Tips to help ease the pain of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
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When it Starts (and Why)
Keeping a new pregnancy under wraps until the first trimester is over can seem virtually impossible with morning sickness—especially if it lasts 24/7. While this aspect of pregnancy is normal for up to 85 percent of women, nausea and vomiting can be a tricky thing to conquer as you try to go about your day.
Symptoms of morning sickness typically begin four to eight weeks after conception and begin to fade as your first trimester winds down, although its not entirely uncommon to feel queasy throughout your entire pregnancy.
Being repelled by certain tastes and smells is common, even by foods that normally appeal to you. Don't be afraid to follow your intuition, as ignoring an aversion could just make you feel worse.
Princess Kate's pregnancy was announced to the world when she was hospitalized for hyperemesis gravidarum (HG)—or severe morning sickness. HG only impacts 0.5 to 2 percent of pregnant women, with women carrying multiples, a family history of the condition, or HG during a previous pregnancy are at higher risk.
Find out more about hyperemesis gravidarum >>
Although its uncomfortable, nausea is just a sign that all is well with you and your baby, and that your baby is growing and developing just as it should. Here are some ways to curb your queasiness.
Carbs and Protein
Carbohydrates like bread, soda crackers, mashed potatoes and dry toast have also been found to help combat nausea.
To quell morning sickness before it starts, try keeping a few crackers by your bed and slowly eat a few before you get up in the morning.
Pair complex carbohydrates with protein, such as whole wheat pita and hummus or apple slices with string cheese to keep you from feeling exhausted throughout the day.
Food may be the last thing on your mind when you've been feeling nauseous all day, but an empty stomach often worsens the symptoms.
Eat frequent but small meals that are packed with nutrients but on the bland side as acidic, fatty or fried foods can further irritate your digestive system. Try making a plate of fresh veggies, pita, yogurt and cheese for a no-cook, cold meal that will be less odorous than a hot plate of food.
Cold, slushy drinks like an Italian ice, ice chips or frozen lemonade are great options to soothe your stomach while taking in fluids. Try making refreshing strawberry and peach ice pops to relieve your nausea while taking in folate, B vitamins and vitamin A.
Drinking plenty of fluids throughout your pregnancy is important, but even more so if you've been unable to keep anything down. Try flavoring your water with lemon or lime if you're having difficulty meeting an eight-glass per day requirement. Drinking sports beverages that contain glucose, salt and potassium will help replace electrolytes lost during vomiting and can help keep your energy up.
Make sure you stay hydrated during exercise—another potential nausea alleviator—and have a post-workout drink like a smoothie.
Many women also find relief from acupressure wristbands like Sea-Bands, which are sold at most drugstores. Doctors also recommend pairing vitamin B6 with doxylamine, an over-the-counter antihistamine to ease nausea. Before heading to the pharmacy, ask your doctor for the recommended dosages.
Call Your Doctor
If your home remedies aren't working or your symptoms become worse, don't hesitate to give your doctor a call. Symptoms that have intensified can be more difficult to treat, so don't try to tough it out. Your doctor can prescribe medications for morning sickness that are safe an effective and will help prevent the condition from getting any worse.
If you've been unable to keep fluids or foods down for several days, if symptoms continue past the fourth month or if you've noticed a dramatic drop in weight (a few pounds lost during the first trimester can be common in women with morning sickness), tell your doctor immediately so that they can treat it.