Morning sickness is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy. But if you ask any woman who has ever been pregnant, she’ll tell you that nausea and vomiting can come at any time of the day. Morning sickness varies, but a lot of women have some nausea during pregnancy, especially between 6-16 weeks. Some women may feel sick the whole time they are pregnant and some never get sick at all.
Every woman is unique, but if you happen to be one of the ones that have “morning sickness”, then here are some common techniques that may help ease your symptoms.
Timing & sizing of meals
Instead of three large meals a day, try eating smaller meals and snacks more frequently all day. Eat something every few hours so that your stomach is never empty. That’s when nausea is most likely to strike.
Keep light snacks like crackers at your bedside. Eat a few before bed and when you wake up in the morning. Simple snacks can also help if nausea wakes you up in the middle of the night.
Foods to enjoy
Women can have some pretty strange food cravings during pregnancy. Make sure you have these foods on hand when they appeal to you. From salty pretzels to crunchy pickles and cold ice cream, making a list of treats that offer different eating sensations will help you quickly satisfy those cravings and treat nausea as soon as it sets in.
Foods to avoid
Hypersensitivity to smells is a big factor in nausea and vomiting among pregnant women. Fatty, greasy foods take longer to digest and their smells can upset the stomach. Other digestive irritants include heavily seasoned and spicy foods. Food tends to have a stronger smell when it’s served hot, so try and eat more bland-tasting foods served at room temperature.
Don’t mix eating & drinking
Drink most of your fluids between meals, not with them. It’s also important not to drink too many fluids at one time, because it can trick your stomach into feeling full. Sipping on fluids throughout the day will help keep you hungry for solid food when it’s time to eat.
If you’re vomiting a lot, drinking a sports drink can help replace lost electrolytes.
Trust your senses
Just like food smells, other smells and sensations can make you feel sick. Hot air, heavy perfumes, bright lights – even a bumpy car ride – can trigger nausea and vomiting. Avoiding these triggers can make your pregnancy more comfortable.
These sensations tend to be worse when you’re tired, so make sure you allow plenty of time each day and night to sleep, rest and relax.
Try alternative treatments
They may not be supported by hard science or modern medicine, but countless women swear by alternative treatments. Acupuncture, hypnosis and herbal remedies like ginger root have all been shown to relieve nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Alternative treatments don’t work for everybody, and costs can range from very affordable to extremely expensive, so doing research can help you decide what’s right for you.
Just about everyone has a solution for morning sickness. Treatments can be found in books, online and from family and friends. Before making changes during pregnancy, talk to your doctor about what techniques are generally safe, along with things that may pose a risk to you and baby. And remember, contact your provider immediately if you haven’t been able to keep solid foods or liquids down for more than 24 hours.
Hancock Regional Hospital’s Andis Women’s and Children’s Department provides quality healthcare and compassionate maternity care. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our personalized services, call us at (317) 468-4485.