You’re pregnant! YAY!
You are glowing, feeling amazing and couldn’t be happier. Everything around you is sunshine and smiley faces.
Enter morning sickness. (aka all day and all night sickness)
Suddenly, you feel a little less glowy and smiley. And you’re spending most of your day wrapped around the toilet. Ugh.
Up to 85% of pregnant women experience some degree of nausea and vomiting related to their pregnancy.
Symptoms of morning sickness usually begin around weeks 4-6 after conception and continue until the second trimester. However, it is not uncommon to feel some degree of nausea throughout your entire pregnancy.
Why does it happen?
Your pregnant body is undergoing a ton of physiological changes. Remember, you are creating a tiny human and your hormones are going crazy – elevating exponentially. Nausea and vomiting is one of the by-products of that change. In addition, some theorize that morning sickness is the body’s way of self-regulating itself and potentially nature’s way of protecting the body from substances that could be harmful for baby.
Here are a few tried and true ways I’ve used to conquer the queasies:
- First, nausea is often worse on an empty stomach especially after taking some pretty potent prenatal vitamins. Eat small, frequent meals through the day and make sure you take your vitamins with some food in the morning. In addition, consistent, light snacking will prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping drastically and preventing nausea.
- Eating the right foods is important to help stave off nausea but also to help keep your tiny human nourished. Incorporate protein and fats into each meal. I found that I was more sick if I didn’t have enough healthy fats in my daily diet (eg. add some avocado to your meal, or add coconut oil or coconut milk to your morning smoothies).
- Get some shut-eye! It may seem totally unrelated, but getting some extra sleep can make a huge difference to how you are feeling. Fatigue makes nausea worse! Going to bed a bit earlier or squeezing in a nap here and there will definitely help.
- Ginger works wonders for nausea. Drinking enough fluids, especially when vomiting is super important since dehydration is one of the most serious consequences of morning sickness. However, many women, myself included, find that water doesn’t sit well with nausea. Ginger tea has been my saving grace! Try adding some grated fresh ginger to a cup of boiling water.
- Vitamin B6 is a terrific tummy soother! Find it naturally in foods like bananas, currants, salmon, sweet potatoes, turkey, sunflower seeds and walnuts. (Check with your health care practitioner to see if you are getting enough of this vitamin)
- Acupuncture and acupressure is amazing at easing morning sickness especially for women who experience nausea symptoms through their second and third trimesters.
Hang in there mama… soon you will have a cute tiny human in your arms and your morning sickness days will be totally forgotten!
(If your symptoms persist and are worsening – it’s always a good idea to see your health practitioner)
PS. One of my favourite new apps for pregnancy nutrition is Nourished Babe. The app contains a wealth of knowledge and expert guidance from dieticians, pediatrician Dr Dina and moi! Check it out here or download it from the App Store!
xo Dr Aliya