What Is Morning Sickness?
Many women feel sick and have nausea or vomiting during pregnancy. This is known as morning sickness. It is common during pregnancy. Around 70% to 85% of pregnant women get morning sickness.
It is called morning sickness, but you can get it at any time of the day. It happens because of hormonal changes during pregnancy. Some women don't get morning sickness, while some may have severe symptoms.
Symptoms of Morning Sickness
Symptoms of morning sickness include nausea and vomiting. You may also feel sick or experience discomfort.
These symptoms start around the 5th or 6th week of your pregnancy. They may worsen at nine weeks due to changes in hormone levels. Morning sickness usually improves over time. Some women may continue to have morning sickness until the third trimester or childbirth.
Foods to Avoid: Sweet Foods
You can manage your morning sickness symptoms by avoiding the following foods.
Sweets like cakes, pastries, chocolates, and rich desserts can upset your stomach and induce morning sickness.
Spicy food can irritate your stomach, make you feel nauseous, and worsen morning sickness.
Try to avoid rich foods like thick, creamy gravies and soups. High-fat foods not only worsen morning sickness but increase your bad cholesterol levels. This can be harmful to your baby.
Fried or junk foods
Fried food has high-fat content and can be bad for you during pregnancy. You may also crave junk food when you're pregnant. Avoid eating these foods altogether as they can cause nausea and worsen morning sickness.
Foods with distinct or strong smells can increase nausea and vomiting. Avoid strong-smelling vegetables and foods to control your symptoms.
Avoid drinks that have caffeine in them during pregnancy. You may want to stay away from coffee, tea, and colas as they can worsen morning sickness.
If you're pregnant, strictly avoid drinking beverages that contain alcohol. You'll have to stop drinking alcohol, including beer, wine, or mixed drinks to manage morning sickness.
Acidic drinks like orange juice can irritate your stomach and induce nausea.
What Foods Are Good for Morning Sickness?
Instead of having rich and flavorful food, you'll have to stick to bland, low-fat, and nutritious foods. This can help reduce nausea and keep you healthy throughout your pregnancy.
Here are some foods that manage the symptoms of morning sickness.
Healthy, low-fat food
Low-fat foods are easier to digest. This will help reduce nausea and discomfort.
Add foods like popcorn, dry breakfast cereal, fresh or dry fruit, rice, pasta, noodles, and fresh or cooked vegetables to your diet. Fruit or vegetable juices, milkshakes, or smoothies can also help ease morning sickness.
Replace rich foods with bland options that are easy on your stomach. You can have salads, soups, broth, or a plain baked potato. If you crave sweet foods, have gelatine, pudding, or custard instead of rich desserts.
If you have soup, make sure it's not too rich, hot, or cold. Have a simple soup or broth served warm or at room temperature to avoid nausea.
Ginger is a natural remedy for indigestion, nausea, and vomiting. It reduces morning sickness symptoms during pregnancy. You can have ginger in the following different forms:
- Ginger tea, made by brewing grated ginger in water
- Non-alcoholic ginger beer or ginger ale
- Crystallized ginger
- Ginger biscuits
- Ginger juice or cordial mixed with honey
The sourness of lemons helps reduce nausea. You can smell lemons, eat them, or suck on them if you're feeling nauseous. Squeeze some lemon juice in water, mix it with honey, and sip on it. Keep some lemon drops handy so you can suck on them if you start feeling ill.
Crackers and toast
Morning sickness symptoms can hit hardest when you wake up with an empty stomach. In such cases, munching on some crackers or bread can prevent nausea. High-carbohydrate snacks like plain salted crackers, pretzels, or toast with honey are good foods when you have morning sickness.
Tips to Manage Morning Sickness: Small but Frequent Meals
Here are some other tips for managing morning sickness during pregnancy.
An empty stomach can induce nausea. Eating small amounts of carbohydrates at regular 30-minute intervals can help you prevent nausea during pregnancy. You can have crackers or plain biscuits. A spoonful of rice, pasta, fruit, or breakfast cereal can also help. Avoid drinking liquids with meals as they can make you feel full and cause vomiting.
Continuous vomiting can leave you dehydrated, so you need to stay hydrated. Make sure you slowly sip on liquids between meals. Drink at least eight cups of healthy liquids like milk, water, or juice.
Lemonade, ginger ale, cordial, and glucose or electrolyte drinks are great to stay hydrated and prevent nausea. You can also have mineral and soda water. Crushed ice, flavored ice popsicles, frozen fruit juice, and frozen yogurt also work to prevent morning sickness.
- Avoid smoking
- Don't skip meals
- Eat small amounts of food frequently
- Eat and drink slowly
- Chew your food well
- Sit upright during your meal
- Avoid lying down flat just after your meal
- Avoid being around the kitchen when food is prepared
- Take vitamin B6 supplements to reduce morning sickness symptoms, as per your doctor's recommendation
- Avoid foods if their taste or smell makes you feel sick or nauseous
- Talk to your doctor if you're experiencing morning sickness too often
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