There are different levels of morning sickness. With my first son I had mild morning sickness and I was only physically sick once. So I cut out foods that seemed to trigger the nausea and I added foods that helped to keep the nausea at bay. It wasn’t pleasant but it was manageable.
If you’re suffering from mild morning sickness there are different things you can try. Eating little and often is recommended and make sure you keep hydrated by sipping water. Keep some dry biscuits to hand. I certainly found snacking helped to curb my nausea with my first pregnancy. Try and work out if anything triggers the nausea or if certain foods ease it.
However, I knew that my second pregnancy was different straight away. I started to feel ill before I even knew I was pregnant. Before long I had started being physically sick which continued for the next few months. This actually makes me luckier than some women as it can continue throughout the entire pregnancy (although this is rare). Extreme morning sickness is called hyperemesis.
So what helped my hyperemesis? The short answer is not much. I thought I might scream if one more well-meaning person told me to try ginger biscuits. Don’t get me wrong, usually I’m all for biscuits being the solution to every problem but, in this instance, they were no good. I ate ginger biscuits, I drank ginger tea, I ingested ginger any way I could. If there was the possibility of inhaling ginger I’d have given it a try. But no amount of ginger could make me feel better.
I would love to say that I found a natural cure and that if you eat your five fruit and veg a day you can have a perfect pregnancy. Sadly I didn’t find any cure, but I did learn a few things which I would keep in mind if I went through it again.
Coping with Hyperemesis
Firstly, seek medical advice. Speak to your doctor and see what they can prescribe and what advice they can give you. In extreme cases you may need to go into hospital if you can’t keep down any fluids.
Listen to your body. If you need to rest then rest and don’t feel bad about it. This may mean asking for help so that you can sleep because being sick all day is surprisingly exhausting.
I really didn’t want to take tablets. However, the doctor told me that it is far worse for the baby if the mother is unable to keep down any food and drink (particularly the fluids). It can lead to a trip to hospital to prevent dehydration. So, as much as I would rather not have taken pills whilst pregnant I resigned myself to the fact that it was better for me and the baby if I was well.
You may still find that certain foods or even smells make you feel worse or make you feel a little better. Try to avoid anything that aggravates your sickness. Carbohydrates tend to help with sickness. I certainly found this to be the case. If you fancy unhealthy foods then don’t sweat it. There is time to make up for it once the sickness subsides.
However, at times when you feel a bit better or when you can stomach it, try to include some fruit and vegetables so that you and the baby have some nutrition. Don’t forget to take your pregnancy vitamins too (if you can keep them down). However, like I said, don’t worry too much at this point about how healthy your diet is. The main thing is trying to get on top of the sickness.
Lastly, don’t let yourself get dehydrated. Try and keep some water next to you and sip on it when you can. If you are worried about your fluid intake speak to a doctor straight away.
If you are currently suffering with sickness during your pregnancy then you have my sympathies. It’s not pleasant but it’s also not forever. And at the end, when you’re holding your new arrival you’ll know it was worth it.