You’re pregnant! Your home test says so. Your doctor says so. But unfortunately for many women, the first thing that makes them feel pregnant is a queasy stomach. Despite its name, morning sickness can strike at any time of day. Caused by the surge of several hormones, the nausea and vomiting of morning sickness affect about 70 percent of pregnant women during their first trimester. It typically subsides around the 14th week of gestation when these hormones level off. Until then, these tips may help you manage:
- Rise slowly in the morning. Keep crackers on your bedside table to nibble on while you’re still lying down. Get up slowly and avoid sudden movements.
- Eat small meals often. Allowing your stomach to get too empty or too full aggravates nausea. Avoid rich, fatty, spicy or pungent-smelling foods.
- Stock up on tummy-friendly foods and snacks. Carbohydrates and other bland foods are best. Try potatoes, plain pasta, rice, rolls, bagels, dry toast, saltines, pretzels, ginger snaps and dry breakfast cereal.
- Stay hydrated. Try light beverages such as water, diluted juice, ginger ale, chicken broth, or decaf or herbal tea. Gelatin and ice pops are also great stomach-settling ways to add fluids.
- Sniff a freshly cut lemon or lime. Citrus scents can relieve nausea.
- Switch your prenatal vitamins. The iron content of prenatal vitamins can contribute to nausea. Ask your doctor to switch you to a different brand or ask for a formula that splits your daily intake into two doses. Take your vitamins with meals.
- Wear acupressure wrist bands. These bands, designed to prevent motion sickness, apply pressure to a specific point on your wrist and may ease morning sickness in some women.
Call your doctor if your morning sickness persists well past your first trimester, if it becomes so severe that you can’t eat or drink at all or if you’re concerned about weight loss. Your doctor may prescribe medication or other measures to help you maintain fluids and nutrition.