More than 50% of pregnant women experience morning sickness. For some, it can be mild, but for others, it can have a significant impact on quality of life.
Our experts at Center for Women’s Health offer these strategies that you can use to nix the nausea.
Morning sickness often begins as soon as you wake up, and can leave you feeling drained for the rest of the day. Set your alarm to wake you up 15-20 minutes earlier than usual. Take your time waking up, and sit up slowly. Munch on dry cereal before getting out of bed. If you can, try cereals without a lot of sugar, such as some type of plain flakes.
The right snacks can make a huge difference when dealing with morning sickness. Try a mid-morning snack of mild-flavored carbs such as saltines, rice cakes, toast, or pretzels. Flavored gelatin or popsicles may hit the spot, too. If salty popcorn or spicy gingersnaps tempt you, give them a try. Include nausea-fighting drinks, too, like ginger ale, ginger tea, or peppermint tea.
It may be easier for your digestive system to process five or six small meals rather than two or three large ones -- plus eating more often may help prevent nausea. In the evening, or whenever you can best tolerate preparing food, plan for the day ahead by prepping small, nutrient-rich meals to munch through your day.
Hydration is one key for keeping you feeling well, because dehydration can lead to headaches -- and nausea. If you just aren’t thirsty, or are having a hard time keeping fluids down, try to trick your body by eating a salty snack, which can trigger thirst.
Keep track of what fluids you can tolerate. Hot tea may be bearable for some, but not-to-much for others. Room-temperature liquids may tend to upset your stomach more, so if that’s the case, try cool liquids. Try to sip slowly, instead of taking large gulps, which may mean you need to drink much more often in order to get enough liquid each day. If you can’t keep fluids down though, be sure to call our office for medical advice.
It may be relaxing to scroll through your social media accounts, or read a book on your tablet, but the brightness and flashes of light from the device could be making you nauseous. Adjust the brightness settings, and use night-time mode if it’s available. Your eyes won’t have as hard of a time adjusting, which helps keep nausea at bay.
Your body is growing and adjusting, so wear clothes that are comfortable, loose, and made of breathable fabrics (cotton shirts, maternity jeans or shorts). The tighter the clothes, the more tension is placed around your stomach, which may upset your tummy. Avoid shapewear, as it tends to be very restricting.
While you may know what gets your stomach churning, often those around you don’t. If your partner brewing fresh coffee before you wake up makes you ill, ask them to brew it a little later. If you can’t stand the smell of a certain food being cooked, ask to eliminate it from the house for a while.
Speaking of smells, scents can be very powerful. If you aren’t feeling well, try to sniff something fresh, such as a lemon or an orange. Essential oils, such as peppermint or lemon, can be helpful when diffused throughout your house. Or hold the bottle under your nose and sniff as needed whenever you feel queasy.
If you’re getting sick at work or other places, make sure you carry a small survival kit, made up of toothpaste and a toothbrush, a clean top, mints, stashes of snacks that help calm your stomach, and a plastic bag in case you can’t get to a restroom.
There are medications that are safe during pregnancy and can relieve your morning sickness. Dr. Breit and our physician assistant, Jordan, can help you with a medication regimen that can get your mornings -- and days -- back on track again.
If you need additional help with morning sickness or have questions, do not hesitate to call us, or book an appointment. Your health and comfort during pregnancy are top priorities here at Center for Women’s Health.