Pregnancy is one of the most wonderful things a woman can experience during her life. One of my greatest joys was bringing my daughter into this world. However, pregnancy is not all sunshine and rainbows. There are some difficult aspects of it as well. One of the most common downsides of pregnancy is morning sickness. Now don’t let the name fool you. Nausea during pregnancy is not just limited to the morning. In fact, I think it should be renamed all day and all night sickness. After all, for many women that’s essentially what it is.
Morning sickness affects more than 50% of women during pregnancy. It is most common during the first trimester and often subsides after 12 weeks. However, for some women it can continue throughout the whole pregnancy. For example, I was still throwing up the morning I gave birth to my daughter. If you are one of the many women struggling with morning sickness this is the place for you. I am here to share my best tips for surviving the morning sickness struggle. These are all of my best pieces of advice that I learned during my morning sickness journey. I hope that they will help ease the struggle for many of you moms out there.
Eat before you get out of bed – One of my best tips for beating morning sickness is to eat something before you even lift your head off the pillow. Keep some crackers, trail mix, granola bars, etc. on your nightstand to snack on when you wake up. I always had a mini blue gatorade a packet of crackers first thing in the morning. This helped to settle my stomach before I started my day.
Eat small meals often – A key part of managing morning sickness is to not let yourself get hungry. An empty stomach will only make your nausea worse. Plus, once your blood sugar drops and your body goes into a nauseas, weak state it becomes very difficult to get out. That’s why it is so important to stay on top of it. This means you have to snack, snack, snack. If it’s been an hour since you ate last you’ve gone too long.
Change your prenatal vitamin – Prenatal vitamins are absolutely a pregnancy essential. You need the additional nutrients to help both you and your baby stay healthy during pregnancy. However, some prenatal vitamins can actually aggravate morning sickness for some mothers. The high levels of iron in prenatal vitamins can be hard for your body to digest and may be making you sick. You can try taking your vitamin before bed with food. However, if that isn’t working don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. They can work with you to find a vitamin that is easier on your tummy.
Drink fluids you can tolerate – It’s always important to keep your body hydrated, but it’s even more so during pregnancy. Unfortunately, it can be hard for pregnant women to get water down. Sometimes it just makes you even more nauseas. Remember, some fluids are better than no fluids at all. Try experimenting with other forms of fluid that are easier on your tummy. You can try a non-caffeinated tea, sparkling water, gatorade, sprite, etc. It’s important that you are able to get some form of liquid down.
Find your triggers – It’s important to find out what triggers your nausea so that you can avoid it as much as possible. For me it was the smell of coffee and of meat cooking. I couldn’t stand to be in the same building let alone room. Think about scents, tastes, sights, etc. Some common triggers to think about are perfumes, foods, cleaning products, or the light from computer screens. Once you identify what your triggers are your life will become significantly easier.
Stay physically and mentally active – I highly recommend getting outside for some fresh air and taking a walk. It may seem like the last thing you would want to do when your sick, but I promise it helps. Try to go first thing in the morning or in the evening. This way you can beat the heat. It’s also important to stay mentally active. Try to keep your day full and busy. This will help to distract you from the nauseous feeling. Read a book, do a puzzle, spend time with friends, etc.
Avoid the heat – Heat only aggravates morning sickness. That is why it is so important to avoid it. If you are having a summer pregnancy try to go out in the morning or evenings to avoid the hottest part of the day. Another big tip for beating the heat is by taking a lukewarm shower. It is so easy to get overheated in the shower and become sick. I had to go pretty extreme with cutting out heat because it was a huge trigger for me. I couldn’t even blow dry or use hot tools when styling my hair. It was too much for me and would always make me sick.
Open up to a friend – Morning sickness is not only difficult physically, but emotionally as well. It can take a big emotional toll on a mom feeling sick day in and day out. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to connect with another mom who has been there. Find someone who you can open up to and share your experience with. Not only will they understand what you are feeling emotionally, but they will be able to offer advice to help you get through it. If you don’t have a friend you are comfortable sharing with you could also reach out to a therapist. It will feel wonderful to have someone to confide in about what you are going through.
Take a day off of work – You do not have to be the hero when you are pregnant. It is okay to admit that the morning sickness is kicking your butt. I’ve been there and I know first hand how difficult it is. If you are having a particularly rough morning it’s okay to call into work and take the day off. Your body will thank you for the additional rest it is getting. However, if you are planning on going back to work after the baby use your time off carefully. You may be able to use your PTO for more paid days off postpartum.
Talk to your doctor – One of the most important pieces of advice I can give you regarding morning sickness is to reach out to your doctor. There is absolutely no need for you to suffer silently. Your doctor will be able to help you ease some of your morning sickness. There are medications that they can prescribe to you if your nausea is severe enough to stop the vomiting. They may also want to check you for signs of dehydration. Just remember, your OBGYN or midwife is there to support you during your pregnancy. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out to them.