Morning sickness is probably one of the most uncomfortable and debilitating pregnancy symptoms. Sickness is common and approximately 75% of pregnant women will be sick or suffer nausea at some point during their pregnancy, although morning sickness does tend to abate after the first trimester.
Sickness during pregnancy can also occur at any time of the day, although it does tend to occur more frequently in the morning than at any other time. Although there are no hard and fast rules as to what you can do to avoid morning sickness, there are a few things that you can do to improve your symptoms.
Why do we get morning sickness?
Morning sickness is caused by all of the new hormones in your body. These hormones affect all of your organs and they help to give your body the ability to sustain new life.
Some specialists believe that morning sickness is a way to protect your baby from harmful substances – i.e., you are purging toxins to protect your baby.
Whether you have light morning sickness or severe morning sickness, here are a few tips and tricks for settling your stomach and improving your morning sickness.
Tips to cope with morning sickness
- Ginger is a healthy, natural ingredient that is known to improve sickness symptoms in some women. Luckily, you can take it in many forms – just make sure that you take it in from organic foods rather than synthetic foods. Ginger ale, ginger biscuits or fresh ginger in cooking are all excellent ways to take in ginger.
- Try eating small, frequent meals, rather than 3 large meals per day. Large meals will put a strain on your digestive system which could cause you to feel very nauseous, whereas smaller, lighter meals that are low in fat should help to alleviate some of your symptoms.
- Some specialists believe that eating a few dry crackers before you even get out of bed in the morning will improve your symptoms. If you wake up in the night, try eating a few crackers to help settle your stomach before you wake up – this should alleviate early morning sickness.
- Listen to your cravings. Some specialists believe that cravings, whether they are unusual or not, are your body’s way of trying to take in the vitamins and nutrients it needs. Going with your cravings could therefore help with any morning sickness symptoms you are experiencing. However, make sure that you listen to your cravings within reason. If you’re craving non-edible items, such as soil or chalk, you should steer clear of them.
- Some women find acupressure bands useful in alleviating morning sickness symptoms.
- Some women find that savoury snacks and fresh fruit help to alleviate their morning sickness symptoms more than sweet snacks, such as chocolate or biscuits – however, this is not true for all women and you may find that sweet snacks help to alleviate your symptoms more than savoury snacks.
- Peppermint is known to curb nausea – possibly because it smells clean and fresh. Try chewing gum or drinking peppermint tea when you feel sick.
- Sit back, relax and take a deep breath when you feel sick. Although this may not curb the nausea, it could help to prevent you from actually being sick, which is sometimes just what you need.
- Try sipping ice water throughout the day when you’re feeling sick. Drink it with meals too to help you to keep food down.
If your morning sickness becomes so severe that you can’t keep down food or drink of any kind, you should go to your doctor. You need to be able to keep food down in order to take in vitamins and nutrients from it, and if you are not keeping food down, it could harm you and your baby. Your doctor could prescribe medication or could give you some more advice as to how to alleviate your morning sickness symptoms.
Extreme morning sickness could also require you to stay in hospital. If you are unable to keep down food and drink, you could become dangerously dehydrated which could lead to complications for you and your baby. Therefore, you may need to put onto a drip for food and nutrients and to maintain your fluid levels.
You should always remember, however, that pregnancy sickness is not associated with any harm to your or your baby. Although it may be uncomfortable, and in some cases, it may be very severe and debilitating, it is not actually damaging you in any way provided your fluid levels are maintained.
It will always end after pregnancy, when the hormones that are associated with pregnancy come to an end. If you are worried about morning sickness or any other aspect of your pregnancy, always seek the advice of your doctor.