Commonly called ‘morning sickness’, approximately 80% of women experience some level of nausea during pregnancy. This can range from feeling queasy when you wake up, to frequently being sick throughout the day. It commonly occurs between weeks 6 –12 of pregnancy but for some women it can last a lot longer. For most women, whilst it is unpleasant and can impact their day-to-day life, it isn’t harmful to them or their baby.
1% of women develop hyperemesis gravidarum, which is an extreme form of morning sickness that can cause dehydration and weight loss, often resulting in hospitalisation. (If you think this might be you, seek medical attention for advice on medication and ways to help you).
If you are experiencing nausea and want some ideas about how to try and ease the symptoms, these are our top 5 hacks:
Don’t let yourself get hungry
It sounds counter-intuitive because you probably can’t bear the idea of eating, but eating little and often and not letting yourself get hungry is the key to balancing your blood sugar levels and potentially keeping the nausea at bay.
Tip: Keep a snack by the side of your bed to eat as soon as you wake up.
Experiment with flavours
Ginger, peppermint and lemon all have qualities that make them potentially useful in your quest to stop the sickness. Try all 3 and see which one you prefer or which one helps the most and find ways of incorporating it in to your daily routine.
Tip: Some options to try are ginger drinks (fizzy and tea), ginger biscuits, peppermint tea, peppermint essential oil, lemon essential oil or hot water with a slice of lemon.
Avoid fatty foods and stick with bland foods
Fatty foods, fried foods and foods with lots of spice or seasoning can be hard to digest and sit heavy on your stomach. Try eating lots of small, bland food that is easy to digest. Think about the BRAT diet which is recommended when you have a sickness bug – Bread, Rice, Apple sauce and Toast.
Tip: Tea and yoghurt can also be added to the BRAT diet (known as BRATTY).
Avoid strong smells
It is really common for pregnant women to have a strong reaction to smells. If there is something that you are finding makes you feel ill, try and avoid it. Common triggers are coffee, pet food, hot stuffy rooms and food smells such as tuna or egg.
Tip: If there is something that makes you feel ill everyday as part of your routine, try and get help with it or adapt it so you don’t feel ill. For example if the smell of cooking dinner is a trigger every day, can someone else cook?
Reflexology can help ease lots of pregnancy symptoms including nausea. Treatment typically involves lying on a bed or in a comfy chair; the therapist treats your feet (it feels like a massage) by focusing on specific areas to reduce your symptoms. Make sure you find someone who is trained in treating pregnant women. The Luna Hive has lots of reflexologists who specialise in this treatment type.
We have a team of pregnancy experts, including pregnancy reflexologists, across Surrey. They are ready to support you, whether you have a specific health concern or just want to stay healthy during pregnancy. Book an appointment with one of our pregnancy support experts in Surrey, today!