Morning sickness and hyperemesis are common and often unpleasant symptoms experienced during pregnancy. If you’re struggling with nausea and vomiting, know that you’re not alone and there are things you can do to help manage your symptoms.
Eat small, frequent meals
Eating small, frequent meals is a helpful strategy for managing morning sickness and hyperemesis. Instead of trying to eat three large meals a day, try eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. This can help reduce the feeling of nausea and make it easier for your body to digest and absorb nutrients.
Here are a few tips for implementing this strategy:
Keep healthy snacks on hand: Have small, healthy snacks (such as crackers, fruits, or nuts) readily available so you can eat something as soon as you start to feel hungry.
Don’t let yourself get too hungry: Hunger can make nausea worse, so try to eat something before you get too hungry.
Avoid large meals: Large meals can be harder to digest and may increase feelings of nausea. Instead, try to eat smaller, more frequent meals.
Eat slowly: Take your time to eat and try to eat slowly. This can help reduce the feeling of nausea and allow your body to better digest and absorb nutrients.
It’s important to listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry, even if it’s not at your usual meal times. Remember to also stay hydrated and choose nutrient-rich foods to help nourish your body during this time.
Avoid trigger foods
Certain foods and smells can make morning sickness and hyperemesis worse. Paying attention to your triggers and avoiding them can help alleviate your symptoms. Here are a few tips for avoiding triggers:
Pay attention to your symptoms: Keep a journal of what you eat and how you feel after eating. This can help you identify which foods or smells might be triggering your symptoms.
Avoid strong smells: Strong smells (such as certain perfumes or cooking odors) can make nausea worse. Try to avoid these smells, or use scents that are more tolerable to you (such as peppermint or lemon).
Avoid spicy or greasy foods: These types of foods can be harder to digest and may increase feelings of nausea.
Avoid large, high-fat meals: Large, high-fat meals can be harder to digest and may make nausea worse. Instead, try to eat smaller, more frequent meals that are easier on your stomach.
Avoid caffeine: Caffeine can stimulate the digestive system and may make nausea worse. Try to limit or avoid caffeine while you’re experiencing morning sickness or hyperemesis.
It’s important to remember that triggers can vary from person to person, so pay attention to what seems to make your symptoms worse and try to avoid those triggers. Also, don’t be afraid to try new foods – you may find that certain foods help alleviate your symptoms. If you’re having trouble finding foods that agree with you, it may be helpful to speak with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for guidance.
Staying hydrated is important when you’re experiencing morning sickness or hyperemesis. Nausea and vomiting can cause you to lose fluids, and it’s important to replace those fluids to help prevent dehydration. Here are a few tips for staying hydrated:
Sip on fluids throughout the day: Try to drink small sips of fluids frequently throughout the day, rather than trying to drink large amounts all at once.
Choose hydrating beverages: Water, electrolyte-rich beverages (such as sports drinks or coconut water), and clear broth are good options for hydrating. Avoid caffeine, as it can stimulate the digestive system and may make nausea worse.
Eat hydrating foods: In addition to drinking fluids, you can also get hydration from foods. Fruits and vegetables, especially those with a high water content (such as watermelon and cucumber), can help keep you hydrated.
Use a straw: If the thought of drinking fluids makes you feel nauseous, try using a straw to sip on fluids. This can help reduce the feeling of nausea.
Avoid very cold or hot fluids: Extremely cold or hot fluids can make nausea worse. Try to drink fluids that are at room temperature or slightly chilled.
If you’re having trouble keeping fluids down, or if you’re experiencing severe dehydration, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider. They can provide you with additional guidance and possibly prescribe medications to help manage your symptoms. Remember to also continue to eat nutritious foods to help nourish your body during this time.
Get plenty of rest
Getting plenty of rest is important when you’re experiencing morning sickness or hyperemesis. Fatigue can make these symptoms worse, so it’s important to get as much rest as you can. Here are a few tips for getting rest:
Go to bed early: Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you’re having trouble sleeping due to discomfort or the need to use the bathroom frequently, try going to bed earlier so you can get more rest.
Take naps: If you’re feeling fatigued during the day, try taking a nap. Even a short nap can help boost your energy and improve your mood.
