It affects more than half of all pregnant women and can make the early months – and beyond – a misery.
Morning sickness (or all day and night sickness if you’re unlucky) can be much worse than a few months of nausea, and while we know it’s worth it for our sweet bundles of loveliness, we’re all for trying to make it better.
You might not be able to cure morning sickness completely, but here are a few tips to make it more bearable.
1. Visit your doctor
Depending on how you feel about taking medication while pregnant, talk to your doctor and see what is safe and available. You might have to try a few different tablets before finding the right ones, and it might not take the sickness away completely, but it could help significantly.
2. Try ginger
This doesn’t work for everyone, but some mums-to-be swear by the fire of ginger. You can buy it in biscuit form, hard candies, chewable sweets (sometimes mixed with other flavours, like peppermint), tea, capsules… the list goes on.
3. Or, try ice
If the heat of ginger doesn’t work for you – or actually makes it worse – try something cooling instead. Ice pops for breakfast, crushed ice in smoothies, anything icy cold can soothe your stomach for a little while. If you can’t face drinking, you could freeze drinks into ice cubes and suck those too.
4. Keep hydrated
It’s a vicious circle; you feel terrible because you’re not drinking, but anything you drink comes back up. However, it’s very important to keep hydrated and dehydration will only make you feel worse. You could try electrolyte drinks such as Lucozade Sport (small sips, or freeze it into ice cubes to suck), or some people find flat Coke easier to swallow. If you really can’t keep any fluids down, visit your doctor to see if you’re dehydrated and need IV fluids.
5. Try heartburn remedies
The acid of heartburn can add to the horrible nauseous feeling as early as the first trimester. Check with your midwife or doctor about taking Gaviscon tablets or liquid, Zantac or another antacids medication.
6. Max your protein
Part of the horrible nauseous feeling is your stomach being empty. Try boosting the protein content of your food to keep you fuller for longer. Ideas include adding Greek yoghurt to a smoothie, or nibbling at a protein bar. Take small sips or bites, and often.
7. Eat things that are easy to throw up
Sometimes, no matter what you do, if your morning sickness is that bad then you will throw up anyway. Learn which food and drinks taste the least offensive coming back up. I swore by pre-made pots of jelly for breakfast, ice pops and Lilt.
Some people swear by acupuncture for morning sickness. Your practitioner will choose points based upon your symptoms. Look on the British Acupuncture Society’s website to find a practitioner near you.
9. Wear travel sickness bands
Like acupuncture but without the needles. These bands apply continuous pressure on acupressure points on your wrists to ease the feeling of nausea.
9. Smell citrus fruits
You’re out and about and a smell – that probably no one else can actually smell at all – hits you hard. Carry a citrus fruit, such as an orange or lemon, around in your pocket or handbag and sniff it when needed. The fragrance of the fruit helps block out whatever is disgusting you and quashes the queasiness.
10. Wear a loose fitting bra/clothes
Just the sensation of a bra digging into your stomach can be unsettling. Get measured for a maternity bra, and opt for something that doesn’t dig in underneath.
11. Suck a small, sour sweet
When the gagging sensation hits, sometimes sucking hard on something small and sour can quash it. I liked Rowntrees Fruit Gums, Preggie Pops and sour, lemon candies.
12. Eat before getting up
Some people swear by eating something small and plain – such as a cracker, or a plain biscuit – before they get out of bed. If you find something that works, keep a pack of it on your bedside table so you can nibble through the night as well as in the morning.
13. Carry zip-sealable bags and empty cups – with lids – in your car
If you’re prone to vomiting during pregnancy, have something on hand to catch it. Anything sealable works; Tupperware with a lid, disposable zip-seal bags or empty hot drinks cups with lids (fabulous for the car).
14. Try Vitamin B6
Some studies have suggested that taking Vitamin B6 can reduce nausea – but not vomiting – in pregnant women.
Good luck! And we hope you feel better soon!
Discuss with your doctor or midwife before trying any medication while pregnant