Few things in life compare to the joy of bringing a new life into the world. For the most part, pregnancy is a time of beautiful anticipation and a powerful sense of fulfillment. But along the way, there are moments that clearly aren’t so beautiful. And morning sickness is foremost among those less-than-wonderful side effects.
Although there isn’t any way to eliminate morning sickness altogether, there are simple, safe methods you can use to minimize the discomfort from it. Follow these tips for taking some of the hardship out of early pregnancy.
Limit the portions of your meals to avoid having an empty stomach. Studies have shown that protein is most effective in combating nausea in pregnant women. But some women have found carbohydrates to work best. Everyone’s body is at least a little different. So experiment to find what works best for you.
Cut the fat
Fatty foods take longer to digest, which taxes your already fragile system even more. So avoid fried or greasy meals. If you feel you absolutely must have some, keep the portions very small and eat slowly, watching for signs of impending nausea as you go.
Keep it bland
As much as you might crave them at times, spicy, rich, fatty foods can upset even the most robust digestive system, much less one that’s effected by pregnancy. Go easy on the strong dishes for awhile, until your body chemistry gets stabilized again.
Watch the fluids
You should try to drink at least a quart and a half of water every day. But don’t drink large quantities at once – it can make you feel too full to eat well. If you’ve been throwing up frequently, it’s a good idea to replace lost electrolytes with a sports drink containing glucose, salt, and potassium.
Avoid trigger foods
At this point of your pregnancy, it might seem like anything edible triggers nausea. So a little bit of your favorite foods is generally okay. But try to favor cold or room temperature servings — strong aromas tend to trigger that pesky vomit response.
Keep light snacks by the bed
Always have some crackers nearby, so you can nibble a few of them when you first wake. Then wait and rest about 20 or 30 minutes before you get up again. This combination also works well if you wake with nausea in the middle of the night.
Finally, if you’re taking prenatal vitamins, avoid taking them on an empty stomach. Many women find it best to take them before bedtime. You may also want to try switching to a prenatal vitamin with less iron for the first trimester.