If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, there’s no way to know for sure if you will suffer any morning sickness but your chances are pretty high. About 70 to 80 percent of women experience nausea in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and about 50 percent experience some vomiting. Some women never experience morning sickness, while others may feel sick throughout their entire pregnancy. You might have no morning sickness while pregnant with your first child and then not be as lucky with the next one. The key is to be prepared and know ahead of time how to best relieve morning sickness if it comes.
Here are some tips to relieve morning sickness:
Eat small meals instead of big meals.
Break up the portions and timing of your meals. Hormones produced during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, slow down your digestive system muscles making it harder to digest larger meals. Eat smaller portions and eat more frequently throughout the day. Having an empty stomach or low blood sugar can cause nausea or make nausea worse. Eating small meals every few hours can keep your blood sugar steady and your stomach feeling full, but not too full. If you’re battling morning sickness, also stay away from spicy foods. You’ll want to eat foods you know are easy to digest.
Drink before or after a meal, not during.
Staying hydrated is important, especially if you’re vomiting. Drink small amounts of fluid throughout the day, but limit fluid intake during meals to avoid feeling too full. Drink 30 minutes before or after a meal instead. If you prefer drinking with your meal, have a small glass of water rather than a beverage containing sugar, as too much sugar can upset your stomach.
Avoid cooking odors as much as possible.
If you can have someone else cook for you, that is ideal. If that’s not an option, ventilate your kitchen well while cooking. Open the windows, use the fan and, as long as nothing is cooking on the stovetop, leave the room to avoid inhaling cooking odors. Avoiding scents and odors in general is a good idea—perfumes, air fresheners, trash, etc.—especially when you’re not feeling well.
Avoid warm places.
Feeling hot can add to your nausea and make you feel even worse. Stay away from crowded, warm spaces that might overheat you or make you feel closed in. Cool air can bring relief, so seek air conditioning when heat and humidity is high or starts to bother you. Don’t wait until you’re overheated.
Get as much rest as possible…but not right after eating.
Good news! Naps are recommended for pregnant women. Carrying a baby inside you takes energy and being sick saps that energy. Rest at intervals during the day, if you can. Take more frequent small breaks at work to change position, walk around and get fresh air. Also, do not lie down right after eating. Give your body time to digest the food first. Establish a good, calming pre-sleep routine at night to help you fall asleep more easily. Turn lights down and stay away from digital screens and devices an hour before your bedtime, if possible.
Keep ginger, lemons and watermelon handy.
While certain smells can make your nausea worse, sniffing certain fresh scents may help. Sniff fresh cut lemons or ginger for nausea relief. Drinking lemonade, ginger ale and eating watermelon works for many women as well. Ginger is proven to be effective in treating and preventing symptoms of morning sickness. Keep ginger candies on hand to help relieve nausea or make your own ginger tea. Peel and slice fresh ginger root, then add a 2-inch piece to boiling water. Let steep for 5 to 10 minutes, then strain into a cup. Sip or drink slowly to enjoy.
Take Dramamine®-N Multi-Purpose to relieve nausea.
Many people know the Dramamine® brand as a reliable remedy for motion sickness, but we also have a formula made to relieve the type of nausea and vomiting that comes with morning sickness during pregnancy. Dramamine®-N Multi-Purpose Formula is formulated with ginger extract to naturally relieve nausea and is safe for pregnant women.
When to call your doctor
If you’re experiencing morning sickness, you should tell your doctors. They will want to keep tabs on how severe it is and how long it lasts into your pregnancy. If you experience severe morning sickness—excessive nausea and vomiting—where you are unable to eat or drink, or if you have pain and fever with vomiting, call your doctor as soon as possible.