Top tips on coping with morning sickness
Feeling queasy? Ginger, crisps and chewing on ice cubes... Four mums tell us how they tried to combat morning sickness
‘I had no morning sickness at all with my first pregnancy but suffered quite badly with my second. It lasted about four months then gradually eased off. ‘I wasn’t actually sick, but felt on the brink of it. And let’s dispel the idea that it’s “morning” sickness – sometimes I felt like I was on a boat in an Atlantic storm, and the horrible churning feeling would go on sporadically though the day. ‘I tried to combat it with the consumption of more ginger biscuits than was appropriate, as they do help. So does snacking, if you can face it.‘My advice is, if you don’t get it, you are entitled to feel smug and if you do, well you can’t do much about it, so just keep reminding yourself that it’s all for a good cause!’
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Mavie Ahmed, mum to Ayaan and Amaana
'I was unlucky. Sickness started almost as soon as I tested positive, and I threw up a little throughout the day until in the end I couldn’t keep any food down. My mouth became really dry, and I felt drained all the time. I tried all the usual self-help tips, but nothing worked, except crunching though lots of ice, which helped soothe me a bit. I’d throw up as soon as I lifted my head off the pillow in the morning, and my husband was putting on more weight than me, because he’d end up eating my dinner. My midwife decided I needed to go to hospital. I was put on a fluid drip for 48 hours to be rehydrated, and given vitamin B6 supplements. The condition is called hyperemesis gravidarum, and I might have been addicted to the ice cubes because of the dehydration. The sickness lasted until 24 weeks, and I can honestly say I’ve never felt so weak – or so relieved that it didn’t happen in my second pregnancy!’
Jena Wong-Davidson is 5 months pregnant
‘Anything that needed chewing made me feel worse – I tried ginger sweets but had bought chewy ones! Sucking a lemon after a meal was great though, and breadsticks were fantastic, I kept them everywhere. I wore Sea-Bands all day. I bought four pairs as they’d get grubby. It’s important to put them on the correct pressure point, but they’re a dead giveaway if you don’t want anyone to know you’re pregnant! I usually like peppermint tea, but went off it – green tea worked though. And when I brushed my teeth in the morning, I’d throw up without fail. Lillipops soothies helped a little and took away the metalick taste in my mouth.The worst thing was the smell of food. I would advise avoiding hot and smelly foods, and eating little and often to take the edge off it and keep your energy up. I lost three to four pounds which I still haven’t regained.'
Louise Graham, mum to Eli
‘I suppose I was lucky not to suffer, but in the early stages I was actually desperate to feel ill. This was because I had two missed miscarriages when my symptoms stopped suddenly. But I now know – in my experience at least – you don’t need big symptoms for a “strong” pregnancy. I actually felt worst at tea time. Food shopping in the evening was cheap as I could only bear the thought of Coke, jellies and oven chips! It became obvious I was pregnant on a weekend with friends when they were all tucking in to seafood platters and steaks while I was pushing a salad around my plate. The sickness definitely eased if I ate what I felt like. Yoghurts were soothing but sometimes I just wanted Monster Munch. So my advice is to eat when you’re hungry and have what you crave. My normal appetite soon returned. I thought I’d been disguising it well – until I eventually told people and they all said, “I thought you looked peaky!” ’
Written by Tahira Khan
If you have morning sickness and need more advice, have a look at our article Morning Sickness or chat with other mums in our forum.