Morning Sickness

What are some ways to alleviate morning sickness?

Morning sickness is one of the most common, and sometimes most debilitating experiences of early pregnancy. Women's experiences of morning sickness are wide ranging, from those who vomit everyday to those who don't even feel slight nausea. But it is perfectly normal for a woman to experience some nausea and vomiting during the first three months of her pregnancy. Although it is called morning sickness it can effect women throughout the day.

Some of the best ways to alleviate the symptoms are also the simplest.

  • Avoid smells that make you nauseous. Because of increased estrogen levels pregnant women are particularly sensitive to smells. Having your partner cook can help.
  • Eat small helpings of bland carbohydrates or fruits all day, e.g. crackers, bread, potatoes, bananas, rice, or applesauce. It might be difficult to digest raw vegetables, dairy, or meat. So start bland and work yourself up through veggies to something heavier if you are feeling better.
  • Fatigue has been shown to make nausea worse, try to get more rest by taking a nap or having a friend take the kids for an hour.
  • If nothing is appealing, try cereal with milk or a piece of sweet fruit like a banana. Some other foods that don't seem so repulsive to women with morning sickness are: pretzels, salty chips, pickles, lemonade, celery, brown rice, mashed potatoes, fruity popsicles, apples and noodles.
  • Drink ginger tea or ginger ale, which helps to settle the stomach and stop queasiness. There is some question though over what effect large doses of ginger has on a fetus, so avoid the higher doses of ginger found in pills.
  • Suck on hard candy.
  • Take small sips of room temperature water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Water are better tolerated this way. Other fluids are OK as long as they don't contain caffeine, acid (like orange or tomato juice), or carbonation.
  • Iron, common in pre-natal vitamins, upsets the stomach. They are better taken on a full stomach. So, take them with lunch or dinner or stop taking them altogether until you feel better.
  • Ask your doctor about wearing an acupressure wristband. Some studies have found that they offer relief, but the opinions are mixed. They can be found in most drugstores being sold to combat seasickness and might be worth a try.
  • If morning sickness is getting in the way of work, getting up earlier in proportion to the length of time one feels ill in the morning helps work performance. It does nothing for the morning sickness itself, rather it moves it to a timeframe when it is less disruptive.
  • There are also drugs available that are perfectly safe for the fetus, to help combat morning sickness. If none of these home remedies are relieving the symptoms ask your doctor about your options.

Morning sickness can be pretty awful without being a sign of an underlying complication. It is a sign of high progesterone levels and is associated with lower rates of spontaneous abortion.

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