12 Ways to Help Your Morning Sickness
Even though I am already a mom and my pregnancy days seem to be long gone, I decided to have a section in my blog about pregnancy. Why? Because I believe that we become parents much earlier than we first hold the baby in our hands. It all starts from that moment when we find the blue line on the strip or hear the news from our doctor.
We first saw Joshua when he was just 11 weeks and 6 cm in size! My eyes were filled with tears of joy seeing this tiny little miracle. He was moving his arms and legs and we could see his heart beating on the screen. And then as if he felt we were watching him, he suddenly startled and jumped in there! At that moment we were the happiest and excited parents in the world.
Pregnancy as we very well know is a period of joy and challenges. One of the side effects of being pregnant is morning sickness. Well in my case it was all day long sickness! It used to start early morning and last till I close my eyes for the night. I could barely eat anything. So you can imagine how desperately I wanted to find some relief from it! During that time I have come across lots of good tips from my midwife, doctor and other moms on how to help with morning sickness. Therefore I would like to share it with you. Before we get there, let’s first have a look at what morning sickness is and why expectant mothers experience it.
What is morning sickness and why do pregnant women get it?
Morning sickness is a term used to describe nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. It is a bit misleading though, giving you impression that nausea is troubling ladies only in the mornings. Well that’s what I thought when I got pregnant. The truth is though it can start at any time in the day and can last either for a short time or even a few hours. And in my case it was more or less throughout the day. Also it could be just nausea or being sick as well. According to the NHS, around half of all pregnant women experience vomiting, and more than 80% of women (80 out of 100) experience nausea in the first 12 weeks
Why do we get morning sickness? Nobody really knows the answer to this question. The theory is that it has to do with the hormonal changes in our body at the start of the pregnancy.back to menu ↑
When does morning sickness start and how long does it last?
Morning sickness usually starts around the 6th week of pregnancy and clears up by the 14th week. Most women experience some relief by the 12th-14th week, and for some it may continue till the 16th -20th week. I was one of those who had it till week 18 and I remember I was counting days for it to be over.back to menu ↑
I didn’t get morning sickness – is this normal?
Though morning sickness is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms, not every woman gets it. It is absolutely normal to go through pregnancy and never experience nausea. Therefore if you are among those lucky ones you should not be worried or concerned. Instead take the opportunity and enjoy the taste of all the good and nutritious foods you can treat yourself and your little baby to!back to menu ↑
How to help your morning sickness? Are there any treatments for it?
However unpleasant this temporary sickness is, we should not forget that it is not some sort of illness or disease that it should be treated with medicine. It is just a natural way our bodies respond to the changes we experience during pregnancy. Also it is a pleasant reminder that a little joy is living inside you. She or he is too small for you to feel yet, but because of all the symptoms you can be rest assured that he or she is happily growing in there. That being said, there still are ways to ease the morning sickness. As I mentioned before, I have come across and tried quite a few tips and here I would like to share it with you dear moms:back to menu ↑
A Light Snack Before Getting Up
If you are like me and are used to jump out of the bed quickly, you should now slow down and take your time. Try to eat a small snack like a biscuit or a toast before getting up so that your stomach would not be empty.back to menu ↑ back to menu ↑
Light but Frequent Meals
No matter how difficult it is to force yourself to eat when you are feeling nauseous and have no appetite, you still have to do it. Living on empty stomach will only make nausea worse. On the other hand frequent light snacks or meals will ensure that you get those essential vitamins and nutrition during the day and will keep your tummy a bit more settled. After all this effort is not for us but for those little babies! And they need their moms to be healthy and fit!back to menu ↑ back to menu ↑
Salty, Savoury foods
Salt does miracles when it comes to feeling nauseous. It helps to ease that sick feeling and helps you regain some of the lost appetite as well.back to menu ↑ back to menu ↑
Even if you don’t like ginger much, it is definitely worth trying it when you are suffering from morning sickness. Ginger helps to soothe your upset stomach and improves your digestion as well. I used to drink a cup of ginger lemon tea in the morning. It also served me very well as a natural remedy for cold and sore throat during pregnancy and breastfeeding.back to menu ↑ back to menu ↑
Avoid Strong Smells
