Surviving Morning Sickness

Morning Sickness, the most annoying part about pregnancy. Lucky for me I did not suffer from severe morning sickness, but I have had a few friends and family members who had it bad. So why do we have morning sickness? And why do some women experience it worse than others? Morning sickness is a common condition of pregnancy — in fact, about three quarters of pregnant women suffer from nausea or vomiting during their first trimester, while others don’t seem to deal with it at all. Today I’m going to let all the soon to be mama’s in on a few of my tips and secrets. Hopefully it can help make your first trimester a bit easier.

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Now before we can learn how to treat morning sickness we first have to learn what causes it…

  1. Sensitivity to smells – Once pregnant certain aromas instantly trigger the gag reflex. My kryptonite was CHICKEN! OMG the smell of that stuff instantly sent me to the bathroom. It would make me so sick that my husband had to find a solution to help out his poor wife. And you know what helped? Cold Chicken/Food, he would tell me to eat food cold or at room temperature, because food tends to have a stronger aroma when it’s hot, and it made so much of a difference. Also he would open all the windows when we made dinner and that would help my sensitivity subside.
  2. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) –  This hormone rises rapidly during early pregnancy. No one knows how hCG contributes to nausea, but it’s a prime suspect because the timing is right: Nausea tends to peak around the same time as levels of hCG. What’s more, conditions in which women have higher levels of hCG, such as carrying multiples, are associated with higher rates of nausea and vomiting?
  3. Estrogen – This hormone rises rapidly during early pregnancy. Other rising hormones may also play a part as well.
  4. A Sensitive Stomach – Some women’s gastrointestinal tracts are simply more sensitive to the changes of early pregnancy.

Can morning sickness effect my baby? 

Mild to moderate nausea should not be a problem for you’re growing baby, so don’t be worried if you don’t gain weight or even lose weight during your first trimester. Just make sure you stay hydrated and can keep some food down. If nausea keeps you from eating a balanced diet just make sure to continue to take your prenatal vitamins to receive your daily nutrients.

If your nausea and vomiting are so severe that you can’t keep anything down, including water, juice, food, prenatal vitamins, or medications, you probably have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. If your situation is that severe, your doctor will most likely want to check you into the hospital and treat you with intravenous (IV) fluids and medications.

Tips for Fighting Morning Sickness: 

  • Snack on Crackers – first thing when you wake up have a glass of water and nibble on a few crackers, then rest for an additional 25 minutes or so before you get up. This helps you feel better in the morning, especially if you had a rough night.
  • Eat cold or room temperature foods – Food tends to have a stronger aroma when it’s hot.
  • Open Windows when cooking – You will be surprised how much of a difference it makes to your sensitive nose.
  • Ginger – Ginger has been known to help with nausea. Find a ginger ale made with real ginger or ginger candy or grate some fresh ginger into hot water and make ginger tea.
  • Peppermint – I have heard from a few friends that peppermint helped with their nausea more than ginger did. So try peppermint oil, candy or tea and see if it helps.
  • Fresh Air! – Open a window,  Go for a walk if possible. Fresh air is a lot better than a stuffy room.
  • Brush & Rinse – After eating brush and rinse out your mouth to get any bad taste out that may make you feel sick.
  • No laying down after eating – Avoid lying down after eating (especially on your left side), as this can slow digestion.
  • Eat Small Frequent Meals – Eat small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day so your stomach is never empty. Some women find that carbohydrates are most appealing when they feel nauseated, but one small study found that high-protein foods were more likely to ease symptoms. Whatever you eat, eat it slowly.
  • Avoid Fatty Foods – They take longer to digest. Also spicy, acidic, and fried foods (I know the struggle is real) Researchers recommend sticking to bland foods. (yuck)!

Ladies I hope this article helps you make it through these hard times. Don’t worry, you don’t have much longer left of this morning sickness drama and although it’s a pain once your baby arrives it will just become a memory that doesn’t even matter anymore.

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