While tidal waves of nausea and countless hours spent staring into a toilet bowl can make early pregnancy near-unbearable, morning sickness is simply par for the course – and totally normal.
The bad news is that no remedy will completely eradicate those unpleasant symptoms related to hormonal surges; but the good news is that you’ll (usually) begin to feel better after the first trimester.
As you start the countdown, here are some ways to help you cope when you wanna hug the porcelain, courtesy of BabyCentre.co.uk:
1. Eat little and often
No matter how wretched you feel after a meal, an empty stomach can make sickness worse. Nibble on bland snacks throughout the day to keep your sugar levels on an even keel.
2. Eat protein-rich foods
Eat simple, protein-packed foods, and those that are rich in vitamin B, such as nuts. Try to avoid the usual suspects – rich, spicy, acidic, fatty or fried stuff – that might set off a tricksy stomach.
3. Cold meals can be better than hot ones
If the smell of hubby cooking your favourite grub has you scrambling for a paper bag, stick to cold meals until your morning sickness subsides; the aromas hot food gives off are often a trigger for nausea.
4. Breakfast in bed
Getting straight out of bed on an empty stomach can result in a scenario akin to seasickness. Have a snack or two set up bedside, and eat (slowly) before getting up.
5. Keep a morning sickness diary
Sounds fun, right? But tracking when your morning sickness peaks, and when you feel better, can help you to find times in the day when it’s safest to eat and drink.
6. Drink between meals
If you’re finding it hard to keep fluids down, limit drinks during mealtimes – just don’t skip on (frequent) hydration throughout the rest of the day.
7. Get plenty of rest
Stress and tiredness can worsen pregnancy sickness – and vice versa. Make time for R&R as often as you can.
8. Sniff lemons!
The smell of a cut lemon may help to ease your nausea. You can also add lemon slices to iced tea or sparkling water and take sips when you can – the citrus fruit is good for soothing acidity in an upset stomach, too.
9. Settle your stomach with ginger tea
Used in moderation ginger can help to alleviate nausea. Make ginger tea using the peeled, grated root – and add it to your lemon water.
10. Take pregnancy multivitamins
Pregnancy multivitamins could help to reduce morning sickness, although there is little evidence to support it. Either way, taking these vitamins will ensure you’re getting your daily recommended dose of folic acid and Vitamin D, which is vital for healthy foetal development.
11. Try a complementary therapy
Some therapies, such as reflexology and aromatherapy, can help you manage during this difficult stage. Make sure you go to a qualified practitioner, experienced in treating pregnant women.
12. Talk to friends who understand
Sometimes commiseration is the best medicine; it can help just to share how you’re feeling with close friends or family who can offer their support.
If your morning sickness symptoms have you concerned, always consult with your GP/midwife.