Feelings of nausea or ‘morning sickness’ are very common during the first trimester. Pregnancy nausea can start as early as six weeks and tends to peak around the eighth and ninth weeks. Typically, pregnancy nausea will ease up and diminish, or disappear altogether after 12 to 14 weeks.
Although the symptoms of morning sickness are common, there are many ways to ease your discomfort. In this blog post we will share strategies you can use to help you feel better during these early weeks of pregnancy.
Here’s some helpful tips on what to try:
- Cleanse your palate with fresh smells: often, a smell can trigger morning sickness. Counteract the reaction by smelling something clean and fresh like lemon or rosemary. It’s also helpful to breathe outdoor, fresh air.
- Stay hydrated during this time, especially if you are experiencing vomiting. If you are having trouble keeping liquids down, start with some ice chips to help your body adjust to accepting liquids. You can also try munching on a small amount of salty snacks like chips, to trigger a thirst response. Avoid tepid or room temperature beverages – as they can trigger nausea – stick with cold or hot.
- Find your ‘magic foods’! Through trial and error, you will discover a few ‘go-to’ foods to keep on hand at all times during these weeks. For some women, it might be saltine crackers or pretzels, others navigate to fresh fruits or frozen treats. Whatever it is, keep that magic food on hand or in your fridge so that when nausea strikes, you can start eating and feeling better soon.
- Eat frequently. Try smaller, more frequent meals spaced out throughout the day to help avoid an empty stomach which can aggravate morning sickness. This may take some planning ahead depending on your schedule.
- Try ginger! Ginger is known as a natural way to combat nausea. A handful of crystallized ginger candy, gingersnaps, gingerbread, or ginger tea, are all good options to try for relief of your symptoms.
- Add a little carbonation. Sparkling water or ginger ale can be very effective ways to calm an upset stomach
Food aversions during pregnancy
During pregnancy, some of your formerly favorite foods or drinks may now send you running for the hills. You used to be a java addict, but now the smell of coffee is just too much to take! Mom-to-be, you’re experiencing food aversions, and that is also a normal part of the pregnancy experience for many women.
How to deal?
The first rule when dealing with food aversions during pregnancy is to remember to give yourself a break! Don’t stress over it, and remember, this is TEMPORARY! Your body is working hard, and you are entitled to a little extra fuss when it comes to finding food that tastes and smells good to you during this time. So, don’t be afraid to speak up about what is a good fit for you during these months.
Meat is a common food aversion for many pregnant women. Try to replace the protein in your diet with things like eggs, cheese, yogurt or nuts. Aim for a balanced diet that includes protein, dairy, healthy carbs, veggies and fruit.
Food aversions often go hand in hand with the morning sickness discussed above, so some of the same strategies will work to deal with both situations.
Eating small amounts of food frequently throughout the day is also a way to combat food aversions. As well, nibbling bland foods like saltine crackers can keep your stomach settled.
Finding something to keep on hand that soothes your tummy: like mints or hard candy. These will help you in a pinch, as well.
Remember to be flexible during this time, if there are only a handful of foods that ‘work’ for you right now, it’s ok to keep them on heavy rotation. Just be sure to stay in touch with your OB/Gyn and continue taking your recommended vitamins.
When to talk to your doctor
If your morning sickness causes severe, frequent vomiting, you will want to consult your doctor and be sure you are getting adequate hydration and nutrition. Also, your doctor will want to ensure you are taking in enough calories to nourish your body and your baby’s growing body. Morning sickness that extends past the first trimester is another thing to mention and discuss with your doctor. She will have some ideas and methods to help you get through the discomfort and receive the nourishment you need.
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