Ah, morning sickness… the bane of my pregnancy, especially with Sweet B when morning sickness did not discriminate on time of day. I’ve heard that having morning sickness is actually a good sign, but I have yet to figure out why. Maybe we’ll talk about that in another post. With Squeaker, morning sickness wasn’t too bad though there were definitely somethings that triggered it in big ways. So today I want to share 9 tips for dealing with morning sickness that will hopefully help you cope. Be sure to check out the rest of my pregnancy advice and tips.
If you’re suffering with nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, you’re not alone. Most women experience it to some degree during their first trimester. But don’t let the term “morning sickness” deceive you, either. I think it’s one of the most commonly believed lies that we’re told during pregnancy.
9 Tips for Dealing with Morning Sickness
#1. One theory about why morning sickness is worse in the morning (and for some women only occurs then) is because when you wake up from sleep, you have low blood sugar. For some pregnant woman, going 8 hours without food is just a bad idea.
You might find it helpful to eat a high protein snack before bed to help with your overall pregnancy nutrition, and even to eat a bite each time you get up in the night to go to the bathroom. (Which in the beginning may be quite frequent!). You can also try keeping a few high protein snacks on your nightstand to have a quick bite when you wake up.
Don’t jump out of bed. Eat your snack slowly and lie still for a few minutes afterwards. Then slowly get up and immediately go to the kitchen and eat another bite. Again, emphasize protein.
2) Avoid foods that cause rapid blood sugar shifts.
Fruit juice, sugary snacks, processed cereal (the kind that comes in a box), anything made with white flour, etc…these types of foods cause your blood sugar to rapidly rise then come crashing down, triggering nausea and vomiting. Eat protein foods and whole foods.
Meat, cheese, yogurt (be careful here- try plain yogurt with frozen berries mixed in. Most yogurt has way too much sugar in it.), eggs, nuts, nut butters, veggies, and whole grains should be your staples.
Even if eating a full meal doesn’t appeal to you, try coaxing yourself to eat a little bit of a protein food every 2 hours will help prevent vomiting. Don’t leave the house without carrying a snack with you.
3) If drinking water makes you sicker, try these alternatives.
It’s very important that you stay hydrated. You’re going to need extra fluids to support the pregnancy, but many women find that drinking water makes them more nauseated. Some things to try:
Smoothies made with fruit, ice and plain yogurt or kefir. They also sneak in some extra protein.
Water served VERY cold with a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Carbonated water with a small amount of fruit juice for flavor.
Weakly brewed iced or hot tea with lemon. The small bit of caffeine won’t harm your baby. Something about the bitter tannins in tea may help ease nausea.
Citrus fruits and melons.
If you’re pregnant during the summer, especially, it is important to stay hydrated. Try one of my top summer pregnancy survival tips for more ideas.
4) Avoid nausea triggers as much as possible.
Your nose is on hyperdrive during early pregnancy!
Stinky smells like poopy diapers, kitchen trash, even morning breath may be impossible to totally avoid, but try your best to avoid smelly situations.
Have someone else take out the trash. Have hubby change your toddler when he’s home. It’s the least he can do!
And don’t be shy about telling someone who has bad breath, noxious perfume or cigarette smells on them that you’re in a delicate condition and need some fresh air.
If cooking smells make you ill, take a break from your usual garlic and onion specialties. Don’t be a martyr. Hubby will understand that you can’t make his favorite sausage and peppers for a while.
Prepare meals that won’t stink up the kitchen. Green main dish salads with cold, cut up chicken, steak or hard boiled eggs. Sandwiches are good too.
5) Try Aromatherapy
Put a couple of drops of lavender, mint or lemon essential oil (these oils are generally regarded as safe to use during pregnancy) on cotton balls and keep these in various locations… the kitchen, bathroom, your purse and in the car. Take a whiff when you feel sick. Put a few drops on your pillow.
6) Take it easy- but don’t forget exercise
I know, I know… exercise is the last thing you want to do when you can hardly get your face out of the toilet! But if you force yourself to take even a ten minute walk outside every day, it WILL help.
But do try to take it easy, avoid stress as much as possible, and rest as much as you can. You’re doing the very important job of growing a baby. Explain to your other children why you’re feeling poorly and that it won’t last forever.
Call in favors and ask friends to come over to play with your 2 year old for an hour so you can sleep, or ask them to cook extra when they make dinner tonight and bring you a dish.
When you feel a bout of nausea coming on, try to lay down for a few minutes in a dark room with your eyes closed. Sometimes if you do this the episode will pass.
7) Focus on the positive
Sometimes when you’re so miserable it’s easy to forget what’s making you so sick! Remember that statistically, women who experience nausea and vomiting of pregnancy are more likely to carry the pregnancy to term.
So rejoice in your strong hormones! Read pregnancy magazines, birth stories on the Internet, look through maternity clothing catalogs, do whatever you need to do to cheer yourself up and get yourself in the mood for a new baby.
In the second trimester? Be sure to check out these 17 tips for what to do in your second trimester of pregnancy. Usually the morning sickness has subsided by now that you can enjoy pregnancy a little bit more.
8) More Misc. Tips
Try eating candied ginger or sipping ginger tea. I found ginger in capsules to be too harsh and they hurt terribly if they did come back up.
Brewer’s yeast capsules work for some Moms.
Try sucking on lemon slices when you’re feeling a wave of nausea.
Sip mint tea or chew mint gum to help dry up excessive salivating that may trigger nausea.
If you have trouble brushing your teeth due to an overactive gag reflex, switch to using baking soda for awhile. The foaming of regular toothpaste may be too much. And brush your teeth in shifts if you need to… first the top teeth, then a few minutes later the bottom teeth, then your tongue, etc.
Avoid getting overheated or chilled. Extremes in temperature can trigger vomiting.
Try Sea-Bands, available at large drug stores. They’re designed for motion sickness but helps some pregnant women.
Go with your cravings, within reason.
9) If you absolutely need them, ask your OB/GYN about taking an anti-nausea medication. But be wary about these because some of them can do more harm than good in the long term. Zofran, for example, has a long list of possible side effects that could harm your growing baby.
Just remember that your morning sickness will pass. Some days it may not seem like it, but you will get through it and it will be so incredibly worth it!
What tips would you share for dealing with morning sickness?