The vast majority of women experience some degree of morning sickness. Learn how to manage morning sickness as well as watch for warning signs.
I distinctly remember being pregnant for about 5 weeks with my first pregnancy. I felt great and food tasted wonderful! In fact, my husband and I went to dinner to celebrate our pregnancy once it was confirmed by a blood test and I believe I ate the best tasting salad of my life. I thought I had beaten the odds since I had not experienced any nausea or morning sickness.
The very next morning, I felt incredible nausea which lasted for about 6 more weeks. I knew of few ways to cope with morning sickness at the time except advice from my female friends who said to “eat saltine crackers.”
For about 50-90% of expectant mothers, coping with morning sickness is one of the biggest challenges of early pregnancy. In some cases, it can be severe enough that mothers become dehydrated or lose weight.
To help you get through those early weeks, here is a list of the most popular and effective tips for coping with morning sickness:
- Eat small frequent snacks throughout the day. 5-6 snacks are better than 3 large meals.
- Keep something in your stomach (saltine crackers really do work!) since an empty stomach increases morning sickness and nausea.
- Add a vitamin B6 supplement to your diet. Foods rich in B6 including: bananas, roasted chicken/turkey breast, salmon, bell peppers, turnip greens and spinach. See more information on prenatal vitamins and pregnancy diet.
- Keep a tissue with peppermint oil nearby to “sniff” during waves of nausea.
- Try sucking on a lemon slice or adding lemon to your water.
- Exercise regularly.
- Keep a diary of situations that trigger morning sickness as well as what works to reduce it.
- Try ginger in the form of tea or lollipops called “Preggiepops”.
- Try frozen electrolyte pops or make your own using electrolyte drink mixes.
- Avoid heavily sweetened juices since they increase stomach acid and nausea associated with morning sickness.
- Often bland carbs such as potatoes, oatmeal and pasta can help curb nausea.
- Acupuncture – seek a Licensed Acupuncturist who will use certain pressure points help reduce morning sickness.
- Motion sickness bands (called “The Relief Band”) based on acupressure can be worn whenever mom feels morning sickness.
- If you are vomiting, often there is a key food that helps to break the cycle. Be sure to be spontaneous with whatever food you might be craving, even if it’s junk food at first. Once the nausea is over, you can focus more on healthy eating.
- Prenatal vitamins can add to the nausea. Find out more information on keeping down prenatal vitamins.
The good news is that morning sickness typically passes after the first trimester. Many women find at least partial relief to help them cope with morning sickness by utilizing one or several of these methods simultaneously.
However, be sure to see your provider if you are unable to keep food or fluids down for longer than 24 hours.