First in the Series on Morning Sickness. Part Two-Recipes Here.
The good news–you’re pregnant. The bad news–the reason you can tell you’re pregnant is that you’ve got morning sickness. Welcome to pregnancy!
I was super lucky with both my pregnancies. I only got queasy once or twice, and neither time was first thing in the morning. Once it was before a TV interview in San Diego. Bad timing, right? Know what quashed it? Diet coke and pretzels. For others, potato chips and lemonade works. Who knew? Not that I’m an advocate of diet soda during pregnancy. Quite the opposite, but sometimes it’s what you crave that works.Got #MorningSickness? These tips, tricks and recipes are a must read! #pregnancy #nutrition bit.ly/2b1uxgB Click To Tweet
what you should know about morning sickness
- You are not alone. “Morning sickness”, also called nausea and vomiting of pregnancy or NVP, is the most common problem in pregnancy, occurring in as many as 90 percent of women. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, morning sickness is “clinically significant” in about 33% of women, causing them to miss work or interfere with family life and 10% need medication to control it. Up to 1% of pregnant women experience full-blown hyperemesis-gravidarum, which often results in weight loss and hospitalization.
- Morning sickness may be a sign that your hormones are at a healthy level. Women with morning sickness have a lower risk of miscarriage—unless they suffer significant weight loss. Researchers believe nausea and vomiting of pregnancy is actually a protective factor against eating things that could cause birth defects.
- According to the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, women who are regularly taking a multivitamin when they get pregnant are less likely to have severe nausea and vomiting.
- While no one knows exactly what causes morning sickness, some have theorized that pregnancy hormones—specifically estrogen and human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG)—are to blame. Heightened sense of smell has also been blamed as a potential cause.
morning sickness–what you can do
- Track Your Environment. This helps you figure out if light, smells, temperature, stress or certain foods make you more prone to nausea.
- Love Lemon. The smell and taste of lemon has been helpful to moms with morning sickness. It may be as easy as having a lemon half nearby to sniff occasionally or a sour lemon candy to suck on. For food that goes down easily, think lemon custard or a Luna® LemonZest bar. When life gives you lemons (or in this case, morning sickness) make lemonade!
- Think Alternative. Some alternative therapies can also help morning sickness. Motion sickness bands (also called Sea-Bands) have been shown to ease nausea and vomiting of pregnancy; so has acupuncture. Using ginger in various forms has also been shown to help. However, ACOG recommends you discuss any alternative therapies with your health care provider before trying.
- Never Run on Empty! Eat small, frequent meals with snacks in between to keep your stomach from emptying completely. Or simply snack. This might mean eating a few bites of something every thirty minutes. Some women carry a box of crackers around with them. Make them whole grain if possible!
- Add Some Protein–Especially at Bedtime.
shows that protein-rich foods may have an effect on the mechanics of gastric emptying and thus can decrease the nausea of pregnancy. While you may not feel like downing a full meal, consider adding some low-fat cheese or peanut butter to those crackers, eating some cottage cheese with fruit, adding some Greek yogurt to your smoothie or eating some lettuce wraps filled with leftover chicken. Eating balanced, protein-rich meals also helps control blood sugar; low blood sugar can be another factor that contributes to morning sickness.
- Eat Cold Foods or Let your Partner Do the Cooking.
If just the look of raw meat or the smell of strong foods cooking may make you feel sick, leave the cooking to someone else (or get healthy take-out). I can’t think of a better excuse to get out of the kitchen and take a walk. You might also want to eat outside when possible to get more fresh air. See Part Two of this series with recipes here.
- Keep Your Pantry Stocked for the “Queasies”
- Fresh lemon and lemon drop candies.
- Ginger–it’s been shown to help. Try Reed’s Ginger Ale or their Natural Ginger Nausea Relief, which has ginger and B6. Reed’s also has Ginger Candy and Crystalized Ginger.
- Greek yogurt or cottage cheese—they’re cold, easy to eat and high in protein.
- Pasta or quinoa salad—bland and versatile. Add leftover meat or chicken and chopped cucumber.
- Crackers or pretzels.
- Homemade trail mix: Cheerios, pretzels, chocolate chips and raisins or dried cranberries.
- Put that Sriracha sauce away for a while–bland foods really can help! (But again, it’s worth a try to eat what sounds good.)
- Aromatherapy could help: mandarin and lemon essential oils have been shown to help with nausea. Proper dilution is essential for safety and NEVER use essential oils in food.
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