Feeling a little sick in the mornings? Try our tips to reduce morning sickness
About half of “mums-to-be” experience feeling nauseous, particularly in the mornings. This is due to three main reasons:
- Hormonal changes
- Low blood sugar
- Sensitivity to environmental factors
In most cases, as the hormone circus starts to stabilize and settle down at around 14-16 weeks of pregnancy, the sickness starts to decrease. So, what can you do to get through those first few months?
Well, you can’t do very much about hormonal changes, but you can certainly help with blood sugar levels.
Things to avoid
- Fatty foods, spicy foods and some stimulants such as caffeine can increase nausea, so it is generally best to try and avoid these.
- Avoid getting over hungry – if you don’t eat for long periods of time, your blood sugar will drop and this can make you feel dizzy, light headed and very sick. Also, the acids in your stomach can build up and make you feel even worse. Try to eat a little often. The smaller portions in your tummy are also easier to digest.
- No matter how ill you feel, try to avoid dehydration as this will make you feel even more nauseous. So, try drinking plenty of water. You can add a dash of lemon or lime juice, have it chilled or warm but do your best to drink lots of it. Have a bottle to hand that you can sip from regularly.
- You may find that certain smells, activities or thoughts trigger you to feel more nauseous. Make a note of these so that you can remember them and avoid them if possible. Strong perfumes can often be a
trigger, as can certain food substances, long spells at a PC monitor or prolonged exposure to loud noises.
- Try to avoid getting over tired and exhausted as this too can make any symptoms worse. This isn’t always easy when you are pregnant, with frequent trips to the toilet to wee, feeling sick and difficulty sleeping. Try to catch up on your sleep when you can.
Things you should try
- In the morning, before you get out of bed, try a milky drink and a biscuit, or if you prefer, some fruit juice. Putting some fuel in to your body before you jump up and make it do some work, will help to keep your blood sugar up and reduce nausea.
- Don’t skip meals. If you do, your blood sugar will drop and your nausea will return. Breakfast is really important, and so is a snack just before you settle down for the night.
- Fruits which are higher in potassium sometimes help to reduce nausea. Potassium is essential for keeping your body in balance. Examples include banana, oranges, apricots, kiwi, peaches and nectarines.
- For some people, ginger can really help to reduce nausea. Ginger biscuits, ginger tea, ginger ale, ginger sweets or ginger used as an ingredient in foods are all ways of enjoying this lovely food.
- Proteins tend to provide longer lasting fuel for your body so at night time, just before you go to sleep, try a snack high in protein. This will minimize the drop in your blood sugar level over night.
- Sometimes you may feel that you have a lot of gastric gas or acid. Generally antacids and regular small meals can help this but for some people, the best thing is a fizzy drink to help bring up that unwanted collection of gas.
For a very small number of mums-to-be, the vomiting is excessive and makes them quite unwell. In these circumstances you should always seek the advice of your midwife or doctor.