Morning Sickness Relief

Pregnancy is a magical time and a miraculous process-but for many women, it is hard to enjoy the wonder of their developing child during the nausea-ridden first trimester. Not all women experience morning sickness, and those who do may experience anything from mild, occasional queasiness to frequent vomiting. For those not lucky enough to avoid this symptom of pregnancy, however, there are many strategies for easing the unpleasantness.

Despite its name, morning sickness can occur at any time, or might persist all day. An empty stomach will worsen nausea, so eating small, bland meals throughout the day will help. Keeping some crackers on your bedside table and eating them before you’ve even sat up in the morning will help to settle your stomach. Avoid foods that are spicy or greasy, and drink plenty of liquids for hydration.

Many women experience a heightened sense of smell during pregnancy, and this can be a source of nausea when you’ve developed aversions to certain foods or smells. Recognizing these trigger smells and taking action to avoid them can keep nausea under control. If you find you can’t stand the smell of chicken, for example, ask your significant other to give it up until your first trimester is over. While this may seem like an extreme measure, remind them that it’s only for a relatively short period, but that the gesture will make a world of difference in your quality of life during that time. Trying to cover up unpleasant smells with fragrance oils or scented candles may backfire, as even normally pleasant smells can be nauseating to a pregnant woman. Instead, try to keep your living environment clean and neutral. Investing in an air purifier may help with nausea during this time.

On the flip side, there are certain smells and tastes which are known to ease nausea, such as peppermint, ginger, and lemon. Carrying peppermint oil to sniff during bouts of nausea may help, as will sucking on a mild peppermint. Products such as Preggie Pops and Preggie Drops come in flavors that help with nausea. Ginger is available in several formats, including ginger ale, fresh ginger, and ginger capsules which can be purchased at any drug store. Vitamin B6 is also readily available over the counter, and has been scientifically shown to decrease morning sickness.

For some women, the use of pressure points can be effective in staving off nausea. Devices such as Sea-Bands work by applying pressure to a specific point on your wrist by way of a plastic stud. These can be worn discretely and are a drug-free means of treating nausea.

For severe nausea and vomiting, you may need to turn to medications which your primary care physician or OB/GYN can prescribe for you. Medicines such as Zofran and Phenergan are safe to take during pregnancy, and are very effective in relieving nausea. These drugs can cause significant fatigue, so should be used with caution.

Just as every pregnancy and delivery is different, every woman will have a different experience of morning sickness. What works for some may not work for others. During my pregnancy, for instance, I was rendered nearly useless by nausea stemming largely from my heightened sense of smell. Though I tried nearly everything, the only solution that provided me with effective relief was Phenergan. During your pregnancy, you will need to experiment with different solutions to find the one which works best for you. If all else fails, remember that your current misery will come to an end eventually, and it will seem like a distant memory when you’re finally holding your baby in your arms!