Coping With Severe Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is a common pregnancy symptom, so common that most people expect for it to rear its ugly head at some point during their pregnancy. It is a condition that affects over 75% of pregnant women in the first trimester to varying degrees of severity. Of course, this only makes it harder to deal with when you feel as though everyone is going through it but you seem to be the only one struggling to cope and hating every moment of being pregnant. If that sounds like you, read on for tips to cope with severe morning sickness.
- Don’t beat yourself up. It may feel as though you’re struggling to manage something that other people can handle and you’re likely to feel as though you can’t talk about the problem or make a fuss out of it because other people go through it without complaint. Remember, every pregnancy is different and everyone handles the worst of the symptoms in different ways. Let yourself feel however you feel without guilt. If you need to take a day off work, do so and rest. If you planned to eat a nutritious diet during pregnancy but find yourself craving nothing but sugar and fat, eat it. Do whatever you need to do to cope in these early stages.
- Keep a diary. It may sound silly, but keeping a diary of what you do each day and what smells and foods you are encountering can really help manage the nausea. At times when you can’t pinpoint quite what smell it is making you sick, keeping a diary of all you come into contact with can really help pinpoint the problem and eliminate it.
- Identify foods that you can eat. These can be far and in-between and can change every single day! Yet eating something is far better for both you and the baby than to eat nothing at all so find foods that don’t sound too bad and try them. Many women find bland foods, such as plain crackers or jacket potatoes, can really help settle their stomach and that eating a little of these foods before they get out of bed can help them through the rest of the day. Likewise, you may have heard that ginger is good for relieving morning sickness and many expecting moms have found that this really works, whether it’s in ginger biscuits, ginger ale or raw ginger added to meals as they are cooking.
- Eat little but often. Once you have found foods that you can eat, don’t overdo it – no matter how tempting it may be. Eating little and often can relieve some of the symptoms of morning sickness and help you get the nutrition you need, keeping your blood sugar stable to avoid the spikes and dips that can contribute to nausea. Experts recommend eating every 2-3 hours during the first trimester.
- Try alternative remedies. Homeopathic remedies are completely safe in pregnancy and can work miracles when you’re just trying to stand up without losing that morning’s attempt at breakfast. Cocculus, colchicum and sepia are the remedies recommended for morning sickness. If you don’t like the idea of homeopathic medicine, some find that an acupuncture wristband designed to treat travel sickness works well to relieve pregnancy sickness too.
- Drink enough fluid. Morning sickness can deplete your body of fluids and dehydration can become one of the worst side effects of morning sickness as well as perpetuating the cycle due to making you more tired and lethargic. Water is needed in order to get vitamins and nutrients to your developing baby as well as to rid your body of toxins. If you are struggling to keep water down, this can be a real problem. Some women find it is easier to drink water from a straw, suck on ice cubes, or even eat high water-content foods such as watermelon as opposed to drinking full glasses of water. If you are struggling with drinking water, sip the water slowly and leave a few minutes between every attempt to minimise the chance of your stomach reacting.
- Ask for help. This can be as simple as asking your partner or family to cook food so that you don’t have to be around difficult smells, or it may involve asking for help from your doctor. You may not want to visit the doctor, but, if you’re struggling to keep fluids down or cope with everyday life, it may be necessary. Your doctor can prescribe medication that is safe for you and your baby to help keep the nausea and sickness at bay.
Lastly, remember that morning sickness is not permanent. Severe morning sickness can make life feel quite bleak and it can be hard to remember that the symptoms will eventually subside with time. Most people find their morning sickness at least abates by 14 weeks, and for many it stops completely. It might also be comforting to know that recent research at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto linked those mothers with high levels of morning sickness with having healthier babies and children who rate higher on IQ tests, so if you are really suffering you may just have a little genius on your hands!
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