Joy of joys, you’re pregnant! But no sooner do you start celebrating, than nasty nausea sweeps in to plaque you and crash the party. Will relief ever come? Isn’t there something you can you do to feel better?
If you’re like many pregnant women, nausea strikes two to eight weeks after conception; it should let up by the third month–but that seems like forever when you’re leaning over a toilet, green with morning sickness (a misleading term, by the way, since pregnancy nausea may strike at any time).
Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks you can use in an attempt to overcome nausea, or at least lessen the vicious symptoms. Try the following:
1. Fight it with food.
You may think food is a major nausea-creating culprit, but the right foods can in fact help. Small bites of dry, starchy foods such as crackers, rice cakes, toast, dry cereal, and pretzels often help. Be sure to eat a little before getting out of bed in the morning. Protein and complex carbohydrates are known to fight nausea.
2. Eat many small meals
An empty stomach and low blood sugar can cause nausea, so don’t let your stomach start growling. Keep a small but steady supply of meals going throughout the day. See the above tip
3. Start your day gradually
Leaping from bed and rushing into your day is not recommended, as it easily aggravates nausea. If at all possible, eat a snack in bed, then linger there for at least fifteen to twenty minutes before rising. Then have a real breakfast, one that is unhurried.
4. Reduce stress
Yes, easier said than done. But it’s worth a try, since stress can trigger queasiness. This leads to the following advice:
5. Rest and relax
Your body needs it. Emotional and physical tiredness worsens nausea. Plan some breaks in your day to sit down or lie down and rest.
6. Eat an overall nutritious diet
Eating healthy may seem overwhelmingly impossible when you feel sick, so just do your best. There are ways to make it easier. Focus on healthy food choices that you do enjoy, and don’t force-feed yourself the ones you can’t stand–nothing will be gained when it just comes back up anyway. Choose from savory or sweet, liquids or solids, if that’s all you can keep down, and vary the foods within these limits as best you can. Soups and juices can be as nutritious as solid food. Also, your doctor can help recommend foods.
7. Avoid triggers
By this we mean any sights, smells, or tastes that you’ve found tend to trigger your morning sickness symptoms. Avoid these as best you can. If you do encounter unavoidable offensive odors, be prepared with a handkerchief scented with a strong smell that you do like, and hold it to your nose. Not surprisingly, tobacco smoke seems to aggravate nausea.
8. Brush your teeth
Seriously! It’s toothpaste to the rescue! Brushing with toothpaste and/or rinsing with mouthwash after each vomiting incident (and meal that you eat) encourages healthy gums and teeth. And a fresh, minty mouth is not as conducive to causing nausea as a dirty one.
9. Try alternative options
These include acupuncture, acupressure, and visualization.
If all else fails, and you remain one of the unhappy few who are nauseated for the entire pregnancy, try to take things day by day while telling yourself the agony will end. And at the end, you will be rewarded with a precious baby.
* Please note that in about 7 out of 2,000 pregnant women, the severeness of the nausea and vomiting make medical treatment necessary. Consult your doctor.