Relax before bed: Try to relax and wind down before bedtime. This can help you fall asleep more easily. Avoid screens (such as phones and laptops) for at least an hour before bed, as the blue light from screens can disrupt your sleep.
Create a comfortable sleep environment: Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet. Use comfortable bedding and pillows, and try using a white noise machine or earplugs to block out any noise that may disrupt your sleep.
Get some fresh air: Getting some fresh air and sunshine during the day can help improve your sleep quality. Try to spend some time outside during the day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
If you’re still having trouble getting enough rest despite trying these strategies, it may be helpful to speak with a healthcare provider. They can provide you with additional guidance and may recommend other strategies or medications to help improve your sleep.
Buy some ginger
Ginger is a natural remedy that has been shown to help reduce nausea and vomiting. There are several ways you can incorporate ginger into your diet to help manage morning sickness or hyperemesis:
Drink ginger tea: Ginger tea is a simple and soothing way to get the benefits of ginger. You can buy ginger tea bags or make your own by slicing fresh ginger and steeping it in hot water.
Eat ginger candies: Ginger candies or gummies are a convenient way to get the benefits of ginger on the go. Just be sure to choose a brand that doesn’t have a lot of added sugar.
Take ginger supplements: Ginger supplements (such as ginger capsules or ginger extract) are another option for getting the benefits of ginger. Just be sure to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, as certain supplements may not be safe during pregnancy.
Add ginger to your diet: Fresh ginger can be grated and added to food or drinks, or you can try using ginger in cooking. For example, you can add grated ginger to smoothies, stir-fries, or baked goods.
It’s important to note that ginger may not work for everyone, and it’s possible to have too much ginger. If you’re considering using ginger to help manage your symptoms, it’s a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider first. They can provide you with guidance on the appropriate dosage and help you determine if ginger is safe for you to use.
Experiment with aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils (concentrated plant extracts) to promote health and well-being. Some people find that certain scents can help alleviate nausea and vomiting. Here are a few tips for using aromatherapy to help manage morning sickness or hyperemesis:
Inhale essential oils: Certain essential oils, such as peppermint and lemon, may help alleviate nausea. You can inhale these oils directly from the bottle or from a tissue, or you can use a diffuser to disperse the scent into the air.
Apply essential oils topically: You can also apply essential oils topically to your skin (such as on your wrist or behind your ears). Just be sure to dilute the oil in a carrier oil (such as almond oil or coconut oil) before applying it to your skin, as some essential oils can be irritating when applied undiluted.
Use scented products: In addition to essential oils, you can also try using scented products (such as scented lotions or soaps) that contain calming scents. Just be sure to avoid products with strong, overpowering scents, as these can make nausea worse.
It’s important to note that not all essential oils are safe to use during pregnancy, and some can be toxic if ingested. If you’re considering using essential oils to help manage your morning sickness or hyperemesis, it’s a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider first. They can provide you with guidance on which oils are safe to use and how to use them safely.
Talk to your healthcare provider
If your morning sickness or hyperemesis is severe and interfering with your daily life, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider. They can provide you with additional strategies and possibly prescribe medications to help manage your symptoms. Here are a few things a healthcare provider may recommend:
Prescription medications: There are several prescription medications that can help alleviate nausea and vomiting. Your healthcare provider can determine if one of these medications is appropriate for you and provide you with a prescription.
Antiemetic medications: Antiemetic medications are designed specifically to help reduce nausea and vomiting. Your healthcare provider may prescribe an antiemetic medication to help manage your symptoms.
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 has been shown to help reduce nausea and vomiting in some people. Your healthcare provider may recommend taking a vitamin B6 supplement to help manage your symptoms.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. Some people find that acupuncture helps alleviate nausea and vomiting.
Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a state of focused attention and heightened suggestibility. Some people find that hypnosis can help reduce nausea and vomiting.
It’s important to remember that what works for one person may not work for everyone. Your healthcare provider can help you determine the best course of treatment based on your specific needs and circumstances. Don’t be afraid to speak with your healthcare provider if you’re struggling with morning sickness or hyperemesis – they are there to help you.