Morning sickness. It’s one of the least pleasant parts of growing a baby and yet, it can be a sign of a healthy pregnancy. Some morning sickness is a good thing. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s fun to deal with while you’re trying to keep your spirits high. Feeling nauseated or physically depleted early in pregnancy can be rough. For most women, morning sickness is inconvenient and uncomfortable, but only lasts a couple of months. But all cases vary from one body to the next. And for some women, morning sickness can really take its toll. All is not lost, though. Most of the time, there are some helpful ways to manage morning sickness so that you can (mostly) enjoy your pregnancy.
Here are 5 important things to know about morning sickness:
1) It can show up at any time-
Typically, morning sickness shows up at around the 6 to 8-week mark and the worst is over by the end of the first trimester. It’s often worse first thing in the morning but once a mama-to-be gets a bit of food down, she usually feels better. But morning sickness does not only happen in the morning — it doesn’t discriminate based on the time of day. For some women, it shows up in the afternoon. For others, it can last all day. It can also show up at different points in pregnancy, even later on, or a mother can feel ill the entire pregnancy.
2) It’s usually not dangerous-
While it’s definitely not fun to feel like you’re about to throw up or even mildly nauseous, morning sickness is not usually dangerous. In fact, it’s usually a sign of a healthy pregnancy and means the hormones that keep baby safe are nice and strong. But in some cases, morning sickness can be extremely difficult or even dangerous. When a woman can’t keep anything down, even water, there’s a sign that it could be something more. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a severe form of morning sickness. Women with this rare form of pregnancy sickness may throw up almost constantly throughout the day. In cases like this, it’s not uncommon for women to require IV fluids or other help making sure they can stay hydrated and get enough nutrients through a pregnancy, or at least until the worst of the HG is passed. A woman with HG typically feels incredibly defeated and will have difficulty doing most daily tasks.
3) Avoiding an empty stomach is a big help-
One of the biggest culprits of morning sickness is when a woman’s stomach becomes empty (that’s why it’s often most challenging in the morning). Nibbling small amounts of food throughout the day and drinking lots of liquids can be a big help because when the belly becomes too empty the stomach acids can trigger the worst bouts of nausea. Keep lots of snacks on hand so you always have something grab when you start to feel hungry because oftentimes, once you’re already famished, it’s too late and you’re sick before you know it. Then, eating becomes more difficult.
4) Making sure you’re getting protein is vital-
Carbohydrates are usually the easiest thing to eat on an upset stomach. But they are digested rather quickly and then, nausea strikes again. Making sure to get some protein, whether in the form of nuts or a spreading some peanut butter on crackers, is vital, not just for your nutritional needs, but helping to stave off morning sickness.
5) Getting some nutrients from food is better than prenatal-
Prenatals are hugely valuable. But for a lot of women, taking a daily pill is difficult on an upset stomach. One trick is to take your prenatals in the evening (or whatever time of day you’re feeling the best). You can also get gummy vitamins that are usually easier on the stomach. But if ingesting any vitamins at all is trigger nausea and making you vomit, it’s best to focus on getting your nutrients from your food. Vitamins won’t do you any good if you’re throwing them up. So stick to staying hydrated, getting some folic acid and protein.
Morning sickness can be rough. Remember that listening to your body can go a long way. If you know something is really going to upset your stomach, don’t eat it until you’re feeling better. Food aversions, especially during the first trimester, are very real. So play it safe. Hydrate. Eat small bites of food at a time and get plenty of rest. With any luck, you’ll be feeling better in no time.