Congratulations, you’re pregnant! And while you’re about to embark on an amazing whirlwind of an adventure, if you’re like 70 to 80 percent of the pregnant population, you’re also coping with morning sickness. Perhaps the cruelest thing about “morning sickness” is its deceiving name, as the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy can last all day. Most women do get some relief around their 12th week of pregnancy – or the end of the first trimester – but some experience morning sickness for their full term.
While there is no miracle cure-all for morning sickness, there are some tips and tricks to help alleviate the symptoms:
For women who experience morning sickness, even being a tiny bit hungry can be worse than being “hangry.” An empty stomach can make the nausea feel much worse and cause low blood sugar. To alleviate the nausea and dizziness, try eating small meals throughout the day. However, exercise caution and only eat what you can, when you can. If the idea of pulled pork tacos turn your stomach, don’t eat them. Let it go and trust your body’s instinct.
If you’ve attempted to get just about everything down and your body is still refusing, test some of these morning sickness-friendly foods: crackers, salted chips, mashed potatoes, dry toast, watermelon, string cheese, hummus, pita, broth, applesauce and bananas. Some mothers-to-be swear by ginger. Try ginger ale, ginger tea or ginger candies to see if they help settle your stomach. Avoid spicy and greasy foods, as well as vegetables that cause gas as to not irritate your stomach any more than it already is. Avoid fatty foods and focus on the proteins.
Some food-related tricks to ease your morning sickness:Keep some snacks at your bedside table to munch on before you get out of bed. This may help calm your stomach first thing in the morning.
- Double-think your cravings. The foods you’re craving may not help – or may even worsen – your nausea.
- When taking your prenatal vitamin (which may be a trigger to nausea and vomiting) accompany it with your biggest meal of the day.
2. Stay Hydrated
It’s good practice to always utilize this tip, but vital when it comes to quelling the symptoms of morning sickness. Similar to eating, drinking throughout the day may help to keep sickness under control and prevent dehydration.
Bored of drinking water all day? Switch it up by consuming sports drink, broth or juice. Try to minimize coffee, citrusy drinks, milk and soda, which can encourage nausea.
3. Rest Often
You are growing a whole new life inside you so remember to take time out for your body to rest and repair. Your body is producing hormones that will make you feel drowsy. Don’t fight it. Napping and rest will help your body keep up preparing for the birth of your child. One of the best parts about this tip? Sleeping through the nausea!
4. Know Your Nose
Every sense is heightened during pregnancy, but the one that will be the hardest to tame is your sense of smell. Whether it’s perfume, an air freshener in a car or just the smell of rain, your stomach can turn on a dime. Even pumping gas can cause dry heaves, so as you go take note of what your triggers are so you can avoid and plan around them. A morning sickness journal can be very helpful to track what you eat, drink, smell and feel.
Cooking during this time might be hard because of sensitivity to odors. Ask someone else to cook during meals that might be especially hard (and you’ll learn quickly what those meals are.) If you don’t have the option to ask someone else, try opening the windows or using a fan to help move the air from the room and away from your face. The added bonus to open windows and fans is that you’ll be cooled down as you cook – heat is another trigger that can bring on morning sickness!
Not only does working out get your system charged and get fluids pumping, but exercise can also become a distraction to the sickness. Make small goals for activity and time them as you go, as not to over-exert yourself. Exercise can help destress, relieve anxiety and tension, calm the body down (including digestion), relieve stiffness or swelling in limbs and keep you strong and in shape.
Whether you’re working out, taking a nice walk or even just doing a lap around the office, another key to easing morning sickness? Comfortable clothes. If you are experiencing morning sickness during your pregnancy, any clothing that grabs your abdomen, irritates your skin or causes you to feel off in any way could make you feel worse. Find loose, breathable pieces that you can move in. Comfort is key during the entire pregnancy, but vital when dealing with morning sickness.
6. Listen to Yourself
All the tips and tricks in the world might not fit YOU. Every woman is different; therefore, every pregnancy is different. What may have worked for your mother or best friend may not work for you. That’s okay. Listen to your body. Eat, stay hydrated, rest, avoid triggers, stay active and know that there is a prize at the end of the morning sickness tunnel.