How to manage nausea during pregnancy
Some women breeze through their pregnancy without a single bout of nausea – no sickness, no vomiting, just sunshine and a beautiful baby when it’s all over. Most women are not as lucky. When it comes down to it, nausea and vomiting are almost synonymous with pregnancy. It’s one of the first symptoms that occur, and anyone who has ever experienced it will tell you that it’s flat-out, undeniably miserable. Even if there’s no miracle pill that will cure you of morning sickness completely, all hope is not lost. There are some things you can do to help alleviate symptoms.
Morning sickness can strike throughout the day and it’s usually unavoidable, but your eating habits and the environment around you can both make it worse. If you’ve been feeling under the weather, try avoiding certain habits, foods, or activities.
- Miss a meal. It can actually make you feel sicker than if you ate in the first place.
- Eat greasy or spicy foods. The smell could make you sick, and they both can cause heartburn.
- Eat garlic, onion, or acidic fruits and vegetables. Different foods trigger morning sickness for everyone, but these are the worst.
- Drink when you eat. Drink in between meals instead.
- Drink alcohol. It’s bad for the baby and bad for morning sickness.
- Drink products with high levels of caffeine; it can upset your stomach. Fizzy drinks like soda do help with nausea, but go for caffeine-free sodas like ginger ale. (Ginger also helps settle stomachs.)
- Allow yourself to get dehydrated. Try drinking smaller amounts of fluid often if it’s bothering your stomach.
- Lie down for two hours after eating.
- Perform tasks that involve strong smells, such as cleaning with scented products.
- Perform rigorous workouts. If you get too hot, it could increase nausea.
- Smoke cigarettes or inhale second-hand smoke. Again, it’s bad for the baby, but the smell will make you sick.
- Wear tight or formfitting clothes. If you are uncomfortable, you are likely to become nauseated.
- Get too stressed out; it makes symptoms worse. Try to take time each day to relax, and if you have to, reduce your workload. You’ll feel much better.
No one wants to sit around feeling miserable, so be pro-active. Something as small as taking your prenatal vitamins later in the day if you have trouble keeping them down can make a huge difference. Here are some things you can do to help prevent or ease the symptoms of morning sickness:
- Eat plain and dry cereal before you get up in the morning. It’s easy on your stomach, especially without the milk.
- Eat something salty before a meal. It helps to prevent vomiting if you’ve had trouble keeping food down.
- Eat more protein. Try small protein-rich snacks like nuts.
- Eat cold foods – they give off fewer odors.
- Eat small meals every two hours. Having an empty stomach will almost always make you feel sick.
- Eat and drink slowly.
- Drink carbonated or electrolyte-enriched drinks. They settle fussy stomachs and keep you hydrated.
- Nap during the day. Morning sickness will take a lot out of you and you’ll always feel tired.
- Get out of bed slowly in the morning.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Stay in a cool place. (Heat can make symptoms worse.)
- Cook and sleep in a well-ventilated room. This will keep strong odors from sticking around, and the fresh air will help alleviate symptoms.
The good news is there are some helpful remedies out there to help you ease morning sickness symptoms. Here are some herbal remedies:
- Preggie Pops: These lollipops contain essential oils and herbs that help reduce the effects of morning sickness.
- Ginger: Ginger is known to curb nausea. Try taking 250mg ginger capsules three times a day. If you have a sweet tooth, try some hard ginger lollipops or crystallized ginger (which is often coated in sugar – yum!). If you’re having trouble keeping food down, freeze ginger ale in an ice cube tray to make ginger-ale ice cubes.
- Acupressure: Some women swear by it.
- Non-nausea inducing essential oil: Keep it in your purse at all times to cancel out any nausea-inducing smells.
- Vitamin B6: Take 50mg per day to reduce nausea. High doses are harmful to your baby, so don’t take more than 200 mg a day.
- Herbal Tea: Peppermint or ginger tea can sooth your stomach.
Remember: Herbal supplements could also be contributing to your morning sickness. What benefited your pre-pregnancy body might not be suitable for you now, so discuss any medications that you’re still taking with your doctor.