About 70 percent of pregnant individuals experience some kind of nausea or vomiting during pregnancy. With some individuals, it’s the first way they learn they’re expecting! Bouts of morning sickness are most common during the first trimester (the first three months) and typically appear by nine weeks after conception. Alexandra Wagner, a Certified Nurse Midwife with Inspira Health, offers the following tips and best practices to her patients when trying to beat morning sickness.
“The term “morning sickness” is a bit of a misnomer,” says Wagner. “Some women experience similar symptoms at any time of the day or night. In most cases, morning sickness does not indicate anything is wrong with your pregnancy and is likely the result of your body’s reaction to a pregnancy hormone produced at a higher level during your first trimester.”
She continues, “While there isn’t one magic pill to make morning sickness pass, there are some remedies that moms-to-be swear by that help them find relief. Every pregnancy is different, so try different things to find if any of them work for you. You don’t have to seek medical attention for morning sickness unless you are experiencing excessive vomiting, dehydration or weight loss.”
Learn your triggers: Not all people who experience morning sickness have a trigger, but oftentimes a certain odor, food or drink can cause nausea to appear. Estrogen is the hormone that’s responsible for the sense of smell, which is heightened during pregnancy. If potent smells trigger your morning sickness, try getting an essential oil diffuser for your bedroom to turn on when you wake up in the morning. You can even keep your favorite scents, like a sprig of fresh rosemary or a lemon, in your home when you need a sniff of something fresh.
Snack time: The American Pregnancy Association suggests eating cold foods, plain fruits and vegetables, and bland foods like chicken soup to settle a queasy stomach. It also lists snacks like pretzels, Jell-O and flavored popsicles. Your go-to foods for when you’re battling a stomach flu may be able to help you with morning sickness. Try eating small, protein-rich meals every 2-3 hours, rather than large meals. Stock up on different simple crackers, gingerbread cookies or trail mixes to keep in your nightstand drawer if you’re feeling ill when you first wake up.
Tea for two: Ginger or peppermint tea has long been used to help reduce abdominal discomfort and relieve symptoms of nausea when your stomach feels like it’s flip-flopping. You can try adding fresh ginger or mint in a soda or tea too for the same results.
Exercise: The last thing you want to do when you’re feeling nauseous is to think about exercise, but even a short, slow walk can do wonders for your body. A walk around the block––or even the house a few times––can help release endorphins to counteract any fatigue or nausea.
Medications: There are also safe over the counter and prescription medications available. Generally, providers will advise patients to use medications during pregnancy as a last resort, but if your symptoms persist or worsen, ask your provider about medication options that will provide relief, as well as fit into your overall birth plan.
If you’re pregnant and having trouble finding help for your morning sickness, or other pregnancy related issue, let the certified nurse midwives at Inspira Medical Group Gentle Beginnings build a personalized treatment plan that’s right for you.
The Nurse Midwives at Inspira Medical Group Gentle Beginnings offer the full spectrum of women’s health services - from annual well-woman exams and contraceptive planning, to natural childbirth options and post-partum care - they provide an individualized, holistic approach to care for every woman.
Schedule an appointment with a midwife at Gentle Beginnings today by calling 1-800-INSPIRA.