Morning Sicknessby Katlyn Joy | November 2, 2010 12:00 AM
Most pregnant women deal with nausea, and up to one-third suffer with vomiting. While it's referred to as morning sickness, it can happen any time of day. It usually appears by week 6, and thankfully disappears in 80 percent of women by week 12. For the unlucky other 20 percent, it may go on longer perhaps even until they give birth.
Cause of Morning Sickness
While the precise cause of morning sickness is unknown, it's believed to be all those hormones surging through a pregnant woman's system, along with drops in blood sugar. However, fatigue and stress can increase morning sickness symptoms. Those carrying more than one baby also tend to have worse cases of morning sickness.
While it's hard to be too comforted while clutching the toilet, the upside is that morning sickness is often seen as a sign of a pregnancy that's developing well. So while you may feel like you are inhabited by aliens, take heart, things are actually probably progressing just as they should despite how horrid you actually feel now.
Ways to Combat Morning Sickness
Many alternative therapies are supposed to help pregnant women struggling with morning sickness. These may include acupuncture, homeopathy, massage therapy, aromatherapy or hypnotherapy. However, you should never try any of these, no matter how safe they sound, without the advice and OK of your physician. Certain things particularly herbal medicines may be safe for most people, but dangerous to a developing fetus or a pregnant woman.
Rest. This is a key to fighting morning sickness. Fatigued women suffer more from nausea so nap as necessary and ensure that you get a good night's sleep regularly. When you get up in the morning, do so gradually. If you're used to jumping out of bed at the last minute and racing to the shower, you need to alter your morning routine greatly. Set the alarm earlier and sit up v-e-r-y slowly. Nibble some saltine crackers and stay still for at least several minutes. Taking some extra time to rise at a reduced pace can save time in the long run.
De-stress and relax. Emotional angst, stressful situations and being tightly wound are all morning sickness boosters. To fight these causes, identify any regular stressors in your life and find solutions to them. Take a few minutes throughout the day to just breathe deeply. Try some gentle stretches or yoga poses for pregnant women, and learn simple meditation techniques. Learning to say no to over-scheduling can be a huge help, too.
Fresh air. Getting too warm can increase morning sickness, and certain smells are liable to make you quite nauseated also so make sure you have plenty of fresh air and good ventilation. Of course, smoke is not good for you or baby, but it's also likely to make you feel sick too. If meal preparation sends you running for the bathroom, consider getting some help with meals for several weeks. Your partner should be able to pitch in at least for awhile. Sniffing lemons or ginger can also be helpful in fighting morning sickness.
Eat what sounds good. Yes, the best thing is a healthy balanced diet however in the rough patch of weeks of morning sickness eat whatever you can manage to swallow. If you can get a handful of chips into your system, you'll also be more likely to eat something healthy later.
Eat small meals every couple hours. Aim for never being too full or having too empty a stomach. Small meals are much easier to handle. Drink though out the day but try to not have any liquids with your meals.
Talk to your doctor about your prenatal vitamin if it seems a problem. Sometimes just taking them with an evening meal will help, but some people need a combination without iron. Occasionally, women stop taking everything but folic acid for a limited time.
Talk to your doctor about vitamin B6 supplements. If all else fails, this may just improve things for you but talk to your physician before taking any supplement.Food Tips
- Eat protein rich snacks before bedtime to help keep your blood sugar up.
- Increase iron rich foods such as meats, eggs, dried fruit and leafy green vegetables.
- Try different temperatures. Sometimes people prefer warm foods to cold or visa-versa.
- Boost your carbohydrate intake, with things like brown rice, dry toast or baked potatoes.
- Avoid rich, greasy or fatty foods.
Foods to Try for Fighting Morning Sickness
Chips, pretzels, pickles, lemonade, peanut butter, apple slices, broth, celery, gelatin, popsicles, ginger ale, sparkling water or watermelon.Katlyn Joy is a freelance writer, and just graduated with a Master's of Arts in Creative Writing. She is mom to seven children, and lives in Denver, Colorado.
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