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How to Minimize Morning Sickness


Pregnancy is a beautiful part of life. But that doesn't mean all nine months will be full of sunshine and rainbows. Some pregnancy symptoms are not so glamorous, like morning sickness. This is the nausea you may feel in the morning, afternoon or evening. Some women experience this queasiness throughout their entire pregnancy while others don't have a single symptom. Here are some tips to minimize your morning sickness:

The lowdown

According to American Pregnancy Association, more than 50 percent of women will experience morning sickness during their pregnancy. It typically begins around week six and stops by week twelve. The general description of morning sickness is queasiness, nauseousness, and sensitivity to smells and tastes due to a sudden increase of hormone levels in your body. This sensitivity can lead to headaches and vomiting. Morning sickness is not harmful to you or your baby (in fact, it's considered a good thing because the placenta is growing!). However, it can make getting the right nutrients and vitamins difficult. Constant and extreme vomiting can be a sign of hyperemesis gravidarum. If you are unable to keep food or drinks down, be sure to consult a physician.

How to deal

There is no official medication or cure for morning sickness. All pregnancies are different, and a remedy that works for one woman may not for another. Here are some ways to help minimize your morning sickness symptoms:

  • Take it easy: If you wake up with a queasy stomach, sometimes the best thing to do is to take the day off. Now that your body is constantly changing, it needs to slow down and rest. Heading back to bed may be just what you need.
  • Sniff a fresh scent: Heightened sensitivity to smell is very common during the early stages of pregnancy. A garbage truck passing by or cigarette smoke can turn your stomach. Offset this with a fresh citrus smell from a lemon or orange. It sounds crazy to keep a fruit in your bag to sniff throughout the day, but if it does the trick, it's worth it. You can't control all the scents in the world, but if you work in an office, consider informing your coworkers of your new sensitivity. Ask them politely to eat lunch in the break room or put fragrant lotion at their desk.
  • Stay hydrated: Now that you're pregnant, you should be upping your water intake. Dehydration can make nauseousness even worse. Hint: Temperature can make all the difference. Opt for an ice-cold glass of water or a steaming cup of tea instead of anything lukewarm; the middle temperature can make things worse!
  • Change your diet: Most women find that bland foods like crackers, dry cereal and pretzels are easier to keep down. Fatty and spicy foods are known to make queasiness worse. Find food that your stomach agrees with, and stick to it.
  • Eat: It may sound obvious (and like the last thing you want to do), but when your stomach is empty, it can make nausea worse. Try to keep snacks on you as much as possible to combat symptoms.
  • Try ginger: Ginger has been known for a long time as a stomach soother. Incorporating slices of ginger to your tea or meal, or drinking a glass of ginger ale, can help settle your tummy.
  • Take care of your eyes: Morning sickness can be brought on by many outside factors like screen brightness or the sun outside. Adjust your desktop computer, and keep sunglasses in your purse to make the light more bearable.
  • Lie down: Sometimes all you need is a little shut-eye. Take a cat nap, and the symptoms may be gone when you wake up!
  • Ask around: Be sure to ask some of your mommy friends how they dealt with morning sickness. Who knows, their remedies may work for you, too.

Be prepared

Morning sickness can sneak up on you anytime during the day, so it's best to be prepared at all times. Consider packing another shirt, toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash in your bag just in case you do throw up at work or in a public bathroom and need to freshen up.

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