7 ways to relieve morning sickness
Thanks to high levels of the hormone HCG, approximately half of all mums-to-be will experience some type of nausea during pregnancy. From avoiding bad smells to gorging on ginger, we explain what can help with morning sickness
As you've probably guessed, the ‘sickness’ in 'morning sickness' refers to those unpleasant feelings of nausea – as well as vomiting for some women – that occur during the early stages of pregnancy. Fortunately, this problem is mostly experienced in the first trimester (the first three months) and for most women their hormones will settle down after this – phew!
Despite its name the term ‘morning sickness' can be misleading as the nausea can occur at any time during the day, not always in the morning! And for those terribly unlucky few, throughout all three trimesters. Although there is little you can do to actually stop it, following a few simple tips will help you cope better.
1. Keep hydrated
Try to drink plenty of fluids, especially if you are vomiting a lot. The last thing you want is to get dehydrated as this can be harmful for both you and your baby. Take small sips of water rather than gulping and if you think you can handle it, try drinking a few sips of a sports energy drink to replace lost sugars.
2. Stay away from bad odours
Avoid the aroma and sight of the foods that make your stomach turn. If the smell of frying bacon sends you hurtling towards the bathroom, ban it from the house, plain and simple. Talk to your partner, family or housemates and explain the situation, you will be surprised at how understanding they can be.
3. Stick to bland foods and let ginger become a staple of your diet
Eating a dry biscuit or piece of toast on waking, before lying down for half an hour can help to alleviate the symptoms of sickness. Ginger has been attributed as a sickness combatant so stock up on ginger biscuits and keep them in your bedside table or drawer at work so you can have a nibble when you feel hungry, as feeling hungry often makes the nausea worse. Stick to bland foods rather than fatty, acidic or spicy foods that are harder to digest and may irritate your digestive system.
Stick to bland foods rather than fatty, acidic or spicy foods that are harder to digest and may irritate your digestive system.
4. Inhale the zesty aroma of lemons
The citrusy sharp scents of lemons can help to soothe feelings of sickness by calming you and your stomach. Add a few slices to hot or cold sparkling water and take sips throughout the day.
5. Ditch the diet and eat what's right for you
This is the time to forget about dieting. If you suffer badly from sickness and all you feel like eating is chips – do it. Morning sickness is temporary and if you don’t manage to get food into you, serious problems can occur and you may end up in hospital. As long as you are not eating the foods that are unsafe in pregnancy, this is a time when anything goes – plus, foods high in starch, like bread and potatoes, may help to keep blood sugar levels high and make your stomach feel full.
6. Track your symptoms with a morning sickness diary
Keep on top of your morning sickness symptoms by tracking the things that set off feelings of nausea – whether that be the pong of eggs or the taste of milk. Understanding which times of the day you feel at your worse and what foods or methods alleviate these feelings will help you cope better when waves of sickness kick in.
7. Allow extra time to travel and pack snacks
If you are travelling on public transport leave extra time to get to work in case you have to leave the train to get some air and catch the next one. Take ginger biscuits to nibble on throughout your journey and keep yourself occupied with a magazine, book or some music.
Have you got any tips to help ease morning sickness? Tell us by tweeting @GurgleUK or leave a comment on our Facebook Page.