This Former Bachelorette Tells Us Why No One Has To Suffer Through Pregnancy

Photo: Courtesy of Duchesnay USA.
Former Bachelor contestant and Bachelorette Emily Maynard Johnson announced she is pregnant for the third time back in March. Not long after that, she encountered excessive morning sickness and all the discomfort that comes with it — also for the third time. When smaller lifestyle changes (eating smaller meals, eating mild foods, staying hydrated) didn't help, the reality star and author sought help from her doctor. Her doc prescribed her Diclegis, and now Johnson is an "official partner" of Duchesnay USA, the pharmaceutical company that markets Diclegis. (So, uh, yeah, what you're about to read is pretty focused on morning sickness, and the drug Johnson is shilling for — but it's something we should be talking about: Morning sickness is awful, and women are often too anxious to do anything about it.)

Here's the deal with Diclegis: It's a combination of the antihistamine doxylamine (the active ingredient in the sleep medication Unisom) and pyridoxine, a.k.a. vitamin B6, and it's meant to help women deal with severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. In 1983, it was removed from shelves over suggestions that it caused birth defects. Since then, multiple studies have demonstrated the drug's safety, and it's been approved for use by the FDA.

Oh, and it's the drug that landed Kim Kardashian in hot water last year, when she failed to mention one of Diclegis' biggest side effects in a paid Instagram post. One of the drug's main ingredients is an antihistamine, so this stuff can very easily make you drowsy. Kim had to post an updated sponsored Insta with more information about side effects.

Whether it's morning sickness or any other health issue that comes up during your pregnancy, it's always a good idea to bring your concerns to your doctor. More importantly, no woman should feel pressured to keep these complaints to herself. We got into this very issue with Johnson, in our conversation with her below.
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Congratulations on your third pregnancy! What's made each of your pregnancies different?
"With Ricki...I was super sick the whole time. I was in and out of the hospital with dehydration and all of that. Then with Jennings, it was pretty much the same thing. [I was] super sick. I always joke there’s not a parking lot in Charlotte that I haven’t gotten sick in (laughs)... I used to see my friends who had so much energy during their pregnancies and loved being pregnant and I thought, They’re crazy. They have to be lying or something. There has to be a catch. But this one, it’s been totally different. This time, I really feel like I’ve been able to enjoy it."

What changed?
"After trying everything, you know, changing my diet, eating saltines and ginger, acupuncture and everything else, I just finally went to my doctor and said, 'I can’t do this anymore. We’ve got to try something else.' And that’s when he prescribed me Diclegis. I can eat whatever I want now, and it’s definitely changed my pregnancy. It’s changed our whole family dynamic. My husband doesn’t feel helpless anymore, and he can kind of enjoy it, too."

What's a major misconception about pregnancy and morning sickness?

"There’s that myth that the sicker you are, the healthier your baby is, and that’s just not true. [Ed. note: Some research actually does suggest that morning sickness is associated with a lower risk for miscarriage and a higher IQ for the baby, but there's not necessarily evidence that you have to suck it up and deal with morning sickness without any treatment in order to see those benefits.] I think that’s what makes women think, Oh, I just have to suffer through this. I’ve learned that, during pregnancy, you don’t have to suffer. Not true. You can have a perfectly healthy baby and not be sick all day or even just sick in the morning."

What advice do you have for other pregnant women?
"You don’t have to suffer... Just give yourself a lot of grace and take each day as it comes."
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