One of the most common pregnancy symptoms is morning sickness, and it’s estimated that 80% of mums-to-be suffer from vomiting and nausea in the early stages of it all. You can thank those pesky hormones for morning sickness- a sign that the pregnancy is progressing somewhat normally. Not that it makes it any easier to stomach, unfortunately.
So what can you do? Apart from ride it out (9 out of 10 women will experience little to no morning sickness after around 12 weeks gestation), there isn’t really that much you can do to cure the symptoms. But there are some ways you can make it all a little more bearable. Here are some quick tips for coping with morning sickness:
- Get plenty of rest. You may have noticed that your nausea feels worse when you’re tired. And you’re more tired because you’re pregnant. Even more reason to rest up.
- Take it slowly in the morning. If you tend to feel at your worse in the mornings, allow yourself a little extra time to get up and get going. Keep water and dry biscuits by your bed too, leading to the next tip…
- Eat and drink plenty. You need lots of water to stay hydrated, but you also need to make sure you are eating regularly too. Often an empty stomach can make you feel worse, so keep plain snacks to hand to nibble on when you’re feeling green. Oatcakes, water biscuits or bananas are good things to have by your side.
- Avoid trigger foods. You’ll know which foods make you want to run away and which are safe to eat. If you can avoid them altogether then do so.
- Eat little and often. Some women find that they need to make sure their stomach isn’t empty in order to stave off nausea, but that eating too much can make them feel just as bad. Aim for small meals and snacks if you can.
- Try mints. This trick is an old one, and it may not work for you, but it’s worth a try. If anything the minty flavour is handy to help you feel fresh.
- Try motion sickness bands. Some women find that applying pressure to certain points on their wrists really works.
- Ask for help. If you have someone who will come and take over for a while, take advantage of that. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
For a small minority of mums-to-be, pregnancy related sickness and nausea is so severe that medical attention is needed. This is known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and it’s not common but it is serious. Severe and prolonged vomiting can lead to dehydration which can require hospitalisation. If you think you are suffering from HG, these are the signs to look out for:
- Severe vomiting over a length of time
- low blood pressure
- weight loss
More research is needed but it is thought that, unlike morning sickness, HG is cause by a vitamin B6 deficiency- so make sure your diet is balanced ladies! HG is not likely to harm your baby, but you do need to make sure you are monitored by doctors if you’re suffering. It can be terribly isolating and lots of women suffer from low moods due to feeling so ill. If you’re feeling down, make sure you talk to you doctor or midwife for support.
What are your top tips for coping with morning sickness? Do share in the comments!