Congratulations, you’re pregnant! If you found out pretty close to your missed period, you probably still feel like yourself, but the signs of pregnancy are about to creep up soon. And although things like morning sickness, tender breasts, and smell aversions aren’t the most pleasant part of pregnancy, they are a sign that your body is adapting, changing, and growing that sweet little one inside of you. So, even if you don’t feel 100%, remember, your first trimester is a crucial time of growth and development for your baby. It will all be worth it. Yes, even that pesky nausea.
Most pregnant women experience some level of morning sickness. I have had friends who feel a tinge of nausea off and on but never actually vomit and others who suffer through all three trimesters. You just never know! What you can do to prepare for pregnancy nausea is a bit of research that will help boost your parenting arsenal of morning sickness remedies.
With advice from obstetricians and gynecologists to midwives and fellow pregnant women who have weathered the morning sickness storm, here are a handful of ideas to implement when pregnancy has you feeling not so hot. Get ready for some tried and true morning sickness relief!
Get to Know Your Nausea Pattern
Well, that’s a fun thought, right? But it can help if you narrow down when your morning sickness seems to strike the worst—morning sickness doesn’t always strike in the morning. In fact, some expecting mamas report that it is actually worse in the evenings. So, take note of when you are most affected and implement your best remedies during that time of day to help relieve nausea.
Find Your Triggers
For me, it was the smell of cooking eggs or chicken. And dirty dishes in the sink. And my husband’s bar soap. Without question, those scents set me running to the bathroom. During pregnancy a woman’s sense of smell goes into hypermode and a simple whiff can trigger nausea like no other. Avoid them if you can and share these triggers with those close to you so they can be aware.
Swap Meals for Snacks
Many pregnant women have found that nausea during pregnancy can be combated by swapping meals for snacks. Each a few crackers immediately upon waking with a little water, get ready and then move on to a protein-rich breakfast that will sustain you for a bit. Come mid-morning slice a piece of fruit and nibble a few nuts, opt for a light lunch, and be sure to plan ahead for an afternoon snack. I like to keep a granola bar in my purse so I can take a bite or two as needed. At the end of the day, even when you are tired and ready to fall into bed, don’t skip dinner. Even a quick bowl of cereal can help settle a queasy stomach. And then, right before bed choose one last snack to help see you through the night.
As important as it is to eat often throughout the day, do not forget to drink water as well! Hydration is so important. Especially if you are emptying your stomach frequently. If water isn’t appetizing try eating ice chips. Popsicles, and other water-rich snacks like watermelon or soup broths can help too. Sparking water can also be great for queasy stomachs. Plus, those hydration nutrition pairs are a win-win when it comes to filling up on quality calories and staying hydrated.
Acupressure to the Rescue
Seabands are not just for motion sickness. Nope, they are an excellent option when it comes to pregnancy nausea too. These stretchy bracelets rest on your wrists and with a small plastic circle press on a key acupressure point that can help relieve nausea. At less than $10, they are definitely worth trying.
Try the “Magical” Vitamin
In addition to prenatal vitamins which provide a well-rounded cocktail of nutrients for you and your baby, it might be worth considering adding Vitamin B6 to your vitamin regimen. Talk to your OB/GYN or midwife to determine the best dose for you. Some care providers might also recommend pairing vitamin B6 with Unisom to alleviate the worst cases of morning sickness.
Use Your Sniffer
We all know that one mom who “has an oil for everything.” And, when it comes to morning sickness, she just might be right. Sniffing lemon, ginger, or peppermint essentials oils just might do the trick for you. So, pop one of those oils in your diffuser—or a special anti-nausea blend—and then carry the bottle in your pocket for a quick sniff-solution when you need to escape from a nausea-inducing smell. A calming essential oil can also be helpful if you have a job that requires prolonged use of a mask—you can spritz the inside of your mask to quell any nausea wearing the mask might bring.
Stock up on Ginger
It’s not just the smell of ginger that can help—eating ginger is known to relieve nausea too. Stock up on ginger ale, ginger snaps, ginger candies, and Pinterest some new ginger recipes like ginger muffins and ginger carrot soup.
Rest, and Then Rest Some More
Even though your baby is still super tiny, your body is already working overtime caring for them. That means you need rest…and lots of it. It might sound simple to combat pregnancy malaise with a nap, but giving your body the rest it deserves can help calm the queasiness. Never downplay the simple act of taking a nap or going to bed early. You need the rest more than ever right now.
Watch Your Temperature
Not the kind of temperature you take with a thermometer, but just generally how you feel. Heat is often a trigger for moms battle morning sickness so if you happen to be in your first trimester during the summer, aim to take walks outside in the early morning or late evenings. Consider investing in a portable air conditioning unit so you can hibernate in a cool room and avoid warm baths when nausea is at its peak.
During your bout with morning sickness you will no doubt find yourself in a precarious situation when a wave of nausea hits. Keep a barf bag (a plastic grocery bag is my go-to), spare toothbrush and toothpaste, a favorite calming scent, peppermint candies to suck on, and snacks in your purse so you’re prepared on the go.
Frequently Asked Questions
When does morning sickness start?
For most pregnant women, nausea during pregnancy begins around six weeks which is about half way through the first trimester. As for the time of day it can start, be warned, the nickname “morning sickness” is actually quite misleading. Pregnancy-induced nausea can actually strike at any time of day, and sometimes last all day.
How long does morning sickness last?
What’s the difference between morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum?
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a medical condition that occurs in a small number of women during pregnancy that’s marked by almost non-stop vomiting. It’s very serious and can lead to dehydration and even hospitalization. Normal morning sickness, on the other hand, while certainly uncomfortable, is not dangerous to you or your baby.
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Reviewed by Chaunie Brusie, RN, BSN…