Morning sickness. If you are like most moms, then those two words likely bring up cringe-worthy memories from your early months of pregnancy. For an unlucky few, those memories might have lasted well past those early months of pregnancy. For the expectant first time moms, don’t let morning sickness catch you off guard. This is the ultimate guide to what morning sickness is, when to expect it, and how to help keep it at bay. Let’s dive into it!
Morning Sickness? More like Everyday Sickness
For starters let’s get one thing straight. Morning sickness is not limited to the mornings only. Do not let the name fool you. If you are like the vast majority of women who go through pregnancy, be advised. Morning sickness can strike at any time, not just in the morning. Do not be surprised if you find yourself getting queasy during the afternoon or even evening as you are getting ready to go to bed.
What Exactly Is It?
A strange phenomenon happens once you get pregnant. At about five to six weeks into your pregnancy, you may start feeling a little nauseous and queasy. For some (incredibly lucky) women, the morning sickness is limited to just nausea and queasiness. But for other women, the nauseousness and vomiting can be so persistent that it becomes debilitating in severe cases.
What Causes Morning sickness?
While there is no one specific cause of morning sickness during pregnancy, there are some factors that contribute to it. The medical community often thinks that the increased hormone levels during the first few weeks of a pregnancy are what causes morning sickness. However, there are some additional factors that you should be aware of. The following factors can increase the severity of your morning sickness:
- Expecting more than one baby in your pregnancy.
- Being excessively fatigued.
- Not staying well hydrated.
- Experiencing elevated levels of stress.
- Traveling frequently or being in a position where your daily routine gets thrown off course.
Along with these known triggers, skipping meals or eating too much or eating too little can increase the risk and severity of your morning sickness.
How To Treat Your Morning Sickness
Morning sickness can be incredibly annoying and uncomfortable. In severe cases, it can be downright debilitating. The good news is there are some treatment methods available that can work wonders. Let’s go over some of the natural home remedies that you can start making a part of your daily habit to keep the morning sickness at bay. In extreme cases, there are also different medical interventions that can help you deal with your morning sickness. We will go over some of the medical options as well.
1. Ginger Ale And Crackers
Believe it or not, the classic Ginger Ale and crackers remedy can work wonders. Staying hydrated is one of the most important habits when you are pregnant. If you are having a hard time keeping fluids down, then try on Ginger Ale for size. The natural ginger in Ginger Ale can help soothe your stomach and calm it down.
The fizzy bubbles may even help alleviate your upset stomach as well. For a little more solids in your diet, keep a bag of crackers handy at all times. We suggest Saltine crackers because the salt can help calm your stomach down too. When you’re drinking the Ginger Ale, be sure to take small sips instead of big gulps to keep any triggers at bay. The same goes for the crackers. Take small bites and chew them thoroughly so that you can be sure your food is going down smoothly.
2. Keep Some Snacks Handy By Your Bedside
You don’t have to be pregnant to know that an empty stomach is not a happy stomach. This is especially true if you are pregnant. When you wake up in the morning, try and put a little something in your belly before you get started with your day. If crackers have been doing the trick for you, then keep a couple of Saltine crackers or Ritz crackers by your bedside table.
When you wake up in the morning, take a couple of bites but don’t entirely get out of bed just yet. You want to give your body 5 to 10 minutes to digest the food before you start moving around. Eating a quick snack gives your stomach a chance to have something in it before you get your day started.
3. Stay Away From Strong Odors
In pregnancy everything is heightened, this especially applies to your sense of smell. Believe it or not, pleasant smells like home fragrances and perfumes might be lovely when you’re not pregnant but can become utterly repulsive when you are pregnant. Some expectant mothers have even confessed that the scent of their husbands have become utterly repulsive once they became pregnant.
You’ll soon start to figure out what smells are pleasant and what smells are absolutely repugnant to you when the morning sickness hits. Do yourself a favor and try to stay as far away from the unpleasant odors as you can. Certain odors can trigger the nauseousness and make getting through the day that much more difficult.
