You're pregnant! Congratulations! Prepare yourself for the barrage of people telling you how beautiful and magical pregnancy is. Pregnancy is truly beautiful. However, there are things about pregnancy that are absolutely no fun at all. Morning sickness is one of them. Because you have to pay extra close attention to what you're putting into your body during pregnancy, many women feel as though there aren't enough remedies to help with morning sickness – especially if it’s severe. While there may not be a cure-all to stop morning sickness entirely, there are things you can do to help ease you through it.
Eat the Right Foods
Morning sickness can be a real day killer for lots of women. It can often seem as if anything you eat, smell or look at is going to come back up at some point, which can make for an uncomfortable day. Because of this, I find that many of my patients try to abstain from eating. While I understand this rationale, not eating can actually make your nausea worse. The best thing to do if you are suffering from morning sickness is to eat small meals often. You don't want to be hit with a wave of nausea and not have anything in your stomach at all. I try to tell moms-to-be that the best course of action is to shoot for six smaller meals a day as opposed to three large meals. Avoid fatty foods, dairy, coffee, caffeinated tea and foods that produce smells that might make you nauseous. Try to increase your protein intake.
Pay Attention to Your Body
What I mean by this is it's important that you listen to your body. Track what's happening by keeping a morning sickness diary. Something as simple as writing down the times you felt sick and what you ate immediately prior to it can help you determine the best things to eat at the best times. Also, pay attention to other symptoms. For instance, if you’re experiencing headaches or mild swelling, it might be time to drink some water. Staying hydrated is especially important if you are suffering through morning sickness. Drinking water can actually help reduce morning sickness and will help to ensure you’re properly hydrated. Have you noticed feeling sick right after waking up? Sometimes waking and immediately getting out of bed can trigger morning sickness. Try eating a small snack, like crackers, before you get out of bed. Let the snack digest and then start moving around slowly.
Supplements, Acupressure and Ginger
While the list of medications you can take during pregnancy is fairly short, there are some remedies that seem to help some women – and some of them don’t even require a prescription. Some physicians recommend certain antihistamines to help relieve morning sickness. Talk with your doctor to find out if these are safe for you. Vitamin B6 has also been found to help reduce nausea and vomiting with some women, and the same goes for prenatal vitamins, which you should be taking anyway. Another common at-home remedy to help treat nausea is ginger. Known for its ability to help settle stomachs, try drinking ginger tea. The results might surprise you. Also commonly used for morning sickness are acupressure bracelets. These are essentially a band with a ball that when worn, places pressure on the inside of your wrist. These bracelets are also used to help relieve people from feeling seasick. Many of my patients swear by these bracelets and they can usually be found at local pharmacies.
Before entering into any new routine during pregnancy, especially if you're considering taking a new vitamin or antihistamine, the best thing to do is talk with your physician first. They know your personal health and will be able to help guide you in ways to help you start feeling better.
Dr. Kathy Sander is a board-certified OB/GYN specialist at Kelsey-Seybold’s Woman’s Center. Her clinical interests include general and high risk obstetrics, treatment of menstrual problems, preconception counseling, contraceptive options including Implanon, Mirena IUDs, Essure, Nuvaring and oral contraceptives, and treatment of menopausal concerns. She offers delayed cord cutting as an option for her patients.