From mild nausea to morning, noon and night vomiting, morning sickness affects as many as eight out of ten pregnant women. It may be a good sign but it’s still bloody miserable.
Here’s how to deal with it:
1. Watch your diet
Standard advice is to look at what, when and how you are eating. An empty stomach is likely to cause more nausea (hence why most women suffer in the morning), so eating little and often can help. Keep to simple, bland food like toast and crackers, and make sure to keep hydrated by sipping water throughout the day. Some women find it beneficial to eat something little before getting out of bed in the morning. Avoid caffeine, spicy food and fatty foods.
2. Go ginger
Some women find that ginger can help their symptoms, but try not to rely on ginger biscuits (although in an emergency, these can help). Instead, try making a tea from grated root ginger, by steeping two teaspoons in boiled water,leaving it to cool and sipping it during the day. Don’t take more than three teaspoons of raw ginger a day. Alternatively, try ginger teabags or ginger capsules.
3. Peppermint remedy
According to Chinese medicine, ginger is suitable if you crave warmth, but if you feel constantly hot and irritable and crave coolness, peppermint might better for you. Peppermint tea is great for relieving nausea, and having sugar-free peppermint sweets and chewing gum in your bag is essential for those early weeks. Be careful, as peppermint that is too strong might make the nausea worse.
4. Under pressure
Some women report relief from wristbands (often marketed for travel sickness) that apply pressure on an acupuncture point (pericardium point six). To locate the right spot, measure three finger widths down from the wrist joint. Lift your third finger off gently and feel for a slight dip. This spot is tender and you’ll think you’re bruising yourself by pressing on it. The button on the wristbands should be pressing on this spot. Press about 20-30 times about one second apart if you feel nausea.
5. Vitamin B
Some studies have indicated that taking extra vitamin B6 may help nausea. The good news is that this is easily achieved through your diet; good sources include bananas, nuts, green beans, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, lean meats and fish. Your prenatal multivitamin will contain B6 too. If you feel you don’t get enough B6, talk to your doctor or midwife, who may suggest you take a supplement. Always get medical advice before taking any supplement during pregnancy.
6. Get help
If your morning sickness is taking over your life and you can’t function, or if you feel you’re getting dehydrated, talk to your GP, obstetrician or midwife. You may need re-hydrating or safe prescribed medication. As always, though, if you are worried, get medical advice.