Article by home doctor Brisbane team
Finding out you’re expecting is an exciting time filled with many emotions. If you recently saw a + sign or two lines on a pregnancy test you’re probably looking forward to the months to come and that infamous ‘pregnancy glow’ and not thinking about how to stop morning sickness.
Unfortunately for many women the first few months of pregnancy are anything but miraculous or glorious. Instead of a perpetually radiant and flawless glow many women spend the first few months curled up next to the toilet bowl.
Morning sickness, as it is so inappropriately termed, effects up to 80% of women during pregnancy. While nausea and vomiting during the first trimester is common the cause is still largely unknown, believed to be due to hormonal changes.
Luckily for most women these symptoms subside around the 12th – 14th week of pregnancy. While this is comforting to know those first 14 weeks can be trying. But, there are some natural tips to help you tackle morning sickness:
1. Keep a diary
Unfortunately there is no ‘one size fits all’ cure for morning sickness. Your best bet is to start a diary and log meals, activities, smells etc. Working out what triggers your nausea is the key to helping stop morning sickness. If you begin noticing a pattern of certain foods or scents try avoiding them in those first 14 weeks.
2. Eat certain foods and avoid others
Certain foods can help settle your stomach during waves of (or constant) nausea. These include:
- Dairy products
- Complex carbohydrates
Other foods, such as coffee can have the opposite affect. Due to it’s strong scent coffee can often cause an overload on your olfactory system during pregnancy and many women have aversions to it. Food cravings and aversions are all highly individual so best to start with tip 1 and avoid foods that trigger your nausea.
3. Never skip breakfast!
Your mother always said breakfast was the most important meal of the day. As you embark on your own journey to motherhood this could not be more true. Having an empty stomach can be a big trigger for morning sickness, so take your morning slowly and eat before you get up. Some women even suggest keeping crackers beside the bed to snack on or asking your significant other to bring plain toast in the morning. Breakfast in bed for 14 weeks, why not.
4. Eat smaller meals more often
Light snacking throughout the day is a great way to ensure your stomach is never empty. As best as you can try avoiding feeling too full or too hungry.
5. Take prenatal vitamins
Prenatal vitamins contain vitamin B6 which can be powerful in the fight to stop morning sickness. Ensure you are taking them as prescribed, usually with a meal, to avoid the risk of added nausea.
6. Keep up with your exercise regime
Exercise releases endorphins which can improve your mood and help reduce digestive pains. While it may be the last thing you feel like doing, a brisk 20-30minute walk may be enough to keep your nausea at bay. While it is safe exercise during pregnancy, consult your GP or healthcare professional before beginning any new exercises.
7. Give aromatherapy a go
Aromatherapy may help calm your stomach and improve your mood, specifically try:
8. Stay hydrated
Hydration is vital to your baby’s development and helping stop morning sickness. You should be consuming twice your usual water intake, especially if you have experienced vomiting or diarrhoea.
9. Get plenty of rest
While your body is busily creating a whole new body, make sure you are getting enough rest. Quality sleep is essential during the first trimester and can often be the best relief of nausea.
10. Keep fresh scents handy
As your sense of smell is heightened during pregnancy keeping fresh scents like lemon around may help overpower nasty stenches triggering your nausea. Try keeping lemon or peppermint oil nearby for the occasional sniff.
If you need to speak to a GP and its after hours, you can call 13 55 66 to request a home doctor in Gold Coast.