Morning sickness, all day sickness, evening sickness, hits-you-on-the-spot sickness....this is the not so lovely stage of pregnancy that most women will encounter on their way to motherhood. It's a time no one looks forward too, although it may bring comfort for some moms, since it might be the only sign or symptom of their pregnancy in the beginning stages. Unfortunately, you'll most likely deal with some form of "morning sickness" during your pregnancy, but sometimes there are things you can do to relieve it, or lessen the severity.
As always, please check with your provider before altering or making changes to your diet, and to discuss your specific dietary needs. If you are unable to keep anything down or are losing weight - check with your provider. You may be experiencing the most severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy which is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which occurs in roughly 3% of all pregnancies, according to ACOG. You may also want to ask your provider about doing some lab tests to check and see if there are any deficiencies or conditions that could be causing you to feel unwell.
10 Tips for Surviving Morning Sickness
1) Keep lemons on hand - Lemons can help clear away nauseating smells, and you may be able to quell nausea by placing slices in your water, or even sucking on a wedge. You can also place a slice or a tissue with fresh lemon juice on it in a little bag. If you are away from home when the nausea hits or you smell something particularly foul, hold the bag under your nose and breathe deeply.
2) REAL ginger ale - There are plenty of options for buying ginger ale but many of them only contain ginger "flavoring" which might not be as effective as fresh ginger. There's a brand I really love called Reed's Ginger Brew and it's made with fresh ginger and contains no preservatives or GMO's like some other brands. You also might be able to find it in other flavors near you (in case you are like me and don't fancy ginger ale) including "extra ginger", "raspberry ginger", "cherry ginger", and "spiced apple ginger". Other ideas for ginger foods are: ginger chews, ginger gum, ginger tea(made with hot water and a fresh ginger root is best!).
4) Go with what you want, within reason - Sometimes you are so nauseated almost nothing sounds appealing, except for foods that aren't so optimal in the nutritious department. When you find yourself struggling to eat, the fact is, it's better to eat something than nothing. Do your best, but if you catch yourself choosing to eat nothing at all in an effort to only eat wholesome foods, just remember that an empty stomach will only cause more nausea, further reducing the chance that you'll feel well enough to eat something healthy anytime soon, as well as reduce the nutrients you and your baby are receiving.
5) Eating foods high in protein- During pregnancy, your needs for protein increase, and if you are struggling to eat enough it may contribute to morning sickness. Eating foods high in protein may help curb or prevent nausea. For further reading on how to incorporate more protein into your diet visit this page.
6) A little planning goes a long way - Taking a few minutes to eat or pack a light snack before you run errands or leave the house can make or break your day. Consider it practice for when you're juggling nap-times and feeding times, and you'll need to eat to keep up your strength after baby is born(and will be especially important if you are breastfeeding). Right before you leave have a light meal or snack; this way you'll have something in your stomach while you're out and about, so if you lose track of time you'll still be covered.
7) Stock up on the goods - Stockpile quick, healthy snacks that you can eat at a moment's notice. You'll be more likely to snack more often, and maybe even prevent nausea before it starts. An empty pantry means you won't have anything to grab when you start to get hungry, and reduces the chances you'll be successful at keeping something in your stomach.
8) Eating low-smell foods- When you cook food it will often produce smells that don't agree with your pregnancy nose. Not only can it spark nausea, it can linger in the house and make you feel queasy all day. Cook meals that are not likely to leave a strong smell in the house, or better yet, choose meals that don't require cooking at all! You can also throw a meal in the crockpot and cook it outside so you don't have to smell it brewing all day. Better yet, enlist family or friends to help provide meals once in a while to help provide you with some relief.
9) Fresh/cool air - Go outside if the weather permits! Going for a short walk and breathing fresh air can do wonders for lingering nausea. If nausea hits suddenly and you have access to a fan, let the cool air blow on your face. Warm stuffy areas can make nausea worsen.
10) Check your prenatal vitamin - Your prenatal vitamin might be causing you nausea, or exacerbating it. If you think this might be the case, you might want to consider discussing with your provider, and a qualified nutritionist how to meet your needs through diet and possibly other supplementation.
Unfortunately, there's no telling if/which foods or tricks will help with nausea during your pregnancy, even if they helped when you were pregnant previously. Through trial and error you will hopefully discover some things that work for you, and help bring some relief and comfort through this difficult stage of pregnancy(or if you're one of the very unlucky ones, your entire length of pregnancy).