For many women, one of their earliest pregnancy symptoms is morning sickness. It’s one of the first things discussed at the mention of pregnancy and is so familiar that it’s often used in TV and movies as a clever clue of an unspoken but understood “new character in development,” so to say.
If you’ve personally experienced morning sickness with pregnancy, you probably don’t think it’s such a cute clue of your dues for the deed. With studies showing that upwards of 80% of pregnant women have at least some symptoms of morning sickness, you’re likely not alone in your disenchantment at random bouts of motion sickness and nausea constantly making you take note of the closest bathroom.
Morning sickness is linked to the hormones produced rapidly and at high levels during pregnancy and will typically start to dissipate as you get into the second trimester. So, whether you are facing only mild symptoms like sensitivity to certain smells or more debilitating symptoms like frequent vomiting, you should be in for a break soon and on to setting up that nursery in no time.
Thankfully, though, just because it is common doesn’t mean you just have to accept it. The way you take care of yourself during pregnancy affects your baby and can also help ease some of the side effects you face with morning sickness. And depending on your specific symptoms, you may need to make a few different adjustments to find the relief you need.
At Women’s Health Specialists, we know how hard that can be when you’re in the thick of it, so we came up with some tips for managing morning sickness. If you are having trouble finding relief, give us a call or schedule an appointment with your doctor to go over your symptoms and other options for treatment.
Eat multiple small meals instead of a few big ones.
Nausea can be made worse by an empty stomach, but eating smaller meals more often will keep food in your stomach and alleviate the discomfort of that empty feeling or the possibility of overfilling, which can worsen morning sickness, as well.
Splitting your meals this way can also help your body regulate your blood sugar, which helps remedy morning sickness symptoms like dizziness, feeling faint when standing, and an elevated heart rate.
Make smart food choices.
You should avoid foods with a taste or smell that induces your morning sickness, but heavier foods that are spicy, greasy, or fatty are more likely to cause nausea than bland foods like crackers, breads, and potatoes. These bland, starchy foods are easier to go down and can actually help settle a sour stomach by absorbing some of that angry stomach acid.
Another smart choice for staving off nausea is to choose foods that are good sources of protein as it has been shown to provide more extended relief than its bland carbohydrate buddies. Some good options include chicken, fish, yogurt, cheese, nuts, and seeds.
Stay hydrated but not too hydrated.
Like all things pregnancy, there’s often a catch to the perks. While drinking water is notably one of the best ways to improve or maintain your health, when you are pregnant, having a full bladder is enough to induce more discomfort, like morning sickness.
You don’t need to do any fancy math or drink your body weight in boring water to stay adequately hydrated during pregnancy. Aiming for around six to eight cups of your preferred non-caffeinated beverage should do the trick and maintain a good balance. Many women have noted relief from sipping peppermint tea, ginger ale, and water with a splash of lemon or even a full fruit infusion.
Control the aroma around you as best as you can.
Strong smells can trigger nausea and vomiting for some women dealing with morning sickness, and while we know you can’t control all the odors you smell, avoiding the ones you know will trigger you can make a huge difference. You may find that a particular perfume you used to wear before your pregnancy makes you queasy or that certain foods you enjoyed turn your stomach now. It’s likely to pass once your morning sickness is gone, so you won’t have to avoid these things long.
In the meantime, it may be a good idea to find some more comforting smells, or at the very least some that are tolerable and able to help with the unfavorable odors. Essential oils like chamomile, ginger, peppermint, and citrus have been known to ease nausea but be sure not to ingest anything without consulting your doctor first. The easiest and safest way to get the benefits of these essential oils is to put a few drops on a cotton ball and sniff.
Timing may be your key to relief.
You may want to stash some Saltines on your bedside table to snack on before you jump out of bed in the morning. Many women find their morning sickness to be wide awake before the covers are pulled back in the morning and jumping into the day can make things worse. Not only is your blood sugar and blood pressure trying to regulate themselves, but mornings can come with nasal sensory overload disguised as coffee and bacon. Plus, brushing your teeth can stimulate your gag reflexes, increasing those nausea odds. Give yourself a little more time to ease into your day to have the best shot.
Another culprit to your morning sickness, which isn’t just in the mornings, could be your ever-so-important prenatal vitamins and when you are taking them. Studies show that taking them with a light snack a little before bedtime each night can drastically reduce their effect on the stomach discomfort that they may cause.
When morning sickness hits, you probably just want to lie down. While getting a good amount of rest is crucial in pregnancy and can help with morning sickness, laying down can cause your stomach acid to rise, hindering digestion and increasing stomach discomfort.
Instead, go for a light walk or even just go sit outside to get some fresh air and sunshine. The movement will encourage digestion and the health benefits of sunlight and oxygen have been touted for longer than we can remember. Just don’t forget your sunscreen.
For more tips on managing your morning sickness, trust Women’s Health Specialists
Morning sickness symptoms can swing from a mild inconvenience to affecting your day-to-day life not just from woman to woman but from pregnancy to pregnancy in the same woman.
If your symptoms are causing dehydration or a dramatic loss in weight, you may be suffering from a more severe pregnancy condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum which may require medical attention. Reach out to your doctor as soon as possible if you cannot manage your morning sickness symptoms or feel you may have HG.
Our expert team here at Women’s Health Specialists wants you to be able to enjoy this chapter of your life and will help you find the relief that works best for you. Call us today to schedule an appointment and chat about what you and your new addition need today!