Pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, can bring with it waves of unrelenting nausea and vomiting. While all of the causes are not clear it does appear that the extra hormones that are surging during this time contribute to the problem. Even though it is often referred to as “morning sickness” it can strike at any time of day and can for some women last past the first trimester. If you are experiencing these waves of nausea there are several things you can try at home that might alleviate the symptoms.
What Works to Stop Morning Sickness and How Can I Alleviate My Nausea?
Nausea during pregnancy can leave you feeling even more drained than you already are, so it is important to find ways to manage your symptoms and allow you to maintain healthy nutrition and enjoy this time.
Keep food in your stomach. There is a consistency with pregnancy related nausea in that it seems to be worse when you have an empty stomach. Try to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day in order to avoid the hills and valleys of three regular meals and hunger in between. Dry crackers seem to be an old standby, but if you find a different food that calms your stomach, try to keep that on hand. If you become nauseated right away when you stand in the morning, try keeping a few crackers and a bottle of water by your bed so that you can get something in your stomach before rising out of bed.
- Keep hydrated with water but don’t drink too much at one time or you can end up feeling nauseated from the bloated feeling.
- Avoid greasy and fatty foods because they typically cause nausea to become worse.
Open a window and let in some fresh air. For many women their sense of smell is what triggers their most severe bouts of pregnancy related nausea. If this is your experience, keep a window open when possible and avoid using seasoning or spices in your cooking that trigger your nausea. Change your cleaning products, hair and makeup products, and even your laundry soaps as needed to perfume-free versions – if only for those first few months.
Talk vitamins with your doctor. Prenatal vitamins contain a high dose of iron, which can aggravate your nausea. Talk with your physician about changing the nutrient doses in your vitamin or about taking a B-16 supplement of up to 25 mg/day if your doctor thinks it is safe. When you take your vitamin, be sure to do so with a light snack later in the afternoon, and try sucking on hard candy right after you take it.
Learn the power of ginger. Ginger is a natural calmer for nausea. Try drinking ginger ale, adding shavings of fresh ginger to your tea (you can buy fresh ginger in most major grocery stores or in health food shops), or taking it in a supplement form.
For most women nausea and vomiting will subside after the first trimester. If at any time you experience severe vomiting or become dehydrated, contact your physician right away. There are medical options your doctor might want you to explore for the health of your baby.