When Green Is Not Your Color: Coping with Morning Sickness

Happy St. Patrick's day! Today is the day when people across the globe wear green and make merry. But if you're one of the many women who experience morning sickness (about half of all do), you likely won't feel too merry. Morning sickness varies in intensity and length. Some women will experience mild symptoms, like nausea and food aversions, for about 12 weeks, while others may endure more intense symptoms, like vomiting, sometimes lasting throughout pregnancy. While there isn't anything you can do to cure morning sickness, there are many things you can do to help ease your discomfort and lessen the intensity of nausea.


Give in to cravings. Morning sickness often comes with intense cravings to eat "bad" foods, like carbohydrate rich and high fat snacks. If that's what you crave -- give in. Sometimes, those foods do help your stomach feel better temporarily. And some relief is better than none, right?

Eat bland, eat small, and eat often. If you're not craving anything, but need to eat, try eating very bland, small meals or snacks frequently. Eating often and in small doses helps aid in better digestion and keeps from overloading your stomach, which can lead to more intense nausea.

Electrolytes. If you're vomiting, you need to counterbalance your loss of fluids. Try small doses of electrolyte enhances fluids. Be aware, however, to check the added sugar content of some electrolyte drinks. High sugar isn't necessary and may only add to your nausea. (Vitamin Water is sweetened naturally through fruit juice as opposed to Gatorade, which is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.)

Consider your environment. Food isn't the only nausea trigger. Warm, stuffy rooms, heavy perfume, and even loud noise can all add to morning sickness.

Have a night cap. If you're taking prenatal vitamins, they could be adding to your nausea. Consider taking your vitamins before bed and never take them on an empty stomach.

Ginger aid. Ginger has long been known to help ease nausea. It can be taken in many forms -- in ginger ale drinks, in pill form, in hard candies, in tea, or by eating the root directly.

Slow to rise. When you wake up in the morning, get out of bed slowly. Getting out of bed too quickly, especially when you're pregnant can make you feel faint, dizzy, or nauseous. Also, keep some water and a few crackers on your bedside table. Putting food in your stomach before getting out of bed can help quell the nausea.

Alternative therapy. Some women swear by alternative treatment to ease morning sickness, including accupressure, accupuncture, and chiropractic care.

Medication. For women with severe and debilitating nausea, which includes frequent or constant vomiting, prescribed medication may be the answer. Talk with your care provider about your options and any risks that may be involved. If  left untreated, severe vomiting can lead to dehydration, which can cause preterm labor.


What did you do to deal with morning sickness?

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