“I had horrible morning sickness with both my pregnancies. The first continued until about 5 months but thankfully this one stopped at 13 weeks on the nose. Both times it could be triggered by everything (smells, tastes, sights!) and came at all times of the day including morning! Some things worked for a few weeks, then I had to find something new to try.” Alice
About 50-90% of expectant mothers say coping with morning sickness is one of the biggest challenges of early pregnancy. It seems to hit a peak at around nine to 10 weeks and generally starts to improve after the 14-week mark. Nobody really knows what causes it, but some experts think high levels of circulating hormones are the trouble makers.
Even if your first pregnancy was a breeze, your second might be completely different. What’s worse, what helped in another pregnancy might be worthless this time around. Trial and error is the only way to discover what works for you.
Who said it was just the morning?
They lied. It can last all day, it can begin in the middle of the afternoon – or happen at completely random times, depending on what you see, smell or eat. It can cause headaches.
Blame the Blood-Sugar
One possibility is that morning sickness, especially if you have it in the morning, may be because you have low blood sugar. Eat a high protein snack before bed. When you get up to pee in the middle of the night, snack on a handful of nuts or a cheese stick. When you wake up, keep some crackers and peanut butter by your bed so you can eat something while still lying down.
Keep it cold
Sometimes the colder the food or beverage is, the better. If water isn’t cutting it, try alternatives like smoothies or citrus fruits. Very ice cold water with a bit of lemon or lime, or a weakly brewed tea with lemon can also help. Frozen (sugar-free) fruit juice pops or crushed ice with 100% juice may taste good.
I know, I know, make a decision. But if keeping things cold doesn’t work, try the opposite. Hot soups and broth, hot tea sometimes work.
It’s really, really hard to throw up when you’re sleeping. Your body needs extra time to recuperate and it’s tough to sleep all night, so rest when you can.
Stop the stress
Or at least try to minimize it. Stress is bad for you and baby, and it can trigger nausea. Get as much emotional support as you need to stay healthy and happy.
Avoid the aromas
Whatever smells turn your stomach – make somebody else deal with them if you can. Your toddler’s diapers, your dog’s poop or even the kitchen trash can all stimulate nausea. If you are out and about and a smell makes you want to hurl, whip out a baggie holding cotton balls with a few drops of lavender, mint, or lemon essential oil. A quick whiff can sometimes set you to rights again. Keep a deodorizer like a box of baking soda in your fridge so you can open the door without danger.
Ax the grease
Now is a great time to drop the fast food runs for French fries, fried chicken or egg rolls. Rich and spicy food are often strong triggers for stomach trouble.
If those don’t work, try some of these tried and true remedies:
- Candied ginger, ginger ale or sipping on a ginger tea.
- Ginger capsules can worsen upset stomach.
- Peppermint tea, or peppermint gum or mints might help.
- Lemon candies, sucking on a lemon or lemon-flavored water or tea might work.
- Motion sickness wrist bands can be found at your local pharmacy.
Try a Preggie Pop!
Preggie Pops are naturally flavored and specially formulated lollipops made for pregnant women. Drug free, the pops and drops come in a wide range of sour fruit flavors and can even be used during labor!
Eat and drink small amounts throughout the day. Pack snacks to carry along. It’s good practice for when you have a toddler. B6 vitamins or acupuncture may work in some cases, but talk to your doctor or midwife first. You and baby need to be getting plenty of liquids and nutrients. Talk to your physician if nothing seems to be working. He or she will want to rule out Hyperemesis gravidum, a severe form of morning sickness where moms can’t keep anything down, lose a lot of weight and fluids and sometimes have to be admitted to hospital for re-hydration treatment.