15 Tips to Relieve Morning Sickness
Although one of Cape Cod Healthcare’s newest obstetrician/gynecologists didn’t have morning sickness with her recent pregnancy, she says it’s very common.
“Morning sickness—nausea and vomiting—effects 50 to 80 percent of all pregnant women, especially in the first trimester,” said Lindsay LaCorte, DO, MPH, an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) at Cape Cod Hospital. “I was very lucky that I didn’t have morning sickness during my pregnancy with my second son, who is now 5 months old, but I did have wicked heartburn.”
Morning sickness can be different for each woman, and it can last all day or any time of day, according to Dr. LaCorte. She offered these 15 tips for relieving the condition:
Tips for Relieving Morning Sickness
- Eat small, frequent meals. Having an empty stomach can make you feel nauseous. Dr. LaCorte recommends three balanced meals and three or four healthy snacks every day.
- A high-fiber diet will help regulate your blood-glucose levels throughout the day. Snack on nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios as well as whole grains and vegetables.
- Taking your prenatal vitamin and iron supplements with orange juice or another source of Vitamin C can increase absorption and make them easier to tolerate.
- Stay well hydrated. If water doesn’t appeal to you, add lemon, lime, cucumber or other fruits or vegetables for flavoring.
- Stay physically active; it has been found to help alleviate nausea during pregnancy. If you have questions about safe exercise practices in pregnancy, check with your doctor.
- Sea bands (acupressure wrist bands) commonly used for travel may help to reduce nausea and vomiting. They are drug-free with minimal side effects. They are available at most pharmacies and many box stores.
- Vitamin B6 may also help reduce nausea; check with your doctor.
- Potassium in cold apple sauce, pears, bananas or any citrus fruit may help prevent morning sickness.
- Ginger is popular for relieving an upset stomach. Take ginger capsules. Sip cold ginger ale, add a slice of raw ginger to water or tea, nibble gingerbread or ginger cookies.
- Get plenty of rest. You might want to begin napping to get enough sleep.
- Don’t lay down right after eating; this can increase nausea.
- If scents bother you, try avoiding cooking with cold, prepared foods. Some women are so bothered by scents that cooking is difficult, so stock up on healthy, prepared food for a while.
- Avoid fatty and spicy foods that can upset your stomach.
- Caffeine is not your friend! Stay away from caffeinated drinks.
- Wear lose clothes that don’t restrict your stomach.
Watch For Warning Signs
Mild morning sickness is to be expected, but the problem sometimes requires medical care, said Dr. LaCorte.
“It’s important to know when to call your doctor. If you have tried the methods listed here and are still unable to tolerate food, or if you feel dizzy when you stand up, your heart races, you pass just a small amount of urine, or you can’t keep down liquids, you need to call the doctor.
“Morning sickness that is severe is called hyperemesis gravidarum; it requires intervention,” she said.
One of the most common things Dr. LaCorte sees is that patients stop taking their prenatal vitamins because the iron can cause nausea.
“Always tell your doctor if you are having problems,” she said. “If the prenatal vitamin is making you feel nauseous, there are so many alternatives we can recommend.”