Waking up and immediately feeling nauseated is never fun, but it’s something that many women have to deal with when they’re pregnant. It’s believed that over half of all pregnant women experience some form of morning sickness, which can cause nausea and vomiting and is most common in the first trimester.
If you’re pregnant and trying to manage morning sickness, here are some tips to help you minimize the queasiness.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Vomiting can cause you to become dehydrated, and being dehydrated can make you feel even worse when you’re already experiencing morning sickness. Sip water or another caffeine-free, non-carbonated beverage until the nausea passes, and continue drinking plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
Keep a Snack Nearby
Having a completely empty stomach can trigger nausea, so it’s a good idea to keep a small snack, like crackers, pretzels, or nuts, on your bedside table. Eat a small snack when you first wake up, and continue eating small snacks throughout the day.
Ginger is a common home remedy for an upset stomach, and there’s some evidence that it can soothe nausea caused by morning sickness. Try drinking a glass of flat ginger ale or taking a 1g capsule of ginger every day.
Avoid Common Nausea Triggers
Try to limit your exposure to unpleasant or overwhelming scents, like perfume, as an increase in estrogen during pregnancy can make you more sensitive to smells. You may also want to avoid fatty or spicy foods, since these can cause stomach upset. If you can, avoid using a computer when you are experiencing nausea from morning sickness, because the flickering screen can make you feel worse. Other nausea triggers can vary from woman to woman, so try keeping a log of the times you feel sick in an effort to identify your triggers.
If you have moderate to severe morning sickness, you may want to talk to your doctor about safe medications you can use to control nausea. Taking an antacid before bed may help, if you believe your nausea is caused in part by acid reflux (a condition that sometimes starts during pregnancy).
Your doctor may also recommend a medication containing a combination of doxylamine and pyridoxine (a form of vitamin B6), which has been shown to reduce morning sickness and has been approved by the FDA.
Zofran is another FDA-approved medication that your doctor may prescribe. This drug was originally developed to combat nausea caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy, but it has become relatively common for doctors to recommend Zofran for morning sickness. The risk of serious side effects with this drug is very low, although some people may experience mild dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, or constipation. If your doctor does prescribe Zofran pills, for your morning sickness avoid driving or performing other activities that require alertness until you know how the medication affects you, and stand up slowly from a sitting or lying position to minimize dizziness.
The good news is that morning sickness usually does not continue for the duration of the pregnancy. Take steps to help manage morning sickness now and keep in mind that it will get better.