Morning sickness got you down…or even hunkering down over the toilet? Although we can’t make this common early pregnancy syndrome go away completely, we have a few things to help reduce nausea and make you feel a little less miserable.
Nibble Before You Rise
Your partner surely won’t kick you out for eating crackers in bed…literally! So stock your bedside table with a sleeve of Saltines and slowly nibble on one or two before you even lift your head from the pillow.
Don’t Under- or Overeat
We know, it’s a catch-22 when you’ve got morning sickness: Whether you eat something or nothing at all, you still feel nauseated and wanna (and often do) puke. But eating several small meals throughout the day instead of three big ones, and never skipping a meal altogether, are key for battling the barfies.
Pick up a big water bottle and keep it with you at all times—dehydration is a big cause of nausea. Add a spritz of fruit juice or treat yourself to sparkling water if you find the carbonation soothing, but stay away from caffeinated or dairy drinks—both can trigger tummy troubles.
Eat What You Crave
If the only thing that sounds good to you is a bowl of sorbet or buttered white toast, then go for it! When you’re in the midst of morning sickness misery, concentrate on eating foods that you know you’ll enjoy. Don’t worry about counting protein grams or consuming 20 vegetables a day—that’s what your prenatal vitamin’s for!
Keep Snacks Handy
Going too long without food will make your blood sugar plummet and the barfies creep up, so don’t be caught snackless! Stock your purse, your car and your desk at work with snacks to eat at all times. Go ahead and eat everywhere—this is not the time to be self-conscious about eating between meals.
Be a Sucker
Embrace your inner child (literally) and pick up a big bag of lollipops or hard candy. Sucking on sweet treats throughout the day can keep the nausea away. And a full jar of candy on your desk is a great way to become popular at the office (thereby increasing your chances that your co-workers will throw you a shower!).
Avoid Heavy Foods
If you’re lucky enough to have a day where your appetite comes roaring back, you should still avoid eating anywhere with a “supersize me” option or consuming a really heavy meal. Chowing on fried, greasy and high-fat foods now can trigger hurling later. (Is it us, or is that woman a little too happy about eating a salad?)
Go for Mild Meals
You know the foods that Mom served when you were home sick from school? They’re also perfect for keeping your pregnant stomach soothed. Nutrient-high but bland, easy-to-digest foods like mashed potatoes, soup, crackers and applesauce are all great choices on queasy days.
Pop a Pill
It’s tempting to skip the daily prenatal vitamin since it can cause nausea when taken on an empty stomach, but take it with meals and you won’t feel as queasy. Your daily prenatal also keeps your nutrient levels up to make you feel less nauseous all around. Also, a separate vitamin B6 supplement has been shown to alleviate morning sickness in studies on pregnant women—check with your doc!
Sniff Natural Anti-Nausea Scents
Just as yucky scents like secondhand smoke and Smelly Subway Dude can make you feel extra queasy these days, soothing natural scents can make you feel better. Treat your sensitive nose to the refreshing scents of fresh lemon, ginger or mint—you may find they keep the nausea at bay. (And aren’t you glad we didn’t tell you to eat yet another cracker?)
We understand that these next few weeks may be your last chance to wear your size 28 skinny jeans before you have to trade them for the goofy cotton belly panel on maternity versions, but wearing anything tight across your stomach can increase nausea. So throw those tight waistbands and gut—busting belts in storage (and don’t even consider control—top pantyhose), and pull on some comfy clothes with elastic waists and room to move.
The best way to escape morning sickness? Hit the hay! Make sure you’re getting to bed early and taking daytime naps if necessary. Being well-rested will help keep you feeling as quease-free as possible throughout the day, and you—and baby, too—need those extra zzz’s at night.