Unfortunately one of the most common side effects of pregnancy is the dreaded morning sickness. Whether it’s a case of feeling a little queasy, or being violently sick all day long, it won’t take long before you’re wondering what on earth you have let yourself in for. Up to 80% of women experience some form of sickness during the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy, and it is thought that hormonal changes are the main culprit. However, 10% continue to feel ill up to the 20th week!
While there is no cure as such for morning sickness there are various things you can do to ease symptoms, and hopefully make the first few weeks a bit more bearable.
Tiredness can be another common early pregnancy symptom as your body adjusts to new demands placed upon it. Unfortunately, tiredness can make nausea much worse so it is important to rest as much as possible. This may be easier said than done if you work full time, or have other children you need to care for.
However, speak to your employer, or call on friends and family to help out. A little afternoon cat nap may be all you need to recharge your batteries and feel that tiny bit better.
Take your time
Jumping out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off (or the toddler cries) is a sure fire way to make yourself feel ill during pregnancy. Make sure you get out of bed slowly, sitting up for a few minutes first, then getting up and dealing with whatever crisis is facing you gradually will definitely help.
It may even be worth having a light snack on your bedside table so you can have a nibble before getting up. Crackers and ginger biscuits are often a firm favourite, and will ensure you’re not facing the day on a completely empty stomach.
Change how often you eat
You may be a stickler for three meals a day, but during pregnancy, certainly the early weeks, you may find that little and often is the way forward. Meals that are high in carbohydrates and low in fat are often easier to digest (and keep down) so stock up on rice, pasta and potatoes.
Feeling hungry can make matters worse, but equally you don’t want to stuff yourself either! It may take time to work out what the right balance is for you, but don’t be afraid to experiment with how often, and how much you eat to see if it helps.
Even if it’s the middle of winter it may be worth considering swapping hot meals for cold one. Many women report being particularly sensitive to smells during their pregnancy, with previously favoured odours suddenly having them dashing for the sick bowl. Cold meals produce less smell than cooked, warm ones so if you are suffering with an over-sensitive nose, this could be one way to ensure you can still manage to eat.
Severe morning sickness (Hyperemesis gravidarum)
While the majority of women who experience morning sickness see it as nothing more than a temporary inconvenience, there are others who have a much harder time of things.
If you are being repeatedly sick and are unable to keep any food or fluids down you should seek advice from your GP or midwife immediately. This can lead to weight loss and dehydration, which is serious for your own health, but potentially that of your baby’s too. Your medical team will be able to treat the issues caused by your morning sickness, and may even be able to prescribe anti-sickness medication to help.
You can read more information on Hyperemesis gravid arum (HG) here
Did you/do you have your solution to dealing with morning sickness, I would love to here all about it in the comments.