Alanis Morissette Gets Ready to Rock Her Baby
The music star reveals how pregnancy has helped her learn to slow down, eat up, and look at her body in a whole different way.
Surviving Morning Sickness
Like many women, Morissette battled nausea during her first trimester.
"It was hard," she says now, clearly relieved to be past it. "But it helps that it's so purposeful. I'm not exhausted and nauseated because I have food poisoning; I'm exhausted and nauseated because I'm growing a human being inside my body! A level of humility, reverence, and surrender is required."
Ari Brown, MD, pediatrician and co-author of Expecting 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy, says, "Morning sickness is a myth. It's all-day sickness for most women who experience it. The good news is, as long as there isn't excessive vomiting, even women who feel awful -- and who are not gaining much weight during the first trimester -- tend to feel better, eat better, and gain weight during the second and third, when it's so essential to get proper nutrition and put on anywhere from one to two pounds per week.
"Besides," Brown adds, "experiencing 'morning sickness' is a positive sign of a healthy pregnancy. It usually means there are adequate hormone levels in the body."
"I'd heard a lot of the tricks," muses Morissette on the subject. "You know, eating and drinking ginger. And I ate smaller, lighter meals. But really the greatest muscle I developed is not resisting. Because I did resist for a few days; I was in denial that my whole life was about to change. And my body just shut down."
Eating Disorders and Pregnancy
Eating healthfully has long been an issue for the performer. Morissette has openly battled eating disorders in the past. Now she is the first to tell you she's done the hard work -- emotionally, physically, even spiritually -- by slowly learning to respect her body enough to give it food rich in nutrients and to exercise in a balanced, not obsessive, way. Mostly, she's relieved to have come to terms with her "many addictions," as she calls them, before conceiving.
"I look at my body in a different way now," she tells WebMD. "For so long it's been this athletic, mostly ornamental organism. Now it's this purposeful, miraculous baby maker. A complete reframe of what my body is here for. Food, too, has taken on a different meaning. I became more high-nutrient oriented a good two years before I got pregnant, so the timing [of the pregnancy] was fortuitous for me."
In addition to low-impact exercise such as hiking and "doing the elliptical," Morissette, who ran two marathons and several shorter triathlons before getting pregnant, continued her regular jogging routine during her first trimester. "It just changed naturally," she says of finally swapping her sneakers for a yoga mat somewhere in the third or fourth month. "My yoga practice has been so important. The bigger my belly gets, the more strain in my back, the tighter my hips get -- yoga is a godsend for me right now."
Pursuing fitness in all its forms also allows Morissette to get out of her head, she says, and not "obsess about all-things-pregnancy all the time, which can leave me feeling sort of nuts."