Have I not gone through this myself I would have neverbelieved that something as harmless as perfume or fabric softener can make one so sick – so much so that I had to stop using perfume for a while. I even asked my husband to spray his deodorant in the corridor just before leaving the house so that I would not have to run to the bathroom after smelling it. I changed the fabric softener brand to a less scented one. I used to dread going grocery shopping during those days because just the smell and sometimes just a look at the fresh meat department used to upset my gut. Oh and the beauty products department where the air is filled with the mix of different perfumes – oh dear! So if you are in the same boat as me – just do yourself a favour and avoid any contact with the smells that upset you.back to menu ↑ back to menu ↑
Do not Spend More Time in the Kitchen Than Needed
When you are feeling nauseous the last thing you want to see or think about is food. And yet if you are looking after family and/or other kids you have to spend some time cooking and preparing food. For me this was the most difficult part, as I had to make meals for me and my husband, who, lets say is not so skilled in cooking as I am. I recall rushing to the bathroom several times in the middle of some curry preparation. Even if you are the main chef in the house you can try reducing the number of times you prepare meals. Try to find foods that you can tolerate and eat, and this will ensure you can cook them easier as well. Stock your freezer with ready to eat meals for those days when you do not feel like cooking and yet have to keep your family happy and full. Both you and your spouse can have lunch from the office canteen so this will reduce the number of meals you have to prepare during the day. So avoid the cooking, but do not avoid the food. Do not try to skip meals. Empty stomach will only make things worse.back to menu ↑ back to menu ↑
If possible take some time off work or during breaks to have a walk in the fresh air. It may reduce the sick feeling and can even prevent you from vomiting. If you are in the car or in the bus and you start feeling nauseous get off at the next possible stop to breath in some air.back to menu ↑ back to menu ↑
Water or Sparkling Water
Many women who suffer from morning sickness lose lots of body fluids and minerals due to constant vomiting and food intolerance. Therefore it is very important to restore this balance and keep drinking water throughout the day. I tried to follow this rule however I realised that even tap water used to make me sick (where we live the tap water comes from natural springs and is very clean and safe to drink). So I resorted to the next best thing – bottled water and especially sparkling mineral water. Fizzy water really helped me a lot. So if you suffer from a severe case of nausea and cannot tolerate water like I did, you might find that sparkling mineral water can help. It also helps you to regain those vital minerals that you lose during sickness times.back to menu ↑ back to menu ↑
Avoid Sweet and Spicy Food
Sugars and spicy foods are more likely to upset your stomach and release acids that can also cause heartburn. So if you are already suffering from indigestion, avoiding sweets and hot dishes may do you good. Personally, I could not force myself to even look at a masala and curry during those days, which otherwise used to be part of my weekly menu.back to menu ↑ back to menu ↑
Plenty of Rest
One thing was true for me – you cannot feel nauseous if you are asleep. So I tried to go to bed early and get up as late as I could. Morning sickness (or all day long sickness) can be very exhausting so good rest also helps to cope with tiredness. At other times I found that lying position was better than sitting or standing. So you can stretch your legs on the sofa while watching TV or reading a book.back to menu ↑ back to menu ↑
On top of all the other things distracting yourself with different activities is a very good way to take your mind off the sickness. I remember finishing the entire series of my favourite detective serial in just a couple of weeks. The thrill of the story was so captivating that I used to almost forget about my nausea! So keep yourself occupied with something – work, hobby, family. The less you think about your condition, the less you feel the nausea.back to menu ↑ back to menu ↑
When I told my doctor that I can hardly keep any food in, she prescribed “Gaviscon” syrup to help the digestion. Gaviscon tablets have helped my husband a lot with his stomach problems so I counted on it to help me as well. Furthermore I heard good reviews from other moms to be. Now after trying it a couple of times I could say that it was a waste of time for me. The problem with it was that the taste was so strong and unpleasant that I used to throw up right after taking it.
Yet if nothing else helps it is wise to consult your doctor or midwife to see if they can prescribe some medication for you. But just like with any other medicine (prescribed or over the counter) you shouldn’t try it on your own without consulting your doctor first.
So that’s about the list of things that I came across while I was expecting. Feel free to share your experience and tips with me and other moms who might be reading this.
One more last thought to all of us who are going through the morning sickness – all this sickness and inconvenience is temporary and goes away eventually. Think of it as a nice reminder that your little one is happily growing there inside you.