4. Eat smaller, More Frequent Meals
Ditch the three-course meals. Instead, split up your meals for the day into six small meals. Eating too much is one of the things that can be unpleasant for your stomach when you are pregnant. Most commonly, your body will respond by having you feel queasy and eventually throwing up. Do yourself a favor and cut up your meals into smaller portions. If you don’t have the luxury of taking it easy and being at home during your pregnancy, then here’s a simple trick.
Keep healthy snacks packed in Ziploc bags and throw them into your purse when you are getting ready to go out. This way, you always have a snack handy throughout the day. Remember, eat small meals throughout the day and snack often as opposed to sitting down and having a full course meal.
5. Avoid Spicy Food
Spicy food is one of the greatest gifts on our planet. But if you want to get through your morning sickness, you may want to put those spicy nachos down. Spicy food has a way of getting your stomach excited. And when you are suffering from morning sickness, that is the last thing you want your stomach to do. Save the spicy food for month nine when you really want to get your contractions to get going.
6. Avoid Fatty Foods And Fried Foods
Fatty foods and fried foods are not good for you regardless of whether you’re pregnant or not. If you are trying to keep the morning sickness at bay, then ditch fatty foods and fried foods.
7. Take Your Prenatal Vitamins At Night
For a lot of women, prenatal vitamins can be a massive trigger for morning sickness. While skipping your vitamins is not the best option, there is a simple trick. Instead of taking your vitamins in the morning or throughout the day, try taking your vitamins at night. When your stomach does decide to get unruly after you have taken your prenatal at night, you are most likely be able to sleep through it instead of suffer through it.
8. Stay Hydrated
It is imperative that you stay hydrated throughout your pregnancy. Staying hydrated gives you the energy you need, it helps your skin feel refreshed and moisturized, and it just makes you feel better overall. Not only that, but the toll that pregnancy takes on your body needs to be repaired with proper hydration. Instead of taking big gulps of water, keep a water bottle with you throughout the day and drink small regular sips. Taking small sips will give your belly the chance to welcome fluids instead of rejecting fluids.
9. Take A Nap
Taking naps will not only temporarily relieve your morning sickness, but it will help your body heal. If you are experiencing morning sickness with nausea and vomiting, then you are losing a lot of vitamins and nutrients. On top of that, it takes a toll on your body to be continuously throwing up throughout the day. When you take a nap, you give your body the ability to repair and rejuvenate itself. Find 20 minute time slots throughout your day so you can give yourself a break and take a much-needed nap.
10. Stick With Bland Foods
Your palate is going to get a little bored as you fight off morning sickness in your pregnancy. To keep the nauseousness at bay, it is best to stick with bland foods. Plain yogurt, crackers, cheese, toast, and whole wheat cereal will be your best bet for keeping your stomach settled. Especially in the morning when you are getting your day started.
11. Medical intervention
For extreme cases of morning sickness, you may want to visit your doctor. If natural home remedies do not help alleviate the pain of morning sickness, then there are different types of medical interventions such as Zofran, phenothiazine, and vitamin B-6 supplements you can take. Studies have also shown that antihistamines can help with nausea and motion sickness.
Risks And Complications
In extreme cases, your typical morning sickness can turn into a very severe condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum. Hyperemesis gravidarum can be severe if not treated. If you are unable to keep down any food or any fluids, then you must visit your doctor immediately. Your doctor can provide additional medicines to help keep the morning sickness at bay. Some of these measures include prescribing anti-nausea medication such as Zofran. If you are unable to retain any fluids, then you may need to be set up with saline IV drip to get your fluids intravenously.
The stinky news is that morning sickness is just one of the many annoyances that come with pregnancy. The good news is that in most cases morning sickness runs its course through the first trimester and then slowly disappears. If you are one of the unlucky ones that experiences morning sickness throughout the entire ready of your pregnancy, know this. Nine months of nausea and vomiting is a small price to pay for the little bundle of joy that you will meet at the end of the journey. Good luck!