About half to two-thirds of women experience nausea and vomiting during their pregnancies. Three out of 100 pregnant women have hyperemesis gravidarum, which is severe morning sickness accompanied by weight loss, dehydration, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
No one quite understands why morning sickness happens and why there’s such disparity in the severity of symptoms. Most point to hormonal changes and even preexisting health conditions, such as thyroid or gallbladder disease.
But no matter how mild or severe your symptoms are, morning sickness can significantly impact your quality of life.
We believe your pregnancy should be a time you cherish, not one you struggle through. So, our Marina OB/GYN team is here to equip you with simple strategies to nix the nausea and thrive during each trimester.
As the name suggests, morning sickness is usually worse in the morning. We recommend giving yourself a few extra minutes to wake up at a leisurely pace. During that time, you can nibble on some dry cereal, toast, or crackers to get food in your stomach.
A little lemon water right away can also help settle your stomach and may even boost your energy.
There are a few diet dos and don’ts when you have morning sickness. For instance, we recommend avoiding:
It may sound counterintuitive when your stomach’s upset, but not eating can make you feel worse. Instead, eat tummy-friendly snacks like:
The bottom line is that you eat and drink something every day, so find the foods and drinks that are healthy and easy to keep down.
Your twisted tummy likely can’t handle huge meals, so we recommend eating smaller meals more often (around 5-6 snack-sized meals). This habit keeps your stomach full enough to stay settled and ensures you’re getting a steady supply of nutrition.
Throwing up and not eating as much can lead to dehydration, which can trigger an avalanche of headaches and other symptoms, so it’s critical to stay hydrated.
Keep track of which fluids at which temperatures stay down best. For instance, hot tea may send you straight to the bathroom, but you can tolerate room-temperature lemon water. If you’re having trouble keeping fluids down, try tricking your body into wanting liquid by eating a salty snack.
Scrolling through social media, reading an ebook, or watching your favorite shows can be relaxing and distracting, but if your screen is too bright or bombards you with flashing lights, it could make you nauseous.
Check your brightness settings and turn on the nighttime mode on your devices to keep screen time stimulation to a minimum.
Your growing belly has likely forced this issue, but we strongly encourage you to ditch fashion and opt for comfort during bouts of morning sickness. Loose clothing made of breathable fabrics can go a long way in making you feel more comfortable and better able to navigate your nausea.
You may have loved the smell of freshly brewed coffee a few weeks ago, but now it makes you want to hurl. Scents are one of the most common stomach churns, so identify them as best you can and then ask your family, coworkers, and friends to help you avoid them.
Not all smells are bad when you’re pregnant. Sniffing lemon, orange, peppermint, or lavender oils can soothe an upset stomach. Hold the oil bottle under your nose, rub some on your wrists, or use a diffuser to keep you from feeling queasy.
Keep an anti-nausea kit if you must go out and about when dealing with morning sickness. Pack it with oral hygiene products, an extra shirt, mints, snacks, soothing scents, and anything else you’ve noticed helps with your morning sickness — and don’t leave home without it.
Sometimes, even your best efforts are no match for morning sickness. If you’re at the end of your rope, talk to us about pregnancy-safe medications that help battle severe morning sickness.
Have more questions about managing your morning sickness? We’d love to help you come up with a personalized game plan. Call or click to request an appointment today at our Marina Del Rey, Hawthorne, South Gate, or Carson, California, office.