Tips for Combatting Morning Sicknessby Sarah Hurst
Morning sickness…its that thing that you think happens when you’re pregnant…to let you know that you’re pregnant…where you throw up in the morning and then get on with the rest of your newly pregnant day – yes??
Let me tell you, from one mom who KNOWS (me, by the way) to anyone who will listen (because let’s be honest, the only thing you can really do is moan about it!) here are a few things about ‘morning sickness’ you may not have realized:
- It doesn’t just happen in the morning
- It can happen ALL DAY
- And all night
- It’s not just at the start of your pregnancy
- It can actually last ALL pregnancy
- But usually up to about 20 weeks on average
- 12 if you’re lucky
- It doesn’t always make you BE sick
- Sometimes you just feel like you’re constantly on the verge of being sick
- Or it can make you wretch loudly
- Sometimes in front of small children you teach
- Who say things like, “errr Mrs H, wa’ you jus’ gonna be sick on my ‘ed then??”
- It may just be the single biggest reason you decide never to get pregnant again.
- Even though you do
- Then vow (again) never to get pregnant again
Morning sickness can be truly debilitating – it can be on the same level as stomach flu or food poisoning and its one of those things that people don’t really understand unless they’ve been through it themselves. I ENVIED the moms who didn’t get it…the ones who sailed through their pregnancy feeling on top of the world! I couldn’t walk at the end of my pregnancy due to PGP/SPD, my legs popped out of my hips and I had intense pressure and pain continuously, but I’d still rather do that part of it than the morning sickness bit. There isn’t really a cure if you are managing it yourself, but here are some of the things that helped me:
Eating little and often: Plain foods such as crackers, toast, pasta, noodles or those amazing Spanish tortillas you can buy are your best bet. Keep snacks on hand at all times and just nibble away to keep your sugar levels up – even if you don’t feel hungry. Make sure you are staying hydrated too – again, fairy sips as often as you can manage.
Getting plenty of rest: Morning sickness is DEFINITELY worse when you are tired! I had it much worse with my second because I also had a (non-sleeping) 2-year-old to take care of at the same time. Get an early night where possible and if you can’t rest during the day, just take some time out or put your feet up whenever you can. Remember, your body is doing a HUGE amount of work growing a baby.
Travel Sickness bands: These work on the same principle as when you have travel sickness, by using acupressure on certain pressure points in the wrist to help combat nausea. Definitely worth a try! I didn’t find them to be a cure but they definitely eased it a little.
Smelling menthol or peppermint: I found this out by accident when I was hanging over the side of my bed in a fog of nausea, I suddenly got a whiff of an old vapour plugin I had used when my son had a cold. It made me feel SO much better and so I would use the plug-ins at night and carry around a little pot of the snuffle babe rub to sniff during the day when the nausea got too much.
Take your prenatal vitamins at the right time: This is a big one. It took me ages to work out the link, and the trouble is, you really do need to take your prenatal vitamins so cutting them out isn’t an option. Some brands affected me more than others and I found the best way to combat this was to take the vitamins before bed, after lining my stomach. Don’t take them in the morning on an empty stomach – it is a sure-fire way to guarantee nausea, whether you are pregnant or not…
Taking ginger: This works for some and not for others. There are lots of different options – ginger tea, fresh ginger, ginger capsules and even ginger chews. Eventually, I started to associate the taste of ginger with feeling sick and so it made me feel worse, but this one is definitely worth a go.
Stay away from strong smells: strong cooking smells were the worst! We have an open plan kitchen and I always felt sick whenever I was in there. Try keeping the windows open when cooking or asking your other half to hold the fort in that department for a while! Another culprit can be strong perfumes, petrol, paint or smoke…all good things to stay away from when pregnant anyway! There’s usually a reason our bodies dislike those smells when we are pregnant!
Of course, if your morning sickness becomes so unmanageable you are struggling to keep water down and become dehydrated, you may be suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum – this is a serious medical condition and requires attention to keep you healthy. Don’t delay in seeing your healthcare provider if your condition becomes this serious.
Do you have any other remedies for morning sickness that you swore by?