The sick-to-your-stomach feeling that can accompany pregnancy is a drag. The term “morning sickness” is a bit of a misnomer. While nausea commonly occurs at the crack of dawn, it can recur all day long.
Although not every pregnant woman experiences severe nausea, 80% report moments of queasiness in the first trimester. Some women see relief within the second trimester; others don’t have it so lucky, feeling ill effects all throughout pregnancy.
Why pregnancy sickness occurs is not certain. There are many variables that contribute to nausea and vomiting. Raised hormone levels are a probable cause. Whatever the reason, make sure to consult your doctor if your nausea is severe.
Although there is no magic pill that cures morning sickness, these 15 suggestions may offer some relief.
16 Suck on Ice Chips
When you don’t feel like eating, ice chips can become a safe haven. Room temperature foods can trigger nausea in a way that ice-cold items don’t. Some pregnant women swear that drinking water makes them gag while sucking on ice chips settles their stomachs.
Since ice chips don’t offer vitamins and minerals, you shouldn’t rely on ice for more than two days in a row. You’ll need to eat actual food, but start off with ice. It’s stomach-friendly and easily digestible.
15 Never Have an Empty Stomach
It's understandable that the last thing you want to do it eat, but never let your stomach become completely empty. When your stomach starts to growl, your blood sugar levels drop. Hunger can trigger nausea.
What you need to do is eat more, not less. If you go out, walk with a snack so you’re never caught off-guard. Keep carbohydrates beside your bed, so you can nibble on a cracker or some popcorn as soon as you wake up. After you eat, get out of bed slowly and gently.
14 Avoid Spicy Foods
Spicy food will not harm your unborn baby, but it can create a world of upset. The smell of spicy food can make you nauseous. The spice, itself, can cause heartburn and digestive issues. This is not a good combination to battle morning sickness.
13 Eat More Protein
One way to gain lasting energy is to eat foods that are high in protein. Protein-rich foods, such as almonds, Greek yogurt, and chicken breast, will help subside nausea. Eating protein before bed will prevent or, at least, ease pregnancy sickness when you awake.
12 Eat Water-Rich Foods
Staying hydrated will ease nausea. Consume small morsels of water-rich foods, such as lettuce, cucumbers, and watermelon. They will provide much-needed nutrients and help settle your stomach. Plus, these cold foods don’t have nausea-inducing odors.
11 Switch Your Prenatal Vitamin
Some pregnant women experience morning sickness and find it difficult to take prenatal vitamins, especially on an empty stomach. If you suspect that vitamins are making you nauseous, notify your doctor. Swallowing a full tablet may not work for you. In this case, liquid or chewable vitamins may be better alternatives.
10 Drink More Water
Nausea can be triggered by dehydration. Thirst can also cause headaches. Aim to drink 2.5 liters of water every day. If you can’t stomach drinking this much water, take smaller sips more often. You can also fill in this liquid requirement with herbal teas, especially ginger.
Speaking of ginger’s medicinal properties, flat ginger ale can help settle your stomach. Although carbonated beverages and sweets are best avoided during pregnancy, flat ginger ale is a proven method to relieve nausea. If you prefer, put it in the freezer to make ginger ale ice cubes.
Take a deep breath, and then take a nap. Pregnancy sickness can do a number on your energy level. Stress can also exacerbate your symptoms, but relaxing will ease them. Remember to unwind if you’re feeling particularly tense. It will make you feel better both mentally and physically. Just don’t go to sleep directly after a meal. This will bring your nausea back.
8 Stay Active
When you’re feeling sick, going along with your normal day is easier said than done. Take it slow when you wake up. But, if your nausea occurs in the morning, it should subside later in the day once you stay active. The symptoms should also diminish if you eat small snacks while you’re keeping busy.
7 Stay Out of the Kitchen
Pregnant women have sensitive noses. There’s nothing worse than getting a whiff of someone cooking broccoli or cabbage when you’re feeling nauseous.
If your queasiness is triggered by unpleasant odors and the smell of certain foods, make sure everyone in your household knows. If you can, leave the house and go for a walk while the others are cooking. If you can’t leave, at least, stay out of the kitchen.
6 Eat in a Cool Room
A cool, ventilated room will help ease your morning sickness. The fresh air will dissipate the odors, and the cool air can remedy your symptoms. On the contrary, a warm room can aggravate nausea.
5 Keep Your Head Elevated
If morning sickness hits, find a quiet spot to relax. Resting in a seated position is a good plan. In fact, this is a good way to stay nausea-free after a meal. Keep your head, at least, 12 inches above your feet. Lying down after eating can trigger that sick feeling.
4 Use an Acupressure Band
Acupressure is an alternative therapy that applies pressure to acupuncture points on the body to relieve pain. An acupressure band, such as the Sea-Band, can be worn on the wrist to ward off nausea. By applying pressure on a specific point to the inside of the wrist, you can alleviate the symptoms of pregnancy sickness.
Some pregnant women swear by the acupressure method. What’s great about this “medicine” is that they do not use drugs, and they have no side effects—a perfect combination for expecting moms.
3 Avoid Greasy and Sweet Foods
Researchers in the UK found that women who experienced nausea during pregnancy consumed high amounts of sugars and meat. You probably already have an aversion to greasy and sweet foods if you’re prone to morning sickness. But, if you want to partake in fatty foods or sweets, eat smaller portions rather than bigger meals.
2 Make It Bland
If you’re experiencing morning sickness, forget the spices and the sauces while cooking, especially in the first trimester. For example, sip chicken broth instead of a creamy chicken soup. Have a baked potato without the sour cream, butter, and chives. Forget the barbecue sauce and just eat plain chicken breast. Sauces and spices will only add odors to your food, and indigestion to your stomach.
1 Stick With Dry Foods
For your bedside stash, try crackers, popcorn, unbuttered toast, dried fruit, and dry cereal sans milk. Many women find this method to be a solution to morning sickness. And even if it doesn’t stop their nausea entirely, it does prevent them from throwing up.
Whatever you do, don’t just sit around feeling miserable. If you’re still experiencing morning sickness, consult your doctor so you can enjoy your pregnancy with nausea.