How to cope with your morning sickness
Approximately half of all pregnant women will experience some type of sickness during their pregnancy and this probably occurs thanks to the high levels of the pregnancy hormone, HCG, in your system.
Most often, the ‘sickness’ refers to feeling nauseous but can involve episodes of vomiting. Fortunately, it is usually more of a problem in the first trimester (the first three months) and for most women your hormones will settle down after this.
‘Morning’ sickness can be misleading: for some women the nausea is thankfully confined to the early hours, but for less fortunate women the sickness can continue throughout the day and for those unlucky few, throughout the three trimesters.
Although there is little you can do to actually stop it, you can follow these simple tips to help you cope with morning sickness:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Foods high in starch, like bread and potatoes, may help to keep blood sugar levels high and make your stomach feel full.
- This is the time to forget about being healthy and 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.
- Stick to bland foods rather than fatty, acidic or spicy foods that are harder to digest and may irritate your digestive system.
- 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.