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So you’ve found out you’re pregnant- Congratulations! This is such an exciting time in your life, and nothing could possibly ruin it! Except...morning sickness. Whether this is your first or third pregnancy, there’s no doubt about it- morning sickness is real (and doesn’t only happen in the morning)! Even though the nausea is a good sign things are progressing normally, it can still be debilitating, no matter what time of day it occurs. As a mother of three who has experienced the dreaded morning sickness through all three trimesters (sigh), I’ve found a few things that can help. Here are 9 great tips to ease the relentless morning sickness during pregnancy.
Eating small meals instead of 3 large meals is helpful in avoiding feeling too full or nauseous from overeating. An empty stomach and/or low blood sugar can also trigger nausea (which is one of the reasons it's usually worse in the morning). It may seem counterintuitive to eat something in the morning when you’re feeling sick, but getting something small in your stomach (like toast or saltine crackers) can help curve your nausea before it turns into something more!
Everyone’s stomach is different, and even foods you could tolerate and enjoy before may be off-limits during pregnancy (yay hormones!). Try and keep track of your “trigger foods” that may not sit well with you during this time. Things like acidic foods and caffeine can be common triggers for nausea in pregnancy, so be aware and steer clear if you think it might set things off.
Try drinking ginger tea, ginger ale, sucking on ginger candy or having ginger jam on toast. Ginger is a natural, well known nausea relief remedy, and can be helpful with morning sickness and pregnancy nausea as well. There are many forms of ginger available, some specifically for pregnancy, so experiment a little and see if you can find some relief.
Research shows just 25 mg three times daily can help reduce nausea in pregnancy, especially when coupled with the sleep aid, Unisom. Ask your doctor about which dose they recommend, but generally taking a smaller dose of Vitamin B6 three times daily can help bring some relief if you’re feeling queasy throughout the day. Obviously, this is not a guarantee for everyone (it didn’t work for me), but when the nausea hits, you’re willing to try anything.
Reducing pressure on your stomach can give your belly (and your baby) more room to expand. Sometimes pregnancy-related nausea can simply be caused by lack of room in your abdomen. This is more common later in pregnancy, but nonetheless can be an easy fix if you try adjusting your wardrobe a bit. Invest in some elastic waist pants (flattering, I know) and let yourself breathe a bit easier. Fashion is not top priority right now!
If this is your first pregnancy, the tiredness of the first trimester may have slapped you in the face. If this is a subsequent pregnancy, then you probably knew what to expect. Coupled with potentially having multiple kids to care for while growing another baby yourself, fatigue and lack of sleep in pregnancy is REAL! Regardless, being over tired and lacking sleep can be a real cause of nausea that you may not have thought of. Make sure you aren’t neglecting your own needs during this time and do your best to get some rest.
While carbonated beverages are a trigger food for some, they can be a great stomach-settling beverage for others. Taking a few swigs of some diet 7-up (or other white soda of your choice) can do wonders for an upset stomach. For me personally, this was my golden ticket. It works best if you’ve already eliminated other causes of nausea (such as an empty stomach). But for those random afternoon nausea-bouts, a little carbonation can do the stomach good!
These simple little bracelets are generally used for sea-sickness, hence the name. However, they can be rather effective in easing morning sickness as well. The design is based on using a pressure point on your wrist that is found to decrease nausea/vomiting when compressed. While the reviews are mixed, some women have found them extremely helpful during pregnancy. If you’re struggling to find a solution to your nausea or morning sickness, give these wrist bands a try.
Protein, protein, protein! This is my #1 tip. You’ve probably heard that increasing your protein intake during pregnancy is important for your growing baby, and to maintain your own protein and muscle supply. But eating enough protein can also help curb morning sickness and nausea throughout the day. Not only does protein take longer to digest and keep your blood sugar levels equalized, it can keep you full longer. Find some source of protein that you can handle like greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or even chicken nuggets, and try eating it right before bed. This can help prevent waking in the night with empty-stomach sickness, or even lessen your morning sickness the next day. Continue to incorporate small amounts of protein throughout your day as well, and you may find your nausea is kept at-bay and better manageable overall.
Peppermint is a well-known antiemetic (anti-nausea) remedy that can work wonders during pregnancy. Both the smell and taste of peppermint is known to help improve a queezy stomach. Try sniffing on some peppermint oil or light a peppermint scented candle. If you need to try something quick and on-the-go, keep some mints or chewing gum in your purse for a fast nausea treatment.
If you've never had heartburn before, you may be surprised the fist time you feel that uncomfortable burning sensation in your esophagus. You may also notice yourself feeling extra nauseous and "burpy" during these episodes. If you develop acid-reflux (heartburn) during pregnancy and leave it untreated, you're in for a long ride. Ask your doctor about starting a daily medicine to keep the flare-ups from happening, and have some tums on hand for those breakthrough episodes. Trust me, they happen. If you can treat your heartburn, you'll find those nauseous feelings will subside as well.
While nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy can’t be completely avoided, hopefully incorporating some of these tips will help you push through the day a little easier. Every mama and pregnancy is different, and trial and error is the name of the game. Hopefully by weeks 12-16 your morning sickness will start to subside. If you’re one of the lucky few who get to experience nausea throughout your whole pregnancy, just hang in there! Remember this is temporary, and it will be more than worth it in the end.
October 7, 2021