Feeling a bit queasy? Try these simple methods to help keep your Morning Sickness and your food intact.
More than half of all pregnant women experience frequent nausea or sickness. Despite its deceptive name, morning sickness can actually plague you all day long, or even jump up at seemingly random times. Some women report having symptoms for days, if not weeks, on end.
While the exact culprit behind these nauseous blues is unknown, many researchers think the feelings of sickness may have to do with increased hormone levels, and blood sugar volatility- both of which are normal occurrences during pregnancy. Some think it’s down to heightened sensitivity of the senses. While they’re still trying to figure it out, what researchers have found is a link between morning sickness and a lower risk of pregnancy loss
So while you may feel horrible, and no one enjoys being sick- you might be able to take some solace in the fact that those yucky feelings are actually a good sign. Feel better? We didn’t think so. Here’s a list of ten tips to help you quell the quease and survive the sickness, so you can get back to enjoying your pregnancy.
Getting a great night’s sleep and taking naps if you feel tired have been shown to give a bit of relief during morning sickness periods or hormone therapies. Allowing your body to rest so it can focus on normal tasks without becoming overwhelmed.
Consider using some helpful sleep-aids, like body pillows or sleep masks. Aromatherapy cushions, like the ones filled with lavender or citrusy scents, may also prove to be beneficial. Even if you’re not tired, laying down and closing your eyes while using breathing techniques may help reduce nausea.
Giving your mind something else to focus on besides being sick can be a huge help. Light exercise, like some pacing or walking, can help divert your attention and blood flow elsewhere. Just the act of preparing a small snack or a cup of tea can help divert attention away from the toilet.
Reading a book, working on mind puzzles- like sudoku or crosswords, knitting, or meditating are all great ways to snatch your mind away from your stomach. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a technique where people progressively tense then relax certain muscle groups in sequence to achieve full-body relaxation. PMR has been shown to reduce nausea associated with chemotherapy as well as pregnancy. Making it a pretty powerful skill to learn.
Hydration isn’t just good for you and your baby, it can also help prevent those pregnancy puke sessions. Water is always at the top of this list, but peppermint or ginger tea is especially helpful for some women.
If you have thrown up, it’s important to replace those fluids as best you can. Sipping on low sodium broth, bubbly water, or sports drinks can help replace vital electrolytes that may have been lost.
Timing is Everything
While there are times that pregnant mothers will need to seek medication for their morning sickness- like when diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum- medications can actually serve to increase your gastric wobbles.
Taking prenatal vitamins on an empty stomach is often associated with nausea and vomiting. Sometimes this is because the high levels of iron can irritate a lonely tummy. Consider switching your schedule and taking the supplements at nighttime, or with a small bland snack.
Only explore over the counter (OTC) medications after you’ve discussed them with your doctor, as some OTC meds can negatively interact with your pregnancy or other medications you’re already taking.
The Right Smells
Any pregnant woman will tell you- smells have an incredible impact when you’re carrying around that baby bump. Things that once may have been soothing or enjoyable, could quickly become puke-inducing powerhouses. Avoiding strong smells can sometimes help reduce the likelihood of getting nauseous.
Fresh scents, like citrus, rosemary, or peppermint can help prime the brain and clear your nose of anything else that could be assaulting it. Find out which scent seems to help alleviate your tummy troubles and carry around a small vial or rollerball of it. The next time you come across a smell that is less than pleasant, take a few deep inhales of the aroma of your choice and get your sniffer back on track.
Write It Down
Make a journal or keep a diary of the times that you experience nausea and vomiting. Take careful note of where you are or what you were doing. What sort of smells were around you? Did you have anything to eat or drink? Were you sitting, or standing, working at your computer?
Keeping a close eye on morning sickness patterns may help you identify possible triggers, giving you a better idea of smells, situations, or activities that you might want to avoid in the future.
Despite the real struggle of fighting cravings, skipping overly fatty or greasy foods can help reduce nausea. Other reported culprits are super sweet, overly spiced, and foods that cause excessive gas.
Eating many small meals throughout the day can keep your stomach busy, giving it something to digest. Large meals can make you feel cumbersome or bloated, which can quickly lead to feelings of nausea.
Soothing foods, like plain crackers, cereal, nuts, or ginger are great to munch on when your stomach is feeling less than stellar.
Whether this means getting support pillows, upgrading your office chair, or just sticking with billowy soft clothing- you’ll want to stay comfy. Being uncomfortable can put excess pressure on your stomach and organs, which can serve to strengthen feelings of nausea.
Loose-fitting clothing made with soft fabrics are less likely to irritate your skin and senses, letting you more easily relax your muscles. Loose-fitting clothes can help air circulate better, reducing strong smells, and keeping you just the right temperature. A happy body is a happy belly.