Over 50 percent of pregnant women get morning sickness. Although this is primarily in the first trimester and most women find the feeling of nausea worse in the morning, for some this feeling goes on all day and well into their pregnancy.
Exactly why women get morning sickness is unknown, but factors may include:
- Changes in digestive activity brought on by a rise in hormones
- a fall in blood sugar, resulting from the placenta's need for energy
- An increased sense of smell which can increase the feelings of nausea
Excessive vomiting during pregnancy is known as hyperemesis gravidarum. It can lead to dehydration, malnutrition, and weight loss.
It affects around 1 in every 300 women and usually occurs during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Call your midwife or GP immediately if you're vomiting and have any of the following symptoms as these can be signs of dehydration or a urine infection:
The doctor may recommend dietary changes, plenty of rest and the use of antacids. In severe cases, you may need to receive fluids and nutrition intravenously
Easing morning sickness
It’s not recommended that pregnant women take medication for morning sickness unless prescribed by a doctor. However there are several ways you can ease the feelings of nausea.
Here are our 5 top tips:
1. Change your eating habits
Eat little and often as having an empty stomach can make sickness worse. This is because without food stomach acids will work on the stomach lining, which adds to feelings of nausea. Try keeping protein snacks or salt crackers handy and at breakfast bananas or citrus fruit, filled with potassium, will help fight off that unwanted feeling. We also recommend nibbling on a high-protein snack at bedtime as this will help regulate your blood-glucose levels during the night.
Eat cold food to reduce the smells experienced when eating.
Cut back on fatty and spicy foods as well as caffeine - all can trigger the release of stomach acid.
Eat more carbs. Carbs help settle the stomach, so try eating dry toast, baked potatoes, rice or pasta.
2. Drink between meals
It’s important to stay hydrated, but when you’re finding it hard to keep fluids down this can be challenging. Try limiting the amount you drink during mealtimes but make up for this throughout the rest of the day. Or another tip is suck on an ice cube, some mums find great comfort in their homemade fruit juice cubes.
3. Consume foods that settle your stomach
There are many foods that will aid digestion, reduce discomfort and relieve symptoms of nausea. It’s down to personal taste – you’ll find some work better for you than others. But here’s a few to try for now:
Ginger and peppermint tea. Peppermint tea drunk when you’re feeling queasy can really calm your stomach, but it’s ginger that everyone swears by to ease that nauseous feeling. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has carried out studies on the relief provided by ginger biscuits and found them to be a real comfort to many pregnant women. Or you could try drinking cold ginger ale or adding a slice of ginger to hot water or a cup of tea.
We love this simple ginger, lime and pomegranate drink from Jamie Oliver. It’s simple to make, so refreshing, packed with lovely ginger and the perfect summer thirst quencher!
Pomegranate, ginger & lime flavoured water
COLOURFUL, BRIGHT & DELICIOUS
(a) Hold the pomegranate cut side down in your fingers and bash the back of it with a spoon so the seeds tumble into a jug (or of course you could cheat and buy pomegranate seeds from any major retailer)
(b) Finely grate in some peeled ginger, then slice and add the lime.
(c)Add loads of ice, then top up with water. DELICIOUS
Lemons.The smell and taste of lemons can calm your stomach so we suggest you always keep one at hand. Whether you squeeze lemon juice into your water or lick a slice when morning sickness hits, you’ll find this useful fruit a great help. If it’s easier why not stash a bag of lemon drops in your handbag, even these will help.
4. Keep physically and mentally active
Being physically active has been found to improve symptoms in women who experience nausea during pregnancy. We know going to the gym when you’re feeling sick is a step too far, but a gentle walk can work wonders. And keeping your mind off the feeling of nausea can help too – take some time out, just to read a book, watch TV or do a crossword.
5. Wear loose clothing
This may sound an obvious one, but wearing loose fitting clothing can really make a difference when you’re feeling sick. Stick to those flowing summer dresses and expandable elastic waistbands during bouts of sickness.
If any of you have other tips that you’ve found have helped you fight off feelings of nausea and vomiting please let us know, we’d love to share them with other Secret Saviours customers.