According to the American Medical Association, almost half of pregnant women have nausea and vomiting during their first trimester of pregnancy. This queasiness is commonly known as morning sickness since it tends to be worse early in the morning; however, many women suffer in the afternoon and evening too. Morning sickness is often relieved for most women around the third month of pregnancy, although some women find occasional nausea and vomiting lingers further into pregnancy. Although doctors aren't certain as to the exact cause of morning sickness, it is thought that hormone surges, changes in blood sugar, and increased stomach acids are to blame.
What can you do to allievate morning sickness?
- Don't forget to eat!: Eating several small meals during the day will often lessen nausea since nausea seems to be worse on an empty stomach. While it isn't always easy to eat the highly nutritious foods optimal for a pregnant woman, you need to do your best; try to eat foods high in carbohydrates and protein since they are easier to digest. Greasy, fatty foods may often worsen nausea, so pick your meals and snacks wisely.
- Start Slowly: Allow yourself some extra time to get started in the morning.
- Moving around slowly helps some women avoid getting sick. It may also help too.
- Keep some crackers by your bed; eating something bland twenty to thirty minutes before you get up may alleviate nausea.
- What's that smell?: To their dismay, many women find the extra keen sense of smell that can accompany pregnancy worsens their morning sickness, and foods with strong odors aggravate their nausea. If this is true for you, it may help to have someone else do the grocery shopping and/or the cooking for awhile.
- Ginger: Ginger is an old-fashioned remedy that works for some expecting moms. Try munching on a gingersnap when nausea strikes or sipping a cup of ginger tea.
- The Vitamin Shuffle: Those prenatal vitamins can really do a number on the stomach. If you've got this problem you may want to mention it to your doctor or midwife; perhaps she wouldn't mind you taking your vitamin just before bed so you can sleep through its side-effects. You may also want to take your vitamin with food. Some physicians will also prescribe an extra dose of vitamin B-6 to help with nausea. Be sure to talk to your health care provider before taking extra vitamins.
- Relax: This is sometimes easier said than done (especially for women with children!) but it's important to give your body plenty of rest (and release from stress) during pregnancy.
A final note: If you find that you are throwing up so often that you can't hold anything down, it is important to talk to your doctor or midwife.
While this problem, known as hyperemesis gravidarum, is serious, it can be treated.