Morning Sickness can actually happen at any time of the day with some mums to be feeling just minor nausea in the first trimester but other women going the whole nine months feeling and being sick. It effects between 70 and 85 percent of pregnant women (according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) and as a result of the whoosh of hormones entering your body. There is no set prescription for dealing with it, but exercise actually helps and it is a case of seeing what works for you food wise. Although exercise may be the furthest thought from your brain, it can actually make you feel better, which may sound strange but if you can force yourself to get out, exercise will then help you to relax, get the oxygen moving around your body and improve circulation.
The other thing is eating. Again this may sound awful if you are feeling nauseous but nutrition can play a critical role in getting over morning sickness. Acid in an empty stomach can trigger more queasiness. Having healthy, good quality snacks containing vitamins and nutrients can settle your stomach.
Top Ten tips for dealing with morning sickness.
- Exercise – try a prenatal exercise class which will motivate you to get there, get your circulation going and take your mind off the nausea and your body distracted, relaxed and the circulation going.
- Vitamin B keeps off queasiness – crackers, whole-grain toast, cereals, brown rice, porridge oats, wheat germ and sweet potatoes are good choices.
- Vitamin K also helps ward of nausea – foods containing this vitamin are spinach, broccoli, green beans, and salad.
- Keep hydrated throughout the day; drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, weight is 80lbs; you need 80 ounces of fluids per day. Equivalent to four and half of the 500ml small mineral water bottles. Your fluid intake doesn’t have to be totally water, you can try herbal teas (tea pigs are my favourite – they do a particularly good camomile, which is safe for pregnancy). Aim to drink 2 glasses of water when you wake up as this replenishes fluids lost during the night. Add 1 to 2 granules of natural sea salt (not table salt) to your water to aid absorption into the muscle cells. Drink more on days you are exercising or in hot weather.
- Eating plenty of soups, fruits and vegetables also adds to your water intake, so you can drink less.
- Avoid forcing down large meals; eat several small meals throughout the day every 3 hours even just a cracker, oatcake or slice of toast will
- Try to avoid too much tea or coffee. Caffeine and tannins (in tea) aggravate nausea.
- Peppermint, Camomile and Ginger teas are very soothing for nausea. My favourite are Teapigs range
- Fatty foods are difficult to digest and irritate the intestines in your stomach. Starchy foods as sweet potatoes, brown rice, and brown pasta are easier to digest.
- Ask someone else to cook (and put your feet up!). Foods smells can make you feel worse so it’s often a good idea to get out of the kitchen and let someone else take over!
Bonus Tip! Get some fresh air just before eating – it’s really beneficial so you can go for a stroll to get your lunch if you’re at work.
If you go more than one day without being able to keep any food down or if the nausea does extend beyond thirteen weeks, I’d strongly recommend consulting your doctor.