that I probably won't puke, but the nausea just debilitates me and I waste hours and days trying to feel better, or not doing much because I feel so ill.  I have been taking Zofran and I believe it helps, but nothing takes the nausea away completely.  I've had some degree of nausea constantly since about my sixth week.

It just so happens that I ran out of Zofran this weekend, despite my frantic phone calls to my health care providers and despite the fact that I started calling Thursday, when I had a few days' worth left.  Apparently it takes 2-3 phone calls to get a message through.  But that is a rant for another day.

So when the CD arrived yesterday it was perfect timing.  The "programme," as it is called, is about 30 minutes of music that I'm supposed to listen to at low volume.   The music was described as soothing, and some of it is, sort of.  It's very synthy and in my opinion cheesy, and there are a few bits at the beginning which are atonal and not very pleasant.  But none of that matters since I'm supposed to keep it at low volume, so I'm not having to listen too closely.

I was feeling pretty crappy by about 4:00 yesterday when I got it going in my headphones.  Usually my nausea gets worse at night, so when late afternoon feels like that I know that I'm probably having a popsicle for dinner, if anything.

I set the "programme" to repeat itself on my Ipod and did some housework.  I felt slightly better immediately, and then heartburn/reflux kicked in as it sometimes does, just to make sure I don't get too cocky from the nausea relief.  I probably listened to the recording for about two hours, and then went downstairs to watch TV.  I definitely felt better.  I also felt extremely tired and sleepy, but that's very likely a pregnant thing that would have happened anyway.  My husband showed up a bit later with his dinner, which started smelling really good to me.  I ended up eating a small portion of dinner myself, and aside from the reflux, I was surprised to find myself having any appetite, much less late-evening relief from nausea. 

I slept amazingly deeply and when I woke a few times in the night I continued to feel very little nausea, and in the morning today I feel pretty good too.  I listened to the CD once this morning.  Some of the comments I read about the CD said that one shouldn't listen to the CD when feeling okay, even though that doesn't show up in any directions I have.  I sometimes feel sort-of okay but want to make sure it stays that way, so I'm not sure if I should listen or not.

So far, I think it's working.

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