Some women suffer just a little bit early on in their pregnancies, and some poor women experience it all throughout. For 99%, morning sickness is just one of the sucky givens of incubating your precious little bundle of bile, err, joy. How can you make it through in one piece? Introducing Scary Mommy’s Morning Sickness Survival Guide!
1. Stay in bed. Studies show that nausea is increased when you move too suddenly (like when you sit up first thing in the morning). It’s also worse when you’re tired and stressed, so try to go to bed earlier, get up later, and take frequent naps.
2. An empty stomach is a nauseous stomach. One reason morning sickness happens so frequently at the start of your day is because your stomach is empty. Keep small things like crackers on the nightstand beside your bed, and have a nibble before you try to get up. Eat small frequent meals throughout the day so that your stomach won’t be empty. (If there’s no food in there for the stomach acid to digest, it gets really, really cranky.) Eat slowly, and don’t nap immediately after eating. This slows digestion and makes heartburn worse, too.
3. Get some air! Some women swear by keeping a window open or a small fan near the bed. Getting too hot or stuffy is a huge trigger for morning sickness. Whether at home, at work, or anywhere in between, make sure you’ve got access to good air circulation to alleviate some of the worst of it.
4. Space out your fluids. It’s important to stay hydrated (what with all the vomiting and all), but try to drink your fluids in between meals, and don’t drink so much at one time that it fills up your stomach. Sipping throughout the day is a good idea.
5. Your nose may be your worst enemy during pregnancy. It’s a pain in the ass, but try to avoid smells that trigger your nausea. Whether it be the smell of certain foods, perfumes, cleaning products, or even just the smell of the air in your closet, certain smells can trigger a trip to the porcelain throne almost before you know you smelled it. If you can identify which smells set you off, try to make a note of it, and avoid that nonsense at all costs!
6. Bland food is best if you’re suffering from morning sickness. You might be craving Indian takeout, or thinking about trying that new Thai restaurant in town, but now is not the time. Spicy, acidic, and fried foods can all aggravate your digestive system, even when you’re not pregnant! Also, food can sometimes have a stronger aroma when it’s hot, so if the smell of your favorite dish is driving you to the brink, try having it at room temperature or even cold.
7. Your prenatal vitamins may be the culprit. Lots of women report that their prenatal vitamins seem to make them nauseous. If you find that to be the case, you can try taking them with food or just before bed. You can also ask your OB/GYN to switch you to a vitamin with a lower dose of iron or no iron for the first trimester.
8. Ginger Ale: Old Wives’ Tale? Not so much. Ginger has long been used to quell nausea. If you can find ginger ale made with REAL ginger, grab it. Otherwise, you can grate fresh ginger into hot water to make ginger tea, or try ginger candies or pregnant pops. Peppermint is another common remedy that moms swear by; try peppermint tea or sucking on a hard peppermint candy. They also say that the scent of citrus, like lemon or orange, or cool mint, seems to help mitigate feelings of nausea for some people.
9. Do NOT neglect your oral care. With nausea constantly at the back of your throat, the last thing on your mind is probably a toothbrush, but you seriously need to make an effort to keep your teeth brushed and your mouth rinsed out. The harsh acids in your vomit (gag) can eat away at your enamel, and gingivitis is another suckass side effect of pregnancy.
10. If you’ve seriously tried EVERYTHING and still can’t get any relief, talk to your doctor. There are anti-nausea medications that you and your doctor may want to consider, and depending on the severity of your nausea, they may want to check you out and make sure you aren’t getting dehydrated.
Ain’t pregnancy grand?!