As a child growing up in Africa, i was always surrounded by aunties and older female cousins who were so in tune with nature that they could tell you what types of vitamins you were lacking in just by looking at your eyes and the changes in the colour of your eyes. They could cure almost anything even ear ache just by boiling leaves so it was no surprise that teenagers could never get away with keeping pregnancies a secret. Often you would hear mothers remarking that their daughters had been spitting so much they must be pregnant and the majority of the time it was true.
I did not understand what it was (well it was not for me to know as a child) however fast forward more than two decades later i soon discovered for myself. I was 10 weeks gone, working full time and trying very hard to conceal my growing tummy from my boss and colleagues as i was not ready to share my news. I became very well acquainted with leggings, floaty tops and cardigans all in aid of hiding my belly but nothing prepared me for a shock question from a dear colleague/friend.
One busy afternoon i was working at my desk fully equipped with tissues when my Zambian colleague/friend quietly asked me, ‘are you pregnant?’, i felt like a naughty teenager as i tried to change the subject when she said jokingly said, ‘you cant it hide it from me i have noticed you have been spitting a lot o’. Thankfully it was just the two of us and we laughed and laughed as she explained she has known my secret for week because of my clothes and the spitting. I was quite glad the bump was out of the bag because at least i could now get some much needed advice from someone who had been there. My friend advised me that her best weapons of dealing with the issue was lemons either by adding it in water or tea and also snacking throughout the day. I found that really helpful because snacking kept my mind of it and also reduced saliva production.
Asides from writing i wanted to also discover the scientific reasons behind it. According to medical experts and midwives, excessive salivation known as pytalism is generally caused by the changes in hormones during pregnancy. Pytalism usually effects those who tend to feel more nauseated during pregnancy and so the spitting is usually another method of dealing with the sick feeling. I have scoured through many medical sites to find a cure however none exists rather only tips to deal with it.
I will not write any of the coping mechanisms i came across on line because its all to do with cutting certain food out and i believe in good gold old fashioned balanced diet but also because i trust you will find your own coping strategy as each pregnancy is different. Sucking on fresh lemons worked wonders for me but it might not do the same for someone else
Another thing that worked for me was keeping my eyes on the Lord and just being so thankful and grateful for my situation knowing that the sick feeling was only for a season and at the end of it all i would be cuddling a blessed and highly favoured baby.
Having just had my second baby recently i noticed the spitting lasted until she was 4 weeks old but i can sincerely say it does go away…eventually so hang in there please because God will see you through and in Jesus name all is well.