Coping with Morning Sickness
Nausea and vomiting are awful but common side effects of pregnancy, affecting around 70-80% of pregnant people.
While it’s often called ‘morning sickness’, pregnancy nausea can actually occur at any time of the day and unfortunately for some people, it’s seemingly constant. The queasy feeling has been likened to a constant hangover, with many mothers never actually being sick, some vomiting occasionally, and others vomiting more regularly. Like most things pregnancy-related, morning sickness affects everyone differently.
Morning sickness is typically worse during the first trimester, easing for most pregnant people at around 12-16 weeks.
Tips for coping with morning sickness
- Eat smaller meals more frequently – some people find that hunger makes their sickness worse.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Stay hydrated – take sips of water, lemonade or ginger ale if that makes you feel better.
- Suck on an ice block or ice cubes.
- Have a plain biscuit or dry cracker before you get up in the morning.
- Avoid smelling or eating foods that trigger your nausea – you’ll soon work out what foods make you sick so you can steer clear of them.
- Ginger can help calm nausea or an upset stomach – try ginger tea, ginger ale, non-alcoholic ginger beer, ginger chews, or ginger biscuits.
- Get some fresh air and go for a gentle walk.
- Some pregnant people find acupuncture or acupressure bands beneficial.
- Peppermint is regarded as a helpful remedy for alleviating nausea, either by chewing gum, sucking on mints, or when using the essential oil for aromatherapy.
Even if you are unable to eat, it’s important to keep drinking water.
Around 2% of pregnant people will experience a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) which is much more severe than typical morning sickness. Someone with HG may vomit multiple times a day. Symptoms may ease halfway through pregnancy or not until the baby is born.
Morning sickness can’t harm your pēpi but if you are feeling weak, dizzy, faint when you get up, are losing weight, not passing urine frequently, or experiencing excessive vomiting and unable to keep down food or water, then contact your doctor or midwife. There is a chance you could become dehydrated or malnourished. Your LMC can provide treatment options for controlling nausea and vomiting to ensure you are staying hydrated and getting adequate nutrition.