Dealing with Morning Sickness
For most women, morning sickness—pregnancy induced nausea and vomiting—is the most uncomfortable early symptom of pregnancy. It usually begins within two weeks of conception and lasts until the end of the first trimester. The name, ‘morning sickness’ itself is in fact misleading as pregnant women can experience nausea at any time of the day or night.
Luckily, morning sickness doesn’t usually cause any complications for mother or baby and treatment isn’t necessary for most forms of morning sickness—unless vomiting causes weight loss during pregnancy. There are, however, many effective home remedies to reduce the discomfort that morning sickness causes.
Select Foods Carefully
Consuming foods that are easy on the digestive system can reduce nausea and vomiting. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates and proteins and low in fat tend to be easier to digest. Many women also find salty foods helpful.
A stomach that is too empty or too full can cause nausea. Women with morning sickness are advised to eat frequently—having small snacks throughout the day rather than three large meals. Mayo Clinic recommends ‘eating a few soda crackers or a piece of dry toast’ and to ‘nibble throughout the day’. When it comes to nibbling; crackers, popcorn or pretzels are great options as they are portable, easy to digest and salty. Sucking on hard candies or a chewing gum can also help.
Avoid Sudden Movements
Sitting or standing up suddenly can trigger dizziness and nausea. Pregnant women should be careful to avoid this.
Drink Lots of Fluids
It’s already imperative for pregnant women to stay hydrated for the health of themselves and their baby. Drinking has the added benefit of reducing the severity of morning sickness.
Avoid Nausea Triggers & Make Surroundings Smell Pleasing
Women with morning sickness should pay attention to certain smells, foods and even activities that trigger their nausea, and try to avoid these. Smelling pleasant odors can also reduce feelings of nausea.
Exercise and Breathe Fresh Air
Fresh air and exercise can significantly reduce morning sickness discomfort. Taking a walk in the park is an excellent activity that accomplishes both. Light exercise also helps relieve stress—another common cause of morning sickness.
Exercise Caution when Eating Prenatal Vitamins
Many women complain of experiencing nausea after eating prenatal vitamins. This doesn’t mean pregnant women should stop taking prenatal vitamins, but changing the time of day and way vitamins are consumed can prevent this nausea from occurring. Mayo clinic recommends either taking vitamins at night with a snack, or chewing gum or sucking hard candy after eating them.
Ginger can effectively relieve nausea. It can be consumed in many forms including capsules, syrup, in ginger ale or by placing ginger gratings in tea of other foods. Pregnant women should consult a health care practitioner before taking capsules and should try to limit their ginger intake to 1g a day.
Some antihistamines, such as doxylamine and dimenhydrinates can relieve morning sickness when taken as directed by a doctor.
WebMD studies have shown that vitamin B6 can reduce symptoms of morning sickness. They recommend taking between 10 to 25mg of this vitamin three times a day.
Acupressure wrist bands are a traditional Chinese method for relieving nausea. They are inexpensive wrist bands that press down firmly on the pericardium 6 point on the inner side of the arm, one sixth of the way from the wrist to the elbow. Even pressing down on the pericardium 6 point and other acupressure points can reduce feelings of nausea.