Pregnancy comes with many joys and delightful experiences, but morning sickness isn’t one of them. If you’re looking for a healthy and safe solution there are Mindful steps to consider.
Despite its name, morning sickness causes nausea and vomiting in expectant women morning, noon, and night. Experts estimate that it affects 50 to 90 percent of pregnant women. Stress, fatigue, and traveling are said to make matters worse. It can also lead to more severe conditions, like Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and her recent case of hyperemesis gravidarum.
Though it’s trying, morning sickness doesn’t harm the mother or baby. In fact, it could be a good sign. The symptoms begin when the egg implants in the uterus and hormones like human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) increase. It’s said to be a sign that the baby’s placenta is developing well. Morning sickness lasts from the 2nd and 6th week of pregnancy to the end of the first trimester (12th week) or throughout the pregnancy.
Mindful Morning Sickness Tips
- Start the day off right. An empty stomach can make the symptoms worse. Consider keeping crackers, dry cereal or toast next to your bed. Eat some before you go to sleep and 15 minutes before you get up. Sudden movements can also upset your tummy. So be sure to give yourself more time to get ready in the morning.
- Eat mindfully every day. Avoid skipping meals and consider eating five to six small meals (and lots of snacks) a day instead of three large ones. Avoid spicy, greasy or fatty foods. Consider eating foods like bread, chips, crackers, fruit, Jell-O, lollipops, nuts, peanut butter, popsicles, pretzels, toast, and veggies.
- Hydrate. Staying hydrated is important, so drink fluids throughout the day. But don’t drink during your meals as it can upset your stomach. Instead, drink 30 minutes before or after a meal. If you can’t keep food down consider fluids like broth, ginger ale, ginger tea, smoothies, soup, sports drinks, or water with lemon.
- Skip the scents and smells. During pregnancy, many women become sensitive to certain smells. So, let fresh air into your home and keeping soothing candles and oils (ginger, lavender, lemon, and thyme) on hand.
- Stress reduction techniques. Easing your mom stress can also help reduce morning sickness symptoms. Consider things like acupressure (and acupressure bracelets), meditation, pregnancy massages, prenatal yoga, and walks. Check out The Stress Institute for more tips.
- Rest well. Get as much rest as you can, consider taking naps if need be. However, avoid lying down after eating a meal; it adds to aches and pains.
Caution. If the symptoms become excessive you may be experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum, a medical condition that causes severe nausea, vomiting and weight loss. Mild cases can be cured with doctor-approved antacids and diet changes. Worse cases may require hospitalization (nutrition through IV lines).
Seek help. If you have pain, a racing heart, a fever, start vomiting blood, experience fainting/dizzy spells, or simply feel concerned, contact your doctor or midwife for guidance.