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Ways to Ease Morning Sickness

By Louise Baty

Feeling nauseous? You’re not alone, around 80 per cent of mums-to-be suffer some form of ‘morning sickness’.
Here’s how to ease it.

You lean in for a kiss with your partner but their scent leaves you backing away, queasy. At work, the suggestion of a morning cuppa has you retching and running for the loo. Then there’s the commute home, which proves torturous with your newly enhanced sense of smell. Did that bloke sitting next to you on the bus have garlic bread for lunch? Eeuww… pass the sick bag.

If you’re feeling grim in the early stages of pregnancy, you’re not the only one. Around half of all mums-to-be experience vomiting, with more than 80 per cent of women feeling nauseous during the first trimester. Yep, it’s the dreaded morning sickness. But, by rights, it should be renamed ‘all-day-and-night sickness’, considering it’s not confined to any particular time of the day.

There is no one cause of sickness during pregnancy, and there’s no telling how badly you’ll suffer, if at all. However, increased hormone levels are usually to blame, along with reduced blood sugar.

If your symptoms are severe, anti-sickness medication prescribed by your GP may be the only answer. But for those less seriously afflicted, here are some tips on coping…

1. Keep Eating and Drinking (Even When You Don’t Want To)

 

When you’re spending a considerable chunk of your day hanging over the toilet bowl, it might seem easier to avoid food altogether. But many women find hunger makes them feel even more deathly.  

“Eating little and often can help prevent morning sickness as it prevents blood sugar levels dropping, which can cause nausea,” says award-winning nutritional therapist, Sally Wisbey. “Ensure you keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water and sip slowly and regularly.”

High-carb, low-fat savoury options such as bread, rice and crackers are the best choice. But let’s face it, if all you can stomach is a family pack of salt and vinegar crisps, just do what you can to get through.

Award-winning nutritional therapist Sally Wisbey can be found tweeting at @Wizznutrition and blogging at www.sallywisbeynutrition.co.uk

2. Take it Sloooooowwww



Rushing around at breakneck speed at the start of the day is a surefire way to worsen nausea. So go easy on yourself and make sure you have plenty of time to get out of bed in the morning. It’s a good idea to keep a simple snack, such as Rich Tea biscuits, on your bedside table to nibble before you brave getting up, in order to stave off your nausea. Even better, get someone (hello, darling partner) to bring you some dry toast. Come on, you’re pregnant. Surely you deserve breakfast in bed!

3. Eat Ginger

Don’t dismiss the theory about eating ginger during pregnancy as an old wives’ tale.

“Ginger has been used for centuries to help treat nausea,” says Sally Wisbey. “It’s thought to help reduce indigestion, often a cause of morning sickness, so it can be a great addition to the diet in pregnancy. It also helps soothe and relax the gastrointestinal muscles, helping to ease nausea. Try drinking ginger tea or non-alcoholic ginger beer throughout your pregnancy.”

If you don’t like the taste of ginger, there’s also some evidence that ginger supplements may help reduce nausea and vomiting. But as ginger products are unlicensed in the UK, be sure to buy them from a reputable source, such as a pharmacy, and check with the pharmacist first.

4. Try Vitamin B6

It’s important to be clued up on which supplements are safe to take during pregnancy, so you should always seek advice from your midwife, GP or pharmacist before consuming anything.

However, studies suggest that taking vitamin B6 tablets during pregnancy is safe and can reduce feelings of nausea, though not stop the vomiting, darn it. A typical dose of vitamin B6 for morning sickness is 10-25mg, three times a day. Tablets can be bought over the counter at high street pharmacies and health food shops.

5. Wear Acupressure Bracelets



Stretchy travel sickness bracelets may not look particularly fashionable. In fact, scrap that, they definitely don’t. But they might just do the trick when it comes to easing your morning sickness. Research has suggested that putting pressure on certain parts of the body may prompt the brain to release chemicals to reduce nausea and vomiting.

If you’d prefer something more stylish, however, you can buy beaded acupressure bracelets which will look a tad more chic with your maternity wardrobe.

While there’s no evidence of serious problems caused by using acupressure during pregnancy, it’s worth bearing in mind that some women have reported numbness, pain and swelling in their hands during treatment.

Louise Baty

Louise Baty is a journalist and author of The Dos and Don'ts of Pregnancy. She is mum to a five-year-old daughter and two-year-old son.

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