Are you looking for some ways to treat morning sickness?
You've heard about the glow. That indescribable light-like presence that surrounds pregnant women and their cute little bumps. They're loving pregnancy and all the indescribable experiences that come along with it. They talk about their little peanut with pride and joy.
Unfortunately, not all women have this experience. In fact, 80 percent of women experience morning sickness in their first trimester. Furthermore, a majority of women experience morning sickness through the entirety of their pregnancy.
So, if you're one of the lucky ladies experiencing morning sickness in your second and third trimesters, you are most certainly not alone. No, morning sickness is not just confined to the morning, and yes, it will hit you out of nowhere. But there are ways to help make it through the day, and your pregnancy, while dealing with morning sickness that won’t go away.
NOTE: This article is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your OB or physician if you have concerns during pregnancy.
So, here you go with some ways to treat morning sickness.
1. Saltines Are Your Best Friend
Let's face it. Crackers are a staple food when dealing with the stomach flu. They are bland, filling, and salty which may help absorb some extra stomach acid build-up that can contribute to nausea.
Also, keep some on your person throughout the day, in case nausea hits when you aren’t at home. Some other foods that may help with nausea are apples, chicken broth, and pretzels. Bland foods are one of the best ways to treat morning sickness.
2. Ginger Tea
Ginger is a potent root that can be found in most grocery stores. But don’t let its potency deter you. A lot of women have found that ginger tea or other products have helped them manage pregnancy related nausea. Ginger is believed to have natural stomach soothing properties, which include stomach relaxants and digestive enzyme stimulants.
There are several ways to try ginger for your morning sickness. One of the more common methods is ginger tea. Simply place a piece of ginger root, or ginger shavings, into water and bring it to a boil. The longer the ginger boils, the stronger the flavor will be. When its reached your desired taste, sip and enjoy.
Some women find that the smell of ginger exacerbates their nausea. Thankfully, ginger can be found in pill form which can sometimes be more effective if taking medicine doesn’t cause your nausea to worsen.
3. Sprite and Ginger Ale
Many women find the carbonation in Sprite and ginger ale settle their stomach. While there isn’t much research on these drinks and nausea, some women find the bubbles help with built-up gas that can contribute to nausea.
Sip slowly on one of these drinks; drinking it too quickly can make gas build up worse.
Another more natural remedy for nausea is peppermint. Sucking on mints throughout the day, or drinking peppermint tea can help settle a queasy stomach.
Peppermint essential oil is considered safe for pregnancy. Putting a few drops into a diffuser, taking it in a pill, or simply smelling the oil has been effective for several women. *Note: Not all essential oils are considered safe for pregnancy. Please do your research or consult with your physician if essential oils are a part of your normal routine.
5. Nausea Bands
Nausea bands work by placing pressure on a pressure point found in the wrist. Pressure points are considered acupuncture, which has become more common in western society over the last few years. One study found that 70 percent of women had relief from nausea while wearing nausea bands.
They aren't very fashionable, but many find they are effective. You can find these bands at drug stores or pharmacies, and of course, online.
6. BRAT Diet
One diet commonly recommended for nausea and vomiting is the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apples or applesauce, toast). Not only are these bland foods, but bananas can help replenish potassium in your body that may become depleted by repeated vomiting.
Because of the delicate nature of growing a human being, always consult with your OB before going on a diet, such as BRAT.
7. Prescription Medications
If nothing else works for you, and your nausea is significantly impaired in terms of your ability to eat and function, talk to your doctor about prescriptions you may take to help. Zofran, Phenergan, and Diclegis are commonly used in pregnancy and are considered safe by the FDA.
I hope that some, if not all, of these methods help curb your nausea. However, if you are experiencing repeated vomiting that will not go away, you may have a condition called hyperemesis. Hyperemesis is rare and only affects 1 percent of pregnant women. However, this condition can be serious and can become dangerous if not treated adequately. If you believe you have this condition, consult with your OB right away.
The following are recommendations on ways to stay healthy while being so sick:
1. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated during pregnancy is essential. Drinking up to a gallon of water is often recommended in a normal, low-risk pregnancy. When you are vomiting incessantly, your hydration becomes much more important. Even if you aren't vomiting, drinking fluids is essential, and you should continue to try and drink plenty of water.
Dehydration in pregnancy is serious and can lead to complications, including overheating and reduced amniotic fluid content. During pregnancy, you should aim to have light yellow urine. If your urine is dark, you need to up your fluid intake.
Keep sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade on hand and sip on these throughout your day. My OB suggested I drink a capful every 15 minutes to maintain hydration.
2. Eat Whenever You Can
One complication that is used to diagnose hyperemesis is weight loss. In pregnancy, women are supposed to gain anywhere from 5 to 35 pounds depending on your pre-pregnancy weight and BMI, which equates to roughly 300 calories extra per day. This extra weight is beneficial for the baby’s development and nutrition and is stored for use later in breast milk.
During hyperemesis, women find it difficult to keep up with the calorie intake required during pregnancy. Drinking nutritional shakes and attempting the BRAT diet is one way to make up for lost calories. Eating whenever you can is vital to, at the very least, maintain weight in pregnancy.
If you are losing weight, try not to worry too much. In most cases, your baby will get the required amount of nutrition needed from your fat storage and by taking in everything you are able to eat or drink. While this is good news, it means your health can decline in the process. This is also not ideal for your growing child.
*NOTE: Weight loss is rarely recommended during pregnancy, and is closely monitored if medically necessary. If you are unintentionally losing weight, particularly in the second trimester, consult with your OB.
Sleep is essential in pregnancy. Unfortunately, you may find that nausea and vomiting, particularly in hyperemesis, wakes you up and prevents you from getting adequate sleep.
If your sleep is being deprived because of pregnancy sickness at night, try to nap throughout the day. Some women find that eating a light snack, like crackers, before bed can also help with nighttime nausea.
4. Prescription Medication
As stated before, prescription medication can be offered when dealing with severe nausea and vomiting. Diclegis is the most recommended medication for persistent morning sickness. This medication can be very expensive, so talk to your doctor about other medications you can take. You can also try a combination of Unisom and vitamin B6, which are the two chemical components found in Diclegis. Talk to your doctor about dosage.
4. Emergency Care
If you are showing signs of severe dehydration, do not be afraid to go to your nearest emergency room for treatment. Symptoms of severe dehydration are:
- Dark, foul-smelling, or absent urine.
- Increased, or fast, heart rate.
- Inability to sweat when hot.
- Dry mouth
- Fatigue or exhaustion
If you are experiencing these symptoms call your on-call OB. Treatment by medical professionals will most likely be recommended.
When you arrive at the ER, they will take your vital signs and listen to the baby’s heartbeat to make sure your baby is not in distress. They will then give you some combination of fluids and anti-nausea medication over the course of a few hours. If your dehydration is severe enough to affect electrolytes in your body, inpatient treatment may be recommended. Most of the time, this is not needed.
Your health is vital to maintaining the health of your baby. Emergency room visits may seem scary, but maintaining your health is crucial.