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Dealing with Pregnancy Morning Sickness

The man who named it morning sickness never had it. Because, as any woman who has ever experienced morning sickness will quickly tell you, you don't just throw up in the morning – you throw up around the clock. Some women even have the misfortune to be awakened from a sound sleep in the middle of the night to go throw up.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to deal with pregnancy morning sickness. Let's look at beverages first. When you’re experiencing morning sickness, dehydration is your enemy. Water is an excellent source of hydration, but it provides no nutrition. Instead, you may want to look into a sports drink that replaces the electrolytes you’ve lost through vomiting. You may also find that your sense of taste and smell is heightened, and you may prefer bottled spring water to your normal tap water.

In addition to water, try a variety of liquids and try different textures and temperatures to find something that suits you. For some women, tart and salty lemonade served cold is the perfect answer. Other women find a bit of lemon in sparking water is a better choice. Other women do better with a warm cup of chicken broth. Ginger tea is a traditional anti-nausea cure, and peppermint tea is generally soothing to the stomach as well. A few moms have also reported that carbonated beverages – such as colas or sparkling water – were just the thing they needed to keep nausea at bay.

When it comes to foods, consider the type of foods that sound appealing to you. Do you want something hot or cold? Salty or sweet? Would you prefer crunchy or creamy, or do you want something delicate or robust? Some women respond well to bland foods, like mashed potatoes or oatmeal, while other women do better with foods you might not typically associate with pregnancy, like spicy tofu with garlic and red peppers. Try something that sounds good and see how it works out for you – often, our gut instincts tell us all we need to know to find the right foods.

But what if nothing sounds good? You can always fall back on standard soothing fare. The following are some foods that are frequently suggested for women experiencing morning sickness:

  • saltine crackers
  • dry toast
  • potato crisps
  • popcorn, salted with little or no butter
  • mashed potatoes
  • hot cereals, such as oatmeal, cream of wheat or cream of rice
  • ice cream
  • lemon or lime sorbet
  • chicken soup
  • mushroom soup
  • white rice with minimal butter and salt
  • pasta with minimal butter and salt
  • scrambled eggs
  • dry cereal
  • ginger candies or ginger cookies
  • lemon candies
  • peppermint candies

In addition, most women find that if they eat small meals frequently, it’s easier on their digestive system. Many women also find fatty or oily foods harder to digest during pregnancy, so be sure to avoid sushi, as well as other foods that aren’t recommended during pregnancy.

When nausea and vomiting become a serious problem, you may need medication to manage your morning sickness. Talk to your obstetrician or midwife, or try increasing your intake of B vitamins, which some studies indicate may help prevent nausea.

When you’re experiencing morning sickness, it feels as if it will never end. But take heart – for most women, morning sickness ends at around 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. By the time your baby arrives, chances are you’ll have forgotten all about those first few difficult months altogether.

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